61% of the children waiting to be adopted will need to be placed with a loving family that could provide a home to their brother or sister also.
Would you be prepared to adopt a sibling group?
This may not be the first you think about when considering adopting a child but it’s probably one of the first questions you’ll get asked when you talk to an adoption agency. For many people, it sounds like too much of a challenge; we’re used to the idea of one child coming into a family at a time. But ask yourself:
- Do I have the space, time and energy to devote to more than one child?
- Would the impact of two or more children joining the family be too great?
- How might their shared experiences affect them currently and in the future?
The advantages of adopting siblings
It’s good for the children – Brothers and sisters who have been through hard times with their birth families have formed a strong, intense bond: they’ve been the only constants in each other’s lives. Staying together is the only thing they care about. Parents who adopt sibling groups are giving these children the greatest possible gift: a ‘forever family’ for everyone.
It’s good for you – You’ll only have to go through the adoption process once and concentrate on the important work of becoming a family. And when it comes to matching, the process is much simpler: social workers will already know that the children get on well, and will not have to go through the more complicated business of matching a second child with a previously-placed child.
Children’s needs are clearer – Sibling groups tend, on average, to be older than single children, so any issues and diagnoses will already have been identified in the time leading up to the placement order. This means that adopters have a much clearer idea of what they’ll be dealing with, and can access appropriate support right from the start. When it comes to dealing with their past during life story work, older siblings are likely to help younger siblings to understand who they are and where they’ve been, developing a strong sense of identity through their shared history.
Being a parent is tough, and all children need individual attention for their different needs. Adopted children can bring their own challenges. But sibling groups offer many advantages in terms of emotional security, mutual support and learning, all stemming from their shared past. They will never feel ‘I’m the only one like me’, because there will be someone just down the hall or in the next door classroom or the upper bunk who is just like them, who has been there all along.
If you’ve got room in your house, and your heart, for more than one child, it’s definitely worth considering a sibling group. Discuss the idea with partners and friends and if you require more guidance then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you still feel that you have what it takes to adopt more than one child then contact a few of your local adoption agencies to discuss your options.
You could also attend one or more information events that adoption agencies are running in your area so you can chat things through with a social worker.