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.

Lilka Tue 05-Nov-13 14:48:34

To be honest, I think the only universal motivator to adopt is 'I really want another child'! If you really want to be a mum again then adoption might well be exactly the right way for you to go about it

You do need to make your head and your heart have a serious conversation with each other, and get mostly in line with each other. Sort out how you really feel, about work, freedom etc, so you are totally comfortable with all the things involved in parenting a younger child again

Don't be swayed towards IVF if you definitely aren't interested. I do believe that if you have a desire for a biological child, then you should persue that, because you need to be absolutely committed to adoption. But if you truly aren't interested in having another birth child if you could adopt, then it's all fine. Apart from the nosy people. Ignore them/think of good responses to shut them up

Adopting to give a child a playmate would be a bad reason, but clearly you don't feel that way. Everyone who adopts, either after having a birth child, or adopting their first child, will have concerns about their existing childm and what they can manage in light of their existing child/rens needs. I've never had a birth child but adopting for a second/third time gives you the same concerns about how your existing children will cope, what you can manage as a family etc. In my experience, most people do let their existing childs needs be a big guide in deciding what kind of child to adopt for instance, what needs they can accept etc

I don't think your hopes are unrealistic either. You hope for a generally good family life, but are prepared for some of the issues a traumatised child might have, like the issues you've seen your friends children have, and you are comfortable with those issues. Unrealistic would be hoping for a child with zero issues and zero problematic background factors. In my experience, the majority of waiting children have some issues but not major issues. So, food issues, sleep issues, insecurities, are all very common. Other common issues can be social/making friends, speech and language, some developmental delays etc. You do have to be realistic that its not always possible to identify a childs needs pre placement, and sometimes a child will display difficult behaviours you didn't realise they had. But I personally know many happy families whose children have issues but that doesn't stop them from having a good family life. They do have extra things to consider, sometimes have to parent in a different way using different techniques than you would for a secure child, more forward planning involved with certain things. That doesn't stop them being absolutely glad they adopted and unable to imagine life without their precious children

My son, for instance, is 8 now, and came home aged 23 months. He has had, still has, some insecurities, trust issues, seperation anxiety, sleeping problems (these are mostly in the past now), and problems making friends. He used to struggle in school a lot but has now caught up and he is actually very happy in school right now, which is great! He is an absolute joy smile I have to plan some things carefully and use forward planning (eg. invited to large family gathering, i know he's going to struggle with that, what can i do to help?), use some different parenting (no time out, but quiet time with mum instead), do things i wouldn't necessarily need to do with another child - he might regress slightly and need more babying, rocking on my lap, he needs to excercise away his nervous energy as he can get very hyperactive when anxious so masses of outdoor stuff, he struggled in reception/Y1 because he had a deep fear i wouldn't come and pick him up at the end of th day and he'd been abandoned, so I sent him to school with a hanky smelling of me (I sprayed it with my perfume and wore it on my skin for a couple of day before giving it to him) and a possession of mine to look after for me, and it made him feel much more secure. Just some examples of parenting a child like him. Things that don't prevent us being a mum and son who adore each other, and wouldn't be without each other for anything smile

My older ones do have/have had very significant issues, but again, I don't regret adopting them for a second, and I do feel that we are a positive adoption story, a success story. They have a mum, a family. It's not easy, it's been and is incredibly difficult sometimes, but it's worth it. I do think though, that since I chose to adopt older children whom I knew had histories of abuse and emotional and behavioural problems, that I'm not really the best example of an adoptive family to give to someone who is thinking of adopting a younger child without (known) significant issues. It is of course possible that a child adopted young could go on to develop significant issues a few years down the line, but for me, a bumpy ride and challenges was always a certainty, not a possibility. So I think my sons story and my life with him is the best thing to focus on, because it's just (IMHO) much more likely to reflect your situation if that makes sense.

Lilka Tue 05-Nov-13 14:49:03


massive essay alert



LydiaLunches Tue 05-Nov-13 14:58:49

Gosh, both posts are beautiful, expressively written and completely inspiring. You sound like such lovely parents.

Kewcumber Tue 05-Nov-13 16:24:14

Wot Lilka says...

She saves me so much time.

Moomoomie Tue 05-Nov-13 17:09:16

Again, I totally agree with Lilka.

MaryQueenOfSpots Tue 05-Nov-13 20:20:51

Lilka - thank you so much for your post, it is so inspiring to hear of an adopter who has had some difficulties but found their way through. It resonates with my experience of knowing my friend's two adopted children quite well, and it's good to hear that this is the norm not the exception.

I will take your advice and have a really hard think about whether I want to give up my new found free time to intensively parent a young child again. I'm pretty sure I do as I mope on my day off work when DS is at school!

I will also have another think about IVF to make sure I am totally ok about not having a biological child. The whole fertility industry seems so cynical - taking money in exchange for hope - I find it hard to engage in the process. It doesn't help that DH's sister has had 4 failed IVF cycles and I've seen the emotional toll on someone who is resourceful and resilient.

