What do adopted children say about their adoption?

(61 Posts)
wasthatthatguy Wed 06-Apr-11 11:32:45

I think children removed from their bio-parents at birth or shortly after probably don't have any significant memory of them. But what about children who are eg more than about three years old when adopted. What do they say about their direct contact with their bio-parents having been terminated by adoption?

fishtankneedscleaning Wed 06-Apr-11 13:05:42

I have adopted two children. DS (now 7) was adopted when he was 3 years old and DD (now 10) when she was 6. DD has regular contact with her birth family - my decision. DD regularly says, "I am so glad you are my mother. I don't mind seeing my tummy mummy sometimes but I dont ever want to live with her".

DS has had contact with his birth mother on one occasion (planned). The birth mother was steaming drunk and told DS, "Why are you cuddling to those monsters who snatched you from me? You should be living here with me. WTF are those trainers you are wearing? If you come and live with me I will buy you Nike Air trainers. Tell that ugly *ucker you want to live with your mummy".

This contact lasted about 10 mins. DS was very upset - as were we all! Needless to say contact with ds birth mother is no more.

RipVanLilka Wed 06-Apr-11 16:49:16

One is so terrified of them she flinches if they are mentionned. She would do anything to stay at least one continent away, and has horrid nightmares.

One sees her mum whenever she wants to (about one every year and a half) if her mum agrees. It goes well. She knows why she couldn't live with her, she loves her, we are all happy with the arrangements
The other has letters, but will be visits as and when he wants them. Same mum as older sister. He likes the lovely pictures she sends, he likes to look at the letters. I think he will ask to see her soon, as he's interested when sister and I go out for the day to meet up with her

I'm sorry for your DS fishtank sad

RipVanLilka Wed 06-Apr-11 16:51:51

Why didn't I look at who wrote the OP before replying!

What is the object of these questions wwtg? Honestly, I'm not attacking you now, I just want to know the reason you ask?

Maryz Wed 06-Apr-11 17:45:26

grin at lilka. I sense you are a tad frustrated here hmm.

I saw the op and I'm trying hard to avoid.

hester Wed 06-Apr-11 22:29:12

Yes, what IS it all about, wttg? Perhaps if you could be honest with us, we could have a honest discussion?

NanaNina Wed 06-Apr-11 23:23:28

Wasthatguy - I think the very nature of your query serves to demonstrate that you have a complete inability to understand children and their developmental process. Do you honestly think that a child of 3 plus is going to "say" something about why their contact with their nat parents was terminated because of adoption. Also would you believe, all children are different and so what they "say" is different.

If a child (of any age) makes a comment, asks a question or whatever about their nat parents, the important thing is that it is responsded to in a way that the child can understand. A 5 year old might say "my dad used to hit my mom" and the response would be "yes, that wasn't very nice was it" and leave it at that unless the child wants to talk some more, which in my experience is quite unusual. I recall being asked by adoptors to talk to their adopted son aged 12 who I had placed with them for adoption at 18 mths. He wanted to know more about how his step father had abused him. I answered him honestly, and asked if there was anything else he wanted to know. He wanted to see where he used to live as a baby and I took him to the town where he lived as a baby, and showed him the block of flats where he lived. He seemed quite satisfied with that. There can be a temptation to tell children more than they actually need. Queries can arise at different ages and stages of a child's life and are dealt with sensitively by adoptors and social workers.

People are asking your reasons for these queries. I think your one of the "social workers snatch babies from decent parents to get them adopted" brigade and are trying to get information to validate your position.

So yes - come on and tell us your reasons or go away.

fishtankneedscleaning Thu 07-Apr-11 00:22:57

Oh didnt realise the OP was that person.

OP did you think you were going to get a thread full of adoptive parents saying their children were kicking and screaming to go back to their birth parents? Really?

wasthatthatguy Thu 07-Apr-11 09:47:53

There isn't a specific reason for my question. It just occurred to me. I think it would be best for adopted children to remain in direct contact with their bio-family, if the children want to do that, and there are no obvious reasons why it shouldn't happen. I think it will significantly reduce any risk of the children developing any resentment towards anyone due to contact with the bio-family having been terminated by the Local Authority. If an initial attempt at such contact breaks down I think it would be best for the adoptive parent to tell the bio-family it can be tried again, but will not continue if they eg slag off the adoptive parents in front of the child at the contact meetings.

