If you are thinking about putting an older child up for adoption, it’s fair to assume you are under a good deal of stress at this point in your life. Considering adoption for your child is never easy, and if you’re doing so after you have already raised him or her for months or even years, it won’t be an easy process. Whether you’re considering placing an older child up for adoption for financial reasons, you’re having problems with the child’s father, or you’re undergoing other personal struggles, choosing to give an older kid up for adoption is very difficult.
If you are thinking about pursuing adoption for an older child, you’ll want to read the following information to learn more about how to put an older child up for adoption.
The Realities of Pursuing an Older Child Adoption
If you’re thinking about giving an older child up for adoption, it’s clear that you have his or her best interests in mind. You know that your child deserves better than you are currently capable of providing, and you’re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to make sure he or she gets the best life possible. However, there are certain challenges of putting your older child up for adoption that are important to consider:
- Most private adoption professionals work primarily to place newborns and infants for adoption, and don’t typically specialize in placing children above the age of 4. If your older child is a part of a sibling group, a private agency may be able to help you find an adoptive family to take your older child as well as his or her younger sibling/s. However, most parents who are looking to adopt an older child typically work with the state foster care system, which makes older child adoption agencies harder to find.
- When putting an older child up for adoption, it’s important to consider additional factors like health and behavior, the child’s history and who has had primary custody, the involvement of the child’s birth father, and more. These factors are all extremely important, both in devising a plan for how to put an older child up for adoption as well as in finding an adoptive family interested in adopting an older child.
- Giving an older child up for adoption may be a much more difficult transition for the child than it would be if he or she were younger. Keep in mind that your child already has a life, and this would mean creating a new one. To uproot that and attempt to enter him or her into a new home would most likely require specialized counseling, education and training. It will not be a simple process.
However, despite the fact that there are difficulties associated with giving an older child up for adoption, that does not mean it might not be possible in your situation. If you are thinking about giving an older child up for adoption, please remember to keep your child’s safety first and forefront in your mind.
- Never search for an adoptive family online. Only use a licensed adoption professional when discussing custody of your child. Attempting to find adoptive families online is not only dangerous, but may be considered child trafficking. You could inadvertently be getting your child (and yourself) into a much worse situation than you are currently in.
- Do not abandon your child. This is considered abandonment and is punishable by law. It is also extremely unsafe for your child.
- Report any abuse, either to yourself or your child. If your child’s safety or your own is in jeopardy, contact emergency services right away. If your child is at risk of being abused, a child welfare professional can help to get you the help you need.
Alternatives to Giving up Older Child for Adoption
Rather than putting an older child up for adoption, you may be able to take some of the following avenues to receive the help you need:
- Reach out to social services. Whether you are in need of healthcare, a job, affordable housing, or other assistance, there are many state-run programs designed to help struggling parents.
- Pursue a temporary guardianship. Rather than permanently signing away your rights to your child, assigning a temporary guardian can give you the break you need to work on your problems while still retaining parental rights of your child.
- Take a short break. If a family member or friend would be willing to babysit for you for a day or two, sometimes this is all the time it takes to clear your head and develop a plan to better your situation. Every parent gets overwhelmed, and there’s no shame at all in asking for temporary help. Depending on your situation, you can also look into respite care.
No matter your reasons for wondering how to place an older child for adoption, remember that your child’s safety always comes first and foremost. Before taking drastic action, be sure to contact an adoption professional to learn more about your options in your given situation.