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Children who are in sibling groups wait longer to be adopted

With your help, they’ll stay together.

Imagine being a child in the care system. You’ve had a difficult start, you don’t know what the future holds and you desperately need loving parents to offer security. In the majority of cases siblings are the only constant relationship in their lives. They need them for support and to maintain a familial bond that would almost certainly be lost by separation.

Children in sibling groups are waiting longer to be adopted. Almost half of children currently waiting in care* are part of a family group. Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza’s Siblings in Care report found that there are an estimated 20,000 - 37 per cent – of children in care in England who have been separated from their siblings. **

Separations increase for larger sibling groups, rising from an estimated 26 per cent of children with one sibling, compared with 43 per cent of children with two siblings; 57 per cent of children with three siblings and 64 per cent of children with five siblings.

At Diagrama, we are advocating for change. We are asking people who are willing to look at adopting two or more children to contact us and speak to our team. As a non-profit organisation, we’ll give you the support you need. And it’s available 24/7. Our prospective adopters are given access to a community network of peer to peer support from the people who adopt with us. Because having this support is invaluable to adopters, and their children.

Noreen and Mo adopted their two daughters through Diagrama in 2018. Noreen wanted to adopt siblings, as growing up as an only child she was very aware of the importance of keeping her girls together.

She told us: “If they’d split them up, what kind of life would they have had? – they are different characters, but they love each other.”

Adopting siblings is also beneficial to you. The adoption process can take a while, and if you only do it once, you can concentrate on becoming a family. The matching process is more straightforward as our social workers will already have a good understanding of the sibling relationship which they would not have if you decided to adopt a second child later on. Siblings also tend to be older which can mean social workers have a better understanding of specific needs a child might have.

Kate Patel, Head of Fostering and Adoption at Diagrama, says: “Being separated from siblings in the care system can be a huge blow to children’s wellbeing and development. The loss can cause anxiety and stress which can impact children throughout their entire lives, alongside the difficulties they have already faced in early childhood. Sibling groups wait longer to be adopted and we desperately need people to consider taking on two or more children to provide them with loving, permanent homes.”

With your help – they’ll stay together. If you would consider adopting sibling groups of two or more children, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. Contact Diagrama to find out more.


*There are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England and 890 of those are in a family group.. 520 children who are part of a sibling group have been waiting for 18 months or more to find a home. 

** Dame Rachel de Souza: Siblings in Care (January 2023)  

Find out more about Diagrama Adopters Noreen and Mo’s experience here.