Finalizing an adoption can range from a year to sometimes a decade. It's a decision individuals or couples make in the hopes of building or expanding their family.
However, many families are looking to only adopt one, or maybe even two, kids. As a result, many siblings are separated because different families choose to adopt them.
A 32-year-old woman from Fresno, California said she dreamed of becoming a mother, but she didn't view marriage as a prerequisite.
“Marriage wasn’t anywhere on the horizon for me at that point, so I kind of looked at my life and decided that was okay and that I didn’t need marriage,” Lacey Dunkin said. “But I knew that if I wasn’t a mom, I would regret it my whole life.”
So Dunkin completed her foster care training in 2011 and received a call from a social worker a few months later. She was asked to take care of a 5-year-old, 2-year-old twins, and a 1-year old.
"I didn’t even consider not keeping them together. It was all or nothing to me.”
Dunkin felt a deep connection to the four girls instantly, but after caring for them for nine months, their birth mother regained custody. Then she got a surprising phone call a month later.