Brothers and sisters

Why adopt brothers and sisters?

  • There are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England, of those – 890 are part of a family group
  • 520 children who are part of a sibling group have been waiting for 18 months or more to find a home
  • 61% of adopters said that adopting children with their brothers and sisters has been the most beneficial factor in their children’s adoption journey
  • 88% of parents that adopted brothers and sisters say the positives outweigh any challenges


Most people deciding to start or grow their family through adoption, will think about welcoming one child at a time. However, if you want a family,  adopting brothers and sisters together means that you only have to go through the process once and you will have increased support.

Having a brother or sister who has been there all along can help adopted children to feel safe, settle quickly into their new home and provides them with ongoing companionship, mutual leaning and emotional support throughout their lives. In fact, for many of us, our relationships with our brothers and sisters will be our longest-lasting relationships.

New Family

We need adoptive parents who can offer permanent, loving homes for groups of brothers and sisters of varying sizes and ages, many of which have been waiting 18 months or longer to find a home.

Many of these children have been through difficult experiences and for some, have been the only constants in each other’s lives. Separating brothers and sisters because an adoptive family cannot be found, can cause further anxiety and loss and creates a whole set of additional issues for children who have already had a very difficult start in life.

Our priority will always be to find homes for children together, however for some children, finding homes separately may give them the best opportunity to form a relationship with their adoptive parents and recover from the impact of early maltreatment. In these circumstances, the building of brother and sister relationships will still remain a priority.

Support for those adopting a family group

Adopted children can sometimes bring their own challenges so adopting a family group could feel daunting but there is support available as well as the support you will get from your family and friends.

Family groups of children, on average, tend to be older than single children, so any issues and diagnosis will already have been identified. This means that adopters have a much clearer idea of the challenges the children will be facing and can access appropriate support right from the start.

There is a range of adoption support services available to you and your family and friends including; support groups, training, workshops and more specialized therapy.

For many potential parents, the biggest worry about adopting more than one child together is that they don’t have a big enough house or enough money. You do have to seriously consider what this will mean for you as a family, but there is practical and possibly financial support available. Financial support may include:

  • an adoption allowance
  • help with additional nursery fees and childcare
  • support to buy a larger car
  • help to extend your home or upsizing

We spoke with three sets of adoptive parents, to see how their families grew...

What made you decide to adopt a family group?

Chris & Phil, adopted two brothers

What are the practical challenges and support you received?

Chrissi & Dave, adopted two sisters

What advice do you have for those considering adopting brothers and sisters?

Cara & Gordon , adopted two brothers and a sister

Adopting Brothers and Sisters with Sinitta

Sinitta talks to Hafsa and James a mixed heritage couple, Hafsa is Pakistani and James is African Caribbean, who adopted two brothers that closely match their ethnicities

Sinitta, adopted a brother and a sister