Giving up v.severely disabled baby for adoption?

(375 Posts)
mirage999 Thu 08-Jan-09 16:31:05

Contraversial question I know - but is it possible or easy (practically, not emotionally) to give up a severly disabled baby (one that requires full time special care) at birth for adoption or have it placed in care?

I am trying to decide whether to go for the prenatal tests for Downs etc and have decided that if the results show there is a problem with the baby, I would rather let nature take its course and allow the baby to live (but be looked after by someone else) rather than go ahead and have its life terminated, thinking that this would be the lesser of 2 evils.
Has anyone done this and is it possible to have a such a baby adopted/placed into care?
I have 2 healthy children already and the reason for not wanting to keep a baby who was severely disabled as it I dont believe it would be fair on them. Plus my DH would not be supportive and I have no family who could help.
thanks in advance

mm22bys Thu 08-Jan-09 16:43:45

I going to leap in here, and say this may not have been the best place to post this. Many of us do have severely disabled children whose prognosis is not good, and in many cases, there were no antenatal tests that would have shown this.


wannaBe Thu 08-Jan-09 16:52:49

firstly, there are a lot of posters on this particular part of the board who have severely disabled children and non disabled children so to post that having a severely disabled child would be unfair to "healthy" siblings is somewhat insensitive.

Secondly, I find it hard to understand how you could go through a pregnancy without having any tests etc with the knowledge that you would have the baby adopted if there were to be anything wrong with it. How you feel about your baby when it is born will most likely differ vastly from how you feel about the possibility of a baby while you are still carrying it, and what you feel to now be the right decision may turn out not to be once you hold that baby in your arms.

There are people who specifically foster severely disabled babies, and if you genuinely felt that you were unable to cope then it would be possible to have your baby put into care I am sure. Just how easy that would be I do not know, as it's not something that people generally have a positive view of on these boards. Try searching for messages about Julia Hollander and you will see what I mean.

geordieminx Thu 08-Jan-09 16:56:30

What happens if you have a "healthy" baby, then a few months/years down the line the child has an accident, and ends up with brain damage/in a wheel chair or gets diagnosed with cancer? What then? Dump him/her at the local childrens home?


alfiemama Thu 08-Jan-09 16:56:46

I also think this is very controversial (like you said) and like mm22bys has said perhaps not the best place to post this.

I may be off the mark here, but to me seems a very strange question to ask. Fair enough we have all prob asked ourselves whether to have the tests or not. I personally chose not to with both my boys, my reasoning for this is my sil had spina bif and it wasnt detected until a few weeks after her birth and to be very honest apart from a tiny little hole in the base of her spine, she is totally ok. Had my mil had any tests and she was told high chance of spina bif she may have decided to not have her.

Why would your dh not be supportive?

sarah293 Thu 08-Jan-09 16:58:48

Message withdrawn

wannaBe Thu 08-Jan-09 17:00:18

yes agree with gm.

If one of your existing children became disabled would you get rid of them?

2shoes Thu 08-Jan-09 17:00:34

you can give any baby up for adoption even a not damaged one.
but the sn board is mainly full of people who didn't take that option, so harly going to get answers here.

mm22bys Thu 08-Jan-09 17:02:03

If you do feel that strongly that you could not cope and that it would be unfair on your other children, and you would get rid of any problem child, then I think you should not get pregnant in the first place.

There are no guarantess in this life, and even your perfect children may not always be like that, we get what we are given unfortunately.

KerryMumbles Thu 08-Jan-09 17:03:04


that's what this is about.

Everyone has fears of one sort or another when pregnant.

You are becoming consumed by your fears.

You will love your baby when he\she is born. probably even before.

wannaBe Thu 08-Jan-09 17:03:29

oh you're a first time poster I see. hmm

Tiggiwinkle Thu 08-Jan-09 17:06:42

Strange place to ask such a question is it not? hmm

mm22bys Thu 08-Jan-09 17:07:06

I bet she's a regular poster who is embarrassed by her question, knowing that it is insensitive to say the least.

If you are going to ask such a horrible question on a board where many of us are trying to raise the very children you would get rid of at your convenience, then at least have the decceny to post under your regular name.

I wish I hadn't bothered!

Blu Thu 08-Jan-09 17:07:19

mirage - if you have decided that you would not terminate in the event of tests showing any detectable conditions, why not simply continue your pg in enjoyment, and then if at birth any conditions are present, see how you feel then?

This is pretty hard to discuss in advance- it seems that some people do have disabled babies adopted, and that there are people who adopt or foster these babies. BUT you don't know how you would feel at birth, or what condition, or what the prognosis attached to that condition would mean for yours and the baby's life.

I imagine Social Services handle fostering and adoption where people domake that decision.
But it sounds as if you are over-planning for a situation you don't even know is occurring - and also, as others have pointed ou, parents on the SN Board are the wrong audience!

Good luck with your pregnancy.

mm22bys Thu 08-Jan-09 17:08:39 respond to the OP, that is, in case there is any confusion

wannaBe Thu 08-Jan-09 17:15:04

there are people who do give their disabled babies up for adoption. I don't pretend to understand why but it does happen.

But imo there's a vast difference between having a baby who is disabled and deciding after the diagnosis has been made that you cannot cope and wanting to give the baby up (again, I still don't understand but still...(, and finding out before any diagnosis has been made how easy it would be to essentially get rid of the baby should it turn out to be disabled.

madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Jan-09 17:16:35

i'll just pop and tell dd2 we made a mistake and should have given her up 5 years ago because of the effect her existence has on her older brother and sister...

... or not.

perhaps a tad insensitive, but maybe a genuine q?

in a nutshell OP, reasonably easy - have you ever heard of julia hollands? google time.

pagwatch Thu 08-Jan-09 17:17:16

You might ve surprised. When you have a baby with difficulties strangely enough you do not get to switch the 'love' off.

My DS2's siblings have a very fabulous life actually and would be horrified if they thought that I could/would consider giving up their brother to make their lives more comfortable.
Amazingly enoughthey seem to love him too.

<<Pag in lovable disabled child with happy family shocker [shock>>

Actually have a look at my profile. DS2 is very severely disabled. We all look really fucked off don't we?

madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Jan-09 17:18:06

that said, we'd have made a terrible mistake - the severely disabled baby we were promised after 5 weeks in SCBU has made startling developmental strides and shocked all the paeds... hey ho.

mm22bys Thu 08-Jan-09 17:18:07

Judging by the JH case, it is as easy as leaving the baby at the hospital. In that case they must have known JH wasn't going to return, and already had a foster mother lined up when they'd had it confirmed that she wasn't going to return.

alfiemama Thu 08-Jan-09 17:19:05

If you have 2 other children, and you have these thoughts, would you not have thought the same with the other 2?

Have you spoken to anyone about how you are feeling, maybe you are experiencing pre natal depression or something.

oldcrock Thu 08-Jan-09 17:30:29

I have a severely disabled dd2 but her disabilities were not immediately obvious at birth. I would never have considered giving her up but I am just saying that you could find that things like autism or learning disabilities only become evident at a later date, by which time you will hopefully have formed a bond with your child and would not wish to give her up.

Why are you having a 3rd child if you are so happy with your perfect family dynamic at the moment?

OneLieIn Thu 08-Jan-09 17:31:42

troll definitely

Lovesdogsandcats Thu 08-Jan-09 17:33:15

geordieminx what an excellent point you make, fully agree with you.

Message withdrawn

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