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Age and adoption

(26 Posts)
rabbitonthemoon Wed 20-Feb-13 16:54:29

I just read on the ivf discussion that if you are approaching 40 you are not able to adopt a baby or young child. I've been doing all sorts of reading about adoption and have been in touch with my LA and have not come across this - have I missed something? Is this true?

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 20-Feb-13 17:01:55

I was 39 when I adopted my DD who was 10 months. I was told by my SW that I was at the younger end of the age range she deals with. My friend was 47 and adopted a 13 month old.

2old2beamum Wed 20-Feb-13 17:32:00

This is absolutely true I am 69 and my youngest adopted daughter is 7, she was placed with us when she was 3. SW,s can bend the rules when it suits smile

Italiangreyhound Wed 20-Feb-13 18:49:35

In our area there can be a fifty year age difference between the parent and adopted child so it is not true in our area. But it might have been true in the past. It might still be true in some areas. Always best to ask your local authority what their policy is.

rabbitonthemoon Wed 20-Feb-13 19:16:38

Thanks a lot for replying, the poster seemed so certain about it. I'm currently weighing up if I start fertility treatment or move straight onto adoption and this is a big factor as I'm 36. I will enquire with my authority. I know it isn't as simple as getting a baby but I would like the experience of parenting a child aged 2 or under.

Domjolly Wed 20-Feb-13 19:26:38

Depends if you wanted a disabled child or were willing to take on a sibling group you be surprised how they can bend the rules

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 20-Feb-13 19:29:03

My DH was nearly 42 when DD came home last year. She was 10 months old.

2old2beamum Wed 20-Feb-13 20:16:15

Domjolly you have it in one!!
However does this mean disabled children and sibling groups are "less important" IYSWIM My cousin and DH have just been matched with their 11th DC they are in their mid 50's. BTW they are fantastic parents and yes their DC has multiple needs.

Devora Wed 20-Feb-13 21:26:37

I was 46 and do was 48 when we adopted a healthy 10 month old baby. That is no guarantee that it will happen for you (under ones are rare, though there are a lot of children aged one to two available). Our social worker told me that most adopters are in their forties, whereas you know it can be Damon hard to get pregnant in your forties (I did that too - always one for defying the odds).

If you want a baby I would say your best odds are fertility treatment now followed by adoption later (though not too much later).

Devora Wed 20-Feb-13 21:27:46

Some interesting predictive text there.

Best of luck, open.

Devora Wed 20-Feb-13 21:28:28

And there! I'm giving up now.

Lilka Wed 20-Feb-13 21:42:38

Complete rubbish - okay about 15 to 20 years ago there might have been age limits like that but many adoptive parents are in their forties and IME even the strictest local authorities have a 42 year maximum age gap - and they aren't common.

Lots of 40-48 year olds adopt children under 5. There are quite a few children aged 1-2 to adopt, it's harder to adopt a child under 1, although doable if you are in the right place at the right time. You may have a wait though.

Lilka Wed 20-Feb-13 22:06:41

Actually make that 40-50 years old, my LA prefer to only place over 50's with older children though

Italiangreyhound Wed 20-Feb-13 22:30:32

rabbitonthemoon I think if you are weighing up between adoption and fertility treatment it is quite a big question. If you are still in your thirties you do have time to consider both options. I agree with Devora in that if you wanted to try fertility treatment you should try that first. I think it very much depends what you want. There was a thread on here before about the subject of fertility treatment vs adoption. In fact there have probably been many threads on that topic. Also, depends if you know what problems you might have having a baby biologically etc. Don't want to pry but think it is a big topic and the adoption agencies will probably want to know you have thought it all through. But more experienced voices (I am not yet an adopter!) could probably advise on that).

KristinaM Thu 21-Feb-13 10:19:12

Defo go for assisted conception first .

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 21-Feb-13 20:54:33

I think our LA had guidance about no more than a 50 year gap between the oldest adopter and the youngest adoptee, but it wasn't a hard and fast rule.

