Even though we're finalizing the adoption of a beautiful Guatemalan boy, we're already thinking about baby #2! :D
I've heard a lot of talk about age limits on adoptive parents of Chinese infants. However, all of what I have heard tells me that both parents have to be at least 30. My husband turns 30 in 2007, however, I'm embarrassed to say that I will then be nearly 38! Is there an age "ceiling" on adoptive parents, or could we comfortably plan to adopt an infant from China until I reach the age of 40 (for example)?
Thanks for the feedback!
According to the CCAA website, it seems that they deem the best ages to parent an infant to be between 30 and 45. BUT, I recently adopted from China and I am almost 46. A friend of mine adopted last summer and she is 50. Both of us got girls around 16 months old. I have heard of 50 year olds getting 8 month olds though so there does not seem to be any hard set rule.
My agency told us if you are over 45 to "expect not to get an infant, or else be willing to accept a child with special needs"
We are looking at the Waiting Child program (s/n) and there is no age limit on it.
At 44, I was told to expect a toddler. My daughter was 11 months old on adoption day. My agency has said that 50 is the cut-off for children under 2 yrs old.
China however does changes its rules every so often.
Chinese law specifies a mandatory minimum age for adoption. As you know, that minimum age is 30. There is no way around the law on this matter, and exceptions are never granted.
There are no upper age limits in Chinese law. The China Center for Adoption Affairs has given some upper age guidelines, which are as follows:
a) Infants under age 12 mo. are most likely to be given to people 30-44.
b) Young toddlers under age 2 are most likely to be given to people 45-49.
c) A single person cannot generally adopt if he/she reaches the age of 50.
d) A married person 50-54 needs to be "open" to a child over age three.
e) A married person 55 or over is unlikely to be referred a child.
Note that these guidelines do not say what China will do if one spouse is in one age category, and the other spouse is in another category. And there are NO Chinese guidelines that use formulas like "the ages of the two parents, added together, must be under 95 for an infant.
However, China has always made it very clear that decisions with regard to the age of child referred will be made on a case by case basis. And, in fact, this is what seems to be happening.
In fact, here is what I have seen, based solely on referrals posted in places like a-parents-china:
1. While many people in the 30-44 age group receive infants, some do receive children up to age two.
2. While many people in the 45-49 age group receive young toddlers, some do receive infants.
3. In recent months, China has gotten more strict about not placing children with singles who have reached age 50.
4. While some married persons between 50 and 54 have received children over age three, others have received younger children.
5. When one spouse in a married couple is 55 or over, and the other spouse is significantly younger (say, early 40s), a child is sometimes referred.
6. If both spouses have reached 55, a child isn't likely to be referred.
Do be aware that many AGENCIES have policies that are more strict than those of China. As an example, some agencies simply won't accept dossiers from couples who are 45 or over and who want infants.
In some cases, those policies reflect an agency's historic policies, applied to people adopting from any country or domestically.
In others, these policies seem to have developed because China has made it very clear that, if agencies consistently send inappropriate dossiers, those agencies will lose their right to place Chinese children.
In your specific case, you and your husband will have no problems, once your husband reaches 30, unless Chinese laws and policies change before then. You and he would definitely be eligible for an infant.
However, you DO need to understand that, although you may request a child under 12 months, there is no guarantee that China will refer one. And this is the case whether you are 30 or 45.
China puts all children from birth to age 2 in a single referral category. When you are matched with a specific child, it could be with any child from that category. Yes, it will look at your request, and at the age you are approved for in your homestudy report. But it may or may not grant you a child under 12 months of age.
And even if it does, remember that the child may have reached his/her first birthday by the time you travel to complete your adoption. Even the very youngest babies referred to families are generally 6 months old or older, and the average seems to be around 10 months of age.
So if you are bound and determined to adopt a child under 12 months of age, China may not be the best choice of country for you.
On the other hand, you should know that adopting a young toddler isn't so terrible. You will still get lots of "baby" experience!
I adopted my daughter when she was 18.5 months old, and she was VERY much a baby. She weighed only 17 lb. She was definitely not toilet trained. She insisted on being fed, more from a desire for closeness, I suspect, than from a lack of ability to use utensils. She slept in a crib. And so on.
Yes, I missed seeing her first tooth erupt; she had ten when I got her. But I got to see her lose her first tooth, a few years later. Yes, I missed her first haircut, her first solid food, etc. But there were so many, many other firsts that I do not feel at all deprived.
You should have no problem with your ages. I am 38 and my husband is 45.
Best wishes on both adoptions.
Thanks for your replies!
We're not particularly concerned that we adopt a "very" young child. We chose Guatemala for our first adoption because we wanted our first child to be as young as possible and had always heard that Guat was a reasonable option. Our son is nearly 10 months old and still in Guatemala, so I know there are no guarantees.
I was, however, concerned that we wouldn't be eligible for a referral from China because of my age. Thank you for putting my mind at ease!
Best wishes to all!
As far as younger babies go--that is one of the great benefits of Vietnam unless it changes with their newly implemented procedures. We received our first son's referral when he was one week old, and picked him up when he was six weeks old. We picked up our second son when he was five months old.
My hubby and I are 26 years old and want to adopt a baby girl from China eventually. We are doing foster/adopt here in the states for now. I had no idea we had to be 30 to be considered. That gives us a few years to save up money. I guess that is a good thing. We will get our China Doll some day. If you have not already, go to and check out their grant information. Also, the stories are neat behind the foundation.
Thank you for all the info you have placed in this thread. I am printing it now and putting it in my useful threads binder. I know, I am a bit organized:rolleyes: