Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Too Old to Adopt?

My husband and I got married when I was 39 and he was 38 - a little later than most. We knew it would be tough having a baby at our age, so I started trying to get pregnant right away. When that didn’t work we started infertility treatments.  During our last year of that, when I was 43, we decided to start the adoption process. We looked into US adoption, both independent and agency and figured at our age, independent might be better for us.

During the 2 years of advertising we spoke with a few expectant moms, who when we told them our age, finished the conversation quickly, but most were OK with it. We ended up adopting 2 baby girls nine days apart (see my Virtual Twins blog about that) when I was 45. M’s birthmom was only a few years younger than me and her birthfather was 5 years older so our age wasn’t an issue. And C’s birthparents never asked our ages. It seemed that what was more important to them was that we had stable careers and could provide a secure environment for their babies.

I’ve read a few articles about “older” moms who say that they don’t feel like they have the energy that a younger mom might. I haven’t felt that way yet, but I do feel out of place sometimes when I go to the girls’ nursery school and I’m the oldest mom there. I hope that someday when they start to notice this, that it doesn’t cause them too much embarrassment. I hear that at some point all kids are embarrassed by their parents, so I guess this will be our “thing” to cause embarrassment.

When the girls were around one and a half, we started thinking about adopting again. Before we got married we always wanted 3-4 kids since I was one of 3, and Joe was one of 7. And we also wanted to give M and C another sibling to grow up with. We asked our lawyer if she thought we were too old to adopt again and she assured us no – that there were plenty of other people our age adopting, so we got recertified and started advertising again.

We received fewer calls this time around. Not sure if it was because we already had two children, our age, or because there were fewer expectant moms out there, but after 14 months of advertising with no success, we decided that we were going to stop and not get recertified. Many of our friends from our adoption group had 1 or 2 children, so we thought we should just count ourselves lucky to have our two girls and move one. The week before our certification ran out, I was just about to do my last week of advertising, when I got a call from S’s birthmom. We couldn’t believe it – we were ready to give up when out of the blue we got a call. We drove to the birthparent’s hometown to meet them for lunch. We were so nervous, but things went well and they chose us! They didn’t ask us our age at all- I guess that wasn’t that important to them. S was born about 6 weeks later. She is 2 and a half now and I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have her.

Sometimes I worry about the future – I’m 51 and my husband is 50 and we have 2 and 5 year olds. Are we being fair to them? By the time they’re our age, we probably won’t be here for them anymore. We should be at their weddings, but will we be there for our grandchildren? Would they be better off with younger parents? These are the things I think about in the rare quiet-time that I have. But then I realize that having kids at a younger age doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always be there for them. Sadly, some of my friends who are my age have already lost one or both of their parents. Joe and I are pretty healthy (knock wood) and so are our families so we’re hoping to be around a long time! And no matter what happens, the girls will always have each other. 

Written By Allison 
Adoptive Mom
Group Member 
Electrical Engineer

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1 comment:

  1. You are a veritable spring chicken. We adopted our oldest from China (went international because we had been told by more than one agency we would probably have issues with domestic adoptions because of age) when I was 49 and husband was 48, and our second two years latter. They are now 10 and 11, you can do the math. We both came from families of 3, but decided that 2 was enough. Yes there are some regrets- I spent hours one night in China weeping and writing letters to the woman my baby would become because I was powerfully struck by the realization that when she was my age, I would be long gone, where I still had my parents love and support. Pretty much crying over spilt milk, since we'd signed the final adoption papers. Get a good will written, set up trust and college funds, select good guardians- and make sure they can/will take on the job, pay for a decent life insurance policy - and then live your life without regrets. Your daughters are better of with parents, and they have you.