‘Siblings need families too’
BEFORE Scott Matthews adopted his two sons he had always known he wanted to be a dad. But his partner needed more convincing.
“We had a lot of discussions and actually went to counselling to talk it out, and we eventually decided both of us wanted to do it,” he told the Star Observer.
“We considered things like surrogacy with a friend and even overseas surrogacy, but it wasn’t for us.”
The couple was eventually led to adoption and fostering organisation Barnardos Australia, where they tried out fostering for a year before deciding to put their hands up for permanent care.
“We dipped our toes in fostering to see how we’d go,” he said.
One day out of the blue Matthews said he received a phone call from someone saying there was a five-day-old boy at the Wollongong hospital.
“They asked if we’d be willing to look after him, and since then we haven’t looked back,” he said.
While he and his partner began to go through the adoption process with their new son Alex, his sibling Byron was born.
“We made the decision in the beginning that our fate would be tied to Alex’s so there was no question about Byron coming into the family as well,” he said.
“Once Alex was family there was no question that Byron was as well.”
Of the many children in need of foster carers and adoptive parents at Barnardos Australia, sibling groups are often the hardest to place.
In some cases, sibling groups have been waiting for a permanent home for over two years.
Morrison said it was important for Alex and his siblings to grow up together.
“He has a third sibling who’s still being fostered by us at the moment, and I can’t imagine life any other way,” he said.
“Alex and Byron are the best of friends and they will not know any other family, and that’s important to us.
“When we jumped into adoption we decided that whatever will happen, will happen.”
He believes it can be important to keep siblings looking to be adopted with the same family.
“In terms of siblings ours are connected, so it’s good for them to know they’re connected in terms of genetics,” he said.
“They certainly look the same way as each other, and I think it helps to give them each two other brothers to go through life with.”
To enquire about becoming a foster carer or to adopt through Barnardos Australia, call 1800 663 441.