If you spend any time browsing the many fostering forums and FAQs out there, you’ll notice one question that gets asked, time and time again:

“Am I too old to be a foster parent?”

Whilst there is a legal minimum age to be a foster parent – 21 – there is no legal upper age limit.

So the short answer is, no. You’re not too old to be a foster parent.

So long as you’ve got the strength, the patience, and the compassion that’s required of all foster parents, you’re never too old to become a foster parent.

The Child’s Hope International have a large section of their site dedicated to dispelling myths about fostering. The whole page is worth a read, but on the subject of age, they mention that many “empty nesters” find foster parenting to be a rewarding experience.

“Empty nest syndrome” is the feeling of loss many parents feel when their children grow up and leave home. A house that, for years, was full of life, noise, and activity, is suddenly overwhelmingly, distressingly quiet.

Fostering might be the single most effective cure for empty nest syndrome. The child gets the love and the safety they need, and the parent gets to experience the joy of a full house once more. Everybody wins!

A post on Vibrant Nation asks “how old is too old to become a foster parent, or to adopt?”

The replies unanimously agree that no age is “too old”. One poster makes the very good point that many grandparents end up responsible for raising their grandchildren. Are they “too old”? Of course not.

This thread on the adoption.com forums is also worth a read, as it’s full of stories and anecdotes about people who foster later in life. One person even mentions a parent who dedicated over 40 years of her life to fostering!

Finally, there’s the “myths of fostering” page on the Action for Children website. Though this page shares some disappointing statistics – apparently, 44% of people believe that those over 55 cannot be foster carers – they point out that almost 10% of the foster carers in their books are over 60.

One of their fosterers – Maggie – is 64, and insists that fostering is helping to keep her young.

So, to reiterate, you’re never too old to be a foster parent.

Find out more about fostering

If you’ve got any questions about fostering, feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be happy to help.