“When are we going to meet our new mummy and daddy?” – the heartbreaking words of four young sisters in South Yorkshire who are in need of a permanent family home following a turbulent childhood.
The four came into the care of Rotherham Council’s social services last year when the youngest was still just a baby.
Now aged two to seven, the sisters are currently living with foster parents, who have provided a loving and stable home for the girls for the last 18 months.
And while the girls, who have formed an unbreakable bond, are happy and settled, the search is on for a couple or family able to adopt them together and guide them into a safe and secure adulthood.
Foster mother “Anne”, whose name has been changed to protect the identity of the sisters, told The Yorkshire Post: “They are happy young girls. From the moment they walked through the door, it looked like a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
“They are very close and I can’t stress how important it is that they remain together. If they are split up, it would devastate them and I think there would be dire consequences down the line.”
Anne and her husband are both 66. Over the years they have fostered more than 200 children and have gone on to adopt a number of those.
And if they were younger, they may even have considered adopting all the sisters themselves.
Anne said: “Ten to 20 years ago we would have said yes, but age is now against us. We will of course keep them here as long as that is needed. We just hope someone out there can come and offer the girls what we are no longer in a position to do. They would make someone a fantastic ready-made family.”
Reassuring those who may be sitting on the fence when it comes to adoption, Anne added: “We took on three siblings when we already had children. It is daunting and can be frightening. I can’t sit here and say parenting is easy, it isn’t, whether it is your birth child or not. But it is rewarding. I still get a shiver down my spine after all these years when my adopted child calls me mum.
“You will have a lovely little family of four little sisters. They have arguments like all siblings, but they are just normal little girls who love each other to pieces. There is only one boss and she happens to be two.
“They would give someone a lovely little family. When they ask when they are going to meet their new mummy and daddy, we tell them we are still looking for the best. As long as they are loving people, that’s all that matters.”
There are currently 12 groups of siblings of four or more in the country who need to be placed together. And Rotherham social services have two such groups who desperately need a forever home.
The council is hopeful publicity about the girls, which comes during National Adoption Week, will help to find them a home, or find potential parents for other groups of children.
Coun Gordon Watson, deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people’s services at Rotherham Council – which is now offering a package of support to help anyone who wants to adopt larger sibling groups – said: “If you are considering adoption please, please consider this little family of sisters.”
Anyone interested in adopting the girls, or any other children, should contact the council’s adoption team on 01709 254005.
RIsing numbers in need of care
The number of ‘looked-after children’ in Yorkshire, including adoption, has risen by almost 500 in the last year.
By March this year, there were 7,720, compared to 7,250 the previous year.
Leeds has the most looked-after children, with 1,255, and York has the least, where there are 205.
In Rotherham, where, as of March, there were 485 looked-after children, the majority of youngsters in need of a permanent home are in sibling groups.
There are currently 16 children needing a family and this includes five sibling groups – two groups of four brothers and sisters and three groups of pairs, according to Rotherham Council.