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Loving homes needed for children aged three and older

Growing families together

We're backing Adoption North West's Growing Families Together Campaign, which brings together Regional and Voluntary Agencies, including Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool.

The campaign urges people to consider adoption in the North West and to help those already thinking about adoption to consider children aged three years and over.

The latest data, from the end of 2023, shows that in the North West, 318 children were waiting for an adoptive home, with more than a third of these aged three and over. Of the children waiting for a home in Lancashire, 28 are aged three and older.

Adopting a child aged three or older can be a fulfilling experience filled with memorable milestones, and there are still so many ‘firsts’ to experience: their first day at school, their first holiday, riding a bike etc.

The campaign shares stories from real-life adopters who have welcomed children from this age group into their lives.

Rachel and Owen adopted their little boy at three and half years. Rachel said: “He was a bit older which meant he came with a little personality. He told us what he liked and what he didn’t like, so we didn’t have to keep guessing like you would with a baby, he was able to explain what he wanted and how he felt.”

Single adopter Heather, the oldest of four siblings, had always wanted to be a mum, and adopted her daughter when she was nearly five years old. Heather has since gone on to adopt again, making them a family of three.

Heather said: “With an older child, you’ll probably know more about them and what their needs are. People think babies come with less complications, but I don’t believe that’s true. Maybe their needs aren’t obvious or known, or haven’t developed yet."

The Growing Families Together campaign also aims to challenge common misconceptions and encourage more individuals, couples and families to consider and embrace the joys of adopting a child over three. It will also look to break down some of the misconceptions about who can adopt such as:

  • You can be single, living with a partner, married or divorced
  • You can from any ethnicity or religious background
  • You can identify as LGBTQ+
  • You can be a homeowner or live in rented accommodation
  • You can be employed, unemployed or retired
  • You can be starting your family or growing your family.

Louise Anderson, chair of Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool, said:

"Children aged three years and above are often classed as ‘older children’ in the adoption sector.

"Together with children with additional needs, those in brother and sister groups and children from global majority backgrounds, they wait the longest for an adoptive family and that just seems so unfair. They have wonderful personalities  and so much to give.

"It is so important to us that all of our wonderful, loveable children gain the love and stability of a permanent home.

"Caring for children can be for anyone. The most important thing for us is that these amazing children find loving, stable, supportive homes. We are hopeful that someone very special is out there for them, we just need them to come forward.

"Anyone who would love to adopt but has concerns about whether they can take on the costs of expanding their family is encouraged to talk to our adoption team."

Find out more information including video interviews with real-life adopters visit:

Published: 26 March 2024