Moomoomie Thu 07-Apr-11 09:57:54

Op. I really think you have not got a clue about adoption or you would not be spouting your nonsense.

Maryz Thu 07-Apr-11 10:08:35

Yes, that's a great idea.

So when they are going through teenage angst they can say "well I'm off to live with my real mum". When that doesn't work they can say "well I'm off to my other family".

What a great way to make sure that teenagers going through rough patches feel really uncertain as to who they are and whose rules they should be adhering to.

It would end up like children of divorced parents who not only don't live together or near each other or share any past history or are singing from the same hymnsheet at all angry.

The back and forth is why so many teenage foster-placements don't work. You want that to apply to teenage adoptees as well.

Why don't you actually ever think. These things aren't as simple as you seem to want to make them. Next you will be suggesting that adoptive and birth parents "share" the children, maybe some sort of shared residence, just to confuse everybody shock.

Go away.

fishtankneedscleaning Thu 07-Apr-11 10:22:43

Has it ever occurred to you that contact with bio families is severed by LA for very good reason? Otherwise open adoption is recommended.

If my son were to have regular contact with the alcoholic, screaming banshee that abused him and is intent on slagging off him and his adoptive family, what do you think that would do to my sons already fragile emotional development??

I guess in your warped little mind bio parents have "rights" and bugger the children's right to have a calm, loving, normal upbringing eh?

Kewcumber Thu 07-Apr-11 11:59:59

I would love DS to have contact with his birth family. It isnt possible.

"and there are no obvious reasons why it shouldn't happen" I would guess (and its only a guess) that in teh majority of cases there are good reasons why the birth carers (whomever they were) do not get contact hence the adoption.

I don't know personally any cases where non-abusive birth family have asked for contact.

If children are adopted at the age of three, the likelihood is that they have been in care for a lot longer than that. If it is possible to have open adoption, then that happens. If it doesn't happen, it's because the child is at risk from their bio family. You know, like the reason they were adopted in the first place.

hmm

wttg - think maybe you should walk a mile in our shoes before you question and then spout nonsense about your ill informed opinion on what is best for adopted children. Each child is different, each situation they come from is different - how can you say
"I think it would be best for adopted children to remain in direct contact with their bio-family, if the children want to do that, and there are no obvious reasons why it shouldn't happen. I think it will significantly reduce any risk of the children developing any resentment towards anyone due to contact with the bio-family having been terminated by the Local Authority. If an initial attempt at such contact breaks down I think it would be best for the adoptive parent to tell the bio-family it can be tried again, but will not continue if they eg slag off the adoptive parents in front of the child at the contact meetings."
when you haven't a clue what you are talking about. Or if I have misunderstood and you are in the position of pre-adoption and have completed all the necessary paperwork then you obviously listened to nothing the SW discussed with you as we would all have received information on this subject at the time of applying and at the latest once matched. I do feel you are being intentionally inflammatory on a sensitive subject - start off all nicey nicey and then go in for the kill. Makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Kewcumber Thu 07-Apr-11 15:05:33

"contact with the bio-family having been terminated by the Local Authority" isn't it the court who decide whether contact with birth family is feasible/ best for the child?

Daydreamng Daisy - don't get uncomfortable, the OP has an obvious agenda which he won't admit to. He patently believes that children are routinely placed for adoption without consent of birth parents and where there is no evidence of actual harm (from another thread). I don't personally know of any such cases but he completely misses the point that by trying to treat the majority of adoptions as if they are like this he loses any ability to be taken seriously and I suspect all our eyes glaze over as we realise who the OP is by.

On another thread before he had form, many of the adoptive parents on here have openly discussed the abuse their children were subjected to - some of which is upsetting but still he seems to think that we are somehow party to keeping childrn apart from their "natural" parents.

I guess he beleives that if he just keeps on from differnet angles that eventually we will crack and agree with him.

Ihave said on another thread and I will repeat - I am quite prepared to accept that miscarriages of justice happen even though I do not personally have any experience of them. Beleiving that and beleiving the adoption system needs reform and beleiving that the majority of adoptions happen for very sad reasons which are in teh best interests of th echild are not mutually exclusive.

