Birth mother support

(53 Posts)
audley Mon 30-Dec-13 21:37:11

Hi, any birth mums out there who would like to link up for support and share experiences?
I am a bm.

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 21:06:16

Hi first time ever on here. Bit apprehensive to be honest. Anyhow...I'm a birth mum. My child will live with my sibling until the age of 18. This is painful and the court proceedings were horrendous, but we all kind of agreed and accepted that for the child this was the correct thing to do. At a week old my child left my care. Now my child is almost two.
As appalled and ashamed as I am, I feel it is relevant to admit that my partner and I have had problems in the past with illicit drug use, and so this is why we were unable to provide the life that our child deserves.
Despite our dreadful past I think that we have been treated appallingly by social services. We see our child twice a year supervised. We had three social workers who all had different opinions on contact. The . Last one we had normally works in adoption, so unsurprisingly, she wanted the bare minimum.
My question is .....can anyone help us with how to create a memory box and whether it is appropriate to send birthday cards e.t.c as we were supposed to be counselled and guided on such matters but once the court matters were over we have received none of the support that was court ordered.
Sorry for being long winded!!

Hels20 Sun 09-Feb-14 21:23:23

Ellroy first of all, I am hugely sorry for your pain and thank you for posting on the board.

Secondly, in answer to your question - did your sibling get a SGO or an adoption order as I think that might affect my response. Are you also still entitled to direct contact?

Lilka Sun 09-Feb-14 21:29:28

Hi ellroy, and welcome smile

I am so sorry for your situation. Don't worry about being judged here. I am an adoptive mum but there are several birth mums here and they might see this and reply

Are you wanting to create a memory box for yourselves, to hold all your letters and precious items etc?

With the contact, has a final arrangement been made? Social workers might have different opinions but along the line, someone has to make a final decision along with your sibling. It really is not professional to leave you hanging and not tell you what has been decided

Sometimes in adoption birthday cards are sent - my DD2 and DS used to get birthday cards from their birth mother (now DD2 is in reunion and DS no longer wants any contact at all) ever year.

I think you need to contact social services because they need to tell you what exactly the contact arrangements are and whether or not you can send birthday cards.

There is a birth mum here who also had difficulty getting support and counselling and made a couple of threads about it, I will have a look and try to dig those threads up for you, because she did succeed in getting social services to provide her with the counselling in the end

Ellroy no words of wisdom but thanks for sharing. I hope you get the help you need with all this. I am not yet an adoptive mum but I am a birth mum to a dd who lives with me and I so sorry for your pain and hope you will get all the support and help from the right places.

Is the memory box for you or for your child? I have lots of ideas but it would depend what you want to do, and whether or not you are going to give this to another person or keep for you. If it is for you I would just say to think of all your senses, sound, smell, touch etc.

When my dd was still pretty young I had a miscarriage and landed up in hospital. I have nothing to remember that little one by except the few words I wrote in the hospital's miscarriage book and the soap I had with me when I went into a hospital (a new posh bar of soap). I wrote out the writing I put in the book and keep it on my pc for the future. and I keep the soap and very occasionally smell it.

This may be too painful to do but it may also be useful as smell is very strong for emotions.

I know a 1000% that a miscarriage is not like losing a child. I just wanted to share something to say that when you put things in the box think of smell, think of touch (something soft for example) as well as colour and most of all meaning.

All best wishes.

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:27:42

Wow......
First of all THANK YOU SO MUCH for your messages.
In response, the memory box is for my daughter when she is older so that she knows how much we love her, and to preserve little memories via things such as the hospital band that was round her ankle, scan pics, pics from contact which was initially weekly.
Can't remember any other questions as I'm overwhelmed at response-especially after I admitted my past. Thanks folks.
Oh, and it was a residence order, then AGO which it stands at to date, although adoption hasn't been ruled out should she wish. Her birth father and I would not oppose this if the desire came from our daughter, as we appreciate that it may make her feel more integrated/fully part of her new family along with her siblings.

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:28:21

AGO not AGO!

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:29:13

S.G.O . APOLOGIES FOR CRAPPY PREDICTIVE TEXT

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 22:33:11

I wonder if it would be helpful to ask poster who were adopted as children what they would have liked in a memory box.

You could write a "diary" once a month perhaps but getting the tone correct will be difficult perhaps. I'm still very careful about what I share with my eldest dd about how painful those times still are to me because it's not her pain to bear if that makes sense?

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:39:22

Yes please. So glad to find other birth mums. I have been trying to Google my situation to find advice etc only to be hugely disheartened by the seemingly one sided articles. They cater for the adoptive parents and children it seems, which is obviously great, but nothing for us. In fact I just read with regards to memory boxes, that the adoptive parents are being advised to basically minimise letters on birthdays if they say that "we had to let you go because we love you"!!!! How can that be detrimental to a child when they are old enough to begin to learn about how and why the placement came to be?
Sorry......rambling! What's your situation?

pinkbear82 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:43:40

Hi ladies, perhaps inappropriate of me posting but my partner was adopted, recently he has looked through all the info and paperwork and thinks he would like to make contact, and has found a potential 'match' on Facebook.
My question is, how would you feel the best way of contact could be made? It's over 30 years ago, he has no idea if she wants to hear from him etc etc..

