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2nd time adopters - are we too old?

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Hello everyone, we adopted a lovely little boy 6 years ago. He is now 7.5 years old. For various reasons (our parents dying , moving etc etc) we couldn't adopt before today. We are now in our late forties. We had in our mind to adopt a second child for years but we have only just been approved. In our minds we were thinking of a 4-5 years old in view of our AS's age. We have been approved for a 0-5 child. Our LA totally out of the blue last week suggested that we adopted a 1.5 years old. I would have never imagined that in my wildest dreams. My heart says "yes of course" my head says "noooooo too old". We have been agonising with my husband with the same dilemmas. We are so confused as we feel so blessed to have been offered that opportunity but are we being selfish? would that child be better off a much younger couple? we are now in a total dilemma. We can see that we could offer that child a loving home but would it be fair to be nearly 70 when he is only 20? what do people feel? i know noone can decide for us but it is good to hear other people's experiences. thanks in advance


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I am 53 with an adopted son of 3 . I think it entirely depends on how you feel about it. I have friends who have adopted little ones in their late 40s and 50s and i think these days a lot of families have older parents in their 40s so it is not so out of the norm as it used to be.

I am a big believer in gut instinct ! What is yours saying ? X


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Thank you for your reassuring message. Unfortunately at this stage, my gut is very confused...it sometimes says i feel young and sometimes when i see young mums in costas i feel 100!


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My youngest is 14 and I am 60, so he was born when I was 46!

One thing I would say is that present wisdom is to have as big a gap between the kids ages as possible , for various reasons. If social work are offering you a youngster of that age that's a great opportunity to tick that box, provided other aspects of the match are fine.


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oh thank you. yes with hindsight you are right. it would be much better for our beloved AS to have a youngster to look after


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I was 47 having our third. She was 12 months old - so no I don’t think you’re too old! I was 42 when we had our first child - he was 5 months old - so I’ve never been a young mother! Personally- and I’m only speaking for myself - I think older has helped me to assert myself with profs when necessary. I think I might have been less confident and more intimidated had I been a young mum.


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All normal confusion pancake. I still see myself as a young mum in my head but when i look in the mirror or see a photo all illusions are shattered ha ha. I am regularly assumed to be granma but really i wouldnt change it ! Good luck with your decision. Please let us know the outcome if you can x


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Me too. Wizzywoo!


DH and I were in our mid to late forties when we our 22 month old now AS came home to us. No regrets at all. You're only as old as you feel, as they say.


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Amen to that peahen. I always say it is keeping me young !


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As others have said, being older is not necessarily a weakness, and it is only one of the factors that the family finder will have considered in coming to the view that you can provide a good home for this child. So I wouldn’t look at it in terms of being selfish or denying the child something – every adoptive family brings its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, so it's worth thinking about it in terms of everything that you can offer and coming to a decision on the basis of that. Good luck!


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At the end of the day, the difference between 1.5 and 4 is just 2.5 years. You mention your age when the baby reaches 20 but not how you feel about adopting a toddler as opposed to a school age child (so perhaps your hesitation is not so much about the age now, but the age gap?). Presumably your SW thinks it's a good match and there's no guarantee that the baby would be matched with a much younger couple if you turned him/her down. So, the question is how would you feel now about having a toddler?


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Our second has just been placed (aged 5 months) and although I am 38 my husband is 50. I am fairly sure he thinks he is 18 sometimes!


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thank you so much all for your wisdom. yes you are right it is more how we feel than the actual age. Heavensent, yes you are right initially i had a shock that they even considered us and in my mind i could see a happy 5 year old playing with my AS but now that the idea has been brought to us, i feel ready to be pushing a pram again. (i hope my back does too...). And barbados girl my husband is indeed more like a teenager so age is only relative i suppose ! x thanks so much will let you know


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My DH and I were both 45 when our youngest was born.


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I was 44and Dh 47 when our second child was born. Personally I’d go for the wider age gap between the children. There’s a 5 year gap between our children .Good luck xx


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To echo many of the above, I was 44 when DD was born and didn't feel too old when she came to us 7 years later. Maybe it's to do with how you personally feel about aging even quite apart from being a mum again to a little one? There are lots of older parents nowadays; we don't have to see young parents as the norm even if there are more of them. Also, when DH and I were adopting, my younger colleagues at work were incredibly positive about us becoming parents. Good luck whatever you decide.


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oh thank you millions for reassurance. it is absolutely buzzing in our heads. i think it is also to do with the fact that we don't have any family support and i am terrified of telling them ... They thought we were mad enough to consider another one when we have such a peaceful balance at home but now if we mention having another younger one, they will think we are totally off our heads. anyway we have to do what is right for us, noone else...


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Dont worry pancake my parents were the same. We have a son with aspergers and 2 birth daughters. When we said we were going into fostering they were v negative and said our kids would suffer etc etc. When we took our long term fc with complex needs 10 yrs ago they were v upset and thought we were mad to even think about it. Now they dote on him and see him as v much part of the family. When we announced we were adopting they said v little. Think they had given up by then and could see we knew what we were doing after all . Sometimes , as in our case, the negative stuff comes from a good place in that they genuinely worry in case it is detrimental to their loved ones so acknowledge that if needs be and then do what you like anyway. It works for me !

