Are these the right motivations? Feeling so confused

(135 Posts)
MaryQueenOfSpots Tue 05-Nov-13 10:37:08

My DH and I have a lovely but eccentric 5 year old DS who we love beyond reason. While watching him grow and become independent of us is amazing, I find in my heart I want to re-experience it all again. Simultaneously, my head tells me to enjoy the freedom to mumsnet work and have some of my own time now DS is at school.

We have tried to conceive naturally for 3 years and now I have reached my 40s, I'm beginning to come to terms with being infertile. Everyone says to consider IVF and I did go to a clinic to find out more, but morally I just can't get past the thought that there are already children who really need a family and that genetics isn't everything.

If we didn't have a child already, we would have no hesitation in taking on the challenges that an adopted child may bring but we need to consider DS in the equation. I love him to pieces but I recognise that he may struggle more than other only children to accommodate a sibling. He prefers adult company or imaginary friends even when there are other children to play with. I definitely wouldn't see the adopted sibling as a playmate for him.

However, he is very nurturing and affectionate to visiting younger children and when alone, he often plays with a baby doll - changing its nappy, trying to make the baby laugh. In the longer term I think it would do him good to have to share me and DH. I would also hope that once both the children were adults, they would benefit from having each other.

I also worry about whether the additional needs of a traumatised child will be too much for DS. I'd hate to make him unhappy by my selfish desire for a bigger family. When I read the forums I really worry. But this is somewhat counterbalanced by the experience of a friend who adopted two children (aged 3 and 5 at adoption, now 6 and 8) who has had a few tricky issues (control over food and bedwetting) but on the whole it has been a great experience for them. I am pretty sure we could cope with similar.

I am so confused about whether my motivations to adopt are the right ones, or even if they are realistic. Was my friend exceptionally lucky with her children? It's helped to write all this out funnily enough, but I would be so grateful for the views of anyone involved in adoption.

taffleee Sun 10-Nov-13 20:32:18

Kew you have given a full and frank explanation of your experience, which is so from the heart and I feel shouldn't be read or directed at me, but from all adopters and and potential adoptees -

Bless you for what you have done and you seem like a total loving and giving mother - I'm sure any child under your care will be well loved and looked after, and I hope they feel lucky enough to have you x

Much love x

Kewcumber Sun 10-Nov-13 18:35:18

tafflee it really isn't about you having the "right" to post, anyone can post and I would say that we are fairly accepting (of necessity) of people who have different opinions.

Many of us would have started the adoption process fairly naively and I know I had the optimistic idea that adopting a child under one from overseas meant the child really wouldn't remember anything of their previous life and would to all intents and purposes be 100% mine with no issues.

In fact I would say that apart from the physical issues which did eventually resolve, I was in denial about the impact that adoption had on my DS and I regret that as I could have made decisions which would have benefitted him much earlier than I did. As it was I have to live with the fact that I minimised his separation and loss anxieties instead of accepting them and dealing with them. I listened to too many non-adopters who said "all children do that" and allowed myself to ignore the signs.

So I am fairly robust about saying (at least on a forum like this) that adoption can (and often does) have long term effects on children which need to be managed. Love isn't even close to being enough.

Its enough for me, DS is the centre of my world and the even the thought of anything happening to him can make me cry. But it isn't enough for him - he needs more from me and I'm happy to provide it.

taffleee Sun 10-Nov-13 17:14:42

Lilka I have read some of your recent experiences on another thread - and can only hold you in high regard - you seem to be a very loving and tolerant mum, fair play to you, and much love -

I was in no way meaning to be rude to anyone on this thread, and I'm so sorry if I 'Hi-jacked' OP's post, I'm a little new to the 'discussion' forum process and my full apologies if I did this - will know better etiquette in the future -

I for one would hope this site would be of use to me in the future, as Lilka has mentioned, she posts honestly and frankly, and so do I (although I may not have had the right to do on this thread, an I do really apologise)

Hopefully I can learn to enjoy and benefit from this site as others have, we live and learn hey?? x

Lilka Sun 10-Nov-13 17:01:49

I hope we can all move on from this thread now - taffleee has said things she has apologised for, I reacted badly and I'm sorry, but I think this thread has served its purpose

Taffleee - of course you can post if you want to. However if there's anything else you want to know about adoption etc, it may be better to start a new thread at this point. This one is just a long argument now and it's best to forget about it and move on. Any adoption related thread can go in this board and you'll get responses mostly from adoptive parents and sometimes adoptees/sw's/other professionals, but if you want to discuss wider issues around the care system or get views from lots of people who aren't adoptive parents etc, aibu and chat can be better places to post. I'm glad you feel you've learnt something. Yes I do post very honestly and frankly, and i do that as much as possible because i think that's the most helpful and supportive way to do things.

