Forced Adoption

(191 Posts)
Syd35 Sun 19-Sep-10 18:27:02

Hi, I'm new to this and wanted to talk about this upsetting situation. Where to start...I will try to make this long story as brief as possible...
My sister's little boy was taken into care a while back due to her drinking and drug use although she always made sure the little one was well looked after. What we thought was a temporary thing has turned into a long drawn out nightmare. The social services are now trying to place him for adoption against her will. My sister dearly wants to be given a chance but the social services are not interested and she hasn't been given any support, just talked down to and belittled. None of the family are in a position to help and I would love to take the child on but my husband is not on board with it so I haven't been able to pursue. I was able to visit him recently and can see he is a very sad and confused child. He loves his mum to bits and they have a lovely bond and it was heart-breaking to hear his foster carer telling him "when you go to your new mummy and daddy". I think it's heartless to tell a young child who is clearly missing his mother that they will be going to a new family. I cannot forget the sadness in his eyes as we said goodbye. Yes my sister has done silly things but she is still young and keeping her away from her child is destroying her. I hate the way SS have handled the whole thing and told lies and had no compassion. They have far too much power and are playing with people's lives. I don't know how they can sleep at night. I understand they have to protect children but how many times have they got it wrong? I am sure with the right support my sister can turn things around but I fear time is running out. Has anyone had a similar experience or any advice?

maryz Tue 18-Jan-11 12:17:44

I hope it works out well for him - maybe there will be a silver lining in that the shock of this might make your sister take a look at her life, and hopefully get herself together.

Adoption is no longer the dark hole it used to be. Most adoptive parents are very keen on some sort of letter box contact - after all, we all know that when our children are 18 they can contact their birth family, so we want to keep the lines of communication open. I fully expect my children to search at some point for their birth families. I hope when they find them, they find people who have happy and fulfilled lives.

You can be there for him when he comes looking, and hopefully your sister will be in a better place by then.

Kewcumber Tue 18-Jan-11 12:40:56

I'm sorry it has got to this stage syd and hope that this is the best solution for your nephew to live a stable and happy life.

hifi Tue 18-Jan-11 13:34:41

sorry to hear syd.dd2 family wanted to keep her but her aunts dh was very much against it so shes with us now.
dd2 birth family,except her bm, really want to keep in contact and i will make sure they are updated with photos and a letter once a year, hopefully she will want to meet them when shes older.
make your feelings known to social services as it should all be documented. im sure your nephew will appreciate it when hes older.

monkeyflippers Tue 18-Jan-11 13:52:11

Oh my God this is so sad. Is there no way your DH can be pursuaded to that on the child? What are his reasons?

Lilka Tue 18-Jan-11 19:30:50

Syd sad

Hugs to you xx

I'm sorry for everyone that your sister didn't get it together. I really hope your nephew doesn't wait around long in foster care now, and he finds a good loving family quickly

Most adoptive parents are happy to write letters, some are happy for more - phtos, telephone, or visits. i write letters and send photos to DD2 and DS firstmum once a year. i have met her twice, once was a contact visit with DD2, probably will a third time this year.

I hope you find some peace. i can't imagine how difficult this is. Support vibes and virtual wine/chocolate coming your way smile

Lilka xx

hester Wed 19-Jan-11 21:37:45

Syd, I'm so sorry sad

fostermumtomany Fri 21-Jan-11 15:32:40

i dont mean to sound harsh and i do not know you or your sister however having seen the effect sof drink and drug abuse on children i will state that it is absolutely for the best that this littl ereamins in care.

that way the cycle will be broken. if this little one was to stay with your sister and grow up in that environment then he would probably grow up to be a user too. i have seen it time and time again.

i know it is devastatingly hard to watch this happen and not be able to do anything but as much as you want it to happen your sister clearly is not that bothered by it.
if she was she would walk over hot coals to get her child back. i understand addiction, and i know how hard it is to recover however if she was serious about getting her son back she would keep off the drugs and go to a rehab program, it can be done, i have seen people do it.

