Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs dealing with infertility. It must be in the air or something. The great lengths people sometimes go to only to discover they are still not pregnant; it’s heartbreaking.
When we decided to adopt the first time (in 1996), it was a different world in adoption. There was not the huge shortage of babies there are today; domestic adoptions were common, and most people could have an infant within a couple of years. Obviously, this is not the case today. So many teens and young women who maintain their pregnancies now parent their children. So when I got an email from another adoptive parent saying someone close to her was looking for infant adoption for their first child, well, I pondered it.
My first thought was, “Why not do sibling adoption? Instant family!”
When I was first adopting, I thought “sibling adoption” meant 6- to 12-year-olds. I didn’t realize, as I now do, that the majority of kids adopted through foster care are under 5 years old. Our sibling group were aged 10 months, 2 years, and 3 years. We looked at 3 pairs of siblings before these kids, and the oldest in each group was 3. Little kids are out there– for the right family.
You may be asking, is sibling adoption harder than single adoption? It is harder in that you have more than one child whose needs you are trying to meet? If you form your family one child at a time, you can ease into those waters. But unless you are going to have only one child, you are going to face this problem at some point. The nice thing about siblings is that they are already used to some attention going toward the other child(ren).
If you don’t have an infant in the group, it’s nice because you will have a lot fewer sleepless nights. You will probably have some rough nights at first, but not weeks on end as with a newborn. You won’t get to see them through all their milestones of course, but you will get to see them into plenty. My oldest is 15 and I can tell you, the milestones don’t stop when they get older.
Another difference will likely be community support. When you have a new baby, everyone knows you are exhausted. They bring you food and offer to run errands for you. People do not always realize that having a sibling group suddenly in your home is also exhausting. So you need to ask for help and it will show up.
Think about a sibling group, please. You get your family and they get theirs– and the community benefits.