Five Things You Might Not Know About Adopting Siblings

Have you considered adopting a sibling group? Learn more about sibling adoption and whether this might be the right path for your family.

The Traver family adopted 7- and 4-year-old brothers William and Jeison. Here they are in Colombia on their adoption day.
Bre and Drew Traver adopted 7- and 4-year-old brothers William and Jeison from Colombia, pictured here on their adoption day in Colombia.

1. Whenever possible and in the best interest of the children, Holt strives to help siblings be adopted together. The sibling bond is extremely important for children to maintain, regardless of whether they join the same family. But when adopted together, they can support one another through the adoption transition and provide an invaluable link to early life memories.

2. Studies have shown that preserving a young child’s attachment to an older sibling can lessen the impact of early life traumas, such as parental mental illness, substance abuse or loss. Because of their shared history, siblings can also bolster each other’s sense of identity and belonging.

3. While every effort should be made to maintain meaningful connections between siblings, decisions to place brothers and sisters together are not solely based on their blood bond. The central authorities in each country comprehensively assess each sibling group on their ability to relate, play, grow and thrive together before placing them in the same family. In most cases, however, it’s best for siblings to be adopted together.

4. Parenting may look different for each child in a sibling group. It is not uncommon for kids to share about traumatic early life experiences once placed with their adoptive families. Parents of siblings will need to be able to accept different versions of a shared event and meet each individual child’s needs related to that event. They will also need to honor the roles each child held in their previous care settings. For example, an older child may have played a protective role to a younger sibling while in care. It will take time and trust before new roles can be established.

5. Parents best suited to adopt siblings are flexible; understand the impact of adoption from a developmental perspective (or are eager to learn); have strong support systems and access to resources; and also have the time and space in their lives to nourish multiple attachment relationships.

Right now, Holt is actively seeking families open to adopting sibling groups from Colombia! We especially need families open to a sibling group that includes a child age 10+ or a group of three or more children (of any age). Families open to this sibling profile from Colombia may request children with minor special needs.

Mom kissing her adoptive son from China on a boat

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