Thanks again to all who posted, especially Lilka. I liked the essay smile

Devora Wed 06-Nov-13 17:50:20

Yep, Lilka saves us all a lot of work.

Mary, I'll just add that I adopted a 10 month old when my birth child was rising 5 - and a quirky, introspective, antisocial child she was (so much so that people kept telling me they thought she was autistic...)

Over 3 years later, both children are doing great. My eldest has blossomed, enjoys school, has good friends and goes to lots of parties. My younger is a fabulous, loving, demanding, funny child. They fight sometimes, but they also adore each other. I think they both gain a huge amount from having a sibling.

Now, that outcome couldn't be guaranteed (and may yet change!). It's a risk. Having an additional child is always a risk, but even more with adoption. Nobody can promise you how this will turn out.

But I know how depressing the adoption fora can be, and I want to assure you that your friend's experience is far from unique. Adoption always adds its own issues to a family, issues that have to be dealt with, but there is a continuum of experience with plenty of people at all stages of it.

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 18:03:10

I agree - motivation is wanting another/first child- so I dont see any problems with your motivation
The big question for me is
If an AC hurt your BC, if your BC decided it was the worst thing you had ever done (this is how my BS feels), if they didn't like each other
Could/would you still give your everything for the AC
That is crucial because IMO there is no going back once you have committed
AC have already been rejected and need parents who will stick with them and treat them as they would a BC

Technoprisoners Wed 06-Nov-13 18:15:12

Would you pursue the IVF route thoroughly before moving on from it? I totally agree with what's been said above but I do think you need to address it fully between yourselves, whatever the outcome.

We adopted DS1 from a young baby. When he reached about 18 months, we realised we longed to do it all over again, like you, and that we desperately wanted another child. The IVF route had not, for various reasons, been something we'd wanted to try first, prior to adoption of DS1. Adoption for us was always a first choice, not a final attempt to gain a family. However, once we realised we wanted to extend our family, we decided to give the IVF route a chance, so that we could look back in later years and realise we'd been fully open to that and what may result from it. We didn't put any pressure on it for it to work - we already had our beautiful DS and were so lucky - but we wanted to be able to say we'd tried everything ...

It worked ... DS2 was born, a perfect brother for a perfect DS1 (and subsequently, was joined by a perfect DD!). If we hadn't been so blessed, we rationalised that at least we would have tried and not looked back with any regrets. We would probably have pursued the adoption route again, but tbh, I'm not sure we could have coped with the total invasion assessment brings. For us, adoption was the absolute priority the first time, but it had a high price; IVF was an entirely different, and equally prioritised, attempt to extend our family onwards. And it was very private and personal, just to us. We think we have been through the mill and back for all our DC and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Hope this makes some sense ... it is a very emotional subject for me and one which I don't often talk about.

I am sure you will be the most wonderful of parents, whatever path you decide to take. But do be open to /all/ options you are able to take. Good luck!

YesterdayI Wed 06-Nov-13 20:01:56

I have no experience of adoption but I couldn't read and run after reading this thread. The posts are all so thoughtful. Mumsnet at its best smile

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 20:32:19

All the posts on here are so from the heart, bless everyone for posting what they did xxxx

The one thing that did stick with me tho from the OP post, was the suggestion that taking on an adoptive child who would be 'traumatised' - I really think this would come down to the specific background, there are alot of children in need of a new home who don't necessarily come from a 'traumatised' background, just maybe some parents who have quite difficult experiences who just cannot look after their children.

That doesn't mean the children were unloved, or came from a 'traumatised' home, it just meant a certain person wasn't able to cope with the responsibilties of being a parent.

I knew somebody at a very young age that put her child up for adoption, because she felt she couldn't offer her a good home, and it was the hardest choice of her life - and 20 years on she still cries over her choice, but stands by her decscision - we were very young x

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 20:36:42

Just being removed from BP is a trauma for a developing brain, then the care system is less than perfect
Trauma doesn't necessarily mean violence

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 20:49:21

I was in the care system at 14, it was an horrific experience for me, but that doesn't mean there are some brilliant parents out there that can offer a better life x trauma no way means violence, but trauma doesn't also mean a loving mum who cant cope giving and trusting another mum to love their child.

To me that's, that's the hardest decision a mother could make, and you cannot judge a woman for doing that -

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 21:01:30

At the end of the day there are just some people who cannot cope with being parents, it doesn't make them bad people, and I for one totally respect those people who put their hands up to it -

There are also people out there who are longing for children to love, who cant have children of their own, so I hope these two wrongs make a right x

Adoption just means giving an innocent child a life - adults see trauma, children don't see that - a loving home ends it x bless the OP for wanting to adopt, but don't see as a 'traumatised' child, just a kid who needs some hugs and kuds, and to be part of a family x

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 21:01:50

taffleee, relinquished babies are very rare in the UK system today - there can't be more than say 40-50 a year at the very most, I may be overestimating a bit, out of 5000 adoptions. Nearly every single child waiting for adoption in the UK has been taken away by social services, which is ususally because of abuse (and neglect is often the most damaging form of abuse in terms of the long term impact it has on the developing brain), drug and alcohol exposure in utero, witnessing violence, OR if the baby is very young, because of background factors eg. most members of the birth family have severe mental health difficulties or learning difficulties, both of which have a heritable component to them.

