Too old at 4? Adopters needed for children waiting the longest in care

ADOPTION charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) is calling for adopters to come forward for children aged four and over during National Adoption Week (19-25 October).

According to Adoption Link, more than half of children (55%)* waiting to be adopted are aged four or older. 54% of children waiting for their forever family are in sibling groups of two or more.

The PACT team will have a stand on Broad Street in Reading on Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd October. There will be social workers and Adopter Champions who have been through the process with PACT available to talk about adoption and answer questions.

Many prospective adopters expect to adopt children under two years old, but PACT aims to find adopters for priority children including those that are older, in sibling groups or who have additional needs.

PACT Director for Adoption, Shirley Elliott, said: “National Adoption Week is a brilliant opportunity to talk about the advantages of considering children aged four and over.

“These children often wait longer for a forever family, being overlooked in favour of younger children, when in fact you often know a lot more about school age children and it can be easier to support them.”

After the 2010 National Adoption Week campaign, PACT Adopters Hannah** and Darren** from London came forward and adopted Katie** who was four and a half. Hannah said: “Katie’s age was a win-win for us both. To anyone considering adoption I’d say do it, jump all over it, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”

PACT Adopters Helen and Andrew from Surrey adopted siblings Nathan aged seven and Jacob aged three in 2010. Helen said: “If they are older you have a better understanding of their needs and development. You can also interact from day one.”

PACT Adopter Georgia from West Sussex has just had the adoption order made for her son Presley, who was four when he moved in. Georgia said: “I do not feel we would have made anywhere near as much progress if he had not been both old enough and able to verbalise or understand what is being discussed with him.”

People can choose to support PACT’s work during National Adoption Week and beyond by texting PACT10 £3 (or an amount of their choice) to 70070. All money donated via text will be used to fund PACT’s award-winning therapeutic services FACTS that support adoptive and fostering families.

Among the children currently waiting for adoption is five year old Samir, who needs a family who can promote his Muslim heritage. More information about him is available on PACT’s website www.pactcharity.org/iaam.

For information about PACT’s adoption service and for dates of PACT Information evenings visit www.pactcharity.org/info or call 0300 456 4800.

PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through adoption, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects across London and the south.

* https://www.adoptionlink.co.uk/data 30.09.15

** Names have been changed to protect identities