Brothers and sisters in Oldham are waiting now for families to adopt them.
There are currently around 70 children waiting to be adopted with local adoption agency Adoption Now and just under half of those are in family groups of two or more. Unfortunately, these groups of children can wait on average 36% longer (135 days more) to be adopted than individual children; due to groups being slightly older and worries about financial affordability, physical space, and it being too challenging.
To encourage more people to consider adopting brother and sister groups Adoption Now have joined together with national, voluntary, and other regional adoption agencies across the country 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 west the majority, 64% said it’s important to grow up with brothers and sisters. In the regional survey of 220 people, 60% said having brothers or sisters has positively impacted their lives or their wellbeing.
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.
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. Many (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.
The research shows it’s not just adopted children that benefit from the brother and sister bond. More than half of the north west (51%) say having a brother or sister has benefited their sense of humour, that they speak to them at least once a week (53%), and over a third (39%) say their brother or sister is one of their best friends.
Karen Barrick, Head of Service at Adoption Now, said: “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. We urge anyone beginning their adoption journey to think about the children in family groups who need a loving home and ask themselves if they can spare that extra space in their home, and their heart. There is plenty of support available – from the financial to the practical - for those that decide they can.”
Elaine Devaney, Director of Children’s Social Care, said: “Anyone with brothers and sister knows how special and strong that sibling bond can be, and that they are often a source of support during difficult times.
“That’s why it is so important these children are able to find families together and unfortunately that means they can often wait a lot longer for their forever homes. We need adopters in Oldham who can provide loving, safe homes for groups of two or more children to grow up together, so don’t rule yourself out!
“Pick up that phone or get online to find out more.”
The national campaign sees the release of a new film featuring three families who have adopted brothers and sisters, including Chris and Phil from Merseyside, Cara and Gordon from West Sussex, and Chrissi and Dave from Bournemouth. The emotive film celebrates the unique personal bond their children have and highlights the benefits of adopting a ready-made family.
#YouCanAdopt. To find out more visit www.adoptionnow.org.uk or call 01204 336096 and begin your journey towards growing your family.