As a national campaign is underway to highlight the benefits of adopting family groups of children together, England’s newest Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) Adopt Coast to Coast is appealing for urgent help in finding a permanent home for three brothers from the North East of England.
Adopt Coast to Coast is the RAA for Cumbria County Council, Durham County Council and Together for Children which delivers children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council. The team is putting out an urgent appeal for prospective adopters as they are looking to find a permanent home for three brothers aged 4, 6 and 8. Because sibling groups are harder to place, the trio may have to be separated in order to increase their chances of finding forever homes.
The appeal comes as latest figures from a new #YouCanAdopt sibling campaign shows that 44% of the 2,020 children waiting to be adopted in England are in family groups of two or more.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%) even wait more than 18 months for their new family.2
The same research shows that many adopters (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
Paula Gibbons, Head of Service for Adopt Coast to Coast said: “We have a limited time to find a forever home for the three brothers together. They love to be outside exploring, learning new things, and having adventures. The boys have had a tough start in life, but they are a wonderful team with cheeky smiles, and they are full of fun and personality, but they also love to cuddle up and watch a film.
“The brothers have a strong bond which we really want to maintain and in light of our time limitations and the new nationwide #YouCanAdopt campaign surrounding the benefits of sibling adoption, we are encouraging anyone who would like to find out more about the boys and the other brothers and sisters in our care to come forward. There is plenty of support available – from the financial to the practical – for those who decide they can.”
To encourage more people to consider adopting brother and sister groups, 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.
New research, commissioned by adoption agencies and released as part of the campaign, has found that in the North East and North West of England the majority 63% say it’s important to grow up with brothers and sisters. In the regional survey of 301 people, 56% say having brothers or sisters has positively impacted their lives or their wellbeing.4
A further survey of those that have adopted, or are considering doing so, found that a key reason to adopt is to extend, or to start, a family (58%). Despite this, more than a third (34%) of adopters do not consider adopting brothers and sisters.3
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.”
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, there is a significant amount of support available to potential adopters – from financial to practical – and the vast majority (88%) of parents that adopted family groups say challenges are far outweighed by the positives.
Find out more about adopting with Adopt Coast to Coast at www.adoptcoasttocoast.org.uk or by calling on 03000 268 268.
#YouCanAdopt. To find out more visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk/brothersandsisters and begin your journey towards growing your family.