Siblings wait an average of 36% longer to be adopted than individual children

Latest figures show there are currently over 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England with just under half (44%) in family groups of two or more.

27/04/21

Siblings wait an average of 36% longer to be adopted than individual children

New research has uncovered public attitudes which are contributing to siblings being overlooked for adoption.

The research found that of those that have adopted, or are considering doing so, more than a third (34%) of adopters do not consider adopting brothers and sisters.

Despite this, the vast majority (88%) of parents that have adopted family groups say the positives far outweigh the challenges.

Almost two-thirds (61%) say that adopting siblings 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 latest figures, released in January 2021, show between July and September 2020 there were currently over 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England and, of those, just under half (44%) are in family groups of two or more.

Groups of children wait an average of 17 months to be adopted, which is 36% longer (135 days more) than individual children. More than half of these groups (56%) wait more than 18 months for their new family.

To encourage more people to consider adopting brother and sister groups, adoption charity Coram, as well as national, voluntary, and regional adoption agencies across the country have launched a new nationwide #YouCanAdopt campaign that highlights the benefits of adopting more than one child and celebrates the bond of brothers and sisters.

Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, said it is important for children awaiting adoption to stay with their brothers and sisters.

“Most of the children waiting for such a forever family are in pairs, and the majority still very young so – with sibling groups waiting longer – we urge potential adopters from all backgrounds to come forward and consider the option of providing a loving home embracing the established relationship between children.”
Rebecca and Andy, who adopted sisters in 2017, said when they started exploring adoption they wanted to make a difference in keeping a sibling group together rather than separated.

“In our situation, we have found this to be particularly important for Ellie as she is the eldest and had built a strong connection with her little sister.

“As with all siblings, the girls have their moments but as they get older, they are communicating well with each other. They are going from strength to strength and it feels like they have always been with us.

“They’ve settled in and are part of our family. We know Coram is there to support us whenever we need it, and the benefits more than outweigh the difficult moments. Our lives have changed so much but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are complete as a family and it’s amazing."

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