Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

anyone adopted 3 siblings

(70 Posts)
Mule22 Tue 28-Jun-16 19:28:02

Hi
We are nearly ready to start stage 2 and we are wanting to adopt 3 this is somthing I have thought long and hard about and know I manage as i have a wonderful support network .......... But every time I say to someone 3 ! They always say why 3 ! Really why 3 though 2 2 is much better
One of my reasons is that many sibling groups are spilt so as they can be adopted more easily we have the financial stability room in our home and definitely a lot of love to offer
Just wondered if anyone could comment on there experience of 3 or more
Thankyou X

Alljamissweet Tue 28-Jun-16 20:58:13

I've taught children for 24 years. I really believed I was an expert on all things children. I wanted to adopt 2 or 3 but our SW wouldn't hear of it. One at a time she insisted. Google traumatic sibling bond......you should know the worst case senario. It's not always like that but it could be.
We adopted 1, aged 2 wonderful LO. No known additional needs so far - we're 3 years in and I can safely say that it's the best and hardest thing we've ever done.
I would say keep an open mind, it might be a sibling group, it might not. It just has to be right for you.
Best of luck x

Italiangreyhound Tue 28-Jun-16 23:51:16

I know someone who adopted three, they did not all come at the same time but very close to each other.

It is very noble that you want to keep a family together BUT please do take advice from everyone about the specific children you adopt.

As Alljamissweet says "... keep an open mind, it might be a sibling group, it might not. It just has to be right for you."

Adoption is all about creating a new family, not just about caring for a group of children who are already a family, I know you know that but I am just pointing it out. Your children will become your kids and you will create something new with them. If they should be able to stay with their siblings then of course, they should. But it isn't always in their best interests. Sometimes they will have needs which cannot be met by a standard family, so they may end up being separated from siblings and adopted by couple or by a single adopter, because that is best for them. Some will not be able to have a normal sibling relationship with each other in the home but if adopted separately will be able to see each other and develop and, one hopes, thrive.

Some sibling groups that are taken into care can contain five traumatized kids, no normal couple could cope with that. It is not like a family where the parents die and a relative takes them all on to keep them together, and they are a loving and functional family unit. Of course it might be, but living in a chaotic and dysfunctional family where maybe one child has been favoured greatly or one treated badly... it's all so varied.

Can I ask what your experience with kids is?

If you definitely want three, then get all the experience you can with groups of children, challenging ones if you can. Not just well behaved nieces or nephews (my nephews are not very well behaved!!) or very behaved Brownie packs. See if there are any groups or clubs for children with any behaviour issues etc and see if you can volunteer there.

It still won't be the full 'experience' as they are unlikely to just let you look after three kids on your own, but it could help you gauge how well you can cope and when questioned by social workers about your abilities you can talk about what you have done if it is appropriate.

There are some documentaries about people who adopted multiple children. I will try and link to some if I can.

Good luck, and KEEP ON CARING, it's great you want to do this. thanks

Italiangreyhound Wed 29-Jun-16 02:12:47

I found two....

"Love is Not Enough", is an 8 part series from the BBC, it was shown in 2000, filmed in late 90's.

One family, a Christian couple, adopt three children.

All 8 parts are here vimeo.com/album/2529993

I think the stories are interspersed and so it is not possible to say just watch this one episode. But I will try and pick a few moment for the family who adopted three.

Loveisnotenough1 “Them and Us” - this couple appear just over 7 minutes in.

Loveisnotenough2 “Nobody Said it Would Be Easy” - this couple appear about 33 minutes in and just over 41 minutes in. Be sure you watch at 45 minutes in!

One thing that comes up here is whether the desire is to be a parent or to do something altruistic. The social workers are very keen to find out the couple's motives etc. It is very interesting and I am sure this has not changed very much at all.

Loveisnotenough4 “The Chosen Few” - this couple appear about 17 minutes in and 34 minutes in.

Loveisnotenough5 “Hello Mummy, Hello Daddy” - this couple appear about 5 minutes in

I won't go on, I must go to bed, but do take a look!

