Adoption Matters proud to be part of Growing Families Together adoption recruitment campaign 

26 March 2024

Pictured above: Adopters Rachel and Owen with their son.

Children’s charity and voluntary adoption agency Adoption Matters is proud to be part of a new campaign, Growing Families Together, working together with agencies across the North West to raise awareness of the need for adopters of children over the age of three.

To deliver the campaign, Adoption Now, Adoption Counts, Together for Adoption, Adoption in Merseyside, Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool, Adoption Matters, and Caritas Care are working collaboratively under the name Adoption North West to support those children needing families within the region.

The Growing Families Together campaign from Adoption North West aims to raise awareness of the need for more people to consider adoption in the North West and to help those already thinking about adoption, to consider children aged 3 years and over.

Adopters across the North West talk about their experiences below:

The latest data* shows that across the North West as of 31 December 2023:

  • 318 children were waiting for an adoptive home
  • 134 of these children were aged 3 years and above

Sarah Johal, National Adoption Strategic Lead from Adoption England, commented:

“The latest figures collected from our colleagues in Regional Adoption Agencies across the North West shows that 42% were over the age of three years old.

We know that children of this age often wait longer than younger children to find an adoptive family. It’s great that agencies in the North West are working together to raise awareness about the joys children of this age can bring into your life. It would be wonderful to see more individuals, couples and families thinking of opening their hearts and homes to these children”.

It’s a sad fact that children aged 3 years and above are often classed as ‘older children’ in the adoption sector and 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.

Adopting a child over 3 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. The couple commented:

“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.”

Jon and Jean’s journey into adoption was not a decision made lightly. Already parents to a biological child, they felt their family had space to welcome another member through adoption.

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 says:

“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”.

Heather has since gone on to adopt again, becoming a family of three.

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.

Click here to download an adoption information pack now to find out more.

* Data source supplied by Regional Adoption Agencies in the North West as at 31 December 2023.