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Can this stop us from adopting?(18 Posts)
My dh and I had our first phone interview yesterday, the social worker said alot of positive comments about us and said that we were a very strong resource due to our ethnicities ( I am mixed Jamaican and English and dh is English) and looked favourably on me being a SAHM.
we are very much looking forward to meeting with her and she has scheduled a date for us to visit in March where we can do the official (request to be assessed I think?) as that is when our ds turns 3.
My only issue is that my PIL do not want us to adopt because they "don't see the point if you can have your own" and they also said they would not be able to bond with a non biological child. MIL even spectacularly did her wonderful crying trick followed by "why can't you just have a baby?!" I don't think they would even try to bond with our new family member should luck be on our side to be approved. My family on the other hand are majorly supportive and several of my older cousins are adopted and I know they will not let me down but I imagine the SW will want to speak with PIL. We rarely see them, but DH and I really want this and I will be devastated if PIL would be able to ruin this for us. How much weight will their attitude carry as far as SW is concerned?
I haven't adopted but went through the approval process for fostering. I hope that if everything else is ok and you don't see much of your PIL it would not mean a refusal but I am sure they would find out this is the situation and they would want you to show that you had thought through how you would deal with it and minimise its impact on the child. I would give that some serious thought for when they ask about it.
They would need to be sure any child would be part of your family and your close network and if everything else is ok it does not make sense that an awkward MIL that you rarely see could wreck everything.
You could talk to MIL about it though, she might come round and it would be so helpful to have her onside. If you went ahead and the adoption failed, as they sometimes do no matter how hard you try, it would be awful to then have her crow about it instead of offering support.
Hi there , before we adopted my own mum told the sw she didn't think she could bond with an adopted child . Fast forward 1 year and she is now a proud grandmother to a 19 month old who she looks after twice a week and when she s not with her alway calls to find out how she is . I think as soon as they see the child things will b different . Good luck with it all x
Bunraku (great name! Where is it from?). I am very sorry your PIM are saying these very hurtful and unhelpful things.
I think Roshbergosh has some great advice.
I am not yet an adoptive parent but I have been through the approval and we are now waiting and have a birth DD aged 9.
I think you will find that the adoption agency/county council you go through will be assessing you and not your in-laws, so ultimately they will want to know about you and will not be put off by your in-laws.
I think you will find if you stick to your guns with in-laws (so there is no sense of if they 'play up' they will be able to change your mind) they will come round.
It may help to explain to them why you have made this decision, if you feel able to, and how you see it impacting positively on your family, as well as your awareness of any possible problems and how you will combat them.
I am not sure how I would react to my mother-in-law crying! It depends, does she do this a lot, is it most effective to ignore it, or to comfort? I think if it were me I would try and be both comforting and assertive by saying "I'm so sorry you are feeling sad about this, it is actually a very happy thing for us, for our child who will have a sibling and for a new child who will get a forever family."
Try not to put any pressure on your in laws to bond with the idea because I agree with Middlesexmumy once little one is with you and you are a couple of years down the line then they will be just so happy to have a new little one to love they will do just that.
Personally, I would also see what things they do feel able to do to be involved - look after DC if appropriate for an evening when you have to go on prep course/parenting course or other training event, knit some clothes when little one appears or anything else you think is good.
I would also encourage your DH to be singing from the same song sheet (as I am sure he is) so your in-laws know this is a whole family decision and you are all happy about it.
I am sure you will make a great match for a lovely little one and I am sure your in laws will come round, and if they do not (I mean a few years done the line if they are still hostile) this will limit the amount of time they can spend with you as a family and I would (personally 0 IMHO) feel able to say that A few years down the line if the situation has not changed. But for now I would personally take their behaviour with a pinch of salt.
Oh, and I would not pick them to be referees!
Sorry PIL (Parents in Law) not PIM!
Thank you all so much for your responses!
