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Can I Choose The Age Of The Foster Child?

Are you thinking about fostering a child or becoming one of the many foster parents around the country? If so, then you could have a lot of questions about this process. For instance, you might be interested in whether or not you can choose the age of a foster child. Let’s explore this question in more detail and ensure that you know everything you should expect on this journey. 

How Old Are Foster Children?

Children who require foster care can be anywhere from birth up to 18 years old. During this time, children still require someone who they can depend on to provide love and support. As such, you could foster a child anywhere within this age range. This will always depend on the children in your area who require this type of support. 

Can You Choose The Age Of Your Foster Child?

To an extent, you can choose the age of your foster child. During the application process, you may provide an age range that you would be most comfortable with. For instance, you may decide that you want to foster a child under the age of ten. Or, you could be interested in fostering a teenager. There is nothing to stop you from providing this information to a foster care agency during the application process. This will be further discussed during support and training provided by your foster care agency. 

Why Should You Avoid Choosing A Specific Age Of A Foster Child?

It will often be more beneficial for you to be open to a wide age range when you are applying to foster a child. The reason for this is that specific age ranges will often be more limited. This will always depend on the referrals that are received through a local authority. As such, you may need to wait longer if you are interested in fostering a child in a specific age range. For instance, children who are close to birth or only a couple of years old are often far more limited compared to children in their teens. 

The reason for this is that some foster parents are fostering as an alternative to a biological child but still want to experience everything that comes with being a parent. 

Why Would You Choose An Age Range? 

Aside from preferring to foster a younger child, there may be a whole range of reasons why a foster parent may request a specific age range when fostering. This could include your lifestyle, personal commitments, or children that you already have. All this can be taken into account during the application process however there is no guarantee that you will be able to foster a child in your desired age range. 

We hope this helps you understand whether you can choose the age of a foster child and why you should potentially avoid taking this step where possible.