These episodes are very sad and moving.

Then there is...

The Dark Matter of Love is an interesting one, this USA couple have a birth child (aged 14) and adopt three Russian at the same time, but the three children are not all related to each other, only two are.

www.thedarkmatteroflove.com/about.html

Happy Viewing....

bostonkremekrazy Wed 29-Jun-16 10:22:38

we have 3 siblings - we had 2 placed together, then had a birth child - out of the blue 7 years later birth mum had a baby so we adopted that baby too.

its hard - very hard. the siblings we adopted first have a can't live with you, cant live without you problem. some would say they should never have been kept together, we'd argue that they should always be together, but that will always be open to debate.

it almost pushed our marriage to the end - we went to hell and back in the first 2 years - i was depressed and needed medication to cope. we came out the other side - most couples dont - the divorce rate among adopters is exceptionally high. please look into the stats, i haven't for a long time but back then it was thought to be around 80%.

we were the lucky ones - ss paid for therapy for our kids and us. good therapy. it got us and our little ones through, and while they have multiple diagnosis we understand attachment, trauma and their need for parenting in a certain way. it is very very hard and very different from parenting a birth child - it is not what we imagined life would be.

having the 3rd sibling has brought a different dynamic, as their needs are different again, but somehow you make it work.

I'm very pro-siblings, much more than most adopters - BUT siblings are split for a reason in most cases....it is unusual to find a group of siblings who can be placed together with no problems.

our children are fairly unusual in that living together is only a minor problem - they are far better together than apart. most sibling assessments would say that the children need to be separated for one (or both) of the siblings sake......especially when in a bigger group, they tend to be split into smaller groups of 2, or when big issues have arisen then to be placed individually.

please read up carefully, but generally one at a time is best for all concerned.

hth!

Italiangreyhound Wed 29-Jun-16 10:36:27

Wow, bostonkremekrazy what an amazing story. You did an incredible job. May I ask how your birth child has thrived/coped/lived etc? How do they fit in with their siblings?

We have a birth child who has some autistic tendencies and can be quite hard work at times (probably nothing like the things you have handled but stressful for me) and when she as 9 we adopted a 3 year old boy. The first year was quite hard as our daughter really make things difficult. Then after a year it switched and our son as a lot more hard work! Now we are just over two years on our son and daughter alternative between being total pains and fabulous!

Well done for all you've done and for telling it like it is. XX thanks

bostonkremekrazy Wed 29-Jun-16 12:07:02

thanks italian - i think the age gap helps - we had our siblings for about 5 years before our birth child came along....then another 3 years before sibling 3 arrived....so it was all spaced out. there are 10 years between the oldest and youngest.

our birth child has never known anything else - has no health issues, and is contrast to our others has a normal secure attachment to us as parents. what a difference that makes!
our birth child is easily the most loved and adored person in the house - the most played with, the easiest to get along with - and the least in conflict.....no issues, no competition - just acceptance, love - and adoration for the 2 older ones! as a baby brought so much healing, taught them what unconditional love is, was adored from day 1 - and owned completely as 'our baby' from the moment our pregnancy was announced . the best gift that happened to our family.

sibling 3 came along and is so far easy to accept the for older ones - easy to play with, easy to love etc.... for us we see the shift in dynamics so time will tell if we did the right thing. as the older ones hit their teenage years we may see more difficulties, but we shall see.

it is a path we never thought we would walk.... i would caution anyone before following in our footsteps, each one has cost us dearly.

