Leading UK adoption support services and family finding agency appeals for adopters who can keep brothers and sisters together.
Families that Last is the family finding team within After Adoption, a Voluntary Adoption Agency working across England and Wales. They say that of the children they are specifically family finding for, over 70% are in siblings groups. When there aren’t enough adopters coming forward who will consider brothers and sisters, there is a real risk that they will be separated.
They are appealing for people who have thought about adopting, and would consider starting a family with two, three or even four children, recognising it’s a big ask. To go from just looking after yourself to suddenly thinking about nursery and school runs, cooking for a houseful not to mention negotiating the inevitable sibling squabbles. But adopters who have been there don’t seem fazed by the extra work.
“I cannot recommend adoption enough – it’s the best thing we’ve ever done” explains Steve*, who adopted through Families that Last. “We’ve learned so much with the children and any challenges along the way are worth the happiness they create.”
Sadly if families cannot be found, in order for some children to have a permanent home, they may have to be separated from their brothers and sisters.
Families that Last is currently looking for a family for a group of four, aged three to nine years old, but are finding few people who would want such a big family. Understandably, people are worried about taking on a group of that size, particularly when most adopters don’t have parenting experience.
“So many adopters think that they will only be able to manage one child” says Kathy Batt, Director of Adoption Services. “But they’re not on their own when they adopt with us. Finding families is just one part of what we do. We support people at every stage of their adoption journey which means practical and emotional support for life. ”
Odessa* who also adopted through Families that Last backs that up; “The team does not provide a 9 to 5 service. They have been here around the clock for me through every crisis and problem I have had. I owe them so much for helping me fulfil my dream of a family.”
So if the support is there for you, what else could be holding you back?
Space? Sure, a one bed flat is going to be a bit too cosy, but the agency say they’re not looking for people with mansions as siblings can usually share bedrooms.
Finances? There is often financial support for sibling groups and Families that Last will help you access it.
The adoption process? If you’re interested in the siblings groups that Families that Last are searching for families for, they will speed up the assessment process to just four months so the children aren’t waiting any longer than necessary.
Logistically, four children could be more of a challenge than just one, but that’s also four times the giggles, the cuddles and love. Surely that’s what you’re looking for when you’re thinking of starting a family?
So if your summer is seeming a bit quiet, maybe it’s worth getting in touch. This time next year you could have your own football team!
You can read more about the children that Families that Last are family finding for by visiting http://www.familiesthatlast.org.uk/#!childrenwaiting/c1pv9
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