Also, taking a child away from it's parents is a traumatic experience, as is moving a child from it's foster carers to adoptive parents. If a baby is taken away from it's birth parents very young, being taken from it's foster carers may well be the more traumatic experience. A toddler losing it's parents it's very frightening, confusing and upsetting.

So nearly all children waiting to be adopted in the UK are traumatised children who has been through traumatic experiences

The issue is not whether they have been traumatised, but how the trauma will affect them. Will the drug exposure lead to difficulties later? Will they have FASD? Will all the seperations lead to difficulties in forming trusting relationships? Very difficult to say, and it's impossible to predict accurately how a child will fare, although IME the majority of children do have some issues which are manageable and do not hugely impact on family life. Then a significant minority have more moderate/serious issues, some seem to escape unscathed by their experiences which is fantastic

OP may well not wish to adopt a child who been through numerous traumas, simply to minimise the likelihood of coping with significant issues, and instead adopt a child who has had few traumatic experiences or fewer background issues.

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 21:07:17

Lilka Read my last post

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 21:14:24

Adoption just means giving an innocent child a life - adults see trauma, children don't see that - a loving home ends it x bless the OP for wanting to adopt, but don't see as a 'traumatised' child, just a kid who needs some hugs and kuds, and to be part of a family x

It's great that you are so positive about adoption and that adoptive families are just as special as every other family

But fundamentally, as an adoptive mum, I totally disagree. My children are traumatised. My son was never abused, but even moving him around and the few months of unstable care in his early life have left him with longer term issues

He was too frightened to concentrate in school, because his experiences have left him with a deep rooted fear of abandonnement - how did he know I was going to keep picking him up day after day? He got angry and lashed out

He useed to be scared of misbehaving, because how did he know mummy wouldn't just abandon him if he was bad?

And he does NOT have signifiant needs

My eldest once asked me 'What exactly is love, cause x (friend) was saying how much she loves her mum and I don't know what she's talking about".

At the age of 27, over 20 years since she last went hungry, she has a deep need to have her fridge stocked to the max and have food in her pockets and handbag all the time.

Our children ARE beautiful, wonderful, resilient survivors who deserve nothing less than a committed and loving family for all their childhoods. I for one want to see more waiting children adopted

But it is very important for all adoptive families to understand trauma, and to be prepared for seeing the effects of it. Our children need hugs and love, but love is not enough. Hugs are not enough. That combined with time, consistency, committment, appropriate parenting should hopefully help them heal, but is no guaruntee at all that all of their issues will completely go away

My daughters have needed even more - therapy, counselling, statements and special schools etc

None of which, as I said, stops us being a family, and a positive successful adoption story. But when I look at the waiting children, I see traumatised children. I also see a lot more (the beauty, resilience etc) but i see trauma

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 21:21:03

Lilka you seem very 'in know' to all these 'factors' - but what worries me is you've not mentioned once a child has been taken by social services because it was unloved.

You've mentioned 'witnessing violence' (which can mean anything from arguments between parents), to mental health difficulties (does that mean people suffering with depression should worry about their children being taken away??)

I'm going to stop there because i'm concerned, in NO WAY does anything ive mentioned above mean the children in that so called household are unloved or 'abused' -

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 21:44:26

Lilka I totally respect you for being an adoptive parent, and the children you have seem very loved, and your the best of them.

I just worry about the parents who struggle, that's all, and maybe incorrectly judged because of what you have listed, and who I know are brilliant and loving parents -

I just think maybe there a lot of families out there who may just be in need of support, instead of judgement, and you mentioned abandonment - was this a case of social services taking away a child from a family that just needed some help, or a family that didn't love him??

I'm worried the latter falls into place more often than not now, i'm not talking about your personal experiences as you can only talk about what you have, and you seem to have supported your kids through it all, your a brill mum xx

I think this thread has made my mind up about fostering x But I'd want to work with parents also, i've no idea how to go about this, any advice would be great x

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 21:46:07

Many children are unloved...being unloved is not a reason for taking a child into care

Conversely, I have found the opposite...most birth parents love their children very much and are very angry at SS and the courts for taking their children away from them permanently

Violence does not mean argueing. Violence, by its definition is physical. And yes, witnessing domestic violence, nearly always in conjunction with other serious issues IS a reason, in court, that will go in favour of a child being removed into care. Refusal to leave an abuser over an extended period will go in favour of the child being adopted

1 in 4 people in this country have had mental health difficulties, including many adoptive parents. Please don't put words in my mouth, I have never said anyone with depression needs to be worried about losing their child. In fact I got very angry with one person on a MH thread banging on about SS stealing depressed people's kids.

