Adoption agencies have united to launch a campaign urging people to consider adopting siblings.
Adoption charity Parents And Children Together (PACT), which recruits adoptive families from across London and the south east, is joining with adoption agencies to highlight the need for families to consider adopting groups of brothers and sisters.
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, Child Psychologist and supporter of the campaign, said: “The brother and sister bond can offer incredible life-changing benefits throughout all aspects and stages of children’s lives.
“This is especially pertinent for adopted children, with #YouCanAdopt’s research showing the bond can support mental health, emotional wellbeing, social skills, and help children settle into a new family.
“Because of this, parents that adopt brothers and sisters together may find their experience benefitted by the support they can offer one another,” added Dr Kilbey.
The national #YouCanAdopt campaign highlights the benefits of adopting more than one child and celebrates the irreplaceable bond of brothers and sisters.
The charities highlight that:
- There are currently 2,030 children in England waiting for adoption, with 44% of them being brothers and sisters.
- Groups of two or more children take 135 days longer to be adopted than individual children.
- In the south east, 60% say it is important to grow up with brothers and sisters.
- 60% say having brothers or sisters has positively impacted their lives or their wellbeing.
- More than half of people surveyed in the south east (54%) say having a brother or sister has benefited their sense of humour.
- Over a third (40%) say their brother or sister is one of their best friends.
However, a further survey of families that have adopted, or are considering adoption, found that while 58% said a key reason to adopt is to extend, or to start, a family, despite this, 34% of adopters do not consider adopting brothers and sisters.
Adopters stated that the biggest challenges and concerns about adopting brothers and sisters are:
- That it would be too challenging (30%)
- Affordability (21%)
- The worry about not having enough space at home (20%).
However, while challenges exist, the campaign aims to highlight that there is a significant amount of support available to potential adopters – from financial to practical. Almost 90% of parents that adopted family groups say challenges are far outweighed by the positives.
More than 60 per cent go as far as to say that adopting children with their brothers or sisters has been the most beneficial factor in their children’s adoption journey; with benefits including increased reassurance, companionship, comfort, and settling into family life more quickly.
PACT’s Adoption Service Director Lorna Hunt said: “So often we hear parents say adopting children with their brothers and sisters has been the most beneficial factor in their children’s adoption journey.
“We urge anyone beginning their adoption journey to think about the children in family groups who need a loving home and ask themselves if they can spare that extra space in their home, and their heart.
"There is plenty of support available – from the financial to the practical - for those that decide they can,” she added.
More about the campaign here #YouCanAdopt
Diane Wills is Consultant Social Worker at WillisPalmer, responsible for quality assuring the forensic risk assessment reports.
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