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Barnardo's celebrates National Adoption Week

Release date: 20 Oct 2015

Children over four wait 50% longer to be adopted, Barnardo’s calculates today, as celebrities share funny stories about their own four year olds to encourage people to come forward and adopt older children.

This year’s National Adoption Week campaign, Too Old at 4?, calls on people from around to UK 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 also calls 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 about four.

Carol Smillie & daughter

Television presenter and Barnardo’s supporter Carol Smillie, are sharing a hilarious moment from when her eldest daughter Christie was aged four.

When Carol was working as a presenter on Changing Rooms, her daughter couldn’t understand why people she’d never met before wanted a signed photo with her mum’s name on it. When the window cleaner knocked on the door, Christie wasn’t sure if he was just there to get a signed photo or not.

Another television presenter, ITV’s Alex Beresford, shared a laugh out loud 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!"

Alex Beresforsm & son

Alex Beresford and his son.

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."

Jason Flemyn & sons

Jason Flemyng and his two sons.


Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, said:

Older children wait nearly 50% 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, 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.”

Barnardo’s focuses on recruiting parents for children who because of their age, disability, or because they are in sibling groups, wait the longest. The charity offers adopters high quality support during the adoption process and for as long as it is needed afterwards.

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