Can you help siblings stay together?
LANCASHIRE County Council has launched an appeal to find people willing to keep families together by adopting siblings.
Brothers and sisters are among the children who wait longest to be adopted, as not enough people come forward who are able to give them a safe, permanent and loving family.
County Councillor Susie Charles, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We realise that when people first start to consider adoption, they don’t usually envisage adopting two or more children.
“But I’m hoping that we can encourage people to at least think it over.
“We keep brothers and sisters together whenever we can.
“For children who cannot be brought up by their own parents, those sibling relationships take on extra importance.
“In the midst of the trauma and losses these children experience, being placed with a brother or sister can be an important source of comfort and support, and give them the opportunity to grow up together.
“Adopting more than one child takes a special kind of commitment, and a willingness to accept a big change in circumstances.
“But we know it can work, because we already have some very happy families here in Lancashire which were created when people adopted siblings.
“However, we know that adopting siblings might not be for everyone, and we still need adopters to come forward to look after children of all different ages and circumstances.”
Among the 62 Lancashire children awaiting adoption, are nine two-sibling groups and four three-sibling groups.
The council is keen to hear from a broad range of prospective adopters, including single people and couples, same-sex and heterosexual, from all religious backgrounds or none.
The only legal requirements are that they must be over 21 and live in or near Lancashire.
Not everyone is able to adopt more than one child and there are many single children who need a family too.
Adoptive parents are also needed for children from babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for:
Children aged either gender.
Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues. Boys of all ages. Mixed-heritage children of all ages.
To find out more, call the adoption team on 0300 123 6723 or visit the website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/adoption over four,