Adopting Siblings Pros and Cons

Adopting siblings can be both a rewarding experience and a nightmare all rolled up into one. Yet, there is a great need for parents who are willing and able to adopt siblings. To decide whether or not you would be willing and able to adopt siblings, you should consider some of the pros and the cons.

The biggest pro to adopting siblings is not one that you will experience directly. The biggest benefit is, of course, to the siblings themselves. Often, a brother or a sister are the only real “family” that a potential adopted child has. Study after study has shown the benefits of keeping adopted siblings together, and have demonstrated the negative effects of splitting siblings. In only the most extreme circumstances should one sibling be adopted and the other not.

Still, there are pros for the adopting family, as well. Two or more children means that much more love to go around the family. It also means that the child will be less likely to resent the adoptive family for taking away her birth family, as she still has an important part of that birth family with her.

There are, obviously, some cons to adopting siblings as well. By their very nature of being siblings, potential adoptees are considered to be “special needs.” This does not mean that they have anything else wrong other than that they are siblings, but in many cases it does. It may be that one or both of the siblings are disabled in one way or another. It is not uncommon for one sibling, often the older sibling, to have experienced more profound effects of abuse or neglect than the younger sibling would have experienced.

Adopting siblings also multiplies expenses. Obviously, you need more space for two adopted children than you do for one. There are more activities, more parent-teacher meetings, more doctors’ appointments. Adopting siblings is a bigger commitment than adopting a single child.

Whether you decide to adopt siblings or not, it is at least worth thinking about to see if it might fit your situation.