The inescapable truth however is that a small minority of people who sadly have severe MH difficulties cannot safely care for their children. The sad truth is that a big proportion of waiting children have birth family members with MH difficulties. Prospective parents, during the homestudy, WILL go through a form with their SW, which asks what needs/background they are willing to take on.

Eg. One or both birth parents are diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Yes/No/Maybe

One or both birth parents have moderate/severe learning disabilities. Yes/No/Maybe

(I can't remember exactly what form says, but mine was something like that)

Very important to think about it, although not in depth until homestudy stage, because all prospective parents MUST eventually do that form and have decided what needs they can cope with

Nearly every single child I have ever seen profiles for adoption has either neglect/abuse (whether sexual, physical or emotional), drug/alcohol exposure in utero, family history of MH difficulties/learning disability, or domestic violence as a big reason for removal/adoption. That's just how it is in the 21st century. Only a small minority of people with these difficulties will lose their children, but nearly all waiting children have these background issues

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 21:49:43

Taffleee, I have NEVER seen a child up for adoption who did not need to be adopted. Their parents really could not care for them, although they (nearly always) love their children

I will always emphasise that

The waiting children just cannot be cared for safely by their birth parents, for all the reasons I listed, however much they are loved

Technoprisoners Wed 06-Nov-13 21:49:43

I hear what you're saying, taffleee.

And Lilka, we all face these issues, regardless of where we come from. You are making a direct link between adoption and trauma. Not so. And the traumas of which you speak apply just as much to one's biological children as adoptive ones. How many of us can track our medical/psychological/emotional histories and project potential problems in the future? None of us can fully do that. You delve into the unknown when you have a child - adopted or not. And that is the real beauty of it.

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 21:55:24

There is a very clear and absolute indirect link between trauma and adoption

Many children suffer trauma

A small minority of these children will become available for adoption

Nearly all the children in the UK in the 21st century who are waiting to be adopted, have been through trauma

So adoptive parents have to be prepared for that

They need to be prepared to parent a child who has issues due to their traumatic experiences

Because the VAST VAST majority of all adoptive families WILL deal with trauma related issues

Because our children have been traumatised

Social services, by the way, really emphasise this from the start. No prospective adopter will be left in any doubt. The preparation course will cover abuse, a little brain development, attachment difficulties, the effects of abuse, books will be recommended etc

So you can not go into adoption blind and hoping to get a child who has never experiences anything bad

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 22:00:59

Techno I couldn't have said it better x

Lilka you have just hit a nerve - you've said certain children are not to be cared for 'safely', however how much they are loved???

So how about how much these children also love their parents, and with the right support their home life couldn't be made better, giving support to both parents and children???

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 22:07:00

Lilka I totally understand where your coming from, your an adoptive, loving parent who is giving advice to potential 'adoptees', i understand that -

But not every child under 'adoption' has come from a 'traumatic' home, you have to understand that also-

Also, not every child has been taken from an 'unloving' home - you are talking from your experiences - you have to understand that also?

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 06-Nov-13 22:10:53

Tafflee, if I am lucky enough to adopt a child that has been voluntarily given up I will have nothing but admiration for the bravery and selflessness of that decision. I do recognise that some parents are dealt a really bad hand, through no fault of their own, and just can't cope.

At the moment I am taking time to really think about if adoption is the right decision for me and my family. We are having our house extended in March so that we have space for visitors as well as the new AC, and will not proceed to prep group until that is underway. The adoption agency we approached have said the process has all been speeded up and once you get on the prep group train, there is no stopping it. So I'm really taking my time to weigh it all up and plan to make a final decision in April. The worst that can happen is we end up with a house bigger than we need. Techno, thank you for your thoughtful post, i will look at IVF again as whatever we do, we need to have no regrets.

Devora and Lilka's descriptions of their experiences have boosted my confidence that we could cope if we go down the adoption route, and that while difficulties are common, full on nightmares are rarer.

roadwalker makes a really good point about how i would feel if AC hurt BC, and it is one I have been pondering. I am thinking that by the time this all happens DS will be close to 6, and if we state we could only manage a younger child then there would be 4 years between them. Hopefully this would mean that they wouldn't be competing for the same things. I guess some scrapping is common between siblings - but roadwalker did you mean something way beyond the norm?

Lots to think about, and I really appreciate the time and trouble taken by all the posters.

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 22:11:09

I'm sorry if I've caused any upset

But what's untrue about that? Some children, cannot be cared for safely by their birth parents, so SS and the courts place them for adoption. That's how it works nowadays

My DD2 and DS birth mother adores them. She really loves them so much. I tell my kids that

She just cannot parent them safely because of her difficulties in life.When they lived with her, they wound up hurt. They were not safe, period. My DD2 is permanently injured, and has long term emotional difficulties.

