With the new regulations on adopting from China coming into play next month, readers are asking what other countries impose a maximum age limit for adoption. (China is lowering theirs to 50, or 55 for special needs kids.)
Although most countries are clear about the minimum age allowed between child and adoptive parents … most often asking for parents 25 or older, or a certain number of years between child and parents … those that stipulate a maximum age for adoption are the minority.
Some agencies, however, do impose restrictions of their own that are not dictated by country laws or practices, so if you find an agency telling you you’re too old to adopt from country x, y or z, you may want to take a closer look at where the policy originates.
The information I have been able to collect today may not be current tomorrow, so look to the US Department of State and their updates on international adoption, country-by-country, to advise.
Looking at countries most often considered by Americans for adoption, here is a list with the age specifications they require, if any:
• Azerbaijan: no age restrictions
• Belarus: minimum +16 over child, no maximum
• Bulgaria: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Cambodia: under 55
• China: maximum 50 (55 for special needs children)
• Columbia: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Ecuador: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Ethiopia: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Georgia: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Guatemala: minimum over 25, no maximum (Although I have also heard there is no max limit, so the information seems to be inconsistent.)
• Haiti: minimum over 35, no maximum
• India between 28 and 40
• Kazakhstan: no age restrictions
• Latvia: no age restrictions
• Liberia: no age restrictions
• Mexico: minimum over 25, no maximum
• Moldova: between 25 and 50
• Nepal: between 25 and 55
• Peru: under 55
• Philippines: minimum over 27, no maximum
• Poland: under 44
• Russia: no age restrictions
• Korea: 25 to 44
• Taiwan: no maximum restriction
• Thailand: no more than 40 years older than the child
• Ukraine: no maximum restriction
• Viet Nam: no maximum restriction
Please contact me if you have information that differs from what I have been able to collect, and I will update my files and pass the info along.
I have to add a bit here about how age is, all in all, merely a number, and there is no magic number that separates parenting people from too-old-to-be-parenting people.
There are people in their sixties adding children to their families through adoption, and doing a wonderful job of it, so anyone thinking they’re alone in their desire to parent later in life has simply not yet stumbled across the thousands of us who are happily doing exactly that.