Putting a Child Up for Adoption at Age 5 or Older

Raising a child can be a very difficult task. Parenting situations can change at what seems to be a moment’s notice. Both emotional and financial and financial stressors can pile up quick. If you feel you are losing grip on being the parent you always dreamt of being for your child, you may be exploring your options for help.

This guide will explore the options you have when it comes to adoption or parental assistance for children 5 years old and over.

Adoption for Children 5 Years and Older

Placing an older child (over the age of 4) for adoption is much more difficult, and in some cases, not possible. Most private adoption agencies are only able to support infant and toddler adoptions. Even when an agency is able to offer assistance, the majority of adoptive families who are looking to adopt and older child will do so through the foster care system.

If you are considering adoption for your child, contact an adoption specialist. They will inform you of the options you have available and provide you with the appropriate resources needed. Until then, continue reading to learn more about “giving a child up” for adoption who is ages 5 to 18.

5 Years

For the most part, private adoption agencies’ top age range that they are able to place successfully is around 4 years old. Can you put a baby up for adoption at the age of 5? Yes, but finding an agency able to support your adoption will be a challenge. Oftentimes, these professionals will assist with older child placements case by case, so this will ultimately dictate the steps to putting up a child for adoption age 5. Because there are generally fewer families hoping to adopt a 5-year-old through a private agency, the adoption process can become very lengthy and difficult.

The adoption process is difficult to complete, but there are also emotional aspects that make it difficult as well. At 5 years old, your child has likely formed an attachment to you as their parent, and the same can more than likely be said about you having a bond with them. Although adoption always puts the best interest of the child first, and you are making this decision out of love and compassion for them, it is still an emotionally draining and stressful decision.

Before making any decisions, consider speaking with an adoption attorney to weigh all of your options and learn if adoption is a realistic possibility for you and. An attorney might be able to help you arrange a kinship adoption or temporary guardianship, or guide you towards alternative options as well.

6 Years

Finding adoptive families for older children can be a unique challenge. Speaking with an adoption professional can help you get the answers you are looking for. No matter if you are asking if you can put a 6-year-old up for adoption, or you are wondering how to find an adoptive family for a 6-year-old, an adoption professional will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Due to the fact that many adoption agencies are unable to provide service for children at this age, there is a good chance they will refer you to speak with a social service professional about resources that could improve your situation and allow you to continue parenting your child. W.I.C (women, infants, children), Medicaid and federal programs are just some of the resources you and your child could potentially benefit from.

Professionals may also suggest an alternative to traditional adoption, such as kinship adoption or temporary legal guardianship. Guardianship provides temporary parental relief and allows you to focus on creating a better environment for you and your child. An adoption attorney will better explain your options and help guide you through this difficult time.

7 Years

As a 7-year-old, a child is likely to have behavioral and social needs that you will want to consider when attempting adoption. This emotional aspect adds another level of difficulty to an already challenging situation.

If you are asking how to put a 7-year-old up for adoption, odds are, you feel parenting is not currently an option. Although you may currently feel this way, it is important to determine if it is just a temporary feeling or situation, or if you do not see any resolution possible. With adoption at this age being very difficult, there are alternatives that can help you get to a better place as a parent for your child.

Even if adoption is not the best option, we suggest speaking with an adoption attorney or the national parent helpline for guidance on what is the best opportunities for your specific situation.

8 Years

If you are thinking about putting a child up for adoption at age 8, there is a lot to consider. The top priority are the needs and best interest of the child.

Keep in mind, an 8-year-old is fairly advanced in their growth and development. They are accustomed to their everyday routine. They likely have friends, go to school, can read and write and have emotional attachment to the people involved in their life. Adoption can cause a disruption in this pattern and will be difficult for the child to handle. If you are thinking about putting a child up for adoption at age 8, there may be other options to improve your life and the life of your child.

Finding an adoption agency for 8-year-olds will be a challenge, if even possible at all. Although there may be people that want to adopt an 8-year-old, private agencies generally only work with infants and toddlers. There are case-to-case incidents where agencies are able to place an older child for adoption, but it depends on the capabilities of that specific agency.

Before you begin searching for older child adoption agencies, contact your local social services agency to learn about adoption alternatives, or other programs that could make parenting easier for you

9 Years

No matter the age, parents always want what is best for their child. Different circumstances and hurdles in life can make providing the best opportunities for your child difficult at times.

