for adoption applicants have been typical features of agency adoptions.
Although this excerpt makes it clear that age limits served the
important practical purpose of limiting the applicant pool for healthy
infants, the official rationale had to do with matching.
Placing children with parents of normal reproductive age was preferable
in order to give all parties the feeling that nature could, at least
in theory, have brought them together.
We have given your recent letter telling us of
your wish to adopt a baby very thoughtful consideration. I realize
that it must be very disappointing to you that we cannot consider
your application at this time. However, we know from experience
how much wiser and more considerate it is to be realistic about
We have only a very limited number of children
coming to our care and about 500 families who have applied to us.
Although we are constantly striving to increase the number of children
referred to us so that we may consider a larger number of families,
there has been as yet no substantial increase. For this reason it
is necessary for us to choose families not only on the basis of
their merits as families, but primarily on the individual needs
of the particular children we happen to have coming to us.
Since most of our children are the very tiny infants,
we feel that for the present we must limit our applications to those
families where the mother is under forty year of age. If we are
able to increase the number of toddlers or older children coming
to us, we will be happy to consider an application like yours. We
do not want to raise your hopes falsely and therefore want to explain
what the situation is and the reasons why we must limit the number
We will, however, be glad to note your interest
in adoption and should we get a substantial number of older children,
we will be glad to get in touch with you and discuss your interest