That is desperately sadly, the situation for most waiting children, that prospective parents will be prepared for.

My DD2 loves her birth mum (or 'mum' as we call her at home! On forums I use birth and adoptive as distinctions)

She adores her mum

She facebooks her and has visited her

She loves her in spite of everything that has ever happened to her whilst in her care, and I understand and support her with that

What about the childrens love? What can we do when a young child winds up with bruises, scars, is desperately delayed because of poor care, and wants to go home but their parents will never get it together enough to parent?

I respect my DD2's relationship with her mum..but I know 100% that she needed to be adopted

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 22:14:29

Being removed from BM causes trauma and moves around the system cause trauma. A new born baby needs to make an attachment, that is what we are designed to do
The brain is not fully developed and will develop according to early care
The baby suffers a trauma just because it is removed from BM- and may have trauma whilst in the womb if BM is an alcohol/drug abuser

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 22:15:55

But not every child under 'adoption' has come from a 'traumatic' home, you have to understand that also

In 21st century Britain, most of them have either been removed from a truamatic home environment, or from parents who have such huge difficulties, the courts will not give them a chance to parent, because it is too big a risk

A small minority are relinquished, and perhaps come from a very safe and caring mum who nevertheless feels that adoption is the best choice for her and the baby

If you read my posts, I have said very very clearly that nearly all waiting children have birth parents who love them

I am not going to mislead any prospective adopters into thinking that they are likely to adopt a relinquished child, OR into thinking that they are likely to deal with zero issues related to trauma, because in my experience, it is just not true

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 22:26:54

Maryqueen I've just read your post fully, and if ever there was a child in need of a loving home, no mater what there background, you seem like the most fully prepared and loving mum they could hope for -

Loads of love to you, you seem wonderfull xx

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 22:40:26

lilka I hate to ask, but do you live in a nice area??

I live in a city, i'm lucky enough to live in a nice part, but could give you some horror stories about social services regarding children being taken away -

And these are the most cared for, loved children in the world, but parents who have been through the mill - think its about time we stopped removing children from 'easily targeted' areas, and helped the families in need -

I'm going foster, and need some advice, this thread has made my mind up so will start a new thread x

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 22:45:45

We have a major shortage of foster families, so all the very best with fostering smile

I don't live in a wealthy area, no. I'm a low income mum living in a relatively deprived area (it's not extremely deprived and doesn't have major social problems, nor could it be described as a 'middle class' area by any stretch). I do live near very deprived areas with massive social issues. But then, I also live near a 'nice' middle class area! Where I live there's very little distance seperating very deprived areas from very wealthy ones

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 22:49:36

It is certainly true that sometimes SS get it wrong and treat people very badly indeed

However I have never seen a child up for adoption, who I felt 'goodness, did they really need to remove this child from it's parents?'. When I read the in detail reports of potential 'matches', I only ever felt that that child definitely needed an adoptive home. I'm not saying it has never happened of course, but in my experience nearly all children waiting for adoption, do need to be adopted and have not been removed for no reason, or for a flimsy reason

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 23:08:42

lilka yes, but your talking from your experience, and I have seen the other side -

You said alot of kids don't get put up 'willingly' from parents who cant cope, I agree with that also, even though I've had personal experiences of a very brave mum who did so.

You may not have read a detailed report about a child who you didn't feel like was in need for adoption, but maybe there are reports that should be read as 'how can we help this family stay together' and 'is this a family in need'??

I just think sometimes, its an easier option to separate a family, where some just need a little support?? x

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 23:17:10

OP- the violence my DD has demonstrated is way beyond what you would expect in normal circumstances
I have never regretted adopting though, she is my daughter and I love her
I just want adopters to be aware of what may happen and be prepared to stick by the child however tough it is- unless it is more beneficial for the child to be in a different setting
Our children have had enough rejection and deserve some stability
Good luck OP- it is good that you are considering all this

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 23:17:48

Mmm, but that's at a much earlier stage

And whilst I do believe that some families who could be kept together with more support, are seperated, I do not believe in those conspiracy theories that SS are out to steal kids deliberately to make money.

By the time it's adoption stage, the reports we get are to help us make the big decision whether or not this child is our own child or not. It's well past 'should the family be kept together', the courts have already said 'no'. We don't have access to any of the myriads of paperwork before this stage, so obviously we don't know all that was going on behind the scenes, although we know the major background factors.

Devora Wed 06-Nov-13 23:18:38

taffleee, go back and reread the thread. You have been jumping to a lot of assumptions about what Lilka is saying, but if you are serious about fostering you honestly need to learn from what she has told you. Nowhere has she judged birth parents, or said that it isn't a good idea to provide support to families in need. She is stating that adopted children have all experienced trauma - and I agree completely with that - but you are reading that as her saying that all birth mothers have deliberately traumatised their children.