To be honest, a lot of people are very unaware of the issues which tend to affect adoptive families and adopted children in the 21st century. Some people hold totally silly views. I was told my 8 and 10 year olds (who had come to me after years of neglect, abuse and jumping around the care system) would be completely fine after a few months of good parenting, that they couldn't possible have PTSD because only soldiers get that/only adults get it, that 'all children do that' (about very unusual/abnormal behaviour for a child their age/for any child) and so on and so forth. I educate where I can, and ignore everybody else. This forum is one of the places where'll I'll go for 'education' rather than 'ignore'.

taffleee Sun 10-Nov-13 16:53:36

roadwalker Theres no 'patting on the back' from me.

And I had no agenda so to speak, just merely a person with some views who entered a discussion forum -

If I didn't encourage a debate, and only shown my 'ignorance' then so be it -

But seeing as though so called 'ignorant (i would think 'ill informed' would be a better term, without wanting to enter into an argument) would be able to offer homes to so many children in need, maybe discussion does need to take place -

I'm not on here for a fight, would appreciate the same, and please no name calling, would be nice

taffleee Sun 10-Nov-13 16:47:09

On the plus side (maybe lol), if there are so many children awaiting adoption, maybe potential families who haven't even thought about adoption, who would be able to offer a loving home, are as 'ill informed (?) as me?

I for one have read personal experiences shared on this forum and feel far more informed of the 'trauma' adoption involves - on both sides.

Am I allowed to read posts and agree, even though i may have thought differently at the start??

roadwalker Sun 10-Nov-13 16:40:58

Don't pat yourself on the back for too long taffleee, If you bothered to read you would find posts like the ones on this thread all over the adoption board
You havent encouraged debate only shown how ignorant you are of the whole system and the children typically needing adopting
You also totally hijacked the OP's thread for your own aims, treading over any posts that were directed at the OP

taffleee Sun 10-Nov-13 16:25:40

lilka - i am in no way suggesting 'neglected' children shouldn't be well looked after by a family who offers a better life!!

My responses have totally been misread - but in a way I'm glad I have been here, and hope the OP does read, because everyone who has disagreed with my posts have given total explanations, good or bad of their personal adoption experiences (and i've not taken anything to heart, because i believe 'debate' solves more issues than support sometimes, gets people to open up a little, maybe?)- which gives a far better explanation of what its like to adopt, other than just a support network???

I may be totally wrong, but reading this thread (my comments aside in some cases lol) I believe many of you, maybe in retaliation to me, have given a totally frank and honest post about your experiences - and I for one have a new view, (in some cases) -

Don't think I'm a bad person, I'm really not, and in no way was I meaning to be rude to anyone -

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 22:26:58

I didn't bond with or love my children for months

HA! I actually thought something very similar but didn't say it for fear of exploding Taffleee's head!

Love wasn't enough because it didn't exist at first. Commitment, responsibility, an understanding (at least theoretically) of how to parent, a need to nurture, a stable personality and a stable life all helped.

Lilka Sat 09-Nov-13 18:09:04

It is essential for a child to feel loved, but it isn't more important than safety, food, etc

Also, I'm going to seperate love from caring actions. I know some people disagree, but love is an emotional state, a feeling, not an action. Just because someone is cuddling their baby and soothing them and coocheecooing doesn't mean they have actually bonded with and love their baby yet, similarly you can't assume that because a child has been horrendously neglected and is permanently brain damaged because of neglect, that their birth parents didn't feel some love for them

I didn't bond with or love my children for months, yet my lack of love never stopped me from performing caring nurturing actions, hugging, soothing, etc. My hugs and cuddles and soothing were loving actions but they weren't love itself.

So in my humble opinion whilst love is very important, it's not the best place to start if you want to put it in preference to adequate nutrition, safety from physical harm and comforting/loving actions (which are not love themselves, you don't have to love to perform a loving action). Actions over emotion.

A baby who is loved but is not being fed properly and left in their cot alone for 15 hours at a stretch, is in way more danger than a baby that isn't loved because his/her mother has, say, PND and can't bond, but is being fed every 2 hours, burped, nappy changed, kissed and walked up and down. Baby 1 could be permanently affected and hurt very quickly, baby 2 will be absolutely fine long enough that the mother has time to get help and eventually start bonding

You do not have the luxury of time with baby 1, because the love will not sustain the baby or do anything to prevent serious harm.

