Parents of five adopt six children to keep them out of foster care

'We felt like we had to do whatever we thought we could do to help' says the father

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The Independent US

The Sanders family may soon be looking for their own reality show – as well as a bigger car.

Christina and Christopher Sanders of Forest Park, Ohio recently adopted six siblings in addition to the five biological children of their own.

The couple started fostering four brothers in 2014, and brought in their two sisters in 2016. They decided to adopt all six siblings this year, to prevent them from being separated by the system.

Some studies have found more than half of all foster children are placed in homes without their siblings – and that rate increases with the number of siblings involved.

“We just want the best for them,” Mr Sanders told ABC News of his adoptive children. “We felt like we had to do whatever we thought we could do to help.”

That’s how Chloe, age 9; Carson, 10; Caylee, 12; Caleb, 13; Christian, 14; and Coby, 16, wound up joining Christopher, 19; Cameron, 14; Caden, 12; Chad, 10 and Caitlyn, 9 in the couple’s Forest Park home.

According to their parents, the siblings all call each other brother and sister. Caitlyn and Chloe, both 9, have even taken to wearing matching outfits.

“This whole transition has been so beautiful,” Mr Sanders said. “I can’t complain about anything.”

But the couple admits their family does attract the occasional stare: The Sanders and their biological children are black, while their adopted children are white. Some commenters on social media have even asked the Sanders why they didn’t adopt black children, when there are so many in need. But Mr Sanders says race never factored into the decision.

"We're all the same in God's eyes, so the colour of anyone's skin has never had a bearing on any of this," he told KTLA 5.

“Most of the time people pull us aside and tell us how well mannered the group is or you’re doing an excellent job!” Ms Sanders added.

In fact, the biggest issue facing the family right now may be finding a car to fit them all: The couple is currently on the hunt for a 15-person van that will seat all of their kids.

“I’ll be getting a van and continuing to live and doing what we’ve been doing,” Ms Sanders said.