If you feel you are not in the best position to parent your child and are asking, “Are there families that can adopt my child at the age of 9?”, the best thing you can do is to speak with an adoption professional. An adoption professional will explain the challenges of placing an older child for adoption — not just the process, but the emotional and developmental impacts it may have on your child, as well.

They understand you are considering adoption out of love for your child, which is why they may explore alternatives to adoption that benefit both you and your child,  such as temporary legal guardianship or kinship adoption. For example, legal guardianship does not permanently terminate your parental rights, and it gives you an opportunity to better your situation to help you become the parent you have always dreamt of being for your child.

Although the transition for these options can still be difficult, they may allow you to maintain a close relationship with your child. Contact an adoption attorney today and learn more about the options you have available.

10 Years

If you are to a point where you are asking, “Can I put my 10-year-old up for adoption?” it is time to contact an adoption attorney and determine your options. When you speak with a professional, they will evaluate your specific situation, and determine what the best path may be for you and your child.

While there are very few adoption agencies that are able to work with voluntary placements of children who are 10 years old, there may be other resources available to help make sure your child’s best interests are being met.

Although parenting may seem difficult or impossible at times, keep in mind the emotional attachment and developmental sensitivity your child is experiencing at 10 years old. Assistance from social services or an alternative, like a temporary legal guardianship, may be the best options for you and your child. These options allow you to maintain a relationship with your child and stay involved with their life.

11 Years

It is difficult to find people that want to adopt an 11-year-old. It’s not that there aren’t loving families hoping to start or extend their family through adoption. It’s more so that the majority of older children adopted come through the foster care system.

If you are wondering how to put a child up for adoption at 11 years old, this doesn’t mean it is impossible. There is a chance that local resources can assist your family. Speaking with your local social services office is the first step.

By talking to a professional about your specific situation, they will help determine what the best options are for you and your child. Whether they suggest assistance provided by social services, W.I.C (women, infants, children), Medicaid or other programs, they are keeping you and your child’s best interest in mind.

Keep in mind that parenting, especially when you may be facing additional challenges, can be an emotional rollercoaster. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it may be in your best interest to talk to the National Parent Helpline. Here, professionals will be able to discuss your options and provide guidance on your specific situation.

12 Years

If you are looking for information on how to put a 12-year-old for adoption, you may consider adoption alternatives first. These options include a kinship adoption, which means having a family member adopt your child, or temporary legal guardianship, where a friend or family member provides a temporary safe and loving home for your child. This option allows you to do what is best for your child, while getting yourself back to being the best parent for your child.

When you speak with an adoption professional, they will explain to you why these options may be a better fit for your unique situation. There are fewer families looking to adopt a 12-year-old. There are also fewer agencies that have the capabilities to find placement for an older child. For these reasons and more, private adoption agencies typically aren’t able to assist with placing a 12-year-old for adoption. Instead, these professionals will explain to you what the best choice would be for you and your child.

If you are interested in the possibility of placing your child with a relative, either through a temporary legal guardianship or a permanent adoption, reach out to a local adoption attorney to explore the options you have available when it comes to providing your child with the best life possible.

How to Give a Teenager up for Adoption

Although less common than infant or toddler adoptions, there are many parents wondering how to put a child up for adoption that is a teen. When it comes to adoption, teenagers face many of the same challenges as older children. It’s difficult to find adoptive families for 13 –year-olds, 14-year-olds or 15-year-olds,  or to find couples that want to adopt a teenager in general. While teenagers are often adopted through the foster care system, there are very few, if any, private adoption agencies that are equipped to handle the voluntary placement of teenagers.

Given the fact that teenagers are developmentally maturing and have the emotional capacity to grasp the situation at hand, adoption at this age would also be very challenging for everyone involved. Thus, “giving a child up” for adoption as a teen is rarely the right solution for a family and will likely not be an option for you. If you are struggling to parent your teenager, speaking with your local social services office is the best thing you can do. They will talk you through the process of “giving a child up” for adoption as a teen, if possible. In very rare cases, you may also be able to find an adoption attorney who can put you in contact with an adoptive family looking to adopt a teenager.

Attempting to put a child 5 years or older up for adoption is a difficult task. If you believe adoption is the only solution, we suggest contacting an adoption attorney to discuss your options. It is likely professionals will suggest helpful resources to get you back on track toward being the parent you always wanted to be for your child

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