Siblings wait longer for adoption

The search for people to adopt brothers and sisters is being highlighted by Somerset County Council this National Adoption Week (3-9 November).

In Somerset, and nationally, finding parents for sibling groups of children, particularly twins, is often difficult and the children stay in care longer than a single child would.

During National Adoption Week (3-9 November) Somerset County Council is encouraging more people to consider adopting brother and sisters. Two information events are being held in Yeovil and Bridgwater to give would-be adopters the opportunity to find out more about adoption and what it is like to adopt sibling. Details of the events are below.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “More often than not it is in the best of interest of the brothers and sisters to keep them together and not separate them for adoption. But we do not have enough adopters locally or nationally who want to adopt siblings. It is always very sad to see children waiting a long time to be adopted and as a last resort we sometimes split sibling groups to improve their chances of having a forever family, which is heart-breaking.

“We need more people to consider adopting siblings. People often think that it is more challenging to adopt two or three children but often brothers and sisters have a special relationship, they settle into the family quicker, they look out for each other and keep each other entertained. It can also mean that adopters have a ready-made family and do not have to go through the adoption process again to adopt a second child.”

The County Council is holding two information events in Somerset to give people an opportunity to find out more about adoption:

Tuesday 4 November 7-9pm at Westlands leisure Complex in Yeovil. This is an Adoption and Fostering information event. Social Workers, adopters and foster carers will be on hand to answer questions.

Monday 10 November 7-9pm at Canalside Conference Centre in Bridgwater. This is a South West adoption event where council’s and agencies from across the region will display information and profiles of children currently waiting to be adopted. Some adopters will also be on hand to speak to people about what it really is like to adopt siblings.

An adopter of two siblings with Somerset County Council said: “Having decided to adopt when slightly older, we were sure we wanted two siblings from the outset. We felt we wanted to settle and grow as a family from the start rather than trying to settle one child then have another. For us this was definitely the right decision.

“Initially the challenge of two children was overwhelming. Both had different responses to their situation and needed specific support and understanding. But with time, understanding, patience and particularly the therapeutic parenting approach they seem happy and more settled and we feel privileged and fortunate to have them in our lives.

“It is hard to think that in different circumstances, they may have been separated, their lives have already involved too much loss, sadness and heartbreak without  the separation from a close sibling. From the children’s perspective it was definitely the right decision to place them together.

“Our children are amazing and very different individuals who approach and deal with life very differently, however they have shared early life experiences which give them a common bond over and above the standard and which we hope will help them support each other in later life.”

You can read the adopters full statement on adopting siblings here: www.adoptioninsomerset.gov.uk/SuccessStory

Please note: the adopter wishes to remain anonymous.

To find out more about Adoption in Somerset visit www.adoptioninsomerset.org.uk or call 0800 587 9900.

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