Why I want to adopt siblings
Why I want to adopt siblings
When my parents brought my baby sister Katherine home, I was thrilled. A brand new friend, just for me! Our favorite game was “crash the gorilla.” The rules were easy: I stood up in her crib, then “crashed” face first onto her blankets. She would burst out with an adorable giggle that I’ll always remember!
Katherine was my best ally, whether I was dressing up for my first prom or crying in my bed over my first heartbreak. “You were inseparable,” my cousin told me. It would have been unthinkable to have been parted from my sister.
I was dismayed when I learned that siblings in foster care are often separated from each other. There are not enough adults who want to adopt siblings. Adults may hesitate to adopt siblings and bring multiple children into their house at once. According to AdoptUSKids.org, there are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. About two-thirds of these children also have a sibling in foster care. Unfortunately, many will be separated from each other if workers cannot find parents willing to adopt siblings.
According to nacac.org, sibling groups are sometimes categorized as “special needs” adoptions. For example, in Texas where we’re considering, groups of three or more siblings are considered special needs. Adults who adopt siblings in the special needs category may be eligible for additional income from the government. For example, when we researched Texas as a potential new home for us, we learned that adoptive adults can receive up to $400/ month per child as of 2017.
For many kids who have been shuffled back and forth between homes or experienced traumatic situations, their brother or sister is the only person who has remained constant in their lives. They may have no other family. To preserve that sense of stability and family, social workers try to find adults who are willing to adopt siblings.
I was terrified as I left the safety of my house for my first week-long camp. I had never been away from my parents for so long. The only fact that reassured me was that Katherine would be with me. I even enrolled in one camp level beneath my age group so I could be in her same program. As we walked up the dirt hill to the cabin, I reached out for her hand and held on tight, and some of my fear went away. As a kid, I never would have left home even for one week without Katherine. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I had been torn away from her for my entire childhood. Unfortunately, when workers cannot find someone who will adopt siblings in foster care, this traumatic separation becomes a reality.
Katherine is the best gift my parents ever brought home. I thank God for creating my sister. My husband Elijah admires how much she and I still care for each other. He and I want to adopt siblings so our children can have that same beautiful experience I did of growing up and sharing life with a precious ally and best friend.
Visit the AdoptUSKids site for more resources on how to adopt siblings.