This year’s National Adoption Week campaign, Too Old at 4?, urges people across Scotland to come forward and welcome an older child into their family.
Tragically between the ages of four and five, the time a child waits to find a new family increases dramatically.
Children who enter care before their first birthday wait two years to be adopted, by the time they turn five they will wait more than three years to be adopted.
This week, Barnardo’s Scotland is also calling for people to consider adopting siblings and disabled children, giving them the care that they deserve.
To mark the week, celebrities including television presenters Carol Smillie and Alex Beresford, and actor Jason Flemyng are sharing intimate stories and photos of their own children when they were aged four.
Television presenter and Barnardo’s Scotland supporter Carol Smillie, shares a moment that makes her laugh from when her eldest daughter Christie was four-years-old.
When Carol was working as a presenter on Changing Rooms, her daughter was watching her sign autographs, but couldn’t understand why people she didn’t know or who she’d never met before wanted a signed photo with her mum’s name on it. So when Christie answered the door to the window cleaner, she shouted ‘Muuuum, it’s the window cleaner. Does he know you or has he just seen you on tv?’
Another television presenter, ITV’s Alex Beresford, shared a story, where he recently had to rescue his four year old son’s goldfish from the bath. “Who doesn’t fancy the challenge of telling their four-year-old he must never take his goldfish into the bath with him ever again! Think I might have a deep sea diver on my hands...oh and the fish survived!”
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor and Barnardo’s ambassador Jason Flemyng, whose children are currently aged four, says: “Being a Dad to four-year-olds is the best thing in my life. This year I will see them swim their first stroke, have their first day at school, read their first book, write their first word.... All while thinking I am the strongest and bravest man in the world.”
Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “Older children wait nearly 50 per cent longer than babies to be matched with their adoptive families. The sooner we can find stable, loving families to care for them, the sooner they can begin to fulfil their potential. At Barnardo’s Scotland, our experience shows that adopting an older child, siblings, or a child with a disability can bring a great deal of joy for the whole family.”