forever family

(12 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Nov-13 19:07:39

Please excuse my ignorance but I have something on my mind.

"forever Family". I think this is lovely in principle because I know that adoption has changed so much since the 1960's when I was adopted.

However, I was surprised to hear that some adoptions broke down, this was my ignorance concerning the emotional and physical trauma many adopted children have experienced in their life, I know better now.

So, bearing in mind that the dc may have experienced such upheaval and insecurity in their lives, why is the term used when the adoption could break down?

Lilka Mon 11-Nov-13 19:41:07

My DD1 was told she had a forever family. It broke down

I didn't tell her I was a 'forever' person. She was too old, too traumatised, and too system-smart to believe that or believe anything else that I said. I demonstrated that I was a forever mum (I hope!)

And yet, at the same time she's just one child...ideally, and what happens the majority of the time, is that it won't break down and it really is a home to grow up in till late teenagerhood at least.

Our children might ask us when they have to move again...what do you say?

How to explain to a foster child, about who the new people (adoptive parents) are who they will be living with?

How can you explain what adoption is, to a slightly older child in foster care (say a 5 year old), and explain the difference between foster home and adoptive home, without invoking the concept of it being long term/forever/till you are grown up?

I think a lot of children NEED to be reasssured that they aren't going anywhere anytime soon

I have always told my DS and DD2 that I am their mum forever, and I will never stop being their mum, even when they grow up and leave home and have their own families (DS is horrified at that concept!). I AM committed to being mum till their adulthood and beyond. Even if say DD2 had had such massive problems she needed a treatment home or something, I would never stop being mum, I would just be mum to a child who doesn't live at home. But then I wouldn't count that as adoption disruption. No adoptive parent wants to end up being part of the section 20 club, but my definition of disruption is not only that the child leaves, but ALSO that the family, don't consider themselves a real family any more/do not want to parent on any level/there is some understanding of terminating the family relationship in a very final way. So for my DD1, her former parents placed her back in care AND no longer wished to parent her or consider her their daughter. That was the end. If you keep considering yourself a parent and family, and are involved as a parent on any level, I would not consider that disruption

Which is why i don't have a problem telling my kids that I won't stop being their mum. Forever. I will never stop.

lilka I'm very emotional at the moment anyway but your msg was so beautiful that you made me cry.

Devora Tue 12-Nov-13 00:56:37

In law, adoption makes a family as permanent and binding as any other family. I think it would be very unhelpful to allow adoptive parents to think of themselves as taking on anything other than a lifelong commitment.

In practice, yes you are of course right that some adoptions disrupt. But my guess would be that encouraging children that they might be 'sent back' would make that more, not less, likely to happen.

I agree with Lilka's point about the difference between family crisis and disruption. My adopted daughter has been with me since she was a baby; she is absolutely and permanently mine. Of course, in the future, things might go very wrong - I may end up asking social services to take her away, can't be ruled out. But that is also true of my birth daughter. Whatever happens, wherever they live, both will still be my children and I will still be their mum.

But I think the main answer to your question is this: because you cannot innoculate children against the pain of losing their family by warning them it might happen. And by doing so, you increase the risk of that happening.

KristinaM Tue 12-Nov-13 09:13:44

Around a third of marriages end up in the divorce courts. Presumably more end up living separately without a legal order. The vast majority of these couples went into it hoping and believing that it was for life .

But we still enter into marriages and civil partnerships making these vows and promises. It's about hope and intention.

Sadly couples and families will break down . Adoptions will break down. Bio children will leave their families of origin. But we all go on trying and loving because what's the alternative?

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Tue 12-Nov-13 15:11:56

To be fair, some non-adopted family units break down as well. Some children are born into families that for whatever reason aren't "forever families".

When we adopted our children it was forever, just as when I gave birth to my son he would be my son forever. But I'm under no illusions that there is always the possibility of not being able to continue being a parent to them forever - I might get ill, I might die, I might not be able to cope.

But the intention with all adoptions is that they should be forever. Just as the intention when you give birth is to be a parent to that child forever.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Tue 12-Nov-13 15:12:31

Or what Kristina said blush.

Fuckit, I have to start reading entire threads properly.

fasparent Tue 12-Nov-13 15:53:18

Not Nice when indiscretions cause F Up's, but when all calm's down forever parents and family's are still always there through thick and thin.
Pause for thought please.

MissFenella Tue 19-Nov-13 17:51:37

Our LA never uses the term forever family, I think its quite outdated (and a bit twee). I think its 'home to grow up in' 'family to grow up with' now.

Inthechelseahotel Tue 19-Nov-13 23:08:09

I think a home to grow up in is cold, impersonal and it sounds like you are describing a building sad and a family to grow up with sounds like you are an outsider.

I talk to my 5 yr old about us being family forever and ever but then I am a bit outdated grin

What about 'family for life'. I've never heard it used in adoption circles but I like it (IMHO).

Lilka Tue 19-Nov-13 23:47:22

I like it, buy it's the same principle as 'forever family'. So the disruption issue MorethanPotatoPrints was talking about is still there. So it still comes back to what Devora, Kristina, Maryz and I said

But of course families should choose their own preferred terms smile

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