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Siblings and adoption – reduce delay by splitting brothers and sisters

August 2, 2012

The government have introduced proposals for consultation which suggest that, where placing brothers and sisters together may delay their placement, it would be better to separate them and place them separately.

This is a very complex debate.  The sibling relationship is an incredibly important one and siblings who have lost each other in early childhood feel this loss very strongly.  Where children have to be taken from their birth parents for their safety and protection, their brothers or sisters are all the family they have left.  To lose them as well is a terrible loss.  And yet……

I am aware of many situations where the difficulties (attachment problems, wrong age, wrong gender, learning difficulties) of an older child result in a delay in placing them in a family.  This is bad but understandable.  When this delay affects a healthy younger sibling who, on their own, would have been quickly placed in a loving permanent family, then after a while, you just have to question whether this is the best course of action.

I don’t know the answer to this question.  I just try to make the best decision case by case on the Adoption Panel on which I serve.  I’d be interested in others’ views.

Here’s the link to the government site about this.

And here is BAAF’s response.

Statement on DfE consultations on sibling groups and contact


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