how to support my twin when her baby is taken at birth?

(34 Posts)
madmillie92 Sat 14-Sep-13 21:13:27

oo to cut a long story short.. Me and my twin sister are 35 weeks pregnant (2 days apart- I know, freaky right!)
The big difference is my baby will come home to a loving home while her baby is to be taken into care from the hospital then adopted.
She doesn't want this. She doesn't do drugs or drink or offend, she was in a violent relationship (ok a very very violent relationship with a complete nutjob) and social services do not trust her to keep away from him (even tho she's been with her new boyfriend for 6 months) and so have decided to take her baby pending assesments on my sister. She made the decision that instead of fighting for her baby, just to be knocked back (unlikely she will get her back quickly-she has depression, money troubles etc) and her baby spending years in care, she will alow her baby to be adopted to a loving home (social have to find them somewhere in 6 weeks)
So my question is, how the hell do I support her? She is in bits and terrified of the moment they take her away... Its breaking my heart
How can I expect her to be happy for me, knowing what she will go through? She wants to be at my babys birth but I will be so worried she is getting upset, also don't even know who will give birth first yet! I want to support her when she has her baby but I'm so scared! I don't know how I will cope with seeing her go through this. Would be easier if I wasn't due so close so I could help more but don't know how I will help her through this being 10months pregnant or having a newborn.
Also I'm scared she will be jealous of me and my baby
Any advice or reasurrance?

HandragsAndGladbags Sat 14-Sep-13 21:24:14

This may sound stupidly simplistic but can you or another family member foster the baby if she doesn't want to give him/her up? Just until she gets on her feet.

SS prefer a dc to go to a family member if possible I think.

YummyMummy2Twins Sat 14-Sep-13 21:32:59

Surely once she sees her baby she won't want to give her up. Like Handrags would suggest another family member to foster rather than adopt.

How did social services get involved in the first place?

IrisWildthyme Sat 14-Sep-13 21:36:11

It sounds like your sister is ill with depression and desperately needs to be helped to find the strength to do whatever she needs to do to keep her baby.

There is no way that being separated from a loving mother, even one who is currently ill with depression, is the right decision to protect against an unproven possibility of being in contact with a violent ex-partner. Unless there is some other factor you don't know about or haven't mentioned, this would not happen if you and the rest of the family can rally round and show that your sister has the support networks in place to keep the violent, dangerous man away. She needs treatment for her depression and support to get through this.

If you can't or won't do this, to be honest I'm not sure there is anything you can do to support her given that you will have your own small baby yourself. If her baby is taken away then I would imagine she would find all contact with you and your new baby to be painful (though I'm sure she will bear it in order to be able to be with you) rather than helpful.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 14-Sep-13 21:45:02

Hello OP.

I'm so sorry for you both, this is absolutely unbelievable.
Has she already signed for her baby to be adopted or can ss do this without her consent.
I don't know how on earth she will cope trying to support you with a new baby too.
You are obviously very close and it is heart breaking just listening to your dsis story.
Is there anyway you would be allowed to foster her dc until she has convinced ss she is responsible to care for her baby.
Adoption is just so final and I would look at all opportunities and possibilities if you believe your sister will improve.
As for her being happy for you, I don't think she could be and maybe being at your birth may not be good for her.
I hope she finds some fight from within, it is a high price to have to pay for a violent x.
Best wishes to you both, sorry I can't help more, but thinking of you both thanks x

madmillie92 Sat 14-Sep-13 21:51:09

We are care leavers so social services are automatically involved until we are 21 (we are 20) plus they support her a lot due to said violent relationship ... She was in and out of hospital all the time... Ended up beating her so badly she nearly lost the baby at 4 months... Also gave her a few broken bones with it... Yeah so he's a right sicko. He's in prison now for but when he comes out social don't believe she will stay away.
She already doesn't want her adopted but to be honest.. I think its the right thing to do... Even if she gets her back eventually, she has no money, no where to live, depression, and is so vunerable. Adoption will give the baby a life she can't at the moment. Plus it would kill me to see her fight...just to be knocked back.. And I know she will be because they won't even let me look after her baby, and there's nothing wrong with my life at all! I'm just 'too young and inexperienced'
I have been in the care system all my life and know social services and how they work... They deal with guidelines and budgets and strict assesment protocols which are the same for everyone regardless of there differing situations and circumstances. I hate the system with a passion... But that's another story
I just hope my sis can get through this without having a complete breakdown...

Alanna1 Sat 14-Sep-13 21:53:57

Could you foster your sister's daughter?

ZolaBuddleia Sat 14-Sep-13 21:56:25

What an awful situation. Do you think she would go back to him?

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 14-Sep-13 21:59:22

I'm sorry to hear that you are both going through this.

