Adopters overlook four year olds for younger children

Adopted kids

Statistically older children are being passed over for adoption in favour of babies and toddlers 

19th October 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Four year old children wait up to 50% longer to be adopted, new research has revealed.

Barnardo’s Scotland found that babies and toddlers were far more likely to be adopted than older children.

The charity launched the report as part of this year’s National Adoption Week campaign, titled Too Old at Four? 

Between the ages of four and five, the time a child waits to find a new family increases dramatically, the report discovered. 

Adopting an older child, siblings, or a child with a disability can bring a great deal of joy for the whole family

Children who enter care before their first birthday wait two years to be adopted; by the time they turn five they will wait more than three years to be adopted.

Barnardo’s is looking to raise greater awareness of the plight facing young children. 

As part of this the charity is also calling for people to consider adopting siblings and disabled children, giving them the care that they deserve.

Launching the week (19-25 October), celebrities shared amusing stories about their own four-year-olds to encourage people in Scotland to come forward and adopt older children. 

They include television presenter and Barnardo’s Scotland supporter Carol Smillie, ITV’s Alex Beresford and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor and Barnardo’s ambassador Jason Flemyng whose children are currently aged four.

Flemyng said: “Being a dad to four-year-olds is the best thing in my life. This year I will see them swim their first stroke, have their first day at school, read their first book, write their first word... all while thinking I am the strongest and bravest man in the world.”

Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “Older children wait nearly 50% longer than babies to be matched with their adoptive families.

"The sooner we can find stable, loving families to care for them, the sooner they can begin to fulfil their potential.

"At Barnardo’s Scotland, our experience shows that adopting an older child, siblings, or a child with a disability can bring a great deal of joy for the whole family.”

Barnardo’s focuses on recruiting parents for children who because of their age, disability, or because they are in sibling groups, wait the longest.

The charity offers adopters high quality support during the adoption process and for as long as it is needed afterwards.