Oh and enjoy your little one . It is v excitimg . Merry christmas to you all x


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We are in a similar position. I was 44 when we adopted DS who is now coming up to 2. We have been contacted about adopting younger sibling who was born recently, which means I could have two under two aged46. Part of me was initially petrified, but then I thought about how much more I could offer them now than in my 30s or 20s and age became irrelevant. (I also remember reading Dontaella’s posts over the years and that gave me hope/confidence). I do think, being older parents, our current son will benefit from having a sibling with him rather than being an only child to older parents, especially as his older siblings have all been adopted in pairs.


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We are in a similar position. I was 44 when we adopted DS who is now coming up to 2. We have been contacted about adopting younger sibling who was born recently, which means I could have two under two aged46. Part of me was initially petrified, but then I thought about how much more I could offer them now than in my 30s or 20s and age became irrelevant. (I also remember reading Dontaella’s posts over the years and that gave me hope/confidence). I do think, being older parents, our current son will benefit from having a sibling with him rather than being an only child to older parents, especially as his older siblings have all been adopted in pairs.


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thank you very much for that very wise advise. Thinking about it over the holidays, I think i am fine about my age but it is my dh at 50. He keeps going on about it. I think he is a lot more ambivalent than i am. I obviously don't want to push him to do something he is not ready to do but on the other hand, if he says he doesn't want to do it as he is too old for such a young one, i think i will be upset with him and i know i shouldn't but...


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Don’t be upset with him. He’s being honest and telling you how he feels. Far better that he tells you now than allowing it to bottle up. Friends of ours seemed very happy about adopting a baby. Then, the day before introductions, her partner blurted out that he didn’t want to go through with it and never had.


It’s good to talk things through and be open with each other.


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I'm older than my husband and was happy being childless but agreed to adoption because it meant a lot to him. We have had a hell of a journey and at times it would have been tempting to remember that I wasn't sure and blame him. (I hope I didn't) I'm now almost 50 and if I had had the adoption journey we've had at this age I'm not sure I would have coped mentally.


I can now see 60 on the horizon and all the good and bad that goes with that. It feels a big age! I know I will be looking after my children a lot more than my friends and that scares and worries me A LOT! Would I adopt now, no way. I'm worn out and could never start again at 50.


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Hi Pancake Girl. Is your DH worried about having such a young LO at his age or about having a LO at all at his age? So, is it that the child that has been suggested is really still a baby that concerns your DH or is he having cold feet about the whole concept?


Just asking because I wonder whether if it is the former then could you work out beforehand how each of your would share the load? (eg if it is nappies that is putting him off then you could just commit to do as much of that bit as feasible). However, if it is the latter then I really do think that you need to talk it through before committing.


Having said all that, my DH said within two weeks of AS coming home "I don't think that I like him and I don't think that he likes me" - coded message for "I've made a mistake. Help!". Six months in they were close. 6 years in they muck around together in the most easy-going manner which is an absolute delight to see.


Good luck whatever you decide.


Peahen.


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oh thank you all again with your pearls of wisdom. He is very positive about a second adoption Peahen but it is the age that is frightening him. And reading what Rosegarden is saying he might be right. I think he suffered maybe to have "older parents" himself but they were from a different generation to him. I think we are a lot more in touch with children than they were. Madrid, we are trying to be very honest with each other but i know he knows how much i want it but of course it doesn't mean he wants it nearly as much as me! oh it is so complicated. Anyway i am worrying a lot but fate might decide differently as we will be in competitive matching! oh it is so tough this process, the second time round doesn't make it any easier...


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The topic of age and young babies has appeared many times in the forum. I agree with what said above. I am also rapidly approaching the mid of my life’s century (but don’t feel it at all!) and I have a LO just under 2 years (was under 1 when placed). At the moment I am lucky enough to have a lot of energy!!! (of course, ask me again in 10 years, Smile …and it may be a different story). What I’d like to add though is that I try and exercise a few times per week, and it’s amazing how much physical and mental energy that can give you!! So if you can find any time to run/walk fast in the park, go swimming, dance etc (when kids in school, or after they go to bed) I would so much recommend it (for better health, including mental health, and possibly longevity). All the best whatever you decide, x


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Have to say it wasn’t fun going through my menopause when our traumatised sibling pair were in their teens.


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I’m there now Madrid and I’m thankful for an understanding GP who is happy to prescribe HRT!


As most of you will know, we’ve had many ups and down with our three - atm things are quite stable and we’re jogging along. One is in 6th form, one about to choose his options for y10 (ambitions to be an architect or engineer - he’s a pretty typical aspie mad professor type!) and one just started in secondary last September. They’re not straightforward children but not as complex as some either (depending on your view of autism I guess).


You do both need to be on the same page and I know it’s not an easy decision to make. Our daughter was a bit of an unplanned surprise and my husband found it hard going for quite some time - and she was a very tricky baby/toddler. There are lots of older parents around now - but he has to feel comfortable about it.