Mule22 Wed 29-Jun-16 12:30:20

Hi Thankyou for your reply I have looked into that I tried to do all the research I could
I have a large family and there has always been lots of kids about it seems everytime one turns 18 a new one arrives lol
I just know that I'm able to deal with anything my family always make a joke that I have a sunshine shield cause I don't let things get to me and I believe that the outlook I have on life could benefit a sibling group
I will look a little more into that subject though as it was a module assessment so very short section
Thankyou for the links i will take a look when I get home
I don't think it's a noble thing I'm doing it's just what I know I can handle
Every child I know is different and have been brought up differently I have nieces and nephews that where placed in care and we had to fight for them to stay with my uncle
A nephew that is very different to most as he as an immune disorder which means he hasn't had the social side of growing up which has meant very challenging behaviour but yes I also have well behaved children in the family too
Thankyou for all your advice it is appreciated

X

Mule22 Wed 29-Jun-16 12:37:12

Hi Boston
Thanks for your reply and your honest experience
I can't say it will put me off
Me and husband are expecting this to be the hardest thing to happen to us and even more so as it's just be me and him for 16 years so adding children in the mix with potential problems will certainly be difficult
But I can also Imagain that there amazing times too
Thankyou again your reply is do much appreciated X

Themoleandcrew Wed 29-Jun-16 14:37:53

I have three adopted children although they didn't all arrive together. We adopted our oldest two together and within 6 months their BM had given birth. Number three came home just over a year after 1 and 2. We have been so lucky so far in that no serious problems have arisen and all three get along well. However, despite the relative ease with which the kids have settled the effect on our marriage has been major. We have been, and still are, struggling with having three children arrive in the space of a year. I adore my little tribe of three but urge to to think long and hard about the specific children before you leap.

Cleo1303 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:41:53

bostonkremekrazy you are a megastar!

Mule22 When I first started to look at adoption I looked at "Be My Parent" and the Adoption UK "Children Who Wait" and it broke my heart to see so many large sibling groups, and also to see how many sibling groups were going to be split up - babies and toddlers likely to be adopted; older siblings likely to spend their entire lives in foster care or children's homes. Then I came to understand why this was.

If you decide to take three together please be very careful. They could have very complex, very different needs. I wonder how much research you have done?

I don't know anyone who has adopted three at the same time, but I do know someone who adopted two - 8 and 6 at the time and with a very traumatic past. The boy has adapted well, but the girl had a lot of serious problems. Their adoptive mother is one of the strongest, toughest women I have ever met and has done a brilliant job.

AbernathysFringe Wed 29-Jun-16 23:06:03

Just to say, my aunt and uncle adopted four siblings who are now all grown and all love each other very much, although the eldest is possibly a bit more detached (may just be being a grown man anyway though). Total success story, though it was hard work in the beginning.

Kr1stina Thu 30-Jun-16 06:44:55

Hi mule

Can I ask what you mean when you say you have lots of support ? Because if you are adopting three at once you will probably need two people full time for at least a couple of years. And then you will probably need one of you to be a SAMP for quite a few more years.

Are you and your husband both take to take this amount of time off work or woudl it be another family member like a grandparent ? If so you woudl probably want then to be included in the home study in some way and definitely in your pre adoption training .

Can I also ask what experience you have of dealing with SN children ?

I understand that you are quite a postive person and believe that you can cope with anything . But sadly, lots of cheerfulness and love doesn't just fix any problems that a child might have . It takes time ( years ), skills and knowledge to go on parenting a difficult and damaged child . So, with respect, I think you need to consider more than just your happy nature , your determination and your motivation to " keep siblings together " .

You also need to consider that many of the sibling available for adoption are half not full siblings and some have never lived together. So you have to deal with a whole different dynamic of children who only know each other from a few visits A year but now have to live together.

Some are separated because they have different needs or because they are a Risk to each other .

It can be difficult to place an older child with SN so sometimes SW advertise them with a sibling / half sibling who is a young baby, in the hope that a family who want a baby will take the older one as well .

Large sibling groups can also have very complicated patterns of contact , when all three children have to have contact with different family members. So you can end up dealing with the trauma that often follows contact for much of the year .

So it's not as simple as it might seem at first .

I'm sorry if you feel that we are being negative and trying to put you off. But it's much MUCH more complicated that just giving birth to a lot of kids ( which is what I assume you mean by your own large family ) .

