A life less ordinary

You Can Adopt has launched a new campaign, ‘A Life Less Ordinary’, to encourage the public to think differently about adoption and the children waiting longest to find a stable home.

 While there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming forward to adopt, most are seeking a single, very young child.

In fact, adoptive parents are in greatest need for brother and sister groups, older children, those with additional needs and children from ethnic minority backgrounds. Children from these groups represent 65% of all those waiting to be adopted, with many facing year-long delays compared to those without these characteristics.

For example:

  • 25% of children who wait longer to be adopted are over the age of 5
  • Children with a disability wait 11 months longer to be adopted
  • 43% of children waiting longer to be adopted are in a sibling group
  • 17% of children waiting longer to be adopted are from an ethnic minority 

The new ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ campaign aims to highlight the life-changing experience of adopting a child who may wait longer to be adopted (such as older children, brother and
sister groups and those with additional needs), highlighting that while some children may be seen as ‘harder to place’, they are not harder to love. 

Two black brothers sitting together and smiling

While it might not always be easy, there is a range of support available for all adoptive parents, in particular for those who adopt children who typically wait longest. This support starts with preparation to adopt, and includes support groups, training, workshops, family days and more specialised therapy.

Coram's adoption support

Here are some of many positive experiences from parents who have adopted 'harder to place' children, including those from mixed heritage backgrounds, siblings, older children and those with additional needs:

 Adam & Daniyal

A gay couple stand next to one other smiling

"I think in Britain we're really lucky that we are so diverse, so bringing that child into your home will just bring more of that in."


Mother and adopted teenage daughter have arms around each other

"Childrens' transition into the family is difficult, but having a baby is difficult too! It's still the same, it's still challenging, and I think it's about having the right support around you."

Malcolm & Shelley

Older white couple sit together smiling

"Why would you seperate siblings? They need to know if they've got a sibling, or where that sibling is! They need each other."

For more information and to find out more about adopting a child who needs it most, visit youcanadopt.co.uk/alifelessordinary

Read our adopters' stories

Learn more about the types of children waiting for adoption