Wherever possible, these siblings are kept together for adoption. The strong bonds between siblings can help them settle into their new family and provide a child with a source of support, friendship and affection.
Sarah*, along with her husband Rob, adopted sisters in 2017. She wanted to share the family’s story.
She says: “We heard about Molly and Grace through the County Council’s adoption service. They are full birth siblings and very close. The more we heard about the girls, the more we liked, and we knew that we would all make a happy and loving family.
"It would have destroyed the girls had they been separated as they have such a strong bond. We know it was the right decision to adopt them together. They look out for each other and play nicely together - most of the time! Of course, there is sometimes sibling squabbling but no more than when we were children.
“Although they are well settled with us now, the girls still sometimes show the effects of their early trauma and becoming a family hasn’t been without challenges. Molly, the eldest, remembers a lot more and sometimes has outbursts of extreme anger. We have learnt together how to help her manage these and they are getting less severe and don’t last as long as they did.
“We all support each other as well. Generally the girls are empathic of each other and often one will be happy to play alone if I need to help the other. The real challenge is when they are both quite hyperactive, especially if I’m on my own as they need separating to calm them down.
“Having time to allow the girls to settle in has been important. I took a year off work and now work part time, but we also get help from friends and family which makes a difference.
“Our life has changed in so many ways since adopting the girls. As a family, we still enjoy seeing our friends and their children, but we have more nights in than out. Our evening meal times have moved to be earlier which is healthier for us. The house is noisier, but all in a good way. We enjoy taking Molly and Grace to their friend’s birthday parties and just relaxing and playing at home. All our activities now take more planning of course!
“We learned early on not to over-stimulate them. We did this at first because we were desperate for them to like us, but soon realised they do still need a bit of down time. The best thing is just being a family, and having lots of cuddles, receiving all their love and giving it back.
“I’ve only recently returned to work part time, and when I get home they will often run to meet me and cuddle me. They also give lots of compliments and make us feel very special. We feel complete.
“If you want to adopt two or more children I would recommend going for siblings. It’s the best thing we’ve done and we wouldn’t be without the girls now. If you’re thinking about it, then go for it.” Adopters must be at least 21 years old, have a spare room and some child care experience. Hampshire County Council is looking for adopters who can care for all ages of children, but especially for sibling groups and children with disabilities. Potential adopters have access to Hampshire’s excellent in-house adoption support team and additional support packages may also be available.
The Hampshire adoption enquiry and advice line number is 0300 555 1384
Further information about Adoption and Fostering
*The names in this feature have been replaced to protect their identities. Image is from stock, and not of the children featured in this article.