On Friday 23 April, Diagrama helped launch the #YouCanAdopt national campaign to highlight the benefits of adopting family groups of children, to encourage people to consider brother and sister adoption.
There are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England, of those approximately 890 (44%) are part of a family group. More than half of these groups (56%) wait more than 18 months for their new family. For many potential adopters, this is due to groups being slightly older and worries about financial affordability, physical space, and it being too challenging.
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, Child Psychologist and supporter of the #YouCanAdoptcampaign, said: “The brother and sister bond can offer incredible life-changing benefits throughout all aspects and stages of children’s lives. This is especially pertinent for adopted children, with #YouCanAdopt’s research showing the bond can support mental health, emotional wellbeing, social skills, and help children settle into a new family. Because of this, parents that adopt brothers and sisters together may find their experience benefitted by the support they can offer one another.”
Rachel and Annie adopted siblings, three sisters under six, through Diagrama and said, “We have been ‘Mummy’ and ‘Mama’ for three years. Life ‘post-children’ is very, very different from life ‘pre-children’ and it’s taken some getting used to both for our children and for us. When I step back now, I see a family, a happy, messy, not always as organised as we should be, singing, shouting, dancing, loving family.”
Natalie Lohneis Head of Adoption and Fostering Services said, “Many of our parents tell us that adopting children with their brothers and sisters has been the most beneficial factor in their children’s adoption journey. We urge anyone beginning their adoption journey to think about the children in family groups who need a loving home and ask themselves if they can spare that extra space in their home and their heart. There is plenty of support available – from the financial to the practical - for those that decide they can.”
A podcast featuring singer Sinitta, who adopted a brother and sister in 2007, has also been launched as part of the campaign. Sinitta, mum to Magdalena and Zac, said, “I always knew I wanted to adopt a family group and not for a second have I regretted my decision. As a pair, they bounce off one another showing love, affection, support, and humour like no other relationship would be capable of fostering. The bond they have is second to none, and it’s unimaginable to think how one could cope without the other if they were to be split in the adoption process.”