Is Adopting Siblings in California Right for You?

If you are considering adopting from foster care, you have probably asked yourself many questions about this process. Am I ready to adopt an older child? Am I comfortable adopting a child with special needs? Am I comfortable adopting siblings from the California foster care system?

All parents considering foster care adoption should consider the possibility of a sibling adoption. While bringing more than one child into a home at once is not the right path for everyone, it does offer the chance to give more children a loving and supportive home. Because many children in the foster care system have siblings (whether or not they are currently placed together), the choice of adopting sibling groups is a discussion that prospective adoptive parents must have.

The staff at FCCA can help; some of them are even adoptive parents of sibling groups! We have guided many hopeful parents through sibling adoptions in California, and we can help you, too. In the meantime, we can answer any questions you have about adopting siblings from foster care in California to help you decide if this is the right path for you.

For more information on sibling group adoption, please contact our agency or attend one of our free information sessions. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the questions you may have at this point in your adoption process.

1. Why Do People Adopt Siblings from Foster Care?

The people who choose fos-adopt as the method of growing their family are very special people indeed. These parents are willing to adopt children who have had a traumatic past, and to dedicate time to helping them work through their past experiences. More than anything else, they wish to provide a safe and loving home for children very much in need. So, when they have the opportunity to provide those life changes for more than one child, they decide that adopting sibling groups in California is right for them.

In addition, being open to siblings available for adoption provides a few advantages to these parents. Adopting sibling groups often gives parents a better chance of adopting a younger child, as foster care professionals work to keep siblings together, regardless of age. Adopting siblings also allows parents to complete their family in a single, more cost-efficient adoption process.

If you’re unsure whether a sibling adoption is for you, we encourage you to reach out to our adoption professionals for more information about this process with our agency.

2. How Many Children in Foster Care Have Siblings?

About two-thirds of children in foster care in the United States have a sibling in care, as well. They may or may not be placed in the same home with their siblings right now; in fact, many end up separated because of the lack of available foster homes.

But, what about sibling groups waiting for adoption? Typically, more than 20 percent of children waiting for adoption in the U.S. also have at least one sibling in need of a home. Your social worker can provide you an estimated number of siblings for adoption in California that meet your other adoption preferences.

3. What Does a Typical Sibling Group Look Like?

About 58 percent of sibling groups waiting for adoption include two children, while about 24 percent are comprised of three siblings. Only about 18 percent of all children waiting for adoption in the United States are part of a sibling group of four to six siblings.

Siblings can be of all ages, but more than a quarter of sibling groups on adoption photo-listings include at least one child who is under 8 years old.

4. What is the Process of Adopting Siblings in California?

In many ways, adopting sibling groups in California is very similar to adopting a single child from foster care. You will follow the same steps and have to meet the same requirements.

If you decide that adopting siblings from foster care is right for you, FCCA will help you create a “desired child” form that highlights this fact. In addition to choosing how many children you wish to adopt, you can also choose gender, race, age and more. From there, you will complete extensive training before formally beginning your home study investigation. This training will introduce you to some of the complexities and unique circumstances when you choose to adopt siblings in California.

Once you finish the training, complete the home study, and are approved to adopt, siblings available for adoption who meet your adoption preferences will be presented to you. If you accept the referral, and your FCCA social worker and the children’s county worker agree, the children will be welcomed into your home. The social workers will conduct visits to ensure everyone is adjusting well. At least six months after placement (usually between 12 – 18 months for most cases) and once parental rights have been terminated, you may finalize your adoption.

For more information on how to adopt through the foster care system, contact our staff.

5. What Should I Know About Adopting Siblings from Foster Care?

All children who are adopted from foster care will have experienced varying levels of trauma. This stems from their actual placement into the foster care system and the reasons for the removal from the birth family home. Every adoptive parent should be prepared for these challenges.

Fortunately, the benefits of placing children with their siblings outweigh the challenges of managing sibling relationships. Siblings who are placed together often experience a lower risk of failed placements, fewer moves, and many emotional benefits — including a feeling of security and support during this transition time. Just consider how comforting it is to you when you have someone familiar by your side when you venture into an unfamiliar situation; that is how siblings feel when they move to a new home together, rather than alone.

Choosing to adopt siblings in California is a very personal decision to make — but it is one that can truly change the lives of a children. For more information on the practical and emotional aspects of the adoption of siblings in California, please contact us today.

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