Basically, courts approve adoption where birth parents cannot or will not give children what they need. These parents usually love their children. You are right that they have often been through the mill - often these are people who have suffered hugely, and been themselves let down as children. People will make their own choices as to how much individual culpability they assign to a woman who has herself had no experience of loving, stable family life, but the point is that the courts don't care whether the birth parents are 'to blame' or themselves victims. They care about the facts: is this child safe, healthy, developing well? If not, is there any prospect their birth parents can improve the situation?

We can all think of examples of parents who love their children and would love to care well for them, but cannot. Maybe because they're doing a long stretch in prison, or in the grip of serious mental health problems or addictions that they can't manage to get on top of. It's not about judging those parents, it's about clear-sightedly appraising whether they are going to be able to give the child what it needs, within the crucial timeframe of the first few years. If it is possible to provide sufficient support to help them do this, of course it's better to do so - not least because adoption IS traumatic for children, and best avoided unless the alternative really is worse. But believe me, the bar is set pretty high: nobody loses their kids because they're a bit low, or struggling a little.

As adoptive parents we have to find ways of talking with our children about their birth parents, that are honest about what has happened, that allow our children to express their feelings safely, that contain any anger we may feel towards them (and often they have very actively hurt our children). It's not easy to get right all the time but I know we take that responsibility very seriously. I never read bitching or judgemental comments about birth parents in this corner (I read loads in other parts of Mumsnet!) so please don't assume that's what she's doing. I'm sure you have a lot to offer as a foster carer; you will have even more if you listen and learn. I have no idea if Lilka lives in a nice area, but if you are imagining that adoptive mothers are all fragrant pearl-clutchers who combine adoption with a little light flower-arranging at the church, think again - most of us are tough old birds who've seen a bit of life smile

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 23:23:47

roadwalker just deal with every child with love and respect, regardless of their background!!!

Children don't remember the bad stuff if you show them to good!!! Don't treat them any differently regardless of what they've been through - treat them with 'kid gloves' and they'll remember why!!!

Devora Wed 06-Nov-13 23:24:56

Separating a family is never an easy option! Though inevitably social services get it wrong sometimes. And I'm sure we can all agree that troubled families need more, better and earlier support.

Like Lilka, I have never seen a child up for adoption where I've thought that social services were making a mountain out of molehill. I have, though, read adoption paperwork where I've thought, " Jeez, this poor woman never had a chance" and been bitterly angry at how deprivation and inadequate parenting gets handed down the generations with pathetically inadequate support or intervention.

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 23:28:10

Thanks for the advice tafleee but I was actually responding to OP's question
Children may not have actual memories but the brain develops differently
I suggest you do some reading if you are serious about becoming a FC
I haven't posted anything about how I parent my DD so you are making an assumption that I am using 'kid gloves'

Devora Wed 06-Nov-13 23:28:43

Well, I'm sorry, I have to disagree with your approach.

Children who have been adopted usually do remember the bad stuff, and they often need very particular kinds of parenting.

Look, you obviously don't think you've got much to learn from us, but why don't you read some of the information on the adoptionuk website? Because if you're going to foster traumatised children it will NOT be enough to just pretend that they're just like any other child.

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 23:29:05

My aim of posting has been to answer OP questions
I suggest you start a new thread as answers to OP are getting lost in your agenda

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 23:38:03

Children don't remember the bad stuff if you show them to good

Um, yes they do

Children can have very early memories of chaos and abuse

My girls have nightmares and flashbacks that never go away, despite the fact they were removed aged 6 and 4 respectively. Their experiences are with them for life. They have clear memories from being aged 3 at the very least

I do not treat them with kid gloves either. Giving a child who has major control issues whatever they want whenever is a good recipe for disaster. I try to parent 'therapeutically' - therapeutic parenting being a model developed to help the parents and carers of traumatised children for whom standard behaviour modifcation techniques do not work, or even make their behaviour worse

Children who are hurt aged say 0-2 may not have conscious memory, but they are often left with physical reactions. A well known phrase is 'the body keeps score'. It's difficult to explain but a good example was given by an adoptive mum who was involved in a car accident and whilst she was mentally fine and not suffering any worries or flashbacks. But then when she went out to drive her limbs were shaking, her body reacted badly. My kids have very physical reactions to some things, even though they don't know why, because they don't have conscious memories or it. My sons deep rooted fear of abandonnement is not coming off of a conscious memory, beause he can't remember his move to me or anything that happened when he was a baby. Kids are and can be very affected by things which happened before they can actively remember it, because experiences affect the brain and its connections anyway

If you want to foster it's important to know that kids will remember the bad stuff and it might stay with them long term

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 23:44:08

Devora Okay, your talking as an adoptive mum, and I appreciate that -

I'm talking about my personal experiences within the care system, and according to your so called 'watch-net', maybe i should be looked at -seeing as though i come from a 'traumatic background'. (I've also suffered from depression??)

