Adopting older children

Children aged three years and older wait longer to be adopted. PACT is looking for more adoptive parents who could welcome a children aged three, four, five or older into their family. Last year, 32% of the children we placed in loving families were aged 5 years or older.

There are lots of reasons why adopting an older child might be right for your family and there are still lots of ‘firsts’ to experience with an older child.

PACT provides extensive supportive to all its families for life and will be there to support you at every step of the process. Continue reading to find out about the benefits of adopting an older child and hear adopters share their stories.

Some of the benefits of adopting an older child:

  • There are more older children waiting for adoption so you may find that your adoption journey moves forward more quickly than those looking for young children or babies.
  • Older children can communicate with you more easily which allows you to talk, laugh, joke and have fun with them from day one to start building a connection. They are also more able to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
  • If you already have older children or you are older yourself, a child who is older may be a good fit for your family. We do recommend that adopted children are at least two years younger than any existing children.
  • There is less uncertainty with older children because the professionals working with them will have a better idea of their development and needs.
  • There are still lots of ‘firsts’ with older children such as losing their first tooth, the first time they ride a bike, starting school, celebrating your first Christmas or birthday together, going on holiday for the first time, or the first time they call you ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’.

Read our blog post to find out more about the benefits of adopting an older child.

Talking Adoption show

In this episode of our Talking Adoption show, parents Rhi and David spoke about adopting an older child. They said:

“The idea of the family we had in our head was not necessarily a baby. We were thinking of us going on holidays, going on the swings, going places.”

They brought their daughter home when she was five and a half years old and said they still experienced lots of ‘firsts’:

“She lost her first tooth when she was with us–that was incredible. She managed to ride a bike without stabilisers–that was amazing. She went on a two wheeled scooter, she went to school… It’s tough, adopting any child is tough but at the same time you get all these firsts and those are things to celebrate… And sometimes it can just be the littlest things, the tiniest little steps forward.”

View the Talking Adoption show on YouTube

Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, PACT offers specialist therapeutic support. All PACT adopters have access to a wide range of support including training, support groups, education support, activities for children and access to our online Children And Trauma Community Hub and PACT’s therapeutic services FACTS.

If you’d like to have a chat about starting your adoption process, you can speak to one of PACT’s Enquiries Officers. They can give you some more information, answer any questions you may have and book you onto a PACT Adoption Information Event where you will hear a bit more about the adoption process from PACT social workers and a PACT adopter will share their story.

Our Enquiries Line is open 10am-5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 10am-1pm on Saturday. You can also fill in our enquiry form here.

Read the stories of families who adopted older children with PACT

Take the next step…

Read our adoption guide

Our Brief Guide to Adoption contains information about PACT and what to expect from the adoption process.

Download our guide

Contact our enquiries team

Get in touch with our friendly Enquiries team to find out more about adopting with PACT.

Make an enquiry

Come to an information event

Come to one of our online adoption information events and find out if adoption is right for you.

See our events