Originally Posted by phxmama
How is putting a child's best interests before a person's desire to have a "last chance child" ageist? (I'm talking about older parent adoption where the parent/child age difference is 55+ years). Even though an older person is capable of parenting, their adopted child will miss out on having a mom and dad to guide them through the toughest years of their lives (late teens/early adulthood). What good is that "older parent wisdom" if they're not around to give it?!
There is nothing in this post about anyone wanting a “last chance child”. This is about a Great Grandparent wanting to care for her great grandchild. And yes, I firmly believe if there is such a person who wants to care for her family member that they should be allowed to do so because that is what families do. The life expectancy of a 70 year old woman is 15.72 years (yes I looked it up) so in this situation it would get the kid through high school and legally an adult. (By the way the life expectancy of a 55 year old woman is 27.81 years so the statistics tell me I could expect to see my now foster son through his 20’s.) Also I don’t know where your statistics on dementia came from ---here is a quote fromUS World and News Report article “The study found that dementia prevalence (total number of cases) increased with age: 13.5 percent at 80 to 84 years; 30.8 percent at 85 to 89 years; 39.5 percent at 90 to 94 years; and 52.8 percent among those older than 94.” So, by the time this kid is 28 her great-grandmother is will be as likely to have dementia as not have dementia.
When I brought up the word “ageism” it was in regard to the multitude of comments about a 70 year old being too tired, too confused, too ill ----all of which are negative stereotypes of aging. This does not mean that there are not people at age 70 who are all of those things, but it means there are also 70 year old who are none of those things. It is ageist when you think that the only consideration of whether it is in a child’s interest to be placed with her GGM is GGM’s age.
I know this post was originally about a grandmother taking a relative child from foster care, that's why I specified what group my response was written in regards to. My comment on ageism was not aimed at your post specifically. It was addressing a very common response that people have when responding to the question "when are you too old to adopt a young child?" (such as "It's ageist to say I'm too old to adopt. I'm healthy and active for my age.") Because that sort of response is not child-centric.
Perhaps asking "When does an adoptive parent's age hinder the child's best interests?" would be the better wording. I think that's really what everybody needs to consider when adopting...no matter how the adoption comes about. That's all I was trying to convey