Are you over the age of 60, and think you want to adopt a newborn? You’re not crazy for wanting to do this, and here’s why…
Adopting a newborn baby is no mean feat. It requires a huge amount of dedication to begin with, providing the child with the love and care they need as they navigate their growth. Those late nights, early mornings, and sleeplessness you might remember from a few decades ago will all be part of the journey.
Once the child has passed the dependable baby stage, it doesn’t end there, though. The stages of toddler, child, teenager, and adult are all still to come, and all have challenges of their own.
As a pensioner, or adult over the age of 60, you may think your days of child-rearing are over. That said, perhaps this is exactly the next challenge you need to fulfil your life goals. The question is, is adopting a baby at this time of your life crazy? Discover the benefits, drawbacks, and possibilities of it all, right here…
What Are the Benefits of Adopting a Child in Your 60s?
Starting with the benefits of adopting a child once you’ve reached retirement age, there are a fair few where that came from! Let’s dive right in…
A New Life Challenge
Once you reach a certain age, you might be wondering, “what next?”. Perhaps you’ve achieved all your career goals, have watched all your children fly the nest, and want the next challenge to see you through your retirement years. Whatever the reason, you can’t deny that adopting a newborn would sure be something to tick off the bucket list!
Providing a Much-Needed Home for a Child
In a world where having children is becoming less and less popular, it’s no doubt that there’ll be plenty of children waiting for a home. As an empty nester who’s been there and done that, there’s no doubt that your expert child-rearing hands are much needed. Don’t underestimate the power of what you might be doing for a child.
Security for the Child
As a pensioner, you no doubt have guaranteed financial security. This could be for a number of reasons, including:
- You’ve worked every day of your life to save up for a cushty retirement.
- You’re living off of a relative’s inheritance or life insurance.
- You’ve paid off your mortgage.
In each of these situations, you’ll no doubt have a fair bit of cash tucked away for a rainy day. In these cases, you can guarantee a financially secure home for a new child, which is always a bonus.
One of the biggest societal issues we have these days is that older individuals are lonelier than ever. Especially with COVID-19 still threatening the nation, the mental health crisis, especially amongst pensioners, is astronomical. Although adoption should not just be used as a cure for loneliness, it sure does help.
Experience with Children
As a pensioner, there’s a solid chance that you’ve already had a few children of your own. With this in mind, you’ll likely be well equipped to look after an adopted child, who may be more troublesome than a child of your own. It certainly leaves them in good hands.
What Are the Drawbacks of Adopting a Child in Your 60s?
Although adopting is most certainly a noble gesture, it is also a huge step for you and the child. So, before you jump right into this new life adventure, don’t forget these drawbacks:
You May Die Before They Reach 18
One drawback of adopting as a 60-and-over is that the odds of you passing away are much more likely than if you were in your 30s or 40s. Of course, that’s not to say that you will, but if the worst were to happen, where does that leave your new child?
Adopting at this age can mean that the child loses the only parent they’ve ever known, and ends up back in the adoption or fostering system. Might it be better to wait for a younger person or couple to adopt them?
You Might be Doing it For the Wrong Reasons
As we’ve mentioned, adopting a baby is great if you’re feeling a little lonely. That said, this can’t be the only reason you choose to adopt, as this loneliness might not always be the case, and then where does that leave the child?
This is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Make sure you’re in it for the right reasons before you choose to do so for selfish motives.
Do You Have the Energy?
For many people, retirement is a well-earned break after working every day since you were a teenager. Because of this, and considering the strains of growing old, you need to truly ask yourself if you have the energy to take on this challenge. It’s not to be taken lightly, so think carefully before jumping in headfirst.
What Are the Rules Behind Age and Adoption?
At the end of the day, there are millions of children who need adopting, so don’t let these little disadvantages put you off. If you feel you have a few decades left in you yet, are doing it for the right reasons, and could provide a stable home for a child, go for it!
The only thing stopping you are the rules and regulations behind adopting as a senior. This varies depending on whereabouts you wish to adopt from. For example, in China, there can be no more than a 50-year age gap between parent and child.
That said, if you want to adopt in the UK, there is actually no upper age limit. This leaves the floor open for pensioners to adopt newborns, children, teenagers, or even adults who want a home to go to for Christmas.
Think You’re Ready to Adopt?
As you can see, there are many benefits of adopting a newborn baby when you’re over the age of 60. Of course, as with any situation, there are drawbacks too, but the benefits clearly outweigh the negative side of it all.
Do you have what it takes to adopt a child at this stage of your life? What’s more, is this something you truly want? If so, we wish you the best of luck with this new life challenge.
Senior Outlook Today is your go-to source for information, inspiration, and connection as you navigate the later years of life. Our team of experts and writers is dedicated to providing relevant and engaging content for seniors, covering topics such as health and wellness, finances, technology and travel.