Puerto Rico is an American commonwealth for which federal aid is available to adoptable children. There are relatively few stipulations on who can adopt a child from Puerto Rico, such as age. To foster adoptable children from Puerto Rico, an applicant needs only to be 21 and meet the other legal requirements like first-aid/CPR certification.
Over a thousand children in the Puerto Rican foster care system are waiting to be adopted. At least 50 percent of these children can wait up to five years or more in foster care and their foster families receive little financial support for these children from the government. Children adopted from Puerto Rico who have special needs are eligible for federal aid by way of Title IV-E. However, according to the North American Council on Adoptable Children, only a third of adopted children from Puerto Rico receive such aid.
Older children also have a more difficult time being adopted from Puerto Rico. According to a a 2009 report compiled by the NACAC, the average age of adopted children in Puerto Rico is 7.4 years old, while the average age of children in foster care are nearly 9 years old. Only about 10 percent of children in foster care will be adopted and less than half will be reunited with their birth parents. Seventy-eight percent of children adopted in Puerto Rico end up with a relative, stepparent or foster parent. Only 22 percent of them are adopted by non-relatives.