Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - MAR­CUS HUGHES Re­porter mar­­

A DOPTIVE fam­i­lies in Wales have opened up about their ex­pe­ri­ence of tak­ing on sib­ling groups as Na­tional Adop­tion Week draws to a close.

In Wales 62% of chil­dren wait­ing for adop­tion are mem­bers of sib­ling groups of two, three and four, and re­quire place­ment in a fam­ily to­gether.

But with only two po­ten­tial adopters on the wait­ing list avail­able for groups of two, and none for greater num­bers as of June 2017, the Na­tional Adop­tion Ser­vice for Wales says the need to re­cruit more adopters has never been greater.

Adrian said he and his part­ner felt adop­tion was the nat­u­ral op­tion af­ter IVF ap­peared un­likely to be suc­cess­ful.

“Af­ter long re­flec­tion we de­cided what was im­por­tant was to have chil­dren in our fam­ily that we could nur­ture and love, and could see grow up and go out into the world equipped by us to make the most of their own lives,” he said. “Once you look at rais­ing kids in this way you think less about the ge­netic con­nec­tion that birth chil­dren share with you.”

Adrian adopted Holly (name changed), but has ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing a birth child as well.

“When you have a new­born baby, their life story is a blank piece of pa­per and they or­bit your world from the off,” he said.

“When you adopt, a per­son comes along with sev­eral chap­ters al­ready writ­ten, who is in an or­bit of their own. It’s daunt­ing tak­ing on ei­ther, but when you take on that com­plex char­ac­ter, you need to learn fast how to have a cen­tral – and re­li­able –place in their life. Only then will you build a strong re­la­tion­ship.”

Adrian and his fam­ily are open about the fact his chil­dren are adopted, and he says he en­cour­ages his chil­dren to feel ac­cept­ing of it, too

He said: “They will have plenty of con­flict­ing feel­ings sur­fac­ing over the years, so I want them to dis­cuss any as­pect of their his- tory with me when­ever they feel the need. Emo­tions such as in­se­cu­rity are typ­i­cal among adopted chil­dren. I think help­ing them un­der­stand their his­tory goes some way to tack­ling that in­se­cu­rity.” He added: “My ad­vice to any­one think­ing about adop­tion is to first spend some time with some­one who has adopted. Read . all about adop­tion, too. Try to be as well-equipped as you can be to de­cide whether it is some­thing you re­ally want to do.

“Adop­tion may feel like a gift of a child be­ing de­liv­ered to your fam­ily, but try to look at it as a gift you can give that child.”

Martin, 20, is the el­dest of three si­b­lings who were adopted by a fam­ily in South Wales. He said: “Be­ing adopted with both of my sis­ters has been great. Sib­ling groups are dif­fi­cult and do re­quire a lot of work from the par­ents, as you have to deal with three dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties, but they can be in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.”

Martin said he be­lieves hav­ing two sis­ters has helped him de­velop life skills such as car­ing for oth­ers, as well as pro­vid­ing him with two peo­ple to share ex­pe­ri­ences with.

“Many friends of mine who are the only child have al­ways been more so­cially awk­ward and also less able to in­ter­act,” he said. “It is im­por­tant to con­sider adopt­ing si­b­lings as they do have a bond with each other, and it can be in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing tak­ing care of more than one child.”

He added: “Also know­ing that I have been with my sis­ters my whole life gives me a calm­ing feel­ing, as I will al­ways know them, and won’t have to find them in the fu­ture and start form­ing a bond in later life. You can also have a lot of fun be­ing a part of a large fam­ily with si­b­lings.”

Tony and Jacquie from North Wales adopted two broth­ers af­ter three failed at­tempts at IVF.

He said: “We liked the idea of si­b­lings as we felt we could ac­com­mo­date two or more both fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

“The big­gest draw to si­b­lings was we un­der­stood that sib­ling groups were harder to place and we did not think this was fair, and the idea that we could pos­si­bly keep a lit­tle fam­ily to­gether was just the best feel­ing

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