Mule22 Thu 30-Jun-16 10:06:23

Thankyou for your advice
I will be staying at home for as long as I'm needed to and my husband will be having 3 months off at the start
By large family I mean mum dad cousins aunts and uncles
I have no children of my own
I'm also not daft I started to research adoption 8 months before we went to the opening evening I don't jump in to things with my eyes shut I like to know what I'm going to be met with
Sorry you think that Iv found you all negative I don't think I have said any of you are being I just said I appreciated an honest experience but that it would not put me off
I have a lot more about me than just my outgoing nature and my enthusiasm and determination
I also dont think children come into care with a silver spoon am fully aware of the complication they may have the attachment disorders the special needs that they may may have
We have means to give the children who will hopefully be in our care the things they will need through the years Iv sourced our local theraplay therapist to get an idea of the financial impact, been to local schools to find the one who can best deal with a child who as been in care and understand the additional needs that maybe required and I intend on going on a few courses local to me through a VA as well as my prep courses and will continue to research and learn and gain the skills that I may need when the time comes
Thankyou again I do appreciate the advise

Mule22 Thu 30-Jun-16 10:06:43

Thankyou for your advice
I will be staying at home for as long as I'm needed to and my husband will be having 3 months off at the start
By large family I mean mum dad cousins aunts and uncles
I have no children of my own
I'm also not daft I started to research adoption 8 months before we went to the opening evening I don't jump in to things with my eyes shut I like to know what I'm going to be met with
Sorry you think that Iv found you all negative I don't think I have said any of you are being I just said I appreciated an honest experience but that it would not put me off
I have a lot more about me than just my outgoing nature and my enthusiasm and determination
I also dont think children come into care with a silver spoon am fully aware of the complication they may have the attachment disorders the special needs that they may may have
We have means to give the children who will hopefully be in our care the things they will need through the years Iv sourced our local theraplay therapist to get an idea of the financial impact, been to local schools to find the one who can best deal with a child who as been in care and understand the additional needs that maybe required and I intend on going on a few courses local to me through a VA as well as my prep courses and will continue to research and learn and gain the skills that I may need when the time comes
Thankyou again I do appreciate the advise

Mule22 Thu 30-Jun-16 10:15:53

Thankyou for the links italiangreyhound Iv watched the first one last night
Will watch the others tonight X

Italiangreyhound Thu 30-Jun-16 23:00:00

I watched about 4 in a row, sort of shifting through them as have seen them all at least twice. BEWARE. The stories are not all happy!

tldr Fri 01-Jul-16 00:59:09

We adopted 2 together. I think you'd have to actually be saintly to manage three successfully.

Parents I know that have three plus manage because the eldest is already trained to a certain extent before the third arrives. That can't happen when three arrive together, all with very different, competing needs, where the eldest can often be the most needy.

We also had room/time/money enough for three (and had we been able to have birth kids we were planning on aiming for four) but I thank god we 'only' got two.

I'd really rethink your plan.

Italiangreyhound Fri 01-Jul-16 04:58:49

Mule a personal question and feel free not to answer if yu choose not to but have you tried to have children biologically or can you not? I mean is adoption a choice or is it partly influence by infertility? Its juts this will come up with social workers so you could choose to talk about that aspect here if you wished to.

Also, "I've thought long and hard" How long have you thought about this for? Being really NOSY! Feel free not to answer if you prefer not to.

All best wishes. thanks

Cleo1303 Fri 01-Jul-16 10:02:45

Hi Mule, reading your posts reminded me of this story

www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1310699/Beverley-adopted-troubled-children-It-killed-marriage-nearly-destroyed-her.html

because Beverley clearly wanted to give a loving home to three troubled siblings just as you do. Like you I did a lot of research and reading and it became very clear that in many cases so much damage has been done to a child by the age of two or three it may take years of therapy for them to be able to recover fully, if they ever do. Beverley's children seem to have settled now they are in their 20s - but at what cost to her and her husband? Her three children look adorable - how could anyone resist them? Surely all they need is a year or so to settle into a lovely home with parents who will be kind and understanding and give them lots of cuddles and all will be well and it will be one big happy family?

