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Adoption appeal launched across the North East to stop sisters from being separated

Published 12th Mar 2024, 14:55 GMT

ARC Adoption North East is appealing to find a loving home for two young sisters.

A North East adoption agency is urgently launching an appeal to find a loving home for a six-year-old girl who has complex health needs, alongside her four-year-old sister to stop them from being separated.

Working in partnership, ARC Adoption North East and Adopt Coast to Coast are urging people to find out more about the young girls and consider whether they could adopt them- and enable them to grow up together.

The girls- whose names have been withheld to protect their identity- are currently living with foster carers in Tyne and Wear, and are looking for a family who can give them much-needed stability and passionately advocate for them going forward.

The eldest sister suffers from a type of cerebral palsy, as well as epilepsy. She needs a lot of help from her carers and she attends a special school. Despite her challenges, which include being unable to walk or speak, she is a very happy little girl who responds really well to affection and interaction from those around her and loves to give it back.

She communicates with a special device as well as with facial expressions and giggles when she is happy. Her foster carers say that her gorgeous smile can light up a room.

The younger sister is a friendly, chatty little girl with strawberry blonde hair. She is very inquisitive and her favourite word seems to be ‘Why?’

She is also very caring, which she demonstrates when playing with her favourite dolls, as well as when around her sister and her friends at school. She hates to see them looking sad and will offer them a cuddle to make them feel better. Whilst being a little livewire, one of her favourite things to do is to lie next to her sister on a big cushion on the floor so they can listen to stories and music together on their Tonies box.

Lorraine Jefferson, Assistant Director at ARC Adoption said: “The two sisters have experienced a difficult start in life, suffering loss at a very young age, and we are desperate to find them a loving, permanent family where they can live happily and grow up together.

They have been the only constants in each other’s young lives and it would be heartbreaking for them to be separated now.

“It is understandably daunting for people to consider adopting more than one child, especially when one child, in particular, has a high level of need, but we know from experience that some of the most challenging things in life are also the most rewarding."

The sisters are currently cared for by Vera and Derek who have been foster carers for 17 years. They have developed a close relationship and the couple talk passionately about their wish to see the sisters living together within a family that can support them long-term.

“All of the children we have looked after have been special but because of the circumstances around these two and the eldest’s additional needs, it has made them even more precious," said Vera. "I can’t stress enough how much we want to see them happy and settled within a family of their own.

“We understand people may be nervous about supporting the health and care needs of the older sister, especially when she has a full-on younger sibling too, but we want people to know that if we can do it, they can do it. We had a wealth of knowledge of looking after able-bodied children but no experience of special needs. It’s been a learning curve, we’ve learnt a lot as we’ve gone along, and there’s been people along the way we’ve been able to ask for help and advice.”

And Derek added: “It might feel like diving off the deep end and not being able to swim but you’ve got to have faith in yourself. These girls deserve someone brave enough to take that initial plunge. There’s so much happiness they will bring you in return for keeping them safe, and you’ll get so much pleasure from seeing them do well. We’d say to go for it. You won’t regret it.”

Family finders are looking for a caring and resilient two-parent household, who realistically have the time and space in their lives to be able to tend to all of the girls’ needs. It would be preferable that there are no other young children within the household. Adoptive parents will need to be fit and able to manage the different physical care needs of both girls too – a quick and active four-year-old, and a growing six-year-old who requires help to move around the house, with lifting and carrying.

A home for the children will need to have space for their belongings, which includes special chairs for the eldest sister, as well as two bedrooms ideally. Their current foster home is a regular two-storey house with no special adaptations made to it. However, prospective adopters will want to consider adaptations they could make in the future to support the ongoing care and mobility of the eldest sibling as she grows. The ability to drive and a family car will also be needed.

More information and a video of the foster carers talking about life with the girls is available to view on the ARC Adoption North East website:

If you think you may be the family ARC is looking for, get in touch with us for an informal chat via:

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