Any advice gratefully received, please feel free to pm me should that be more appropriate.

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:47:57

Random mess.....hi. yes I agree that the child should not have to know our turmoil and pain. I just want her to have a memory box that has souveniers from our time together as although we are not ever going to be her mum and, I would like for her to know that she is loved and to have a box to treasure hopefully when she is older.
I understand that it is a delicate thing. I need guidance. I don't want to be inappropriate so need help. We don't even know correct terminology to use, so we have used common sense and we call ourselves by our first names and 100 % promote her new family.
I just feel we have been let down by the social services- well, the worker we had.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 22:48:00

pinkbear I would recommend he uses one of the agencies that help birth child and parent get in contact and will act as an intermediatary. They are able to provide professional support and counselling and are good at handling extra sensitive situations.

ellroy9693 Sun 09-Feb-14 22:49:04

Ps apologies as I really am a discussion room kinda thingy ma jig virgin. Sorry!!!

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 22:49:14

ellroy I don't really know where you can go for good advice sad I know Australia has open adoptions, I wonder if you can google for australians sites that may have suggestions etc.?

WowserBowser Sun 09-Feb-14 22:49:26

Hi all.

Hope you don't mind me posting.

I was adopted as a baby. So i have no experience of memory boxes but could have a think what i would have wanted if you like?

I just wanted to say that i think it's a great idea for a thread for BMs. I wouldn't change my circumstances. I have absolutely no resentment towards my BM. I think it was a brave and quite selfless thing for her to do. I couldn't have wished for better adoptive parents.

I hope she some how knows that x

pinkbear82 Sun 09-Feb-14 23:00:55

Thanks random

Pinkbear I second Randommess

Personally, I would not go through facebook. The potential for misunderstanding and hurt seem quite huge. I think councelling and support is the way to go. In my experience some men are not keen on counselling or even asking for help, so you may need to be an encourager in this.

These are links I found elsewhere...

www.ukbirth-adoptionregister.com/resources.php

afteradoption.org.uk/are-you-adopted-adult-or-birth-relative

I mean counselling so he is able to cope if his birth mum is rejecting, or perhaps even if she is welcoming, counselling to help cope with the very powerful emotions and feelings and to ensure the best, most positive outcome for him and his birth mum.

Ellroy do you have a social worker? Could they point you in the right direction? What you want to do sounds really good, a memory box sounds a lovely idea.

ellroy9693 Mon 10-Feb-14 00:00:16

No. The social worker seemed to dismiss me n my partner before she met us. She kept banging on that she represented my daughter, yet was totally all over my sibling and even in the court room Sat laughing n joking and sitting with my sibling and the lawyer. My partner n my lawyers said that this was unprofessional.
Sorry, gone off on a tangent. I'm just bursting to get my story out and to be below it box
Sorry

ellroy9693 Mon 10-Feb-14 00:02:17

Please. That'd be a big help

ellroy9693 Mon 10-Feb-14 00:17:40

Hels 20-
I really don't know how to use this forum, so I hope it's ok
We settled on an S.G.O. with adoption not yet ruled out. We have now got no social services in solved as its all been settled in court, and therefore al resolved.
Just wish we could have had a bit of help and advice with regards to memory box, as it is for our daughters sake, so should be taken into account,no? as the emotional well being is supposed to be paramount.

ellroy9693 Mon 10-Feb-14 00:19:59

Involved...sorry, the predictive text keeps altering what I type! Haha

Ellroy without giving away any identifying items of your own story I wonder if it would help to start your own thread and ask for advice from anyone who has been in the S.G.O. situation?

I honestly know nothing about this so can't advise at all but looking on this site....

www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/families/special

It says "Special Guardianship was introduced as a new permanence option for children in December 2005. It provides a legally secure foundation for building a permanent relationship between the child and their special guardian, while preserving the legal link between the child and their birth family."

So your ideas about a memory box sound very good in relation to preserving the link.

I also think this site may be helpful..

www.afteradoption.org.uk/are-you-adopted-adult-or-birth-relative/birth-parents-adopted-child

This may not be relevant for you ad please do not be offended by any of the language... I understand it is an SGO and not adoption but I am sure the feelings and some issues may be similar.

It says...

"Most parents who have given up a child for adoption say that it is the most difficult decision they ever had to make in their lives. In the past the needs of birth parents were rarely considered and it was felt that, in certain circumstances, adoption was the best option for your child. At After Adoption we understand that, although you may have lost parental responsibility for your child, you will never lose the feelings you have for your child and these can affect your everyday life."

They help with feelings and emotions, counselling and support groups, contact etc.

I know that this may not all apply to you and some may not be relevant but as a place to start this may be a place. They have a phone number and email address. Good luck.

PS apologies, I have posted a lot on this thread, didn't mean to it just sort of happened! blush sending best wishes to you all.

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