Adopting large sibling groups cover

Adopting large sibling groups


This research study examines adopters’ experiences of parenting a large sibling group, as well as the views of staff in adoption agencies who need to recruit and support adopters willing to take siblings. The study is based on in-depth interviews undertaking with 37 sibling group adopters and staff in 14 adoption agencies, which aimed to identify best practice in placing sibling groups for adoption, and what works and what doesn’t work for children, adopters and agencies.

Adopters describe their experiences of the adoption process from recruitment, assessment and preparation to matching, introductions, placement and support. Social work staff explain their approaches and policies and reveal wide variations in practice.

Who is this book for?

This is essential and reading for adoption practitioners, managers and policy makers working with adopted children and prospective adopters, and for any prospective adopter who is thinking of adopting three or more siblings.

What you will find in this book

This book provides a detailed description of the adoption process when this involved a large sibling group. It explores:

  • the research and policy background;
  • the decision-making process around placing siblings together or apart;
  • adopters’ and social workers’ views on assessment, preparation, matching, introductions, placement and support
  • how best to arrange and support contact with birth family members


Hilary Saunders is a research associate at the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies at the University of Bristol.

Professor Julie Selwyn is Director of the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies at the University of Bristol. She has researched and published widely in the fields of adoption and foster care.



The book will be of interest to a range of audiences including practitioners, current and prospective adopters  and academics…The book challenges professional assumptions regarding the difficulties, or even inadvisability, of placing large sibling groups together by providing clear evidence of the success of such placements when children and adopters are well matched.

Richard Langer,