Too old at 4?
Monday 19 October 2015

Children as young as 4 are waiting the longest for adoptive families new figures reveal

New statistics published today to mark National Adoption Week (19th – 25th October) reveal that the average age of children waiting to be placed in adoptive families is just 4 years old.
These figures from national adoption information service, First4Adoption, are based on information from the National Adoption Register – the database which records the details of children who have waited the longest to be matched with adoptive families.

We’ve known for some time that potential adopters often prefer to parent a baby rather than an older child. What’s surprising is that these so-called older children are as young as 4. Our focus this National Adoption Week is to find homes for these children – many of whom are in sibling groups or who have complex needs”.

To coincide with National Adoption Week First4Adoption has commissioned a survey examining people’s attitudes to adoption, families and children. The survey, conducted by Future Foundation includes the following findings:

  • People who live with children are twice as likely to say that children of 4 and over are less demanding than children under the age of 4
  • 43% of under-40s say they would consider adopting in the future
  • 54% of people aged 41-66 say living with young children makes them feel younger

To read more go to:

Gemma Gordon-Johnson, Head of Service at First4Adoption adds : “It’s heartening to know that so many people who live with children aged  4 and over find them so rewarding. This flies in the face of the idea that so-called older children are more difficult to manage. It’s also wonderful to discover that the next generation of parents are thinking of adoption as a way of completing their family”.

Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption visit For information about National Adoption Week go to: