Explaining adoption to young sibling and cousins, please help.

(15 Posts)
JaquelineHyde Thu 11-Apr-13 08:58:36

Hello

This is very upsetting so please bare with me as my heart is breaking.

My sister has had two children, one aged 4 was removed at 12 weeks and placed with my Mum and Dad who now have an SGO for her and they are her mummy and daddy. 2 weeks ago she gave birth to another beautiful girl who was removed at birth from the hospital and taken straight to my Mum to care for with the intention of another SGO being sort in 6 months.

Without going into all the details my Mum and Dad's (and the 4yr olds) lives are being made hell by this situation. SS have been no use to them at all and are just using them as an easy solution to an awful situation. I can't even begin to explain how vile my sister is being and how little she has considered anyone else.

So my parents have had to make the heartbreaking decision to have the 2 week old adopted out sad sad They want her to have the best possible life ever and don't feel they can offer that to her, I support their decision 100% (I would no matter what the decided) but it is killing us all. We love that little thing so much she is just gorgeous.

Of course as adults we will sort ourselves out but what I really need some advice on is how to approach this subject/change with the children. Firstly how do we explain to her big sister that she is going to live somewhere else and have a different mummy and daddy etc and then how do we tell my 3 dc that their newest niece is leaving?

As I said her sister is 4 (a very bright and perceptive 4) and my DC are 8, 7 and 5. I am also due to give birth next week which just adds to the emotional turmoil of everyone involved.

Sorry this is so long, I am just dying inside but need to get some clear advice for the sake of all the other children involved and my Mum and Dad.

Thank you if you have managed to get this far, all advice is welcomed.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 11-Apr-13 09:25:24

How heartbreaking. Would fostering be an option? Is it a shortish term money problem or is it that your parents, very understandably aren't up to the long term implications of taking on another child.
If they go forward with the adoption I'd emphasise the positives with your DCs and her sister; that lots of people can't have children and so they after lots and lots of checking are allowed to adopt others.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 11-Apr-13 09:27:20

flowers for you. Whatever the reasons for your sister's situation I'm sad for you that your imminent birth is clouded.

flossymuldoon Thu 11-Apr-13 09:33:16

Oh gosh, i'm so sorry. I can't aimagine what you are all going through and my heart goes out to you.

In a similar way to how i explain to my DS that he is adopted.....i don't 'explain' per se, i just drip feed information as appropriate.
He knows that he hasn't always lived with us (although i don't think of a concious level he remembers) and that he grew in XXXXs tummy, that he lived with the foster carers and that now he our precious darling. He is a bright and perceptive 3 1/2 year old.

SWs recommend that you only give them info they ask for so the child is leading what information they can take onboard and understand.
You then add to it over time as they ask questions.

I would start by saying something like....the baby is going to live somewhere else and have a different mummy and daddy because your parents can't look after her as well as they want to and they want the best for her - to both the 4 year old and your DCs.
When you answer any questions they may have be truthful but make it as age appropriate as possible. That might mean excluding pieces of info but you will be able to gauge what they have the maturity to understand.

I really hope that helps and good luck!!

JaquelineHyde Thu 11-Apr-13 09:53:16

The situation is unbearable for my parents, they have had several people dropping in on them several times a week. Their SW has so far changed 6 times and no one is giving them any information. The final straw came yesterday when they were told they were not entitled to be joined to the court case, which means they have no say in anything really.

The contact arrangements are hideous, no one cares about them or my 4yr old niece and the effect it is all having on her. They are the perfect Grandparents that SWers dream of having to place children (they have been told this by everyone involved in this and the previous case). However, they are being treated like dirt.

Their health is already being effected by the situation (my Mum is 62 and my Dad is younger but not is great health) and my niece is already getting confused by all the people coming and going, this is only going to get worse.

They don't want this life for either of the girls and so believe that having DN2 adopted is the only option left. Then they can concentrate on DN1 and DN2 will get a shot at having a wonderful life in a home where she will be loved and cared for as she should be instead of being pulled all over the place for several contacts a week for the rest of her life.

This may also give my sister the shock she needs to sort her life out as she seems to think she can continue to have children and get them permenantly babysat by my Mum. Where she can just swan in and out whenever she wants pretending to be the perfect mother, when actually she is a disgusting excuse for a human being, whom I will no longer have anything to do with.

