With the launch of National Adoption Week, Lancashire County Council is making a special appeal for people to come forward to ensure brothers and sisters can be adopted together.
Sibling groups are among the children who wait longest to be adopted, as there are not enough people coming forward who are able to give them a safe, permanent and loving family.
We are currently trying to find a forever family for three sisters, Sophie aged five, Olivia aged two and one-year-old Poppy.
It is important the sisters are kept together as they have a very close sibling bond and it would not be in their best interests to split them up in order to find them permanent homes.
Being able to keep the ties that they have already developed with each other will help them to be able to thrive in the future.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “It’s a sad fact that some children are simply unable to remain with their birth family, for many different reasons. Some children aren’t lucky enough to be born into families where they are put first, or even have their normal needs met.
“This is unfortunately the case for these three lovely little girls.
“We realise that adopting more than one child might not be for everyone, but it has its advantages as you get a ready-made family.
“Also, if you are planning to adopt more than one child, adopting siblings means that you only have to go through the process once. You will also have the joy of seeing them grow up together.
“We are doing all we can to keep these sisters together. In this case, as in others when children cannot be brought up by their own parents, the sibling relationships take on extra importance. Being able to remain together will be an important source of comfort, strength and support.
“I’m hoping that we can encourage people to at least think this over. I know that it takes a very special person to be able to adopt a group of three and start or grow their family in this way. I’d like to reassure anyone thinking about this that we know it can work, because we already have some very happy families here in Lancashire which were created when people adopted siblings.”
A case story giving more detail about the sisters is available at: www.lancashire.gov.uk/adoption/our-children/sophie-olivia-and-poppy
Among the 62 Lancashire children who are currently ready to be adopted, there are nine two-sibling groups and four three-sibling groups.
Catrina Dickens, adoption team manager at Lancashire County Council, said: “I really hope that we can find a forever home for these three happy and healthy little girls. They are a joy to be around, and have loads of interests and activities that they take part in.
“They do ask when they are going to get a new family. We keep telling them that we are looking. I just hope that there is someone out there who will adopt these sisters, because they would gain a wonderful ready-made family.
“The bottom line is that they love each other and have always been together. It would be devastating for these children to split them up.”
Consideration is given to anyone who wishes to adopt, regardless of their age, marital status, sexuality or gender. There are no strict rules about whether people should have jobs, their own homes or have their own children.
The county 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.
It is also happy to consider people who have already adopted, already have a family, or are looking into adoption because they are unable to have children of their own.
The only legal requirements are that adopters must be over 21 and live within Lancashire or nearby.
Adoptive parents are needed for children from young babies up to eight years of age, and particularly for the following groups:
• Children aged over four, either gender
• Children with special needs, disabilities or unpredictable medical issues
• Boys of all ages
• Mixed-heritage children of all ages
Anyone interested in finding out more about Olivia, Sophie and Poppy should contact the adoption team on 0300 123 6723.
If you want to find out more about adoption, contact the county council by calling the friendly adoption team on 0300 123 6723, visiting the website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/adoption and filling in the enquiry form or attending an information evening. More details are available on the website.
People can help spread the word about adopting with Lancashire County Council on their online channels. This can be done by following the county council on Twitter @LancashireCC and searching for #LancsAdoption for messages to retweet, and Liking the county council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lancashirecc and sharing the posts about adoption.
By doing this people can help to spread the word to their friends and family, their colleagues and maybe the organisations they work with.