Over 40s encouraged to adopt says Coram

Published: Monday 4th November 2013

A quarter of people wrongly believe that those over the age of 40 cannot adopt a child, according to a new survey published for National Adoption Week (4-11 November) – but people adopting through leading London Voluntary Adoption Agency, Coram, prove that age is no barrier to adoption

In fact 66% of parents who adopted through Coram in the last five years were aged 40 and over. This debunks the myth that over 40s would be turned away from adoption, which a British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) survey unearthed this week.  

Dispelling the myths that prevent adopters coming forward 

Jeanne Kaniuk OBE, Coram’s Head of Adoption, said:

“People need to be in good health and have the energy to care for children until adulthood, but there is no upper age limit that restricts them from coming forward. 

Older parents with son

“Adopters are approved and matched according to what they can offer particular children. So in fact, being older or having a disability may well be an advantage if it helps them better able to empathise with a child and meet their needs. 

“There is a huge need for prospective adopters to come forward and we echo BAAF’s call for them to cast away the myths, and take the first steps forward.

‘I adopted through Coram in my mid-50s' says father of three, Roger

“A stable, loving, adoptive home can restore the hope of even the most vulnerable child. We must do away with misconceptions and welcome those with room in their hearts and lives for a child.” 

Roger, now 72, and his wife Helen, who live in North London, adopted three siblings, two girls and a boy through Coram. When they began considering adoption, Roger was in his mid fifties, and had three grown up children from a previous marriage. Said Roger:

“Coram were very thorough in interviewing us and needed to ensure we were suitable, but they were completely open minded about my age.

“My wife had always wanted a big family so we were very open to the idea of adopting more than one child. Coram was very supportive of this because it could mean we’d be able to adopt brothers and sisters.

“Sibling groups often wait much longer than individual children to be found a family because it is a lot to take on. It’s fair to say that when three children who’ve had very disrupted lives arrive on your doorstep, it’s going to be hectic.

“But our willingness to do this was what Coram focused on, rather than our ages. Our children are now in their teens and have made a huge amount of progress. Adoption’s been a very rewarding experience and we are very proud of them.”

Coram adoption services and information events 

Coram’s adoption services are open to adopters within a 35 mile radius of Central London. The charity also offers a scheme called Concurrent Planning which offers stability to babies in care. Coram is holding a series of information events for people to find out more about adoption during and after National Adoption Week. 

Coram is known for its success in finding adopters for children who may typically wait longer for adoption and welcomes enquiries from: 

  • Single people, married couples and couples in committed, long-term relationships

  • People from different ethnicities and religions

  • Heterosexual and homosexual people

  • People without children and those who are parents already

  • Homeowners or those in rented accommodation

  • People over the age of 21, who are UK residents and hold no criminal convictions against children 

Useful Links 

Coram Adoption      Concurrent Planning