KristinaM Thu 11-Apr-13 11:26:39

There is information here about kinship care

http://www.grandparents-association.org.uk/kc/kinship-carers.html

It might be worth phoning them to see if they can advise your parenst on their rights.

KristinaM Thu 11-Apr-13 11:30:56

Your parents really need legal advice. Can they think about getting this? You need a solicitor who is specialised in family law.

KristinaM Thu 11-Apr-13 11:31:46

It also might be worth posting this again in the legal section

MrsDeVere Thu 11-Apr-13 11:48:01

It really does sound like they need specialised legal advice. Kristina has given the right links above.

I can totally understand your parent's decision to have the baby adopted. The thought of going through more years of turmoil and abuse from the birth parents, intervention from SS and other invasions into their lives must be utterly daunting.

BUT if they have any doubts they really have to get some help now. I think we may have PM'd in the past and I think your DM may have already been in contact with FRG? (sorry if I have got the wrong poster)

www.frg.org.uk

If adoption is the best option for this little girl she is likely to find a family very, very quickly.
Birth mum could have more and more babies. It happens. Lots of families cannot possibly take every sibling and they should never feel guilty about it.

If you look on Amazon there are lots of books about adoption. Many of them are from the USA and really not relevant to the system in this country. It is worth checking out the reviews and the blurb.

I am going to be honest though. This is going to cause emotional ripples throughout all of your lives. Your older DN will need a lot of long term support to understand this. Its one of the most heartwrenching bits of kinship care. 'why doesn't my sister/brother live with me?'

I am very concerned that your parents are not being given the support from SS that they deserve and the contact schedule sounds very disruptive. If they have an SGO surely they should have more say?
There is usually a lot of contact with very young babies because SS have to show the courts they have done everything possible to foster a relationship between baby and parent.

But it can drag on for months (or years in our case) achieving nothing for the child.

Sorry that is all a bit jumbled. PM if you think I can help at all.

JaquelineHyde Thu 11-Apr-13 11:49:49

They have had all the legal advice they can get thanks to the new legal aid requlations they aren't entitled to any financial help and can't afford a solicitor.

They do know their rights having been through it all before so I'm not sure any more legal advice would make any difference.

JaquelineHyde Thu 11-Apr-13 11:56:49

Thanks MrsD yes they are in contact with FRG and have had some amazing help from them.

Contact under the SGO is more in there control but they now have to carry that out as well as several times a week for the baby. Along with all the assessments which as you know are a nightmare even when you have all the support you need from SS.

They are feeling incredibly let down by SS and just utterly heartbroken.

MrsDeVere Thu 11-Apr-13 12:26:52

I feared that might be the case.
It is very sad and I feel for you all.
Its heartbreaking.

It is such an emotional time for you too. With a new baby coming and seeing how little your sister does for her own children. She must have taken up so much of your parent's time as well.

I am sorry I can only really offer my sympathy. I can't think of anyone better than FRG but they can't force SS to behave in a morally correct way if they are within the law.

JaquelineHyde Thu 11-Apr-13 13:55:24

Thank you MrsDe.

My Mum has contacted SS and they are now having a meeting (starting 1pm), it is very possible that DN2 will be taken with them when they leave.

My Mum was up all night crying, just holding the little baby and watching her sleep. sad

I have just rushed down and picked up DN1 so she can be out of the way for what I can only imagine is going to be a hideously emotional event. She is happily playing with my 3 dc now.

LittleFeileFooFoo Thu 11-Apr-13 14:00:54

Maybe you can change the narrative a little bit and say that the baby has gone to parents who asked for a little baby?

See if your parents can get SW to ask for an agreement with the adopting family to have contact between the kids.

MrsDeVere Thu 11-Apr-13 15:49:08

Im sorry Jaqueline

Its so very sad for everyone. I don't know what I would do if we were asked to take DS's sibling. At one point I wouldn't have thought twice but now we understand the full extent of the (probably genetic) SN he has, my OH's poor health and my stretched to the limit resources....I fear I would have to say no.

And none of us want to say no.

Your poor mum.

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