adopting siblings

Adopting Siblings : Why It’s Worked For Us

What feels like many moons ago, we were trying to decide whether we wanted to adopt a single child or siblings.  In our adoption preparation group, out of 15 couples, we were the only ones who had said that we ideally would like siblings.  Even though the Social Workers were keen to talk to us, they were also keen to tell us that adopting siblings could be hard work. There were so many issues that we might come across when adopting siblings that would might not have if we adopted one child.

  • Trauma triggers.  Even though we know that all adopted children experience some type of trauma, when adopting siblings we were told that they might trigger trauma in each other. Sibiling groups often carry a collective memory of their past. There was a chance that they would trigger memories for the other, which although good to bring out, isn’t safe if an adult isn’t there to help heal. 
  • Attachment issues.  Another possibility was that the children would be content with their attachment to each other – and therefore block any other attachment to us.  A bit like ‘we are OK just the two of us, we don’t need anyone else.’ 
  • Sibling rivalry.  Of course, pretty much all siblings have rivalry with each other. But social workers, and documents we read, suggested the often when adopting siblings this can go above and beyond the regular sibling rivalry. In fact, it can be a rivalry to get the most amount of love as children sometimes believe that there is only a finite amount of love to go around.
adopting siblings

We listened – we read – we took it all on board. And we decided that adopting siblings was the right way for us to go. We both have siblings and knew we wanted our children to have that love/hate relationship where ultimately you know your sibling will always have your back.  So, with that in mind, we went ahead and adopted Little Sir and Little Miss.  Two years later, and at the beginning of the long 6 week summer holiday, I can sit back and take stock.  Sitting in my living room at 2pm in the afternoon, I realise what I have known all along – adopting siblings worked for us!

  • The children always have a playmate.  They are almost exactly 2 year apart in age, and seriously love playing together.  This morning they have played houses, schools, superheroes and dinosaurs – no arguments, no disagreements and no need for mummy!
  • They learn from each other.  Little Sir is the conversationalist – he learns fast, is interested in the world and loves to share his ideas.  Little Miss is sporty, pretty determined and very arty. They are ying and yang. And it works so well – Little Miss is learning to have a conversation from Little Sir, and Little Sir is becoming determined to keep up with Little Miss in swimming. They are role models for each other.
  • They adore each other.  They are each other’s best friend, cheerleader and supporter. They will always have someone by their sides as they go through life!
We’ve not had any of the challenges we were potentially expecting – of course time is moving on and things may change, but so far we’ve not seen any of it.  They love each other but not the exclusion of others. They have sibling rivalry but so far it’s been very standard and definitely not related to needing to take away the love of a parent from the other. And thankfully they haven’t been triggering trauma in each other.  

So, for us, adopting siblings worked perfectly!  In fact, I now have to get used to the new reality – they are growing up, becoming much more independent, and ultimately I appear to be needed only for food and cuddles, rather than as a playmate.  It’s going to take some time to get used to it!

Have your children started to become more independent and need you less? I’d love to know what strategies you use to keep yourself from being bored when they no longer need as much attention! Let me know in the comments!!


  1. I love that you stuck with adopting a siblings and that it’s working for your family. Not many couples and families want to adopt siblings so it’s refreshing to hear it’s working great in your family and your reasoning behind your decision #blogstravaganza

  2. I think it’s great that you adopted siblings and that it has worked out so well for you! My children are still very young so I’m often the playmate, but I can imagine it’s difficult to get used to when they don’t need us so much anymore! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  3. I am delighted to read that you adopted siblings (natural siblings), and that it is working out well for your family. Sibling bond is important, and can provide nurturing, caring, support, sharing, skills for future years :- Adulthood.

    My Mum unfortunately was widowed at a young age with young children. Dad’s death was sudden, due to a heart attack. My Mum brought us up, and kept us together. For which we were all truly grateful. Knowing that if anything had happened to Mum, we most likely would have been split up. Something none of us wanted. Siblings are important for one another, and the group ( total). So once again :- Thank you, and Well Done in keeping a sibling unit together, not an easy task. As it is normal to have fun together, but also debate, disagree, fall out and make up friendship again. Life is full of variety with siblings.

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