Alert
Close

Join the Drive to End Hunger! Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Family
poll

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

More Older Adults Seek to Adopt

Couples and singles look to make a difference in children's lives

En español | In 2006, Craig Roberts and his wife, Fiamma di Gioia, traded a calm life in Lindstrom, Minn., to adopt two teenagers and their 10-year-old sibling.

See also: Ins and outs of international adoption.

"It's a huge undertaking," says di Gioia, 72, a retired teacher with two children from a previous marriage. Like many adoptive kids from foster care, the three siblings feared abandonment.

Despite the struggles, the couple says adoption has been well worth it. Their daughters are now 20 and 15 years old, and their son is 18. "It's a way to give back, to have an impact each and every day," says Roberts, 61, a database developer for a bank.

Couples and singles in their 50s, 60s and beyond are embracing parenthood, according to adoption and child welfare agencies. And older adoptive parents may be best suited to guide school-age children or teens toward adulthood.

Of the 3,330 couples active on the AdoptUSKids website in late March, 43 is the average age for prospective fathers and 41 for prospective mothers, says Kathy Ledesma, the agency's national project director.

"More 50-plus people are adopting, more are adopting older children, and they do indeed face challenges, especially when they want to adopt younger children," says Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York, which conducts research and develops policy on adoption and foster care. "Adopting older ones from foster care is the easiest route for them by far."

Changing the world

While many adoptions among those 50-plus are domestic, some would-be parents consider international adoption. Phil and Connie Warners of Grand Rapids, Mich., who have three children in their early 20s, adopted a boy, Robbie, now 15, from Romania in 1999. A year ago, they welcomed Tem, 7, and his 5-year-old sister Tessa from Ethiopia. All three came through Bethany Christian Services.

"We do things that others would consider foolish or crazy," says Phil, 51, director of outdoor education at a year-round Christian youth camp. His 50-year-old wife is a part-time nurse. "We believe that, in spite of our [older] age," he says, "we can still be active in changing the world for the better — even if it is only for two children at a time."

Next: From foster care to adoption. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Grandparent
Resources

GrandFacts

National and state fact sheets listing services, programs,  benefits, laws and policies for grandparents raising children. Read

GrandFamilies Guide

Information, tips and tools for grandparents raising grandchildren. Read

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

1-800flowers.com (1-800flowers.com)

Members save 20% or $20 on purchases of $79.99  from
Fruitbouquets.com.

Collette Vacations

Members save up to $200 per couple on select tours with Collette Vacations.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

Featured
Groups

Wisdom Circle

Join our circle to ask for — or give — advice on topics such as love, friendship, grief, parenting and grandparenting. Discuss

Grandparenting: Joys & Challenges

There are many joys from being a grandparent, so let's celebrate them together! Discuss

Raising Grandchildren

Grandparent caring for grandkids share tips and discuss challenges, solutions and triumphs along the way. Join