my opinion and it is just my opinion that adoption would
be the best option for this little boy. as cruel as that sounds to your sister.

as for an open adoption, the chances of this happening are unlikely as it is not in the childs best interest.
the court appointed guardian will dismiss that immediately.
how can it be in any childs best interest to maintain a relationship with a drug user?
it just isnt.
has she consistently attended contact, and meetings and appointments?
if not these will all go against her. has she turned up for contact high or drunk? again that will go against her.
im sorry for her situation but sadly it was her own doing.
im sorry this is hurting you so much but i think you have to face facts and let him go. it will be better for him on the long run.

quietlysuggests Sat 12-Feb-11 15:00:31

Forced apotion is horrific.
In Ireland, the rights of the family are enshrined in the constitution and thus social servies are designed towards keeping the family together and supporting parents. It is unimaginable that any sane caring professional could imagine that a child is better wrenced off their own flesh and bllod and given to "rescuers".
Google forced adoption and see what you find. There are plenty of campaigners who coould help. Fassit is I think a group, you'll find plenty on google.
Irelnad has, for the past decade been dealing with the repercussions, moral, legal and societal, of the past work of taking babies from single mothers and placing them for adoption. Britain will face this in decades to come and will struggle to understand how this barbaric practice is ongoing in 2011.
And anyone who says ss would not take a child unless totally necessary does not know the reality on the ground.

hifi Sat 12-Feb-11 15:18:26

quietly,its not the single mother issue here, there seems to be very good reason for this child to be taken away.

quietlysuggests Sat 12-Feb-11 15:37:07

Its not done in other countries in this day and age, for social services to act the strong arm and take children away from parents who want to keep them. This belongs in the dark ages. The modern way is to spend the money putting in place the resources to support parents. In Ireland, the children would be placed in long term foster care and encouraged to maintain a relationship with their mother, and she would be helped and supported to see the children and address any difficulties she has. It might be more expensive, but it is in my opinion the bettr way of doing it. I only know of England sticking with forced adoptions, most modern countries moved away from it many years ago and I feel it will blow up in years to come as young people sue the country for not supporting them to remain part of their family, even if living with foster carers.

Lilka Sat 12-Feb-11 15:40:05

Quietlysuggests - think you may have misunderstood the situation here.

Syd's sister has substance abuse problems, and can't safely look after her son. Syd cannot take him in because her husband does not want that. So the little boy will be adopted. I don't see anybody 'wenching' this boy away from his family. Whilst Syd feels SS haven't handled this as well as it should have been, nobody has suggested that them being involved in the first place was wrong - it wasn't

And I do take offence to your 'rescuers' crap. I don't know any a-parents who claim to be rescuers, nor me, because we aren't. No idea where you got that from

Lilka Sat 12-Feb-11 15:45:46

PS

Long term foster care? It's the right thing for lots of children, but you do know the outcomes for children in foster care don't you?? They're appalling!

My oldest could have been placed in long term care, but got adopted by me instead, afer her first adoption broke down. She says she is very glad to have been adopted, and against her bios wishes, because long term care is still care - it isn't a totally permanent family who would happily take a bullet for you, and will not give up on you ever. She was horribly abused - she was removed far too late from her first home.

I am very sure that SS have probably removed children where it wasn't needed, but nearly all children who get adopted do need it. Just ask my three for a start

quietlysuggests Sat 12-Feb-11 15:48:00

No I haven't misunderstood the situation.

I'm telling you that taking a child from a substance abusing mother and putting that child up for adoption does not happen in other countries.

In other countries, the child would be taken from the mother, placed in long term poster care with a family, and ALSO allowed and encouraged to maintain a relationsip with their mother.

OPs sister has a substance abuse problem. This makes it unsafe to allow her to raise her own child.
But it does not negate her worth to her child.
Their relationship is more than the substance misuse which does not represent the totality of their relationship.

quietlysuggests Sat 12-Feb-11 15:48:27

foster care obviously. not poster care..

