The advantages of adopting siblings – Amy and Steve’s story

Adopters are needed for children from all backgrounds with a range of different needs, and this includes groups of siblings. Adopting siblings might sound like more of a challenge than just adopting one child, but sibling groups offer many advantages in terms of emotional security, mutual support and understanding based on their shared past. For adoptive parents who want a big family, adopting sibling groups is a great option. Amy*, who adopted siblings with her husband Steve*, had this to say:

“Steve and I met and married in our early twenties and were keen to start a family young. When a number of years had passed without any hint of that happening, we went for some investigations and were told it would be highly unlikely that we would ever conceive naturally. After we had gone as far as we were willing to go with treatment we then waited for a year before turning to adoption – both of us had always been open to the idea of adoption and had considered the possibility of it in the future in addition to birth children anyway.

“At the end of August 2012, we enquired about adopting and the roller coaster began. At that time, a different approval process was being trialled which meant we didn’t have to wait for training or go through set stages, so we were swiftly approved in January 2013 and a week later were told of a group of three who were currently in care and due to be adopted in March.

“We knew as soon as we heard about them that these three were meant to be part of our family but when we heard their names we were convinced beyond doubt, as from my early teens I had always said that I would name my oldest daughter the name of the oldest of the three.

“From first meeting the children, to them moving in took a month as we had to move house and get to know them. Over the final days we spent increasingly long amounts of time with them until they moved in to live with us forever on 4 June 2013, almost exactly nine months from the start of our journey – a very unusual ‘pregnancy’! The whole process was straightforward and the meetings with our social worker felt like coffee with a friend.

“That November we were called by our social worker and informed that there was another birth sibling on the way and would we consider foster for adoption. Eventually all decisions were made and she came home for good at the end of November 2014.

“Up until this point, Steve had been the stay-at-home parent but following five months of adoption leave, we decided that the time had come to reverse the roles and so I left my job and Steve went back to work.

“Family life progressed, the children were thriving and doing well in school and we were enjoying being a family of six but I didn’t feel as if we were quite complete yet. I, particularly, had always wanted a large family and we had both found a passionate belief in role of adoption and particularly sibling groups.

“So in May 2017 we again began the process of adoption, with the desire to adopt two boys. We were told by the agency that we would have a battle on our hands to convince our social worker, the panel and decision maker that we had the capacity to handle six adopted children through to adulthood. As such, we entered the process with the expectation that we may well be refused, but when we were assigned the same social worker we had had the first two times, we felt assurance that we were following God’s plan for our family.

“Our social worker was not at all surprised that we were back again and supported and championed us through it all. We were approved to adopt again in March 2018, and matched with a sibling set of two boys at the beginning of July. The boys moved in with us later that month and we have spent a happy, if exhausting, summer holidays getting to know them, and them us.

“We couldn’t successfully parent six children without the support of our friends and family and particularly our church network, and life certainly isn’t easy – but it’s worth it!”

If you are interested in adoption please visit the ACE website: aceadoption.com or call the ACE Hub on 0300 369 0556 for more information. ACE is particularly seeking adopters for sibling groups, babies to 10 year olds, children with a level of disability and those of minority ethnic backgrounds.