57 percent of the children in the South West waiting for adoptive families are brothers and sisters in groups of two or more according to new information published today to mark National Adoption Week, this week (16-22 October).

Figures from national adoption information service, First4Adoption, based on the latest government information, show that sibling groups wait longer than single children to be placed with a “forever family”.

As part of this year’s National Adoption Week campaign, Adopt South West is asking people to consider adopting brothers and sister groups, who wait longer than single children to be placed with a forever family.

Adopt South West – a partnership of adoption agencies across the region, including Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council, Somerset County Council and Torbay Council – are working together to highlight the 18 sibling groups who are awaiting adoption across the south west.

Kath Drescher, from Adopt South West, says: “The majority of people adopting for the first time choose to take a single child into their family. But it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group finds a family together rather than experience further trauma by being separated. This presents an extra challenge for social workers and these factors account for the high proportion of siblings in our region waiting for an adoptive family.”

The new research, by Adoption Match and based on data from the Adoption Register for England also reveals that :

  • 63% of sibling groups awaiting adoption in the South West are children aged 4+
  • 62% of these groups awaiting adoption are made up of boys
  • 17% of the siblings groups awaiting adoption are Black and Minority Ethnic children.

Adopt South West adopters, Mr and Mrs A from Devon, said: “Adopting has made us complete as a family unit. We feel we’ve given our child the very best possible start in life and we couldn’t be happier.”

About the adoption process, the couple said: “It can be an intrusive process but we understood it had to be that way to make sure that as adoptive parents you’re going to be matched with the right children. There is no doubt that adoption is a life changing process for all concerned, and that there are children right now who need permanent homes to grow up in. But we have great adventures, read lots, we do lots of outdoor activities and our children love us in a way that we could have never thought possible. With our children at home it’s certainly louder, and there is lots of laughter, and lots of fun. There are tears and occasional tantrums, but it’s just like any family. Love and family grow from the heart.”

Kath Drescher, from Adopt South West said: “We’re asking anyone who may be considering adoption to think about whether they could parent siblings. There’s no denying that having more than one child comes with challenges but it also has advantages and brings great rewards. If you’re interested in finding out more about adoption, please visit www.adoptsouthwest.org.uk or freephone 0800 0832227.”

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