Adoption: Too old at four?

Published on: Friday, 16-October-2015

Children as young as four are waiting the longest for adoptive families according to new figures published to mark National Adoption Week, from 19 to 25 October.

Yet adopting a so-called older child has many advantages, as one mum who adopted through Knowsley Council Adoption Service is keen to explain. She hopes her experience will encourage more potential adopters to consider an older child:  

“If I was to do adopt again I’d definitely go for a child who was four or older. You can talk and explain things to a four year old which definitely makes adoption easier, “ said Tracey Parry.

Tracey was approved to adopt in February 2013. She went to panel to be matched with her daughter, Bonnie, in April 2013. She met her daughter for the first time in June 2013 and a week later Bonnie moved in, a month after her fourth birthday. 

Adopted at four, Bonnie can remember what her life was like before she was with Tracey:

“When the children were asked in a Mother’s Day service what makes their mum special they were saying things like ‘she takes me swimming’ or ‘she makes yummy cakes’. When it was Bonnie’s turn she told everyone ‘Mummy loves me, makes me feel special and keeps me safe.’”
 
“It means so much to know that adoption has made her feel this way for the first time in her young life,” said Tracey.

This year’s National Adoption Week theme is “too old at 4?” - a provocative statement intended to highlight the fact that such young children are waiting for forever families and to encourage more people to consider adopting children aged four and over.

Together4Adoption, a collaboration of three local authorities - Knowsley, Halton and Cheshire West and Chester – with the aim of finding forever families for the children currently in our care, is backing the national campaign.

As part of National Adoption Week we are re-launching our website – www.together4adoption.co.uk –redesigned to be more user-friendly and helpful. You will find everything you need to know about adoption including what to expect and the support available at every stage of the process.

Cllr Gary See, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, said:

“As Tracey’s story illustrates adoption really does change lives for the better, both yours and the child’s, as you welcome them into your heart and your home forever.

“There’s a real need for loving, adoptive families for children aged four and over, also for sibling groups and children with complex needs, so I hope more people will come forward as we continue to raise awareness of the children in need of a forever family during National Adoption Week.”

For more information on adoption visit www.together4adoption.co.uk or contact Knowsley Council Adoption Service on 0151 443 3958 or adoptionenquiries@knowsley.gov.uk