Bunraku is a form of Japanese puppetry, I watched "The love suicides at sonezaki" by Hiroshi Sugimoto and fell in love with it
With regards to her crying, MIL does it for attention and it is best and mostly ignored by all the family. I wouldn't say their behaviour is hostile, just very selfish and manipulative and the only reason that they are doing this is because they want a nice new baby. Disgustingly I feel as if they think of adopted children as second hand goods. I KNOW that's a hideous thing to say but that is the only way I can articulate their attitude into a sentence.
I refuse to back down from my dream and am glad that my own family is huge and are all extremely supportive of us but I feel like PIL are trying to put us off for their own agenda which is a shame because for the short visits we do occasionally have, it hardly seems like our choices make much of an impact on them. My birth ds is almost three and they stopped visiting him so frequently once the shiny baby novelty wore off.
Just to add SWs will not speak to PILs unless you put them forward as referees. Every prospective adopter has to give referees (seems to be between 3-5 depending on LA) and they may ask for one to be family, but you can choose who it is. They will ask re family support in the assessment, and you need to be honest, but not necessarily give all details (e.g. say PILs aren't very involved with DS, you hope they will become more involved again when new child joins family but can't force it and you have lots of support from other family members). Then depends on SW how much more info they'll ask for. Don't see that it will stop you though.
Good luck - it's a crazy journey but so worth it!
Our PILs (fairly sure DH feels my parents are his de facto 'rents) are pretty much the same. When we had our initial visit we told SW this and basically the conversation came down to 'if we felt they were treating our children differently we'd be prepared to cut contact' SW seemed happy with this...
It shouldn't stop you adopting, but I think the SW will take it very seriously. You and dh need to be absolutely in agreement on how you will handle this, and you need to be clear about the bottom line: which has to be that if your in-laws don't accept your adopted child, then they don't get to be part of your family. That sounds really harsh, but you cannot have an adopted child being told (or implied) by their own grandparents that they are not accepted.
Of course, there is a lot of ground between here and that point, and you and your dh need to discuss how you can reconcile your in-laws to the situation. For example, BAAF publish a book on adoption for grandparents and you could start by giving i to them to take a look at (it's very short). I think you should also ask the SW for advice - they must have known other people in your situation and they will be impressed if you show you are resourceful and energetic in resolving this problem, as well as open to expert advice.
But you do need to really think through how you will handle the worst case scenario that your in-laws don't and never will accept this child. Not just in terms of how you handle them, but wider family and their reactions. Could you limit contact if that means depriving your birth child of a relationship with grandparents? How would you handle questions about why we don't see granny anymore? Would extended family members be forced to take sides? No easy answers.
Best of luck to you. My MIL was very reluctant to accept both my children (the first because she is white and has two mothers, the second because she is adopted). We had to significantly limit contact at first, and I fully planned to stop contact altogether when they got to the stage when they could fully comprehend the difference between how they and their cousins were treated. Luckily, she stepped back from the line in the sand and is now really trying to do the right thing. I don't imagine for one second she loves them as much as her 'real' grandchildren - and we can't force her to have feelings that she doesn't have - but we have shown her how we expect them to be treated and she is going with that.
We have had to cut all contact with certain relatives for a similar reason . However, we don't feel that we are " depriving our birth children of a relationship with their grandparents " . It's the grandparents who are choosing to deprive themselves of half of their family because of their stubborn refusal to accept some of their grandchildren and treat them properly .
TBH, in our case it's more of a refusal to accept that their adult children have made choices that they don't approve of and can't control .
It's been very hard, especially as the grandparents get older and you have to live with a lot of guilt and sadness but age has not mellowed them. However they are a hard case, I suspect that 99% of grandparents will come round when the child arrives .
I'm just saying that you have to be prepared to make hard choices and that your children must always come first .
Many prospective adopters seem to find this very VERY hard. There are many threads here where poster say eg " SW have advised that we limit visits in the first few months home but this is upsetting for our friends /family /neighbours so we are just going to ignore it " .
