ACE needs more adoptive families who can offer caring and stable homes for groups of brothers and sisters of varying sizes and ages. We currently are looking for adoptive families for sibling groups of two, three and four children – both boys and girls. These are our priority children because they often wait longer for an adoptive family to be found for them.
Many of these children have been through difficult experiences and for some, have been the only constants in each other’s lives. Separating brothers and sisters because an adoptive family cannot be found, can cause further anxiety and loss for children who have already had a very difficult start in life.
Adopting siblings can have many benefits – you will have an instant family unit without having to go through the adoption process repeatedly. Siblings have each other for support when going through a transition to a new family and they can stay together throughout their childhoods. Your adopted children will have a shared history and a related birth family member living with them which can support their identity development and emotional stability.
Prospective adopters are supported to consider adopting siblings. The Adopting Siblings Workshop will help you consider the strengths and qualities needed when considering the adoption of more than one child. ACE believes that many potential adopters do in fact already have the skills and attributes they need to change the course of these children’s lives – experience of children, a good support network, plenty of time and patience, a willingness to learn and ask for help and a good sense of humour.
ACE offers ongoing support including peer support with experienced adopters, social groups and family events, therapeutic parenting courses and 1:1 advice, access to a clinical psychologist and counselling. The local authority may also be able to offer financial support, for example to assist with buying a larger vehicle, increased childcare costs or loss of income to remain off work for longer.
Adoptive parents who are raising large sibling groups, shared their experiences at the Adopting Siblings Workshop and offer their tips and advice and words of encouragement:
Every day is an adventure. I think what we both realised early on was that these two boys weren’t joining our family, nor were we joining theirs. We were all coming together to create something completely new.
It has at times been exhausting and challenging and it makes you question yourself every day. Despite that it is the single most important and brilliant thing that we have ever done. Our days, however tiring are full of wonder, laughter and love and we only hope our girls feel the same.
Adopting three children might not have been the easiest path, but we feel immensely privileged that we get to be the people that raise our little children and incredibly proud of who they are. The love and joy that they bring has blessed our family in ways we never thought possible and makes every challenge beyond worth it.
The local authorities for the children may favourably consider financial support if you are able to consider the adoption of a sibling group of 3 or more children. You will be eligible for a financial assessment and may receive additional help for the purchase of essential equipment, towards a larger vehicle and loss of earnings where the children require you to be a stay at home parent for a longer period of time.
To find out more about adoption or about the children who are waiting for adoptive families, please contact ACE to speak to an adoption social worker on 0300 369 0556.