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 17:43:58

I'm only entering the discussion because I know the op has given up on this thread.

I hope she feels she can start another one smile

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 17:43:31

I think we could sum all this up beautifully by shouting

WHEN IT COMES TO RAISING CHILDREN, LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH

It simply isn't. It's only one of the absolute essentials - others being food, shelter, some type of stability, general care.

Most children placed for adoption do not come from "parents who felt they were incapabable of looking after there children having the willing and trust to put their loved children in the hands of people they felt more capable". That simply doesn't happen in the UK these days.

Most children who end up in care come from families lacking in the ability to provide the basic requirements for those children. For most of them, the lack isn't love, it is something more practical. Many, many parents are given a lot of support to look after the children they love, but cannot manage despite this support and the end result is children being taken into care.

That's where, Taffleee, you aren't looking at this the right way at all. There are distinctly separate processes:

1. Children are taken into care because their parents can't cope.

2. Most of those children are returned, with support.

2. Some (very few proportionally) are then placed for adoption because the conclusion is that their parents will never be able to cope.

The "taking into care" and "placing for adoption" are not the same thing.

roadwalker Sat 09-Nov-13 14:57:29

I would also suggest that if you really want to enter into a discussion
1. start your own thread or keep to the OP's issue

2. your personal experience is just that, 1 experience and cannot be used to judge everything that may be slightly connected with said experience

3. familiarise yourself with the system you are discussing

4. because some is not said explicitly do not assume it is not so ie because posters do not state in every post that they love their DC does not mean they do not love them

5. it is useful if you know something about what you are discussing

unusednickname Sat 09-Nov-13 14:01:07

Yeah follow Kew's advice. You can let them know how great the EDL are in stage 2.

Kewcumber Fri 08-Nov-13 23:30:30

"Adoption can be a difficult subject to talk about - understandably so - but we don't let comments stand which suggest that people who adopt are any less of a parent than people who have biological children.

Going forwards, we'd really appreciate it if folks could remember that the main aim of the site is to provide support for parents of all backgrounds."

AmyMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Nov-13 12:37:48

(my bold)

I think far more families are just in need of resbite, other than total separation - even as a foster carer that isn't your decision to make. If you want to get involved in the decision making then train to be a social worker.

There are estimated to be over 1 million children in the UK in the UK living with drug or alcohol addicted children, there are over 90,000 "looked after" children (for any reason not just for addiction reasons) only about 4,000 children have a plan for adoption. It doesn't take a genius with numbers to work out that children of addicted parents are not removed on a whim.

I have never read a thread on the adoption forum that is not very understanding of birth parents even when adoptive parents are going through phases of extreme anger about the abuse their children have suffered. Many of us believe that intervening and providing support at an earlier stage might prevent some children being taken into care.

No-one was rude to you until you started being offensive (and the posts that were rude were removed IIRC). Its a bit like walking into a local pub where you've never been before and starting to slag off the regulars. Its not hard to see why people wouldn't warm to you, is it?

For example (wonders why she's bothering)...

'slap us on the back, haven't we helped society' thread, now you see this is just rude. Because none of us have said this and none of us believe it. I can't count the number of times that I've read on here how much we hate it when people call us "wonderful" or "marvellous" (as you did yourself did to someone who suited your criteria of suitable adoptive parent), how irritating it is, how patronising it is and how we are just parents doing their best for their children just the same as anyone else.

And the reasons we don't generally slap ourselves on the back is because we've just about all been through phases of feeling totally fucking inadequate.

And for the record - I don't believe there was anything about my post of Thu 07-Nov-13 00:48:38 that deserved the response you gave which would have been extremely offensive it had actually made any sense or if I had been in any doubt about my feelings for my lovely boy.

I don't think it makes sense for me to add any more fuel to this fire so will try to resist entering into another late night tit for tat argument discussion and I do wish you well if you truly want to get into foster care. I am absolutely certain however that you shouldn't tell any social worker that the best approach to fostering/adoption is to ignore any trauma a child has gone through and then they'll forget all about it. Maybe leave that until the second meeting.

MrsDeVere Fri 08-Nov-13 23:20:39

There are parts of this site that are for support.
This is one of them.
There are parts of the site that are a free for all and for whatever you want them to be. Chat and AIBU are two places where you can do that.
You could start a thread in Adoption if you want and ask for a discussion.
But its not on to do it on a thread asking for support.

