A couple have revealed how adopting siblings has given them the family they’ve always wanted.
Emma and Andrew Sutton from Huddersfield adopted two children – a brother and sister now aged three and four-years-old – 18 months ago. They are now supporting Kirklees Council in their bid to encourage other families to do the same.
During 2013-14 Kirklees Council found adoptive families for 53 children, 13 of whom were part of a sibling group. With the number of siblings in need of adoption expected to rise, the need for more families like Emma and Andy has never been greater.
Emma and husband Andy, both aged 45, decided to adopt after being unable to conceive naturally. Emma said: “We’d always planned to have a family and, having met each other later in life, we’d agreed to adopt if we couldn’t have children of our own. It soon became clear that having our own children wasn’t to be.
“Of course we were disappointed but at the same time adoption seemed like a natural progression.
“We deliberately chose not to go down the IVF route, purely because we didn’t feel it was right for us. Also we knew that any child we adopted wouldn’t be loved any less by us if they weren’t ours by birth.
“We wanted to adopt two siblings. We thought that if there are children out there who need a family and who are already part of a family then it made more sense to keep them together.
“I’ll be the first to admit that going from no children to two children in one go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. At first they missed their foster carers with whom they’d formed a close bond and were unsettled for a few nights.
“But we knew all too well that there was bound to be a settling in period. Just as we had to work out how to be mum and dad to these two little children, they too had to get used to us as their parents.
“It took a few months but with patience and love they soon settled in. It helped that they had each other and particularly during those early days this was a huge comfort to them. A year and a half on and their relationship is as strong as ever – watching them walking around, holding hands and chatting – it’s fantastic.”
Paul Johnson, Kirklees Council’s assistant director for family support and child protection, said: “Those of us lucky enough to have brothers and sisters know how special the relationship between siblings can be. Adopted children have usually had a difficult start in life and it is even more important for them to experience the stability and support that being with their brothers and sisters can bring.”
To find out more about adopting via Kirklees Council call the council’s adoption team on 0800 028 3001 or visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/adoption