One of the first questions someone looking to adopt will encounter is: “How do you feel about adopting siblings?” For some, the prospect of adopting more than one child can be scary. The idea of doubling the size of their family might be too overwhelming, or they fear they can’t give multiple children the attention they need.
Today, we discuss a few misconceptions about adopting siblings, as well as the benefits of keeping siblings together.
Few sibling groups include more than two children
Many people think that if they open themselves up to adopting siblings, they will need to be willing to adopt four or more children at once. They might be scared off by social media posts about families adopting six children. However, the majority of siblings awaiting adoption are in groups of two.
“Special needs” might not mean what you think
Sometimes, foster agencies designate siblings as “special needs adoptions.” However, in many cases, this label does not mean the children have developmental challenges. The label “special needs” simply indicates that they are siblings who should be adopted together.
Keeping siblings together provides stability
Some view separating siblings as a way to ensure each child gets individualized attention. Or, in cases where an older sibling has taken on a parental role, it’s tempting to want that child to have another chance at “being a kid.”
But, research has shown that siblings often play a crucial role in each other’s development of identity and self-esteem. Going through the foster and adoption systems takes a toll on children. Keeping siblings together provides stability, which helps the children adjust to their new life.
Pair an open heart with an open mind
Anyone considering adoption must carefully consider what kind of adoption best suits their goals and lifestyle. For those open to adopting siblings, even more thought and preparation comes into play. Consulting with an experienced adoption attorney can help.