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  #1  
Old 08 April 2007, 04:59 AM
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Icon13 Opposite-sex siblings cannot share a bedroom

Comment: I have heard a rumor that it is illegal for siblings of the
opposite sex to share a bedroom when they are over 5 years old. the rumor
continues that child protective services can take your childrena way for
this. The state referenced is Virginia, but in trying to find the truth
of this on the internet, I have seen the question come up a couple of
times more generically. There is never an answer that provides a legal
source.
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  #2  
Old 08 April 2007, 05:05 AM
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I don't think this is specified in legislation in most states, but is rather a judgment call. My understanding is that CPS is going to expect to see a reasonable number of bedrooms for a family if they have to do an investigation, and in general if the children are older they are going to expect them to have separate bedrooms for opposite sex children.

This is particularly true if their reason for getting involved with a family is for sexual abuse, for obvious reasons.
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Old 08 April 2007, 07:21 AM
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This is also very similar to a rule in Missouri for foster homes. Perhaps someone heard correctly but forgot that detail.
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  #4  
Old 22 May 2007, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie View Post
Mike's point wasn't that This Is The Law No Matter What. He is talking about what is generally expected in terms of accomodations, in the case of foster families, and what family court judges may look at when they make child custody decisions.
Not arguing with you, Christie, just this idea in general...

I remember advertisements a few years ago encouraging people to become foster parents, and they specifically mentioned that you didn't need to have a separate bedroom for the foster child. I've searched the NYS Requirements and can't find any reference to how many bedrooms you need.

Looking around some more, it seems some (private?) centers require foster parents have separate rooms for each child, others don't. This one spells it out clearly:
Quote:
Adequate space only children under 12 months of age can share a bedroom with an adult. Each infant must have its own crib; each child must have his or her own bed; no child over three years of age can share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex.
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Old 22 May 2007, 06:50 AM
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State of Maryland adoption guidlines. No more than 2 children in a 12x12 rowhouse bedroom, and each room must have a window. (which basically means that you cannot house adopted children in the middle room in a Baltimore row home. over 10 no mixed genders. And if it's not a subsidized adoption, once the papers are signed social services is no longer involved. Once the papers were signed, and I was too big for the crib, I shared a room with my 16 year old brother. My adult brother got the middle room. Just after the older brother moved out, I had my own room for 6 weeks, til mom adopted another little girl.
However if you are not involved with social services, there really is not law about who sleeps where. My brothers two son and daughter slept in bunk beds until Middle school, when they converted the large bedroom into two small ones. And those rooms were so darn small, my walk in closet is bigger.
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Old 29 May 2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judecat View Post
State of Maryland adoption guidlines. No more than 2 children in a 12x12 rowhouse bedroom, and each room must have a window. (which basically means that you cannot house adopted children in the middle room in a Baltimore row home. over 10 no mixed genders. And if it's not a subsidized adoption, once the papers are signed social services is no longer involved. Once the papers were signed, and I was too big for the crib, I shared a room with my 16 year old brother. My adult brother got the middle room. Just after the older brother moved out, I had my own room for 6 weeks, til mom adopted another little girl.
However if you are not involved with social services, there really is not law about who sleeps where. My brothers two son and daughter slept in bunk beds until Middle school, when they converted the large bedroom into two small ones. And those rooms were so darn small, my walk in closet is bigger.
My brother and I are 18 (brother) and 19 (me). Because our house has been going through renovations and there are only two of us, as the older sister, I had to sleep in what's now my brother's room on his sofa bed.
He spent nearly every night telling me to stop making noises (a thing I do when I sleep). The only drawback to opposite-sex siblings sharing rooms is both of them annoying each other.
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Old 29 May 2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
My brother and I are 18 (brother) and 19 (me). Because our house has been going through renovations and there are only two of us, as the older sister, I had to sleep in what's now my brother's room on his sofa bed.
He spent nearly every night telling me to stop making noises (a thing I do when I sleep). The only drawback to opposite-sex siblings sharing rooms is both of them annoying each other.
I think that's the drawback to any siblings sharing - I annoyed (and was annoyed by) my sister just as much as my brothers.
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Old 29 May 2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
I think that's the drawback to any siblings sharing - I annoyed (and was annoyed by) my sister just as much as my brothers.
Did one of your siblings make noises in their sleep? BTW, I'm so glad I can sleep in my own room again! Funnily enough, we actually didn't really have that problem when we were younger and shared a room.
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Old 29 May 2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judecat View Post
State of Maryland adoption guidlines. No more than 2 children in a 12x12 rowhouse bedroom, and each room must have a window.
Requiring a window in the bedroom is a fire safety issue, I think. It comes up a lot when people add basement bedrooms -- there needs to be an egress window.
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  #10  
Old 29 May 2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
I think that's the drawback to any siblings sharing - I annoyed (and was annoyed by) my sister just as much as my brothers.
I shared a room with my older brother until he went off to college, and during summers and holidays then. We used to talk about all sorts of things after the lights went out. I can't begin to express how much I miss those talks (though I can't say I would want to still be sharing a room with him)
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  #11  
Old 29 May 2013, 02:24 PM
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Just googled "opposite-sex siblings sharing a bedroom" and found out it's a hot topic on parenting forums. Reading through those threads made me realise that a lot of people say it's alright for siblings to share rooms until they reach puberty. Why's that? If they were raised together, they won't commit incest. Or are extremely unlikely to. So why the taboo?
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Old 29 May 2013, 02:26 PM
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Back to the original comment: It is likely that most states have foster care and/or adoption guidelines that would require separate bedrooms for children, even siblings, over a certain age, of the opposite sex.
I agree that if there are questions of sexual abuse or exploitation then a family's bedroom arrangements would be become relevant to an investigation. It is another reason for the adoption/foster care requirements--children traumatized by abuse or neglect may feel more secure in their own room. And as Lainie points out--other safety issues may be raised as well.
And Morwen--in my experience, anything a sibling does may well be annoying to his peer in the family. My late brother and I could fight over the drop of a hat--at least till he got out of Advanced Infantry Training. Your household sounds infinitely more civilized.