In the adoption magazines there are dozens of pictures of cute smiling siblings under five and it's wonderful if adoptive parents can be found who will keep them together but in many cases they will be like Beverley's children - all with complex needs and very demanding and distant, rather than loving and rewarding which is what she had expected.

Beverley's husband became an alcoholic and died. In many other cases the husband who has been out working all day does not want to come home to chaos every night so he just leaves and the adoptive mother has to cope on her own.

You might also want to get a copy of Coral Atkins' book "Seeing Red".

I was given anonymous case studies of children who needed to be adopted when I first started and their stories were just so appalling. I couldn't believe there were so many sick adults out there. In one of the worse cases members of the extended family still wanted contact and the SWs thought that should be encouraged! If you have half-siblings (which is very common) you will have to deal with all of this x 3.

It's great that you want to do this - it really is - but please be very cautious.

Mule22 Fri 01-Jul-16 12:11:07

Hi thanks for more if your replies X

Italian I don't mind answering your questions it's partly choice partly infertility
We have never used contraception since I met mr mule I was 16 (stupid I know ) so after we got married I was 21 and we started to "try" properly with ovulation kits etc .....
It became clear this wasn't working and we got referred to find out why basically he's fine and I'm fine we just don't match in that way
He's my world and it was hard to think that with how much I loved him we could not create a life together ......
So of course IVF was offered and in our area we are very lucky to have 3 free rounds however after a few years! Of thinking about it by this time I was 28 we decided that if we were supposed have biological children our bodies would of allowed us to and that it was not somthing we were going to do it took around a year or so to completely ok with our decision and when I turned 30 in 2014 we started to talk about adoption then in May 2015 we started to actually look into it and then April this year had meetings with 3 LA and 2 VA and choose which one thought would best suit us... Which brings us today 3 months into stage 1
I'm really open and will talk to anyone I guess it's hard to not know someone and just see a post written
One thing I'm not worried about through all this is my marriage mr mule is the most amazing man other than my dad of course and thank god everyday that I met him and I know he wants this as much as me
I work in a hotel and our LA use our hotel for new adopters to stay when meeting there children yesterday a social worker and foster carer came to stay and introduce 3 children to there new home and mummy and daddy 2 boys and a girl and although I know that they could have very complex needs it just reinforced that this is what we want

Thankyou again for advise and knowledge X

RosieandJim89 Fri 01-Jul-16 14:59:38

Not intended to scare you off at all but the only stories I have heard of 3 being placed at the same time have ended badly. My cousins were 3 siblings all placed together and around 10 years after they were placed it broke down and all 3 went back into the care system. To be honest part of the problem here was their parents had little training and support in the way they would now. Some of the issues were from the trauma suffered.
Another family I know of have struggled significantly with their 3 and all have been back into care at some point in their teenage years. They are still very much a family but is rather dysfunctional at times and the parents have really struggled.
You seem determined and loving so I hope you can be a success in adopting 3.
Keep us posted, it would be great to here how you get on.

Mule22 Fri 01-Jul-16 15:26:28

I will certainly try Rosieandjim89 Thankyou for sharing your knowledge I hope we can be one of the successful ones too X

Illias Fri 01-Jul-16 15:26:47

Lots of good advice here so won't repeat what everyone else has said. Just want to flag up though that if your 'offer' was for 3 children your husband would almost certainly be expected to take a minimum of a year off work. Our SW was telling me the other day that they won't really consider placing 3 unless both parents are at home for at least a year, so this would be a good thing for you to discuss together.

Illias Fri 01-Jul-16 15:29:52

I would also listen seriously to and consider what your SW has to say. We debated three siblings (I was keen) and SW gave us some really good reasons why she thought we were better suited to 2 (at one time, anyway). It was really good to get a professional opinion and as much as I would have liked 3 I knew that she was right and trusted her judgment.

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