I suspect that OP starts these threads hoping that people will be openly hostile and then links the thread to other public forums as evidence that adopters are agressively unreasonable and part of the conspiracy to unfairly separate childrne from the bosom of their loving family. I know he has linked a previous thread with a similar comment (though I'm paraphrasing) to a national newspapers column.

walesblackbird Thu 07-Apr-11 16:43:20

They say thank God I'm safe now. What's it to you anyway?

hester Thu 07-Apr-11 21:45:03

I tried to adopt a little girl where social workers were asking for direct contact with the birth father. From everything we read about him, we agreed to this - even though it would be very challenging - because we could see that it would have many possible benefits for the child. It sounded as though he had the insight, compassion and self-discipline to make it worth a try. (Though it fell through because he didn't like us being lesbians.)

This is fantastically unusual. In the vast majority of cases it would not work because, well, because of the reasons the child was adopted in the first place.

wasthatthatguy Fri 08-Apr-11 09:49:00

Strange as it may seem, in child care cases, it isn't a judge in a court who decides whether or not contact between a child and his or her bio-relatives should be terminated, it is faceless bureaucrats in a Council Office who decide that. The faceless ones also decide whether or not what starts out as a child care case should become an adoption case. A judge has no direct input into those decisions and can only issue or refuse to issue the orders the faceless ones apply for. It is not inconceivable that any past "conflicts" between the bio-relatives and "the professionals" could significantly influence the decisions of they who shall remain unknown.

There are definitely some, and maybe quite a lot of, cases where the child hasn't been significantly harmed in the past, but the faceless ones think may be harmed in the future. Possibly due to one or both of the parents drinking too much or taking drugs, or having some sort of mental illness or disorder, or being in conflict with each other. I am not aware of any statistics which specify the percentage of cases where there was no significant harm in the past, only predicted significant harm in the future. My guess would be about 50% of all cases, maybe more, due to the children generally being removed before any significant harm occurs. I think children adopted from that sort of situation should be allowed to remain in contact with their bio-relatives if at all possible. But it can only happen if the adoptive parents are agreeable to it happening, due to them having full parental responsibility for the child post adoption. I think the adoptive parents should explore the possibility of contact being re-established between the child and his or her bio-relatives and that it should take place if it appears it will be beneficial to the child.

Wrong on so many levels, I can't be bothered

edam Fri 08-Apr-11 10:17:28

I am sure the adopters posting here are right about their children and in the majority of cases. But there are exceptions.

There was an MN poster whose children had been taken thanks to the infamous Roy Meadows. The man who was disgraced after his incompetent claims in the Sally Clarke case (God rest her troubled soul) that the chances of more than two cot deaths in a family was something like millions to one. He was not a statistician so he had no right to make that claim. Yet his lies convinced the court in more than one horrible miscarriages of justice.

I met the poster. Who was in a wheelchair with a real diagnosed physical illness, despite Meadow's claims at the time she was prosecuted for child abuse that she was suffering from Munchausen's. Odd for a doctor not to realise there are some conditions that are rare and where the process of diagnosis can take years.

By the time this posters was on MN her children were in their late teens. She had some limited contact with them (although far more limited than the actual adoption order specified). Social Services were well aware of Meadow's involvement in her case and that he had been disgraced. Yet they gave her dd a 'letter for life' attacking the poster and making all the original untrue claims about why she'd been adopted. Sadly contact with her dd stopped at that point. (She was still in contact with her son who was older.)

The adoptive parents were incredibly hostile to the idea that the adoption had been based on a false premise and keen to justify the adoption by blackening the poster's name. Very sad indeed. Decent parents want what is best for their child. If it turns out years later that the adoption was a miscarriage of justice, a decent parent would accept that and say something like 'We love you, at the time everyone thought your Mummy couldn't look after you but we now realise that was a horrid mistake. But we love you and your Mother loves you.'

It was a tragic situation for all concerned but it was far from the only tragedy caused by Meadow's special blend of overweening arrogance and incompetence.

