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Should laws do more to protect sibling relationships in adoption?

One of the longest relationships that people form is the one between siblings. The bond they share can have a lifelong influence on each other's life. When the relationship is disrupted through an adoption or other circumstances, the pain of the separation may last the rest of their lives. There may even be families in Maryland that have been affected by these situations.

Social scientists have studied the influence and relationships that siblings share, along with the intense bonding that they experience, especially when the rest of the family suffers from dysfunction. Whenever the parents are physically or emotionally absent, the children often rely on one another for support. In light of the importance brothers and sisters hold for each other, there are some who feel that the laws that dictate family matters should be revised to protect sibling relationships.

To date, there are still some divorce courts that allow children to be split between parents for custody. Additionally, children who are in need of adoption are often separated permanently after the process is finalized. Some have suggested that courts work harder in order to ensure that the children are permitted to remain together, even if the search for the best home may take longer or reach beyond state boundaries. While these steps may require additional costs or inconvenience for some, the end result is worth it for the children involved, at least in the majority of the cases.

In light of the fact that the bonds between siblings can provide so many benefits to children who may have endured a difficult family life, there may be a need to revise the laws that dictate how children are raised. Maryland families that may be considering adoption may choose to consider providing a home to more than one child if siblings are involved. There are resources available that can provide information concerning the process, whether a family is seeking to share their home with one child or possibly more.

Source: slate.com, "Family law should protect sibling relationships.", Jill Elaine, July 8, 2014

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