Keeping siblings together
Are you interested in adopting siblings?
It is a question that many prospective parents will be asked—or will ask themselves—in the course of their adoption journey.
We offer the following information as a first step toward understanding the realities of sibling adoption.
Why is staying together important to siblings?
For many children in foster care, their brother or sister has been the only constant presence in their lives. A brother or sister may be the only person who understands and shares their experiences and can help them make sense of their new lives.
"When we enter foster care we lose everything…our moms, our dads, where we lived. Everything is just so unfamiliar. To have your sibling there is what you need in order to move on, or to move forward in life, in foster care.” ~ Noy, who first entered foster care at age 3, speaking in the Epic Ohana video Brothers and Sisters: Keeping Siblings in Foster Care Connected.
What are the benefits of adopting siblings?
Research suggests that siblings placed together experience lower risk of failed placements, fewer moves, and many emotional benefits. Siblings placed together often feel more secure and are able to help each other adjust to their new family and community.
Keeping siblings together can prevent a lifetime of longing and searching for lost brothers and sisters. As one adoptive mother of four boys told us:
“My father lost touch with his siblings at an early age. It created an anger that tore him up inside. I adopted siblings to ensure that at least one set of children did not spend their lives wondering about their brothers.” ~ Janet Kerin
Also, it is worthwhile for families to think about future adoption plans. For people who are planning to adopt more than one child, adopting a sibling group could take less time and mean only one period of transitioning children into a family.
How many children in foster care have siblings?
Approximately two-thirds of children in foster care in the United States have a sibling in care. Many of these children will be separated from their siblings. A common reason given for these separations is that workers could not find a permanent placement for all of the children.
How many siblings are listed on the AdoptUSKids website?
More than 20 percent of children listed on the AdoptUSKids photolisting have at least one sibling who is also in need of a home. That’s 1,267 children as of June 2016.
What is the size and age range of the average sibling group?
Approximately two-thirds of children on the AdoptUSKids photolisting who are listed with siblings have only one sibling in need of an adoptive home.
More than one quarter of the children who are photolisted on adoptuskids.org with a sibling are under 8 years old.
Where can families learn more about adopting siblings?
One of the best sources of information may be other families.
- Watch youth who grew up in foster care describe the benefits of being placed with their siblings and the struggles of separation in a video produced by EPIC Ohana, Inc., Brothers and Sisters: Keeping Siblings in Foster Care Connected.
- Connect with families who have adopted siblings on the AdoptUSKids Facebook page.