When people think of adopting, they often imagine a baby becoming part of their family. And sometimes that will happen – if the circumstances are right for the child and their prospective parents. But more often than not, at an early stage of your adoption journey, you might get asked if you would be willing to adopt an “older” child or children. But what does that mean?
Children aged 4 and over find it much harder to find families willing to adopt them. These children have so much to offer. They may have spent time in unstable environments or in different foster placements and we are looking for families that could open their heart – and home – to them.
And while it might seem to you that adopting a toddler or pre-schooler would mean missing out on some first moments, there will still be so many firsts ahead of you – perhaps their first day at school or their first holiday. All those firsts with you as a family.
If you are considering adoption, please consider adopting a slightly older child. Adoption Counts will give you all the help and support you need. No child is too old to find a family who can nurture and take care of them. We have a child awaiting adoption who is just going to nursery and learning to write their own name. We have a child who loves riding around on their first bike. And all these milestones, they can share with you.
Some of our adoption success stories come from people who have adopted older children. Karl adopted an eight-year old boy and despite initial concerns he would be less affectionate than a younger child, they both love their life together which is full of affection, computer games and long walks.
Finding the right home for a child is rewarding but it can also be difficult. Finding the right home for two or more children is even harder. That’s why sibling groups can wait longer to find an adoptive family.
When you join your family to theirs, it can be truly amazing. A new family unit is built in one go. Of course, the family bonds aren’t built just like that, it takes work and patience and love. But what is important, when you adopt siblings, you aren’t just adding to your family, you are keeping a family together.
It may seem daunting, but we have lots of success stories where families have adopted sibling groups. Peter and Andrew adopted two brothers aged 5 and 2. It was challenging at first but parenting young children isn’t always a walk in the park. Now they are all thriving and there are plenty of walks in the park, trips to the seaside and chaotic games of football.