All the children that need adopting share the same need for a permanent safe place within a family.
The ages of children needing adoption
Children of all ages need adopting, averaging from very young infants to up to children of ten years of age. Typically children who need adoptive parents are aged between two and ten, all hoping for the love and security of a permanent family.
Adopting older children
When considering adoption many people assume “the younger the better” and overlook the possibility of older children. When adopting an older child (aged over 5 years):
- You can learn more about them first, as to their abilities, interests and personality.
- Usually you have more history about their developmental milestones, skills and needs before they come to live with you.
- Certain disorders and their effects such as attachment (bonding) difficulties can be more clearly recognised and understood in older children.
- Older children can interact and play with you.
Adopting an older child, although often more challenging can be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Helping a child to come to terms with their difficult past and face the future with hope and optimism brings its own rewards.
Brothers and sisters
Many of the children have brothers and sisters who need to be placed together. We recognise the importance of keeping siblings together. It’s hard enough for children to be separated from their birth parents but then to be separated from a brother or sister is a double blow. It’s worth thinking about even at this early stage whether you see yourself with more than one child in the future. If it’s something you’ve thought about then adopting siblings may be an option for you.
Background and early experiences of children
Many of the children needing adopting have experienced difficulties in their birth family which may include neglect or physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
All the children will have experienced some form of loss at being separated from their birth families. Such experiences can effect children’s behaviour and their ability to trust new carers. Adoptive families need to have patience and understanding to help children overcome the negative experiences. The children need time to establish trust and develop an emotional bond.
Many children will have memories of their birth family, which are important. Children who understand that they are adopted from an early stage have been shown to accept their status and to be well adjusted. It is therefore important that adopters are able to be open and honest with a child about their adoption.
There are disabled children and children whose future development is unclear who need adopters with the skills or willingness to learn how to meet their needs and help them reach their potential.