If assisted conception is something that you are considering, I would say to do that now (because it's better to do it the younger you are). For us, that wasn't a route that we wanted to go down, so we "skipped" that and went straight to adoption after we realised a second birth child wasn't going to happen.

rabbitonthemoon Thu 21-Feb-13 22:13:01

Thanks for replies. The back story is that 2 years of ttc and we are unexplained. Except last year I had major surgery to remove a fibroid that when they opened me up, wasn't there (or had resolved or had been a cyst). It's been a rough ride and its taken me ages to get better. I found the whole thing quite traumatic what with the raised hopes of feeling I could be fixed, to the shock of finding out I'd and unnecessary surgery, that then failed to heal for ages due to complications. The thought of ivf feels very invasive and in my heart I feel like it won't work. I can't explain why. Perhaps I've lost faith in medicine? DH has close experience of adoption so it was always on the cards as a way of building our family. So - I don't know if I can do ivf and I want a family a lot. Which has led me to a fork in the road. I'm just sat in it for a while and I'm hoping things become clear. Thanks for your support.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 21-Feb-13 22:41:18

I'd say to sit in the fork for as long as you need

Don't think of adoption as a second best option if you can't have birth children. It's not, it's just a different way of becoming or extending a family, but it does have its own complications and issues. A close friend of mine marvels that we could go through the adoption process and emerge basically unscathed. I marvel that they could do 3 rounds of IVF before falling pregnant on the 4th go. Horses for courses, as they say

Italiangreyhound Thu 21-Feb-13 23:40:21

Rabbit thanks for sharing. I know it is so hard. I have no idea of the exact problem for you. Or for myself for that matter! As I never got a proper diagnosis of the problems we had over the years but I got pregnant 2nd time on IUI (not IVF) at age 39 and it is possible to have assisted conception without IVF.

I totally agree with families that adoption is another way to have or extend a family, we are only en route now and have not yet adopted. But already I know that my years of trying to conceive are truly over and for me it is a relief.

I know you may not be in that place yet. So I totally agree with families again that you should sit in the fork in the road as long as you need to think about it.

All the very best.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 22-Feb-13 08:28:57

Another one suggesting that you should take as long as you need to think about this. We were TTC for 10 years in total. We went down the IVF route initially after the battery of fertility tests. In between all this I had an abnormal smear resulting in colposcopies and biopsies. In short I was fed up with being poked and prodded. After getting to the top of the waiting list, we went for blood tests for several months. Finally, out if the blue they told me that I was unsuitable for IVF. First reaction was devastation but funnily enough an overwhelming feeling of relief.

And as I sit here looking at DD making tea for the dog (!) I truly know in my heart that we absolutely made the right decision (for us) to adopt over pursuing a second opinion, egg donation etc.

We are all different - we each know what we can and cannot cope with. For us adoption was a bit intrusive and apart from wanting to hurry things along at times, a really positive process. But it's not like that for everyone.

And as a note to your original post about age. DD was 10 months when we brought her home & completely healthy. So we experienced a baby (only without the sleepless nights!)

MissFenella Sun 24-Feb-13 18:58:02

I'm 42 and Dh is 52 and we were approved for 0 - 6 age range. being old/er was never mentioned.

IUI didn't work for us and we decided against IVF. Adoption was not a 2nd best option for us. It was just an alternate way to create a family.

maindoors Tue 26-Feb-13 21:02:57

I think that things are or have changed in the last few years.

About 10 years ago when I was 39 and DH was 41 our LA told us that we were too old to adopt a child of under 4. As a result we adopted from abroad since as first time parents we knew we wanted a child under 2. Second time around when I was 44 they still weren't interested...probably as much because we were then a mixed race family and that was still a no go's very much a postcode lottery but post Baby P there are so many more children being placed for adoption that they have had to think a little more "creatively"!

rabbitonthemoon Tue 26-Feb-13 21:26:21

Thank you everyone for contributions to my original post. I often read the adoption boards to try to make sense of what it all means and the processes and I'm curious as to how people make the decision to move on from fertility treatment, or not go down that road in the first place. There is no 'moving on' section on mn and yet this feels a significant part of the journey? I do not view adoption as a second best option at all though in the first year of ttc I was very attached to experiencing pregnancy and giving birth. The uterine problems have dulled this significantly as I've been fiddled around with so very much. I feel, today, that I might try iui this year but that if it doesn't work I will leave it there. I want to crack on and bring our child to our family and the process through which that happens feels far less significant than the outcome. I think of adoption lately with intrigue, excitement and possibility rather than fear. I will sit in my fork for a good while yet. Thank you so much again for your kind words and insights. I've so many questions but never want to feel intrusive.

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 27-Feb-13 09:28:38

rabbit - ask away. I have always found that no one minds answering anything on here, and people will always PM you if it's not something they feel they can share on here. I only really found mumsnet after we brought our DD home, and wished I had found it sooner to ask the million and one questions I had in the year we were on our adoption journey smile

rabbitonthemoon Wed 27-Feb-13 09:52:40

Aw thanks wellybobs that is really supportive of you. I have a scan today to check there is no fibroid regrowth. I feel very detached from things today, like pregnancy is no longer the thing I'm chasing, if that makes sense. But i can feel very clear for weeks and then get winded by things. The hardest thing I've found about infertility is the 'stuckness'.

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