Don’t forget the older children when adopting

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It’s never too late to give a child a chance – that’s the message from Barnardo’s Scotland in National Adoption Week.

This year’s campaign, Too Old at 4?, urges people across Scotland to come forward and welcome an older child into their family.

And Barnardo’s reveals that children aged over four wait half as long to be adopted as younger children.

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 and this week, Barnardo’s is calling for people to consider adopting those children, along with siblings and disabled children.

Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “Older children wait nearly 50 per cent 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.”

One of those who has experienced that is BBC Scotland’s health correspondent Eleanor Bradford who, with partner Ross, hit the mark on two counts – they adopted brothers aged four and seven two years ago.

It all happened very quickly for them after they decided to adopt older children, and Eleanor recommends it: “You can’t pick them up and swing them around like a toddler but you can have even more fun with them like we do with our boys when we go camping. They also give you so much affection.

“I’d definitely recommend adopting older children. Having siblings works for us because when one is being naughty the other is being good! They play well with each other and have shared experiences. They are less frightened by things because they’ve gone through them together.”

More information on adoptionbarnardos.org.uk/adoption