Lilka Sat 12-Feb-11 16:36:40

So this boy should be made to grow up living without what other children have? A proper family, and total unconditional love? Foster care doesn't hold a candle to adoption a lot of times, and the children suffer for it. he should get the same opportunity as other children to grow up with a proper family, where he belongs in that family totally

Also, what will you do if the child refuses to have a relationship with her? I've seen contact with bioloigical parents break down because the children refused to have anything to do with them anymore. Chilren are forgiving, but only up to a point many times - substance abuse can cause lifelong permanent damage to a child, and that child has every right to be very angry because of it. What do you do if he doesn't want a relatinship? Force him to see her, because she will be upset if he doesn't?

Parents don't own their children. If you abuse a child, why should they be punished for it? If my daughter had been kept in care, she would have lost the chance of a real family. She would have been punished for what her biological family did. That certainly isn't right

She has absolutely zero desire for a relationship with them whatsoever

psiloveyou Sat 12-Feb-11 19:18:32

Have to totally disagree with you quietly

I have 2 birth dc, 1 adopted dd, and two long term foster children. I treat them all exactly the same when it comes to my time, cuddles, finances, education ect. However the children I foster will never be mine. They will also never truly belong to their birth family. They are stuck in between having to deal with all the crap that makes a cared for child differant.

All children deserve the security of knowing where they belong. A child in long term foster care can never have that. Some deal with it better than others but the outlook for looked after children is grim.

hester Sat 12-Feb-11 22:02:40

I completely disagree with you, quietly. I read a lot of adoption reports before adopting my dd, and there was only one case in which I questioned whether ss were giving up on the mum too soon, and whether she could parent her child with greater support.

In every other case, it wasn't just that this was a mum who was having temporary problems coping because of a drug addiction she could get help with. (There are women in that position, and I agree they shouldn't have their children taken off them.) No, these were women who led terrible, brutal, dysfunctional lives, who had never experienced adequate parenting themselves, who had failed all their other children, who displayed no understanding of what children need or empathy with children's feelings. Let me be really clear: women who use drugs do not necessarily end up like that, but women who have had brutal, dysfunctional lives do often end up on drugs, in order to anaesthetise their pain.

Children need at least one parent who is consistently loving and reliable and on their side. This need cannot be put on hold. Growing up in foster care while maintaining contact with the birth parent, hoping that one day she will be ready to parent, is a recipe for disaster. The child will be bewildered, confused about who is their parent, repeatedly distressed and disappointed by the birth parent. There is a poster on here called TheFirstMrsDeVere who can tell you about the impact of continued direct contact with a birth parent who cannot shape up to be a parent.

You will think that I have an axe to grind: I am an adoptive mother and I wouldn't have my child if she hadn't been taken away from her birth mother. But I am also a birth mother, and I do get how big a deal it is to take away children from their birth parents. I feel very, very sad for my dd and for her birth mother that they cannot be together. I hope that one day her birth mother will be able to get to a place where direct contact will be possible and beneficial for them both. But I also know that my dd needs parenting NOW. Her birth mother is not an evil woman - not by a very long stretch - but her problems are very long-standing and her other children (who stayed with her) are massively, irreversibly damaged in the most horrible ways. It is beyond naive to think that she can be supported to become a good enough mother in time for my dd.

hester Sat 12-Feb-11 22:06:32

Oh, and quietly, you say that a woman's relationship to her child is more than her substance abuse. You are absolutely right. I have worked in drug and alcohol services, and also in maternity care where I was involved in helping develop services for drug using mothers. I absolutely don't think that drug use in itself is a reason for taking children into care.

But I haven't heard of one child being adopted just for this reason. All the children's profiles I saw were for way, way more than this. There was always a mix of reasons: drug use, alcohol abuse, mental health problems, domestic violence, learning disabilities, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse. It is not true that people who use drugs are always a mess, but it is oftten true that people who are a mess use drugs.

