Brothers and sisters are stronger together
How do you imagine in the future? Is there more than one child? Have you considered adopting siblings?
Adopting a sibling group can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It not only helps you create a family unit quickly, but it also means that you can put a lot of energy into building your family at once, rather than in stages.
Adopting a sibling group may not have been your first thought when considering adoption, however, if you have the time, space and every to provide a home for more than one child, then adopting siblings could be the perfect fit. In addition, the number of children waiting for adoption with their brothers and sisters is staggering—almost half are waiting to be placed in a new home with along with their siblings.
So often we hear parents say adopting children with their brothers and 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. We urge anyone beginning their adoption journey to think about the children in family groups. We are looking for adopters that can offer the love, commitment and stability to enable children to stay with their brothers and sisters. There is plenty of support available – from the financial to the practical – for those that decide they can.
There is a local and national shortage of adopters for siblings, if you think you may have the ability to provide a loving home for a sibling group, you will benefit from a potentially a shorter wait time to be matched with children, as well as the advantage of only going through the assessment process once.
*As reported by ASGLB (Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board, 2021/22)
The adoption process
Our target time from the time you make your formal application to the time you are approved as an adopter is six months, but this can vary depending on your circumstances.
This starts when you are ready, you are welcome to view our Information Videos at any point and then book onto one of our Q&A sessions using the link provided.
The Q&A sessions allow you to have your questions answered and we may also ask some of you. At the end of the session, you will be directed to complete Initial Enquiry form, if you wish to. Which will be followed up by a call from one of or experienced and friendly team.
- View Information Videos
- Attend Q&A Session (link to EventBrite)
- Complete Initial Enquiry with an Adoption West worker
You will be given a work book to complete at home. The work book is designed to help you look closely at your background and better understand adoption in order to prepare you. The adoption team are available to support you through this, and will be in regular contact.
Throughout Stage One and Two of the process, you will be invited to attend a four-day preparation course; applicants are required to attend every session and to participate fully throughout. The preparation course is an interactive course, with personal experiences of adopters and children in care. We cover subjects such as child development, how our own experiences and relationships influence our parenting, contact with birth families, telling your child about adoption and understanding and managing behaviour.
We will encourage regular opportunities to discuss any issues that may arise. We hope this helps prepare you for the journey ahead.
Allocation of a social worker/home visit
At the beginning of Stage One, you will be allocated a named social worker who will arrange a time to visit you at home. This provides both parties with an opportunity to look further at your experiences, what you can offer an adopted child, and for you to ask any questions you may have. At the end of Stage One you will be invited to a review meeting. This meeting will review all the information, workbooks and checks. A decision about proceeding onto Stage Two will then be made.
The assessment process consists of a number of home visits by your adoption social worker to assess whether adoption is right for you and what kind of children you would be best matched to. This is a demanding and challenging process that requires applicants to consider their own development and beliefs and how they could meet the needs of an adopted child. At the end of the assessment your social worker produces a Prospective Adopter’s Report (PAR), which includes the opportunity for you to add your own contributions.
Your full application report is presented to Adoption Panel for consideration. The Panel is made-up of social workers, County Councillors, medical and independent people, who may have personal experience of adoption. You are invited to attend this meeting with your social worker. In the exceptional circumstance that the Adoption Panel recommends that adoption is not right for you at this time, you can discuss with your social worker what action you can take. This can include your right to ask for the Independent Review Mechanism to consider your case. Your social worker will explain the process and the options open to you.
Once you are approved as an adopter we will begin the matching process to ensure the best match for you and a child/ren. We try to place children with prospective adoptive families as soon as possible within the agreed Statutory Timescales and National Minimum Standards for adoption, but there are no set rules as to how long you may have to wait for a child. However, we will keep you updated on a monthly basis during the waiting process.
In 2013 Pam and Chris welcomed, brother and sister, Lawrence (4yrs old) and Olivia (2yrs old) home. Here’s a little snapshot of their story.
At the beginning of their journey, Pam and Chris were not considering siblings. However, they had discussed with their social worker that they might look to adopt a further child in the future, so they had a family of four in their future vision. Their social worker then raised the possibility of adopting two children together, which would avoid the complexities of doing two assessments and matching a further child with their first child.
Pam believes they have had an easier ride through the care system (as opposed to a single child), because they have each other.
We hope you can find all the information you are looking for here on the site, but please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
To begin your adoption journey please view our Information Videos