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How Old Do You Have To Be To Adopt

If you are wondering how old do you have to be to adopt there are a few things to consider. Adopting a child is a serious matter requiring strict guidelines adherence. 

One such guideline is the age of the person who wants to adopt a child. The eligibility age is 18 years and above to adopt a child legally.

You should be aware that age isn’t the only prerequisite for a successful adoption; even though you are legally old enough, many other factors can still affect the outcome.

how old do you have to be to adopt

How Old Do You Have To Be To Adopt? – Your Questions Answered

Here we’re going to breakdown all you need to know about the age requirements for adoption, along with other details that should help you understand the adoption process.

Why Does Age Matter When Adopting A Child


Age matters to the family that gives the child up and to those responsible for the child’s well-being. Such conditions rely on the child’s safety and how well the person seeking to adopt is capable of fulfilling.

That is one reason why age plays a significant factor in adoptions. The adoption success depends on the parents and those who play a mediator role in the process. 

Some parents prefer a young couple or single parent compared to older persons. They think about the mental challenges they may face with aging parents and look at how well they can care for the child.

Young parents will usually adopt younger children while aging adults stand a better opportunity with teenagers. It is uncommon to find it working the opposite, so prospective parents should consider this.

Does The Adoption Age Limit Differ From State To State?

There are two age limits to consider in the adoption process. These are the child’s age, their right to consent, and the age of the person who wants to adopt.

Persons can legally adopt from 18 years and up depending on the state, while the age limit is 21 or 25 years in other states. You will find the age of consent differs by state, so be sure to research all the laws governing this aspect.

Puerto Rico and seven other US states allow persons 18 years and older to adopt children. You must be twenty-one years and older in Oklahoma, Delaware, American Samoa, and Colorado to adopt. 

Some states require the age of twenty-five to adopt a child. These states are Georgia and Idaho. Some states allow minors to adopt if they are the spouse of the one adopting the child.

The Northern Mariana Islands and six other states allow adoptions if the prospective parents are ten years older than the adoptee. 

Despite the minimum age limit of eighteen and twenty-one, Idaho requires the person to be 15 years younger, and Puerto Rico requests the person to be 14 years older than the child.

Age Requirements For International Adoption

The minimum age requirement acceptable for international adoptions stands at 25 years for at least one parent. However, this age limit may vary by country, so you need to check the status age of your country.

Anyone who seeks to adopt internationally must be married for at least one year before application. It won’t work in your favor if you are a divorcee more than twice; the administration will review each case independently.

If you are a single male, you aren’t allowed to adopt. They will review persons on a case-by-case basis due to health concerns. Those with cancer, other chronic illnesses, and mental health will go through a different process.

I hope the information was beneficial. As you would have already seen, it requires much consultation when you want to adopt. The age limit varies broadly by state, with many stipulations making the process long and daunting.

You can make your application based on what state you aim for and learn their way of doing things.

What Are The Costs Involved In Adopting A Child?

The cost of adopting a child has no set price and, like the age limit, varies by state. We can give you a price range to go by, but it will be hard to tell until you go through the actual process.

The four primary ways to adopt are an adoption agency, through an independent person, the foster care system, or international adoption.

There are different costs involved when seeking to adopt. The fees for such a venture are a lawyer’s legal fees or an adoption agency’s. A lawyer may charge $15,000 to $40,000 depending on many factors. 

The agency price range can be $20,000 and $45,000, including many fees like travel and medical expenses. The agency will have a lawyer, which includes legal fees. 

If you go the foster care route, it may cost you nothing to adopt. In some cases, certain states may give you some reimbursement if you paid any fees during the process. 

They may help with other expenses as well. The goal of foster care is to put parents and children back together, so it may be harder to adopt through the foster care system.

The international fees to adopt are $20,000 and $50,000. However, since the parents seeking adoption rights have to visit the country where the child resides several times, it can be a more considerable expense.

The Time-Frame For Adopting

The adoption process can be complicated and time-consuming. It can take two to seven years for an adoption to complete. There are many reasons for this, and it depends on each case.

If you want a toddler or baby, the wait can be much longer than a young child. Older children usually have a more challenging time finding someone to adopt them.

The foster care system will work to quickly pair you with an older child compared to newborns or toddlers. Exceptional cases have seen parents adopt in one month to two years,

International cases will take the longest to complete. This process can go the full seven years, depending on the situation.

When you think about how old you have to be to adopt, consider the other factors that could play out in your endeavors to raise a child. Age matters, especially by state; other things also matter, so be sure to do your research and ask all the relevant questions.

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