1:44 PM CDT, October 30, 2012
When looking at the photo listings of Kansas children in foster care waiting for adoption, one thing you notice is the large amount of sibling groups. Adopt Kansas Kids works hard to make sure siblings are adopted by the same family. Adopting from the foster care system is different than private adoption. Most children in the foster care system are older, averaging 8 ½ years old, and have been removed from their homes due to neglect. As of August 31, 2012, there were 922 children in Kansas awaiting adoption through the foster care system, many of them siblings.
There are advantages to adopting siblings together, and one person who can attest to this is Janelle DuBree. She and her husband Will have adopted 12 children through foster care, many of them sibling groups.
“Logically, there’s no reason not to adopt sibling groups,” DuBree explains. “I personally feel when they’re separated from their siblings they have so many more issues.”
The DuBree family had two biological children when they adopted their first son, Hershel, in 2001. Hershel was separated from his younger sister, and it was obvious that he missed her.
“Most people think that when an adopted child turns 18, the first people they reach out to is their biological parents,” says DuBree. “Actually, the first person they reach out to is their siblings.”
In 2003, the DuBrees adopted another son, Jeffrey. Shortly after, they adopted their nephew Tyson. Then they began looking into adopting sibling groups.
In 2004, they completed their first sibling adoption of Destynee and Sierra. The DuBrees noticed a difference in the process with Destynee and Sierra. Because they had each other to lean on, their transition into the DuBree family came easier. They also exhibited less behavior issues than their adopted brothers.
In 2005, the DuBrees added brothers to their family- Aaron and Skyler. Aaron and Jeffrey actually share the same biological father, so they were able to bring those brothers together.
After a couple years, the DuBrees knew they wanted to add to their family again. In 2008, they adopted three siblings from Texas- Desiree, Devin and Keyauna. And then in 2010, they adopted siblings Nicholas and Sylvia.
The DuBrees are now a happy family of 16, and they continue to advocate for sibling group adoptions. “Sometimes you might be overwhelmed, but there is such a support network out there,” says DuBree. The adoption world has changed immensely since their first adoption. DuBree sings the praises of internet groups and forums, which allow her to talk to other adoptive parents around the country. And there are thousands of blogs and articles on the internet with information about every step of the adoption process, including how to transition after an adoption happens.
DuBree insists that you don’t have to own a lavish house or make lots of money to be a great adoptive parent. “Really, all you need is love and commitment for a child.” The DuBrees are currently looking to add another sibling group to their family through adoption.
If you’re interested in finding out more information about adopting through foster care in Kansas, visit https://www.adoptkskids.org/InStateProcess.aspx. You can view the current photo listings of children available for adoption at https://www.adoptkskids.org/Ad_Exch_Quick_Search.aspx.
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