Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few commonly asked questions for adoptive parents.  For more questions and answers, visit this page by Creating A Family.

We posed this question to Dr. Charles Nelson, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and one of the leading experts on attachment and th effects of childhood neglect, abuse, malnutrition, institutionalization, and prenatal environment on children. He said that most attachments to caregivers form in the first 2 (or so) years of life; thus, it is not surprising that children who spend more than the first 2 years in an institution are at an elevated risk of developing an insecure or disorganized attachment, and in some rare cases, no attachment. But, remember, this observation applies to groups of children, not individual children; thus, there may still be some children who have spent less than 2 years in an institution who still have attachment issues, and others who spend more than that who do not. Some of these individual differences may well be influenced by the kind of care a child received while in the institution. On the Creating a Family show discussing the Affect of Early Childhood Experiences on Adopted Children, he added that major attachment issues are very seldom seen in children adopted from birth.
According to Lark Cooper, Intake Coordinator for Children’s Connections, Inc., your age would not be a major issue. Many pre-adoptive families contact us in their 40’s even in their 50’s. While that is definitely true that at Creating a Family we see families where one parent is over 45, especially if that parent is the mother, wait longer to be matched with a prospective birthmother, but as Lark says, there are very few things that automatically eliminate you from adopting. Listen to the Creating a Family show on What Expectant Women Look for When Choosing Adoptive Parents and our blog on the same topic.
According to Danielle Goodman, Adoption Social Worker with Adoptions from the Heart, as a general rule single women or same sex couples do not wait a significantly longer period of time to be selected by pregnant women. The wait could be a little longer than a married couple but it is often not significantly longer. At Creating a Family we see that the adoptive parent’s openness to certain risk factors, such as prenatal exposures and birth family history of mental illness, have a greater impact on waiting times.