Are children too old for adoption at four?
As part of this year’s National Adoption Week (19 – 25 October) campaign, Adopt South West is asking people to consider adopting an older child as they pose the question “Too old at four?”
Due to the high demand for babies, older children waiting to be adopted are often likely to be over looked as well as those in sibling groups and children with disabilities.
During National Adoption Week 2015, Adopt South West - a partnership of adoption agencies across the region - including Barnardo’s, Devon County Council, Families for Children, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council - are working together to highlight the plight of these vulnerable children and to help them find forever families.
Holly adopted a five year old girl about a year ago. She said being a mum has changed her life: “As an Intersex bodied woman, and at the time I was considering a family I was single, I thought it just wouldn’t be possible to adopt. But the local adoption agency were extremely supportive and there were no issues as I started my journey towards being a mother.
“I was over the moon when I was matched with my daughter and couldn’t wait to be a mummy. I think like a lot of adopted children there have been some readjustments and some new challenges but to be honest I love her so much and she's such an amazing daughter, that I simply feel privileged to be her mummy.
“We have great adventures, read lots, we do lots of outdoor sports and she loves me and me her, literally in a way that I could have never anticipated was possible. Even kids at five or six years old can prove without hesitation to be incredible, I'm hers and she's mine. Love and family grow from the heart, and there are no bounds to this. I love every minute with her, I'm literally the luckiest mum ever. I can't imagine a biological child being loved any more than I love my girl.”
Over the last few years, government legislation has changed, making it easier for potential parents to adopt. Although there is an assessment process, it doesn’t matter if you are married or not, religious or not, living with a partner or single, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, a home owner or renter or if you have a disability, you will still be considered as a potential adopter.
Caroline Davies from Adopt South West says: “We are currently urging anyone who is thinking of adoption to consider those children who have been waiting the longest through no fault of their own. Whilst we understand the desire for adopters to have a baby or very young child the children we are currently looking to place are of pre-school age and up and often in sibling groups.”
At any one time there are around 3000 children across the UK waiting to be adopted and within the Devon region the percentage of children waiting to be placed in adoptive families that are aged four or older is over 50%
Adopt South West aims to treat all parties with fairness and respect and to ensure that the opportunities offered and services provided are accessible to all potential adopters and adopted children regardless of their race, culture, ethnicity, religion, language, disability and sexuality.
Adopt South West wants potential adopters to know that:
The adoption process can prepare you for becoming an adopter within as little as six months.
- Anyone over 21 can adopt and there is no upper age limit.
- LGBT and intersex people can adopt
- Single people can adopt.
- Adopters can be of any religion or none.
- Disabled people can adopt.
- There are babies and children of all ages needing to be adopted, older children, brother and sisters (sibling groups) and children with disabilities who are harder to place, but still needing loving homes.
- Adopters will be fully trained before the child is placed.
- Adopters are supported throughout the process and beyond.
If you have ever considered adoption and want to find out more visit www.adoptsouthwest.org.uk or freephone 0800 0832227.