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.
7 Key Ingredients for Successfully Adopting a Tween or Teen
Creating a Family
Lists seven recommendations to keep in mind when adopting a middle school or high school teen, such as learning as much as you can about issues facing children who are older at adoption. This resource also includes a recorded radio show with an adoption professional, "Adopting Tweens and Teens—Special Issues to Consider."
Going Beyond Recruitment for Older Youth: Increasing Your System's Capacity to Respond to Prospective Parents and Prepare Older Youth for Adoption (PDF - 648 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2015)
Provides tools and information to successfully recruit and support prospective adoptive parents for older youth. It also includes information on how to help prospective parents for older youth explore the special considerations involved in adopting a teen and how to locate services to help meet their needs.
The Joys and Challenges of Parenting Older Adopted Children
Adoption Advocate, 77
Places an emphasis on the importance of exercising flexibility and maintaining realistic expectations with older adopted children.
|Series Title||Factsheets for Families|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 333KB)
Child Welfare Information Gateway; AdoptUSKids
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Teens Need Families
Answers common questions related to adopting older teens, including planning for college tuition and accessing medical benefits.
Top 10 Reasons for Adopting Teens
Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition New York (2016)
Provides a list of reasons to adopt teens, the benefits of adopting older children, and links to related resources.