Adopters who want to adopt an older child can do so domestically or internationally. Domestic older child adoption is processed by public agencies, which are government-run. Of the 400,000 children in the foster care system, 100,000 of them are waiting for permanent placement. Due to government subsidies, the adoption of older children, domestically, is fee-free with reimbursements for home study and travel fees. And for further incentive, the government also offers aid for any medical needs the adoptee may have.
Older children who have moved multiple times in the foster system are often associated with having special needs and behavioral or attachment issues. These children are difficult to place, and are preferred by educated older adopters who have the resources to accommodate these children and prior experience with raising children and don't want to begin again with an infant.
Older children have a developed past and while this can seem a hindrance to some adopters, it can also be something that can make the adoptive bond stronger. One downfall of older children in their teen years is that adults have treated them as independent or separate during most of their lives while they're developmentally still children. Adolescence is a time when children begin to break away from the family unit, which contradicts the need to bond. This is a unique issue that requires a patient and tolerant adopter.