Nightly News   |  May 30, 2013

Retirees who choose to adopt

Instead of visiting the golf course or moving to a beachside community, some retirees are choosing the more difficult but ultimately rewarding path of adopting a kid and expanding their family. NBC’s Chris Jansing reports.

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>> in this country 10,000 americans, members of the baby boom generation , turn 65. the traditional retirement age . it's something of a new development. some members of this generation have decided it would be a good time to add to their families. our report tonight from nbc's chris jansing .

>> so cute.

>> reporter: the woodfork family story is chronicled in photos. a 43-year marriage, three children, now grown. and the latest chapter written when ann and nelson were both 65 and approaching retirement. they adopted a 17-year-old. did people think you were nuts?

>> totally.

>> reporter: it wasn't an empty nest that motivated them but the idea that someone like shakorn adams would soon age out of foster care .

>> if i didn't become adopted i would have been on the street as an 18-year-old. i would have been considered as an adult. i would have nowhere to go.

>> reporter: the woodforks' bolt decision gave him a home.

>> i wake up and say, wow, this is where i live.

>> reporter: you get up and a mom and a dad and a home and all that stuff, right?

>> yeah. it's amazing.

>> reporter: while no one tracks exact numbers, experts say more older adults are adopting, often older kids.

>> people are getting married later, having children later. the reality is there is a big gap between parents' age and childrens' age in a lot of families today.

>> reporter: the need is great. in the recent government study 104,000 foster children were waiting for adoption. boomers can help fill the gap. they are staying healthier, living longer and have the time and means. but do they have the energy?

>> it's not like chasing toddlers.

>> in some ways it's kept me young, on my toes. i have to think about things i wasn't thinking about.

>> reporter: this week shakorn has prom and a day he never expected to see -- high school graduation.

>> so psyched. i'm so happy. i don't know how to explain it.

>> reporter: one more thing he never dreamed -- graduation will be a family affair .

>> our adult kids are all coming home for it. they're excited about it.

>> the same kids that thought we were crazy.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: a new kind of family redefining the sunset years. chris jansing , nbc news, massachusetts.