I'm a mum, I have two beautiful boys who are cared for and loved deeply, and I've been 'through the mill' in my past, people should stop judging, and start helping -

thats all

taffleee Wed 06-Nov-13 23:47:41

Lilka I'm not going to go over my past, but i was in the 'care' system -

I had an horrific time, and all I choose to remember was the good -

Kids do that, if you treat them differently, thats what they'll remember

Lilka Wed 06-Nov-13 23:52:32

I'm really glad you have been able to do that

My kids do know and remember all the good things we've done and the care they've had with me

But they also remember all the bad things, and I can't make that go away

My daughters do not choose to have flashbacks or nightmares. They have no choice in the matter at all. They would never choose to suffer like that. They do not choose to remember the bad things. PTSD is not a choice.

Devora Wed 06-Nov-13 23:56:34

Eh? Where did I say that people with troubled backgrounds aren't good enough parents? I said that many people who aren't good enough parents have troubled backgrounds, but that's very different!

I honestly don't understand your line of logic. You seem to be saying that most birth parents love their children but just can't cope because they have difficult lives. Then when someone else (me) agrees that these parents often have difficult lives, you accuse me of saying that everyone having a tough life should have their kid taken off them!

Nobody here is judging you as a parent. Until your last post, I didn't even know that you are a parent. I don't know why you think we don't understand that people have tough lives: FWIW I've suffered from depression too, and have in my background poverty, domestic abuse, alcoholism etc. They're not rare experiences, yet most people who go through them manage to do a good enough job of raising their kids. Some, sadly, do not.

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 00:08:18

Devora er, should be a discussion topic not a row??

And, no, I said that if certain people have certain difficulties maybe they should be offered support until the 'worst' happens. That's all x

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 00:48:38

Tafflee - you are entitled to use your own experiences in informing you on how you raise your children and as an adult you can look back and think "I'm fine I just chose to be positive and it all worked out ok" but you may come across as being a bit naive when being assessed as a foster carer and might want to think about what people have had to say on this thread before talking to a social worker. Or not, as you choose.

My ds is about as low risk as you find in contemporary adoption - relinquished at birth no abuse or serious neglect and yet when he came to me aged 1 at an age when most babies have been learning to trust their primary carer and begun to lay down pathways in the brain that forms the template for future relationships, what he had learnt was "Everyone leaves" and it has had a lasting impact on him and has influenced the way I parent him.

Now you can chose to believe that I'm being precious about my little boy and that really all he needs is a hug and to be parented in exactly the same way as every other child.

You can choose to believe that, but that doesn't make it true.

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 00:59:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:03:32

How unbelievably rude and nasty

Where do you get off saying things like that?

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 01:06:02

Ha ha! OK then. That was a wasted post - 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back!

I don't totally understand your post to me but I do understand that you are completely sure you're right and don't really want to hear anything else.

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:06:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:11:23

This whole thread has made me question the abilities of so called adoptive parents, OP exclulded, you seem to be taking on kids and treating them like excluded members of society, when their life hasn't even started yet!!

YesterdayI Thu 07-Nov-13 01:15:14

It's a shame for the OP that this thread has got bunfight'y it was so helpful at first. sad

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:16:51

....and reported!

so called parents?

Ah of course only birth parents are real parents hey tafflee?

Why are we 'excluding' our kids, pray tell? I'd love to hear this, so I can roll my eyes with the sheer stupidity of it

Why did I waste so many minutes of my life being nice and posting thoughtfully from my heart? I mean really, I wonder why I bother if all I get is vitriol in return

You wanna know what my kids think of me? Why don't you read what my daughter thinks of me? She likes me I think wink

Luckily I know I've done it as right as possible. I don't need random people on the internet to tell me that cause I have an adult child who can tell me I did it all right smile That by treating her as the girl she was, including her memories, past etc, was right. As it is. That parenting therapeutically was right. As it is

You truly have no clue about the needs of kids like ours

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:16:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:18:08

Yes, OP, I am truly sorry about this. Feel free to start another thread if need be and you have any more questions. You sound like a lovely person who would make a great adoptive parent, by the way smile

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 01:20:17

I'm sorry that my post appears to have upset you so much that you felt the need to lash out by saying I don't love my son and that he is not "my own". You might want to think about why you feel this way when my post didn't mention your love for your children or that ds came from a "challenging home" (he didn't).

Don't feel sorry for my lovely ds - he is very much loved and cherished and my dreadful approach to parenting is actually pretty normal and he doesn't seem to be suffering unduly.

