Deciding whether or not to continue growing your family is a big choice. Whether you are still on your first child or expanding to a second, third or fourth, this is a life-changing moment. Under “normal” circumstances, there’s a lot to consider. When your child’s birth mother approaches you about adopting your child’s biological sibling, there’s a whole host of new things to think about.
This is something many adoptive families have experienced. That’s good news for anyone searching for answers — you’re not alone. Others have gone through something similar. Additionally, adoption specialists are used to this type of adoption. They can guide you to the best choice for your family.
As you mull over whether or not to say “yes” to this new adoption opportunity, there are several important facts to consider. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on what is best for you family.
These things will help guide you to that decision.
Things to Consider about Adopting Your Child’s Biological Sibling
The most important things to consider are going to pertain to your family’s unique situation. Those details are special to you, and they’ll go a long way in determining the best choice for your family. As you take these things into account, also consider some big-picture elements of adopting your child’s biological sibling:
- The importance of maintaining sibling groups: Research has shown unequivocally that maintaining a sibling connection is a good thing for children who come home through adoption. A sibling is a touchstone to biological heritage, which is important as a child begins to form a self-identity. Siblings are also a calming presence (even though they may fight, as kids are wont to do) and can create great memories of childhood. As you think about whether or not to adopt your child’s biological sibling, consider the positive impact it could have on both children.
- Do you want your family to grow? If you don’t actually want a larger family, then this is a bit of a non-starter. No matter how important siblings group are, begrudging parents don’t make a healthy household. Is this something you really want? If not, could you see yourself wanting it after some thought and consideration? If you’ll be second-guessing the process the whole way, then this may not be right for you.
- Are you prepared for another adoption process? You may be in a place where you want another child, but are you prepared for another adoption process? Just like the first time around, the process can be long and demanding. While your connection with the birth mother can make things easier, you still have to fulfill the rest of the requirements. Carefully examine whether or not you are prepared for this before saying yes or no to the adoption opportunity.
How to Adopt Your Child’s Biological Sibling
If you decide that, yes, you are willing and prepared to adopt your child’s biological sibling, how do you do that? If the adoption agency contacted you about the opportunity, then the path is clear. But what if the birth mother has contacted you directly?
It’s always best to work through an adoption agency, even if you have a close relationship with the birth mother. There are some parts of the adoption process you won’t want to handle: financial support, legal paperwork, assessment and medical history, the home study and more. Working with an adoption agency creates space for you to focus on your personal relationships and the emotional journey while they handle the nitty-gritty details.
Additionally, even in cases when you have a good relationship with the birth mother, independent adoptions are subject to a great number of legal pitfalls and a higher chance of disruption. Agency-assisted adoption is the best way to go.
If You Can’t Adopt Your Child’s Siblings
Some families aren’t in a position to adopt again, and that’s okay. However, there are still some actions you can take to create a bond between your child and their biological sibling.
In many cases where it is known that a child has a biological sibling, families will connect with each other and foster a friendship between the children. In these cases, we have seen beautiful relationships form. While not in the same house, the siblings can still form a close attachment. Oftentimes the relationship ends up looking like two cousins.
If you are unsure of how to make this connection, American Adoptions can help.
We can also help you navigate the emotional turbulence this might create. It’s unfortunate, but we have seen many families develop a sense of shame or guilt when they are unable to adopt their child’s biological sibling. This shouldn’t be the case, and our specialists can help you as you process these feelings.
If you would like to speak to a specialist today about adopting your child’s biological sibling, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more.