Latest figures show there are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England and 44% are sibling groups.(1) Groups of children wait an average of 17 months to be adopted, which is 36% longer (135 days more) than individual children. More than half of these groups (56%) wait more than 18 months for their new family.(2)
To encourage more people to consider adopting brothers and sisters, national, voluntary, and regional adoption agencies across the country have come together to launch a new nationwide #YouCanAdopt campaign that highlights the benefits of adopting more than one child and celebrates the irreplaceable bond of brothers and sisters.
According to adopters, the biggest challenges and concerns about adopting brothers and sisters are that it would be too challenging (30%), affordability (21%), and the worry about not having enough space at home (20%).(3)
While challenges exist, Adoption Matters offers a wealth of support and training for– and the vast majority (88%) of parents that adopted family groups say challenges are far outweighed by the positives. Many (61%) go as far 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.(3)
Adoption Matters Chief Executive and member of the #YouCanAdopt steering group, Norman Goodwin, CBE, comments: “So often we hear parents say adopting children with their brothers and sisters has been one of the most beneficial factors for their family. We urge anyone thinking about adoption to consider the many brothers and sisters who need a loving home. We offer ongoing support and training for life to all of our families.”.
Mike and his wife adopted a brother and sister with Adoption Matters, Mike said: “The best bit is absolutely without doubt the strong bond that they share with each other. Through everything they’ve ever gone through they’ve always had each other – that’s the one constant from day one and it’s lovely to see. Two of them coming at you at once can feel like the culture shock to end them all when you’re new to parenting like we were. It’s a shock to the system but if you weigh up the rewards and counter them with the difficulties it’s not even a contest.
We’ve been lucky to be blessed a lot in our lives but this beats them all hands down”.
The national campaign sees the release of a new film featuring three families who have adopted brothers and sisters, including Chris and Phil from Merseyside, Cara and Gordon from West Sussex, and Chrissi and Dave from Bournemouth. The emotive film celebrates the unique personal bond their children have and highlights the benefits of adopting a ready-made family.
Children from a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and religions wait the longest for adoption and we are proud to be part of the national campaign raising awareness in ethnic diverse communities around the UK. Black children wait longer than any other group of children for an adoptive home. The statistics are shocking:
Waiting over 2 years of a very young child’s life is something we are passionate about helping change, could you?
This new campaign follows on from the national #YouCanAdopt campaign launched in September 2020 below:
Amy & Ben share their amazing story here of adopting six children. Amy comments:
“Ben and I adopted a baby girl through Adoption Matters and she is just amazing and keeps us highly entertained every single day! We also have five other adopted children who we adopted in Tanzania (none are biological siblings – they were five separate adoptions).
Our children are all Black African and we are white British so our story is not a ‘typical’ one. We chose adoption as our first and only way of creating a family. I have known since I was a little girl that I would adopt my children and they are all incredible.
I found Adoption Matters to be really great. They were very open minded and supportive as I am sure other agencies may have been sceptical about us adopting a sixth child (and they also helped us adopt the most precious little girl in existence!)
I can honestly say that adoption is without a doubt, the best thing I ever did (6 times over!). I would never want to create a family in any other way. If you have love in your heart, have strength and passion to support a child no matter what, then adoption could be the right path for you.”
Statistics / Sources:
1 Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board. Q2 2020 https://coram-i.org.uk/resource/local-level-asglb-data-q2-2020-21/
2 Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board. 2018-2020
3 Survey Monkey of 198 adoptive parents and 21 considering adoption between 22nd March and 6th April 2021
4 Opinium surveyed 2002 adults between 1st – 6th April 2021