For prospective adoptive parents, international adoption requires more paperwork and fees than a domestic adoption. It also requires prospective parents to meet the adoption requirements of the child's country in addition to those of the U.S. These international requirements can vary from restrictions on weight to marital status or prior residency in the country. One restriction universal within international and domestic adoption is an age limit. However, an international adoption age limit works to many nontraditional adoptive parents' advantage due to the leniency and respect that some Eastern countries have for older parents.
The adoption age limit is always changing. It's important to note that adoptive ability is ultimately gauged in the various interviews and home studies rather than by however many birthdays one has celebrated.
In the United States, agencies tend to work with potential adoptive parents of a 20-year span, from 25 to 45 years of age. Yet, China used to only take couples that were over 35 years old while Mexico, Russia and Greece have an adoption age limit capped at 60. In spite of the international upper and lower limits, internationally adoptive parents must be at least 25, according to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Sometimes, the age limits also depend on marital status. For example, in China, a single male seeking to adopt a female child will need to be at least 40 because of the belief that this will allow him to only have paternal feelings for the adoptee.
Another marital adoption age limit is related to those between people of very different ages. Each agency handles age differences in marriage differently, although the sum of the ages may need to be under a certain number.