Or " the SW has told us not to tell anyone about the child's background but we feel our family /friends /neighbours/mums at the school gate /local shopkeepers are entitled to know our child's personal information so we are going to tell everyone anyway "
Because obviously these people's feelings are more important than their child's welfare
You need to accept that when you adopt , not everyone will approve of your choices . It's hard, I know.
Again, thank you all for taking the time to respond
After a serious chat this weekend it is evident that they have absolutely no intention to accept our adopted child, and I will not hold out any hope as they do not even treat my ds fairly in comparison to his cousin. I know grandparents usually favour their daughters children but I still think it is very wrong and unfortunately I cannot tolerate favouritism among children so it is likely that, as my dh is in agreement, we will no longer be visiting them. I am certain my ds will not notice as when we do visit he barely gets a look in anyway. Luckily all the other people we are in close and regular contact with are entirely supportive. Bless my old dad who immediately offered to convert our spare room into a bedroom if we are matched after the process, and do my ds's room at the same time so he feels special as well that was the kind of support I was hoping for from PIL but you can't have everything I suppose. I think now things are clear, we are looking forward to starting the process, the social worker has told us that she would like us to choose two referees, one family and one friend.
How stupid that they are willing to lose their child over this But well done to you for making this tough decision. We're very likely to be losing contact at some stage over the next few years - that's been made abundantly clear over the time I have known PILs and, like you, I'm just glad that we have one brilliant set of grandparents for DD and any ACs we might be lucky enough to be approved for because not everybody gets that do they?
I'm Hoping very much that there are no other obstacles that will stand too steady in our way once we iron this out. It's sad to have to cut people out, but I just could not take the risk of any of my children feeling less 'worthy' than others because of PIL's tendency toward strong favouritism. now seems a good time as there is no attachment there, since entirely due to favouring their other GC, they haven't bonded with my DS at all.
I was in a weird situation with my sister when we were going through our Home Study and like you was nervous it would count against us. My SW just advised me to try to resolve it but not to let it get in the way. TBH, they are so desperate for good adoptive families that something like this should not stop you being approved. I would be as honest as you can with the SW's and you can get through this, it sounds like you have amazing support from other family members which will be really important in the months ahead. If you can reassure the SW's that your network is strong you should be absolutely fine. Good luck
Bunraku I am so sorry your in-laws are being so difficult. Totally their loss but do be sensitve to your DH who must feel it very much. They are not just losing their current grand son and their future grand child but their own son! How very sad , as someone else pointed out.
Whatever their thoughts or reasons they are the ones who will miss out.
I have a friend in real life who has a pretty terrible relationship with her parents but still feels she needs to visit them at great financial and personal cost. She can't cut the string because she feels it is right to stay in touch. I think parenting is a duty and a joy, and being a child does not mean you have to stick with your parents whatever behaviour they put out, so although it will be hard hopefully there will be guilt for your dh. I am just saying, and I am sure you will be brilliant at supporting him as you sound lovely, do support him in this as a son to his parents, just ensuring he doesn't feel any guilt etc. It is their poor choice. Good luck with the future.
so although it will be hard hopefully there not will be guilt for your dh!
Thanks Italiangreyhound I wouldn't stop dh from seeing them, I understand they are his parents and as an adult it is his choice, but recent goings on with MIL where she has encouraged her daughter to lie to me about my DS's whereabouts has just reinforced my decision to not allow her to have any more contact with any of my current or future children as she just cannot be trusted and her attitude to more than one aspect of my children's welfare is appalling. She thinks my parenting is 'silly' and overrides it given an inch. I am doing my best and am not prepared to be undermined so best to just keep away. DH is as much for the decision as me luckily but any support he will need he will always have, just as he has always given to me. It is a massive shame that it has to be this way but I'm also glad in a way that I found out how they would behave before any adopted children came into our lives because now it is a case of prevention is better than cure.
I think they've already warped your view of 'normal' because, in my experience, grandparents do not normally favour their daughters children at all and it is completely wrong to do so.
Good luck with the assessment!
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