I suggest the best way you can support your DSis is to ensure that every decision she makes is a sound one that she has been able to make with proper advice and counselling. I know this would be easier if you weren't also imminently about to give birth... But has she got independent legal advice, for example, which has gone through all her options?

morethanpotatoprints Sat 14-Sep-13 22:13:28

Hello love,

Do you think that she is obviously depressed because of what she is and has been going through. her poor life for a while now would be enough to depress the strongest person. Depression can be managed and if depressed people had their babies adopted the system would be full.
If you are convinced she will not go back to this man, would it not be better to support her fight to keep her baby.
I know you say she has nowhere to live and no money but that again is an obstacle that can be over come. The state will not leave her homeless with no money if she has a child.
Please make sure she makes the right decision for her, that is the one thing you can do for your sister. She may not be capable of thinking straight atm and be resigned to adoption as she can't see any other way.

I am so sorry for your sister's situation.

No words of advice madmillie92 just wanted to say you sound like a great sister and I hope you will help her all you can while also dealing with all you are dealing with, and you will both come through this.

Just out of interest (ignore me if you would rather) as you both grew up in care and your lives have turned out very differently, what helped you to get where you are and what caused your sis to be where she is? What could be put into her life to help her get out of the situation she is in - e.g. counselling, medical help for her depression?

Is this new man a permanent feature of her life?

Lots of questions, please ignore me if you wish!

Does your sis have low self esteem (it is that sometimes people with low self esteem can get drawn into unhelpful relationships - and this one sounds absolutely awful!). sad

Is the fear she will go back to the violent ex a real fear, if she would go back is that because of attraction (or a feeling of this is the kind of relationship she 'deserves' as some people with low self esteem may be attracted to people who will treat them badly). Or would it be because of fear? Is the concern about going back because the violent ex is the father of the baby?

Please do not reply to any of this if it is sensitive or you would rather not reply. I just wondered how she can be helped to turn things around.

Kewcumber Sun 15-Sep-13 16:40:59

She will not be able to give consent to any adoption for 6 weeks post birth as it will not be legally valid until then. Try to find out what SS plan is - they may be prepared to try concurrent planning which is where the baby would be fostered with a view to if an adoption is planned that the foster parents will get first chance to adopt in order to minimise the damaging changes to the baby. The foster parents commit to work with birth family and social services to try to get the baby settled back with birth family where possible. About 15-20% of babies return to birth family in this situation.

I suspect that unless your sister insists she wants the baby adopted in which case it will be a relinquishment then they will possibly want to see what happens when boyfriend is out of prison and whether she is able to keep him out of her life then.

I've seen some horrendous situations where birth mothers were not abusive but were unable to keep their children safe from violent partners/birth fathers so certainly if she is unable to keep this man out of their lives its probably going to be impossible to avoid adoption.

I don't think that means it is a fait accompli that her baby will be adopted but she does need to show she can work with SS to be a good paretn and keep her baby safe.

Kewcumber Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:40

I don't think fostering with a newborn yourself would either be sensible or allowed for many reasons.

mercibucket Sun 15-Sep-13 16:47:26

ask for her to go to live with a foster family who specialise in teenage/vulnerable mums and care for the baby there with their oversight. should give her a chance to prove herself to social services

Kewcumber Sun 15-Sep-13 16:49:39

I was going to ask same as mercibucket - find out if there is a place for mother and baby unit/foster. They are in short supply though and I still think the acid test will be when her ex is out of prison - so depending on when that is a decision may well wait until they can see how she responds to that.

ZolaBuddleia Sun 15-Sep-13 17:06:31

If the abusive ex is the father of your sister's baby, will she be required to facilitate contact between him and the baby?

happycrimblechuckie Sun 15-Sep-13 17:07:57

You know what madmillie you sound like a lovely twin sister and I think when the time comes your wonderful sisterly insticts will kick in and you will know what you need to say and do, you are after all twins and you know what she will want to hear better than anyone. What a very grown up young lady you seem.

