Families who have already been through the adoption process tell you what it was like for them.
Around 75% of the children waiting for adoption are under 5 years of age and over half are waiting to be adopted as part of a sibling group. They come from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and some may have disabilities or special educational needs.
All adopted children will have suffered loss and separation even when adopted shortly after birth. They may have been abused or neglected and subsequently develop certain coping mechanisms and behaviour that means they can find it difficult to form relationships.
All of the children waiting for adoptive parents need a loving, stable home. They need parents who will stick by them through the good times and the bad. They need support and love to help them overcome their troubled backgrounds, make sense of who they are and grow up to be safe and secure.
Restoring their faith in adults is often the main challenge that adopters face. The key is to bring predictability and stability to their lives by providing them with a loving and supportive home. It’s a long process, but over time the aim is to help them learn to trust you. It will transform their lives – as well as yours!
The aim for everyone in the adoption system is to find loving families for each child in need of a happy future, even if there is not a perfect ethnic match. Ethnicity is relevant however and you must have an understanding of the challenges that raising a child of a different ethnicity can provide.
Over half of the children awaiting adoption will need to be placed with a loving family that could provide a home to their brother or sister also. Depending on the circumstances, it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group finds a family together rather than experience further trauma caused by being separated from their brother or sister.
Prospective parents who are considering adopting sibling groups should consider the following points: