Some children are adopted with their siblings while others are not. It is highly recommended siblings are adopted together because they help and support each other through difficult changes and maintain family connections for a child who has lost so much. There are instances when it is not in the best interest of siblings to be adopted together, such as in the case of sibling abuse. Adoptive parents must learn all they can about their child’s sibling and sibling-like relationships. If siblings cannot be adopted together or if a child is being separated from a child who is like a sibling, the adoptive family should develop a plan for allowing the children to maintain contact with each other. The parent might plan regularly scheduled visits between siblings when possible or arrange for regular communication via videoconferencing, e-mail or letters.
Once prospective parents decide to adopt an older child from another country or domestically they should begin contacting prospective agencies. Prospective parents should ask agencies about their parent eligibility requirements, the matching process, and their post-placement services. Families adopting domestically must choose a public or private agency. Even if parents work with a private agency they will interact at some point with the public agency in care of the child. While choosing an agency, prospective parents should also begin speaking with other adoptive parents, joining adoptive parent support groups, and reading books and articles about child trauma. Once parents choose an agency they will have to complete a general application form and other paperwork including a budget worksheet, self-study, family information form, and criminal background check form.