As of late, we’ve seen an uptick in interest in adopting more than one child at a time. Mostly this interest is in sibling adoption—either from foster care or international adoption, but some people are interested in adopting two unrelated kids at the same time. This is usually only an option with international adoption, and now that it is allowed by China, it is happening more often.
Both of the adoption social workers that were on this week’s Creating a Family show agreed that it was indeed possible to “successfully” adopt two kids at once (known as sibling adoption or concurrent adoption), but it take careful preparation beforehand and lots of support and education after the adoption.
The adoption social workers also agreed that not every family is up to the task. In fact, some perfectly wonderful families who would be and are great parents are not the right family to tackle adopting a sibling group or two unrelated kids at the same time. They identified characteristics of families that seemed to do well when adopting more than one child at a time.
8 Traits of Families That “Successfully” Adopt More Than One at a Time
- Flexible Attitude– Ability to roll with the punches and shift your expectations. We all come into adoption with expectations of what our new life will be like, what our new children will be like, and what we will be like as parents of these kids. The more children you adopt, the less likely that reality will match your expectations.
- Strong Marriage-Ability to share roles and support each other in the tough first year(s).
- Lots of Support– The cliché is true: it takes a village and nowhere is this more true than when you adopt siblings or more than one child at a time. Families that thrive usually have a good support system of family and friends.
- Parenting Experience– It helps to have parented similar aged kids before to have realistic expectations about parenting in general.
- Nearby Medical and Counseling Resources– Many children adopted from abroad or from foster care have some degree of special needs. The more children you adopt, the more appointments with professionals you will have to juggle. It helps to have these resources within easy driving distance.
- Experience with Past Hardship– Parents who have weathered hard times and come out the other side seem to do better with sibling adoption or concurrent adoption. Adopting more than one child at a time, whether they are related or not, is hard work, and the ability to see past the difficulties and “hang in there” is often a learned skill.
- Willingness to Ask for Help-The truth is that no family can adopt a set of kids at once and do it alone. You will need help. Period. The easier it is for you to admit that you need help and ask for it, the sooner you will get it.
- Ability to Create and Maintain a Structured, but Nurturing, Environment– Newly adopted children, especially those over the age of one, need a structured environment, with lots of routines. The more kids you adopt at once, the more the need. Families that thrive usually are able to create such an environment and live comfortably within it.
Image credit: Good Eye Video