Maryz Fri 08-Apr-11 10:27:09

We have all accepted that there are tragic exceptions, but many of us as adoptive parents are pretty sick of wasthatthatguy/melvin/johnhemming or whoever he is implying that in all cases the children are best with the birth parents, and that "forced adoption" is the order of the day to meet "adoption targets" set by faceless and nameless bureaucrats hmm.

We have all said that these exceptional cases are tragic, but that the fact that they occur doesn't necessarily mean that the whole adoption system, the legal people involved and the entire social services is corrupt and hell-bent on taking children from their parents for no reason at all.

If he spent a little more time on genuine cases, and a little less time coming on sites like this, making spurious claims and accusations, I'm sure he would get a lot more support.

He is guessing that 50% of children are removed "in case" they might be abused. He seems to be complaining that they are removed before any significant harm occurs hmm.

He posts random crap on adoption threads, never answers questions, links to spurious websites and flings out random accusations, and to be honest I, for one, am sick of it.

And then he links adoption threads on here (which are a source of support for us and our relationships with our children) to "anti-adoption" sites angry.

Many of us are pretty sick of him making out that we are the bad guys. Not one of us on here feels we are "heroes" for adopting our children, neither should we be made to feel like villains, which seems to be his one intention.

Not to mention the crap he has posted on the legal and mental health boards, where there are some truely vulnerable people shock.

Kewcumber Fri 08-Apr-11 10:39:05

Edam, I have repeatedly accepted that there must be miscarriages of justice and for the people involved they are heartbreaking and I understand people who have experience of them campaigning to improve the system to avoid them where-ever possible. But the OP has repeatedly started threads implying that this is common and has made some extraordinarily crass statements about how adoptive parents communicate the facts of their adoption to their children and has linked a painful and personal thread started by a family member to a national newspapers website as an example of how unreasonable we adoptive parents are and as a result I have lost any ability to empathise with his position.

Most adopters by nature know a great number of other adopters - certainly I do myself and I know of not one case from the UK system where an adoptive family is not dealing with either with effects of severe physical and/or sexual abuse or with a sibling who has suffered such. As far as I know my experience is not unusual and that indicates to me that the vast majority of cases are really very sad but straightforward - such people should not be allowed to parent any child and a child deserves to grow up being safe and secure within their family unit.

It is not that I can't accept that miscarriages don't happen or that adoptive parents can be as scared and defensive of losing their child as any other parent, I can. But what do you (or OP) want us to say "Yes my child should be allowed contact with their birth parent despite the immense damage done"? Or should we pretend that there was no atrocious parenting and that contact will be beneficial to a child regardless of what issues of attachment or separation anxiety they are going through.

I would love DS to be in contact with birth family. It would tear me apart but I would love it. I also think he would struggle immensely with it - he has separation anxiety and has to be managed very carefully, he gets very distressed if anyone calls me "mummy" but him even in jest and I can't imagine how he would deal with a real birth parent sitting in front of him. He understands he has a birth mother he just doesn't want to talk about it at all at the moment.

We cannot ignore the real issues we face day to day and pretend that the situation you and the OP describe are relevant to us because they aren't.

Please read some of the other threads the OP has started and his later comments (he also posted as Melvin something) because you may then understand why we have no real wish to engage anymore. In fact I wonder why I'm even bothering now.

Kewcumber Fri 08-Apr-11 10:49:50

Maryz - why can I not just hide the threads OP starts, why? Why do I feel the need to justify the validity of adoption. Why do I want to lock hm in a room with some of the paretns of some of the children I know for them to treat him in the same way they treated their children?

You know some people inspire you and make you want to be a better person? Well I have decided that the OP has the opposite affect on me, he makes me want to be mean and spiteful and name call and I'm really struggling to rise above that. sad

Maryz Fri 08-Apr-11 10:55:27

I just can't do it either. I even found myself on a couple of legal threads with melvin, I mean me in legal - I know fuck all about legal matters shock. Then he turned up on mental health and advised people not to tell their gp's they were depressed because the gp would contact social services and their children would be "forcibly adopted" shock.

I try very hard to ignore, but I'm terrified even one person will take him seriously, and there are lots of troubled people around her at times sad.

I suppose reacting makes him worse really, but I just can't bring myself to allow some of the comments to stand. I know exactly what you mean with your last paragraph as well grin

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