How to Decide if Infant or Older Child Adoption is Best for You

by | Jan 10, 2018 | Adoptive Families Blog

Lifetime adoptive couple Alan and Rebekah with their sonsThose hoping to adopt a baby are the norm in domestic adoption. But infant adoption isn’t the only type available: adopting an older child is also possible, no matter his or her age. 

Are you wondering if you should pursue infant adoption or older child adoption? Keep reading to get Lifetime’s tips on deciding which type of domestic adoption is right for you!

Some adoptive couples are sure of their decision to seek an infant adoption. For others, the answer isn’t so easy. If you’re wondering if adopting an older child or an infant is right for you, there are many aspects to take into consideration. 

The best place to start is by asking yourself what you want most out of adoption. Do you hope to experience parenthood from day one, joyfully living out all the stages of childhood? Or do you like the idea of providing a home to a child who wouldn’t otherwise have a stable family life?

If the first experience sounds best, then infant adoption is right for you. If you said “yes” to the second question, begin to consider becoming an adoptive parent to an older child. We encourage you to take time reflecting on what’s best for your family; don’t rush into a decision. Take your time and do some research on both infant adoption and older child adoption. Speaking with adoptive parents involved in both types of adoption is also wise so that you can discover what their adoption experiences have been like.      

Adopting an older child can have its own blessings and its own challenges because every older child comes with a past. However, with lots of love, security, and focused attention, a child of any age will flourish. Children who are adopted after having other caregivers may have issues adjusting to a new home. Parenting an older child takes special dedication and focus. 

Says Shiloh, a Lifetime adoption mom, “The unknowns of adopting an older child seemed a little scary before we met him, but this little two-year-old is just perfect and so special for our family. He is still little and formable and has bonded with us so quickly. Being open to an older child brought this beautiful little boy into our lives and ended our long wait for children. We would adopt an older child again and encourage others to be open to it!”

Both infant adoption and older child adoption is wonderful, fulfilling, and very needed. Choosing between infant and older child adoption should be based on what’s best for you because what’s best for you will also be best for your child, no matter their age.

A great place to begin your research on infant adoption and older child adoption is by reading Called to Adoption. Written by adoption expert, adoptive mother, and Founder of Lifetime Mardie Caldwell, the book explains all of the various types of adoption available. Learn more about the book at

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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