Ali
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  #13  
Old 29 May 2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
Just googled "opposite-sex siblings sharing a bedroom" and found out it's a hot topic on parenting forums. Reading through those threads made me realise that a lot of people say it's alright for siblings to share rooms until they reach puberty. Why's that? If they were raised together, they won't commit incest. Or are extremely unlikely to. So why the taboo?
I would try to avoid it, myself, simply because it might be uncomfortable for the siblings -- more a matter of embarrassment then propriety or concerns about sexual impropriety. I can't speak for anyone else. In general, parenting is something people tend to have very strong opinions about that they don't necessarily keep to themselves when they should.

However, I have to point out that many, if not most, of the siblings who commit incest or sexually abuse their siblings probably grew up together. Certainly raising kids from infancy doesn't necessarily stop parents from sexually abusing them.
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  #14  
Old 29 May 2013, 03:37 PM
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My kids have certainly shared a room a time or two after they reached puberty, but it was always a temporary arrangement. I'd have avoided it as a regular thing mainly because I think all children deserve some privacy and most especially adolescents. I cannot imagine having had to share a room with my brother and I'm sure he felt the same way about me.
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  #15  
Old 29 May 2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen Edhelwen View Post
Did one of your siblings make noises in their sleep? BTW, I'm so glad I can sleep in my own room again! Funnily enough, we actually didn't really have that problem when we were younger and shared a room.
we were caravanning one holiday, and I couldn't sleep because one brother was snoring, the other was talking in his sleep, and my sister was somehow only breathing in and not out!
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  #16  
Old 29 May 2013, 09:40 PM
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When I was a kid my sister and I used to share a bed on family vacations until sometime around middle school. After that Dad and I would sleep in one bed at the motel and Mom & sis would share the other one. I don't recall us ever having a conversation about changing to that arrangement, it just kinda happened one year.

I'd imagine that part of the problem people have with older opposite sex siblings sharing a room is the idea that they need privacy. Of course those things vary a lot from family to family. In some families you undress in the bathroom before taking your shower and redress in the bathroom after. In others you walk naked from your bedroom to the shower, regardless of what siblings or parents might be in the hall way.
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  #17  
Old 30 May 2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I would try to avoid it, myself, simply because it might be uncomfortable for the siblings -- more a matter of embarrassment then propriety or concerns about sexual impropriety. I can't speak for anyone else. In general, parenting is something people tend to have very strong opinions about that they don't necessarily keep to themselves when they should.

However, I have to point out that many, if not most, of the siblings who commit incest or sexually abuse their siblings probably grew up together. Certainly raising kids from infancy doesn't necessarily stop parents from sexually abusing them.
However, if they weren't sexually abused, they are unlikely to commit incest. Good explanation of the reasons why, Lainie.
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  #18  
Old 30 May 2013, 02:31 PM
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People don't always know whether their kids have been sexually abused. Sadly.

ETA: And my whole point in that paragraph is that we can't assume incest won't happen simply because the siblings were raised together. That obviously does not always prevent it.
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  #19  
Old 31 May 2013, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
People don't always know whether their kids have been sexually abused. Sadly.

ETA: And my whole point in that paragraph is that we can't assume incest won't happen simply because the siblings were raised together. That obviously does not always prevent it.
Thanks. That's much clearer. =-X
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  #20  
Old 31 May 2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
People don't always know whether their kids have been sexually abused. Sadly.

ETA: And my whole point in that paragraph is that we can't assume incest won't happen simply because the siblings were raised together. That obviously does not always prevent it.
Thanks. That's much clearer. (I'm not being sarcastic).
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