The average age of a child waiting for a permanent family in the U.S. foster care system is approximately 9 years of age. According to the Federal Government's Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), this average has been consistently increasing. Statistics on foster care adoption indicate that adoptions of older children remain far less common than adoptions of younger children. This section includes information about adopting older children waiting for families in the U.S. foster care system and throughout the world.
|Obtaining Background Information on Your Prospective Adopted Child|
|Series Title:||Factsheets for Families|
|Author(s):||Child Welfare Information Gateway
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|Year Published:||2012 - 6 pages|
|Summarizes the importance of obtaining as much thorough and accurate medical, genetic, and social history information as possible about prospective adoptive children. This factsheet addresses the questions prospective adoptive parents should ask their adoption agency, reasons some information may not be available, and where to find more information.|
Gives access to the only national database of children available for adoption.
Adopting Older Children
Provides an overview of the issues involved in adopting an older child.
Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (PDF - 125 KB)
Provides the official text of this law, which expanded adoption incentive awards for State child welfare agencies to support adoptions of children from foster care who are age 9 years and older.
Information Packet: Adolescent Identity and the Impact on Adoptive Parents (PDF - 149 KB)
Bernal (2003) National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning (2003)
Provides tips for parents of teens struggling with adoption issues.
Older Child Adoption
Adoptive Families Magazine
Includes resources designed to help adoptive parents navigate the process of adopting and parenting a child of toddler age or older.
Top 10 Reasons for Adopting Teens
New York State Citizens' Coalition for Children
Provides a list of reasons to adopt teens, the benefits of adopting older children, and links to related resources.