CheerfulYank Sat 12-Feb-11 22:28:25

It happens here in the US fairly often, so it's not just in the UK. And for the record, I've seen horrific cases of abuse and neglect, and those parents still wanted to keep them and fought like hell to do so. Thankfully, they were not allowed to. I knew a little boy whose arm was broken by his father while he was high, and was also sexually abused by one of his father's friends at a party while his parents were too out of it to know what was going on and protect him. His parents did love him, and wanted so much to keep him, but due to their addictions they could not keep him safe. I fought and testified for him to be taken from them, and I'd do it again in a second.

CheerfulYank Sat 12-Feb-11 22:30:17

That being said, Syd, I'm very sorry for your family's loss. You sound like a lovely and caring sister.

Kewcumber Sun 13-Feb-11 00:39:06

quietly I am confused about why you think that the UK is the only country who "forces" adoptions - I don;t know a single country (will look up ireland shortly) who doesn't remove parental rights in the certain cases and if it is appropriate that child will then be placed for adoption. Should (real scenario) an abused and neglected three year old who has been taken and returned to birth paretns 5 times in his first 3 years, finally removed permanently after broken bones be held in limbo for life and denied a family life? This child arrived at his adoptive parents covered in cigarette burns.

The UK has ratified the Hague Convention enshrining the childs right to a family life - in order of preference with birth family, within birth country with permanent adoptive family, with permanent adoptive family anywhere. Kicking around any care system doesn't really get a look in when considering the grand plan for what most people felt was an aspiration for a child.

There are programmes in place to help mothers in need particularly drug and substance abuse programmes, there are also foster programmes for babies born at risk (often to addicted mothers) with the aim to have them palced back with birth family which is successful about 15% of the time. I would even be open to the argument that we should be making more effort or placing more resources in this area but your portrayal of a child being placed in long term foster care sounds more like a life sentence than a life.

I have no axe to grind btw, I am no "rescuer" (nice turn of phrase hmm) just a parent and my childs BM was not "forced" into adoption, he was relinquished.

maryz Sun 13-Feb-11 18:15:03

quietlysuggests, you cannot possibly think the current system in Ireland is better - there are literally thousands of children in Ireland living with addicts/suffering abuse/living in long-term foster care with no permanency.

Ireland has one of the highest (if not the highest) rate of death of children in care in the world.

The social services in Ireland are so stretched that there is a three month waiting list, at least, in most areas, for a child even to be assessed as "in need of help". Investigations into mis-treatment of children are slow and under-financed. The child is generally kept with the parents way beyond what is acceptable, because there isn't the money or the will to remove them. By the time they are eventually removed (usually when they are a lot older, possibly even into their teens), they are beyond saving - they are illiterate, no longer attending school, and often addicted to alcohol or drugs themselves.

The English system of taking children and "forcibly adopting" them may be tough on a small minority of children and their families, but for the vast majority of children this happens to, they at least have a hope of a future.

The Irish system is appalling.

maryz Sun 13-Feb-11 18:18:38

Kew, the difference in Ireland is that children are never (as far as I know) placed for adoption without parental permission - they go into long-term foster care, and are often backwards and forwards between foster homes and family sad. This can go on for years, as under the Irish constitution the parents rights outweigh those of the child (amazing really, considering that in the case of abortion in this country, the rights of the child seem to outweigh those of the mother hmm).

There are no older children placed for adoption in Ireland. There are maybe 20 relinquished babies, and some step-parent and foreign adoptions. There may be a (very) few long-term foster children adopted by their foster parents, usually if the birth parents have died or disappeared.

It is very sad how many children are moved from pillar to post their whole lives sad.

Kewcumber Sun 13-Feb-11 20:49:43

Yes Maryz I looked it up and some of my co-conspirators when meeting DS were Irish. I understand that legally only children born to single mothers/unmarried couples can be adopted. Isn;t that a bit odd?

hester Sun 13-Feb-11 20:58:26

That is astonishing, maryz and kew. I had no idea.

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