Good luck


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Older parents are so much more common now than they were even 30 years ago.

I can recall thinking my parents were old in the 1970s when I was about 11 - my mum and dad were 34 and 35 when they had me; quite old for second time parents in the 1960s BUT i was comparing with friends who at 11 had parents still in their 30s. This is just not the norm nowadays.

It would fill me with horror to start with a toddler now at 51, but I had my birth kids in my 20s so THEY are now in their 20s and I was 40 when we adopted (a 2 year old foster child).

Im not sure that older or younger parents are better or worse, I think it feeling the right time to be a parent is more important. I was certainly a more pro-active, always on the go doing stuff with my kids in my 20s and 30s - as I've got past 45 my enthusiasm for parenting has diminished; that's probably cos Ive got parenting fatigue after nearly 29 years and stuff isn't novel any more.

Lots of people become parents at your age, if it feels right, do it.


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It is definitely worth noting that many adopted children become adults who continue to need a significantly greater level of support into their 20s and beyond.

I have 2 friends (couples), each has an adopted daughter, the daughters are 30 and 31 now. Each with 3 kids from multiple partners, each daughter has has some level of social care involvement which has needed a lof of parental support and intervention to stop it escalating into child protection. One couple ended up buying a house for their AD to live in to give her security, mum and dad were still working at 69 (probably to pay the mortgage). My other friend is fortunately better off in cash terms and has bailed her AD out finamcially more times than I can remembet and in her 70s is regularly taking the kids for holidays to help out.


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Lol Midge I remember thinking my parents were too old as a child - they had me aged 26 / 27!


As I never had the chance to be a parent myself prior to 40, I was fine with being an older parent. Slightly self concious re my age, though several dads in dd1s primary class were the same age or older and some mums only a few years younger - one of these also had a child in dd2's class. Never felt old and look younger than my years which helps.


What I do regret (not that there was a choice ) is that my kids never had hands-on grandparents in the same way as many of their peers. Dd2 has mentioned this sometimes. All grandparents were over 70 by the time we had our first child (although one did do childcare for us for a while).


Went through the menopause fairly early - it did feel odd that it happened before the oldest started periods.


Now I'm at the age where a lot of friends and contemporaries have retired but I don't envy them (well only a little). I like still being at work. Makes me feel younger.


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Yes Milly I was the youngest child of the youngest child (my mum) - grandma had mum at 39 and my mum 34 when I was born so she was 73 when I was born.


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thank you all so much

lots of food for thought. I and must husband really need to take our health in our hands and do our best to keep healthy for our child(ren)


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We were 43 and adopted a new born, 2 year old, five year old and 8 year old!!! They are keeping us young


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woah! that is incredible. four in one go! amazing you are just so brave


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As a second time adopter to a baby and as someone who is very late 40s I would say that you are not too old! I think the more important question is about the age of child #2 and how s/he will impact on your current child. I didn't want a big age gap between AD and newbie but I've ended up with a new born baby (never thought that would happen!) and so over 5 years age gap with AD. The benefit of a baby is that there was initially very little competition for my time, our routines remained largely the same (eg I could still do school runs, bath and bedtime etc) and there is no neglect for baby. These far outweigh any benefits of having a smaller age gap in my personal experience. There is nothing you can do about your age but you can do lots in terms of choosing the right age child to add to your family. Don't worry about how you'll be when you're 70 - from what I hear on the news today, we're all gonna be still working anyway and 70 will become the new 50!!!


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oh thank you so much. that's really reassuring!


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Hi Pancake Girl.

It’s been a couple of months since you first posted, how did things progress?


I was 47 and my wife was 52 when we adopted, I’m regularly mistaken for grandad much to the amusement of my children who then offer to find my Zimmer for me, little monsters!

My own parents were in their 40’s when they had me so our situation is my normal and it wasn’t so bad. It also means you have more time to interact with your grandchildren post retirement.


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well after careful consideration and weighing the pros and cons we went through with our hearts and went for it. we are right in the middle of introductions. He is absolutely gorgeous and we are already in love. our elder son is smitten but he has only seen him once in the fc house. He hasn't moved in yet.. that's when the reality will set. We are totally exhausted but I put it down to the travelling and the emotional cost of introductions ( i try not to think of age ....) thanks for all your support and reassurance. I like your children's humour. I have already been asked if i was grandma but i felt offended rather than taking it lightly. I better have a few jokes down my sleeve. thanks again


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well after careful consideration and weighing the pros and cons we went through with our hearts and went for it. we are right in the middle of introductions. He is absolutely gorgeous and we are already in love. our elder son is smitten but he has only seen him once in the fc house. He hasn't moved in yet.. that's when the reality will set. We are totally exhausted but I put it down to the travelling and the emotional cost of introductions ( i try not to think of age ....) thanks for all your support and reassurance. I like your children's humour. I have already been asked if i was grandma but i felt offended rather than taking it lightly. I better have a few jokes down my sleeve. thanks again


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Oh how lovely. Congratulatons!


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Congratulations! Hope the rest of intros goes well.


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