HELPING brothers and sisters stay together is the theme of National Adoption Week in Lancashire.
The county council is always looking for adopters, but from 3 to 9 November there’s a special focus on finding people who’d be willing to keep families together by adopting siblings.
County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We realise that when people first start to consider adoption, they don’t usually envisage adopting two or more children. But I’m hoping that our campaign during National Adoption Week will encourage them to think it over.
“We keep brothers and sisters together whenever we can. For children who cannot be brought up by their own parents, those sibling relationships take on extra importance. They’re an emotional anchor in what may have been a very uncertain world so far.
“Adopting more than one child takes a special kind of commitment, and a willingness to accept a big change in circumstances. But we know it can work, because we already have some very happy families here in Lancashire which were created when people adopted siblings.
“However, we know that adopting siblings might not be for everyone, and we still need adopters to come forward to look after all types of children of all different ages.”
Among the 70 Lancashire children waiting to be matched with prospective adopters, there are 10 two-sibling groups and two three-sibling groups.
Consideration is given to anyone who wishes to adopt, regardless of their age, marital status, sexuality or gender. Neither are there strict rules about age, whether people should have jobs, own their own homes or have their own children.
The only legal requirements are that adopters must be over 21 and live within Lancashire or nearby.
The county council is keen to hear from a broad range of prospective adopters, including single people and couples, same-sex and heterosexual, from all religious backgrounds or none.
They would also be happy to consider people who have already adopted, already have a family, or are looking into adoption because they are unable to have children of their own.
Mike and Julie (not their real names), who have adopted brothers through Lancashire County Council, said: ” We face the same challenges in our days as any other family with siblings, and have the same considerations raising them as any other adopters.
“I can hand-on-heart say that the suggestions we heard that having more than one child, or boys in general, wouldn’t be a ‘safe’ choice is utterly wrong. There are many benefits to having our two child family in one go, but the biggest two are keeping these brothers together for life, and only having to go through the adoption process ourselves one time! ”
Matthew Tomlinson added: “We’re asking people to take part in our campaign by tweeting a picture of themselves with their brother or sister, and a line saying why it was special to grow up with them – even if they used to fight sometimes!
“I’m hoping that if people can reflect on how important their own siblings are to them, they’ll boost our message that keeping children together is important.”
People can help spread the word about adopting with Lancashire County Council on their online channels. This can be done by:
*Following the county council on Twitter @LancashireCC and searching #LancsAdoption for messages to re-tweet.
*Liking the county council on Facebook at facebook.com/lancashirecc and sharing the posts about adoption.
By doing this people can help to spread the word to their friends and family, their colleagues and maybe the organisations they work with.
Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption can contact the county council by:
• Calling the friendly adoption team on 0800 028 6349
• Visiting the website at lancashire.gov.uk/adoption and filling in the enquiry form
• Attending an information evening (details on the website above).