IrisWildthyme Sun 15-Sep-13 18:51:08

I've been thinking about this thread and remembered about this kind of fostering which is sometimes known as concurrent planning or Mother and Baby Fostering - depending on the agency's particular policies, either foster carers look after the baby and facilitate frequent contact with the birth mother while the final decisions are made, and if it is decided that the birth mother won't ever be able to cope then the foster carers become the adopters which enables the baby to not have the disruption that a lengthy decision process would otherwise entail; or sometimes the foster carer will look after both the mother and the baby - this is more usual if the mother is under 16 herself but as a vulnerable care leaver perhaps your sister would qualify - and this arrangement can last until either the mother is sufficiently skilled and confident to be a parent separately, or alternatively if it is decided that this won't happen then it can segue into a gradual transfer of care of the baby separately from the mother. Could you find out whether something like this would be possible for your sister?

madmillie92 Wed 25-Sep-13 00:42:26

Thank you all so much for your helpful comments and kind words. Social services have already decided that regardless of whether or not she changes her mind about adoption, her baby will be taken and placed with a foster carer from birth. As the time goes by (we have 3 weeks left) I can see that this is going to be a lot harder than she thought. She has naturally bonded with the baby so, knowing her as I do, I know that she will never forgive herself if she doesn't fight for her daughter. From what ss have said I think she would need to go through lots of assessments and meetings so I just hope she's up to it mentally, she's so fragile at the mo, seems like everytime I see her she's crying and has no money/food ect. Its a struggle just to get her to go to the meetings she has now, she seems to always have excuses (I was asleep, my battery died ect ect)
I feel so akward talking about my baby though, I've bought so much stuff and everything is ready and perfect, can't help feeling a bit guilty for some reason! Anyway thanks everyone and fingers crossed everything works out! Xx

madmillie92 please enjoy your new baby, you are helping your sister and I am sure you will do a great job of helping her but also allow yourself some time for you and your new baby.

madmillie92 Tue 25-Feb-14 23:23:23

Hi everyone! Just thought I'd update you! My sister had a change of social worker and decided, once she saw her daughter, to fight tooth and nail for her.... And her new social worker is so much more supportive so placed her in a mother and baby unit...4 months later she has passed all the tests and assesments and she is now with a mother and baby foster carer and looking forward to getting her own place soon! She is such a good mum and I'm so proud! All she needed was to get away from the awful men she seems to attract...the problem was them not her...
Our babies were born exactly 1 week apart...me and my twin are 1 minute apart! I'm looking forward to seeing them grow up together :-) thanks everyone!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 25-Feb-14 23:34:31

What a lovely happy update! So happy for your sisyer this is great. I wish you both the strength tonsupport each other theough whatever else life theows at you. You sound great for her!

pussinwellyboots Tue 25-Feb-14 23:40:22

So wonderful to hear that your sister is being given the opportunity to be a Mum its good to be reminded that there are some good social workers around. Best wishes to.both of you as you bring up.your amazimg children.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 25-Feb-14 23:40:52

Lovely update, fab to hear things seem to be heading in the right direction. I didn't even notice this was an oldish thread initially - glad to get an update; I often wonder what happens to people.

Best wishes to you and your sister!

BrianTheMole Tue 25-Feb-14 23:42:53

Thats great news op. Really pleased for you both.

Dinosaursareextinct Tue 25-Feb-14 23:49:30

Great news, but worrying that 2 social workers deal with a situation so completely differently - the first one insisting that the baby be adopted, against your sister's wishes.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 25-Feb-14 23:50:40

Oh bless you both, I am so happy for you and so glad baby is with her mum.
You are a fantastic sister, good luck to you all . x

Squidwert Tue 25-Feb-14 23:58:02

Just wanted to say that reading this made my day - both you and your twin sister deserve all the happiness your little ones will bring, and I wish you well in your journey as mums grin thank goodness she wasn't forced to give up her baby, be strong together and enjoy every moment!

HappySunflower Wed 26-Feb-14 07:10:52

Oh, what a wonderful update. Thank you for taking the time to come and tell us now things are. What about you? How is your baby, did you have a boy or girl? Congratulations-to both of you smile

Kewcumber Wed 26-Feb-14 08:26:27

Dinosaurs - you don't know that the difference in attitude isn't the social workers but the sisters. Previously not engaging, failing to turn up to meetings etc why would a social worker be optimistic about the situation. Fighting for her child and engaging = more supportive social worker. (I am not dismissing the idea that social worker wasn't great btw)

TBH madmillie the problem isn't only the men in her life but also her failure to recognise that. If she can continue being focussed on healthy relationships for herself and putting her child first then the future looks good for both of them.

I'm glad it has all worked out for them.

madmillie92 how wonderful. I am so pleased for your sister and you, and for your babies. I really hope your sister will be able to continue on this good path and will be able to stay away from any bad influences, especially bad men! Knowing what she could lose (her lovely baby), I really hope this will enable her to find all the support and help she needs.

You are obviously a very great sister to be so supportive.

All best wishes.

happydazed Wed 26-Feb-14 21:04:53

that's such good news, so pleased for you both

angelinterceptor Wed 26-Feb-14 21:12:37

what lovely news and a happy ending for once -

adoptmama Thu 27-Feb-14 04:52:50

That's really great OP. So glad you were able to support your twin and that you have had such a great outcome. So lovely your babies can grow up knowing each other.

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