IME families are offered a LOT of support before children are removed. The system is set up that way. It takes a long time to remove a child and the courts have to be satisfied that the right moves have been made to support the family.
However the family have to accept the support offered.

It took two years for my son to be removed from his birth mother. I know what happened because I was right there with her. I saw what was offered and how many people were involved in trying to get her to care for him (I was one of them). The process was entirely focused on her needs, to the detriment of my son.

Devora Fri 08-Nov-13 23:16:28

And let's just take it as read, shall we, that we all love our children and all believe that children need love?

Devora Fri 08-Nov-13 23:15:47

OK, I'll try one last time: the point being made, Taffleee, was that adopted children have been traumatised. Not that they come from 'traumatised homes'. i.e. even a newborn child voluntarily relinquished by a loving and selfless mother will be traumatised by the experience of losing their birth mother, having to adjust to new parents, and as they grow up having to work through their feelings about having lost their first parents.

So even a child like mine, who has never lived with her birth parents, and who was adopted when less than one year old, has had to endure traumatic experiences and shows signs of enduring issues around that. And I can say that without needing to pass any kind of comment on the birth parents.

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 22:46:34

You made need more than love to parent a child, but isn't that a good start?? I'm sorry, but I'm talking as a parent, who loves my children with my whole heart and being -

And if I was ever, god forbid, suffer the horrors of addiction that some loving parents, no matter what their background go through, I just hope to god these families are offered support before being separated from children who love them also -

I did mention fostering, because I think far more families are just in need of resbite, other than total separation -

roadwalker Fri 08-Nov-13 22:34:06

If you are bothered by the system taffleee forget being a foster carer because you would have to work within the system
Take your concerns up with your MP because no-one on here has any power to change the system

roadwalker Fri 08-Nov-13 22:32:13

I don't know why I am bothering here
But, you need more than love to parent a child, you need to be capable of putting another persons needs above your own
Many adopted children are already going to be challenging due to alcohol and drug abuse
They are removed from people unable to parent them and have already been given many chances and in many case caused actual harm or even death to children

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 22:22:11

Tish No, you haven't read my comments fully, I in no way undermined to love given to children from adoptive parents, actually quite the opposite - and before I was silly enough to enter into an argument with posters, my adoration for people offering a loving home to children in need was even reposted -

My only argument came from people suggesting all children in need of adoption came from 'traumatised' homes - I now have re-read the posts, and agree that these children are from traumatised 'experiences' -
I posted on here admiring parents who felt they were incapabable of looking after there children having the willing and trust to put their loved children in the hands of people they felt more capable, only to be told the majority of children get taken away from homes and put up for adoption unwillingly from loving parents -

I may be totally ill-informed, and nieve, but oh my god - what has happened when apparently there are thousands of children awaiting adoption, and they have been taken away from loving parents??? No matter what the background, more support should be given to people who love their children?????

unusednickname Fri 08-Nov-13 22:12:52

You may well be 'discussing a question' but it would appear not to be the one the thread has asked. Do please feel free to start your own thread asking any question you would like to debate and then we can all hide consider it.

Tishtash2teeth Fri 08-Nov-13 21:29:20

I feel compelled to post (and I very rarely post) in response to taffleee's comments on here. Adoptive parents have very little opportunity to discuss adoption in the real world, as unfortunately we are a rare breed . This forum is for adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents to communicate with people who have adoption experience, not as you put it 'pat each other on the back'.

I am not sure what you are getting our of this thread, but your comments are insulting and derogatory. I can only assume you are enjoying winding people up. You have twisted the words that people have used and you have made assumptions about adoptive parents that are simply false.

My son is very much my son. I do not treat him 'as if he was my own ', he IS my own. He is a lovely, happy little boy, BUT his early neglect HAS meant that he needs slightly adapted parenting and can I just point out that this is not inadequate or second best parenting, just a different approach. I know I am repeating what others have said, but you are simply not listening. I sincerely hope you spend some time researching the impact of early neglect and abuse on children if you are serious about fostering.

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 20:36:02

This is not an 'adoption forum', its a thread posted on a discussion site -

If it was an adoption forum, I would totally have no right to post, as I'm not an adoptive parent -

But its not, so i'm discussing a question, that should also be open to debate - why not?? Nothing ever got solved with 'pats on the back'??

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