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:20:41

do you seriously think Kew does not hug and cuddle her son and treat him with all the care he deserves

Don't be so silly

Kew parents her son differently at times by doing many of the same things I do with my son I think....reassuring stuff. Rocking on lap aand time in with mum INSTEAD of time out, which triggers deep fears. That's a good example of therapeutically parenting a child who has been through trauma

Reading up on therapeutic parenting techniques would do you the world of good were you to foster

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:22:34

and reported??? lol - I hope so, because children should be treated as your own if you adopt, and i'm glad your oldest has been okay, without you imprinting her past on her

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:26:12

what the fuck does 'imprinting the past' mean? It sounds like something in 'Twilight'

Actually I have parented her very differently than I would a secure child, because of her past

That's the RIGHT thing to do with a child who has been through a lot

As she affirms herself

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:26:54

I reported your post for being a personal attack on Kew, and personal attacks are against the Terms of Use or whatever they're called

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:27:52

Time out triggers deep fears?? Get a grip, how about sleeping in watching cartoons snuggling in to duvets?? What's that??? Over mothering, or have you never done that???

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:30:00

personal attack, lol, dont worry, i apologise to 'Kew' if you felt that way,

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 01:30:22

Lilka - luckily most of us here are robust enough not to worry too much about anonymous opinions of people on the Internet because we have . I think the irritation factor of actually engaging with the debate only to have your posts wilfully misinterpreted might raise the blood pressure a bit so I'm going to disengage at this point...

Hopefully the Op has enough information for the time being at least.

YesterdayI Thu 07-Nov-13 01:30:32

Sometimes hiding threads is a really sensible idea.


Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:31:19

Yes it does for him. Being sent away makes him feel abandonned and extremely scared...I tried time out once in a moment of sheer stupidity and he was shaking in fear and crying and then begged me not to send him away with deep fear in his voice. I never so felt so stupid. No more time outs.

You are the one who is literally clueless about what our kids feel. Either don't foster or learn fast

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:32:29

Ah, you're probably right Kew as usual. Can't take back reports anyway, mods will be along soon to delete the attacks as per usual

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 01:37:46

"because we are confident in the love we have for our children" sorry lost a bit there.

And being accused of not loving an adoptive child as much as they love their"own" children is pretty staple insult to an adoptive parent so water off a ducks back for me!

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:46:19

true that Kew!!

No Tafflee I've never 'over mothered' what is this word you speak of?

My kids don't know what cuddles are, or duvet cartoons, or hugs, or kisses. Totally spoils them, hugging does

TV is banned in this house
So is laughing, and having fun, and smiling, and video games and computers

MY kids know the value of chores...from morning, noon until night!! 12 hours of work on weekends, weeding, scrubbing and giving me foot massages

One book a week is permitted, but it must be a Victorian pamphlet produced for children to let them know the value of being seen and not heard

After 12 hours of hard graft, and a small meal of gruel (sp?), it's time for extra school. I got my son started on long division when he was 2. I have a ruler to rap the hand for misbehaviour.

Then bread and cheese is followed by bed, but with the window wide open, warm rooms spoil children

Amy Chua has nothing on me I'm tellin ya. Anyone read 'To train up a child' by the Pearls? Cracking book I'm telling you

<struggling to keep straight face>

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:47:16

lilka i don't need to, i have two beautiful kids of my own - but i also have the ability to love without questions -

taffleee Thu 07-Nov-13 01:49:35

Lilka i believe that actually, lol

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 01:55:18


Night night honey xxxxxxxx

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Nov-13 07:39:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

KosmoKramer Thu 07-Nov-13 07:59:34

Ooh yes, I can see Tafflee's references being read out at fostering / adoption panel. And then the file being closed. And binned.

What an extraordinary amount of misguided crap you have spouted, Tafflee. The other posters on this thread just shine with their knowledge. Same really, as you actually sounded quite warm when you started posting.

roadwalker Thu 07-Nov-13 08:19:31

Tafleee- you have been incredibly rude on this thread, making accusations and then defensive when nothing has been said
Like I said earlier, you very rudely hijacked the OP's thread with your own agenda
People more patient than me attempted to discuss with you but you are clearly not interested in genuine discussion
You have a very warped sense of logic. Adopted or not there is more than one way to parent you know.
Children may have autism or LD and may need a different approach- by your logic it is this approach that has caused the disorder??
Likewise if a child has a physical disability and needs a wheelchair- it is not the parent using the wheelchair that has caused the disability you know, nor the wheelchair, that is the tool they use to enable the child function in society

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Nov-13 08:39:32

Taffflee has gone on to another thread and actively invited people to come to this thread, which is on a support board to look at her lolling at the adoptive mothers.

She is offensive and totally out of order.

marfisa Thu 07-Nov-13 09:18:50

Not an adoptive parent, just wandering past, but I'm massively impressed with Lilka and Kewcumber - their display of compassion and knowledge and ability to keep their cool.

It's interesting that taffleee herself has been in care. My hunch is that she HAS been traumatised by her past and hasn't had the therapeutic help she needs to work through it, thus the fact that she has such an axe to grind today. (Not that that excuses the rudeness though.)

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 09:42:44

Marfisa - that's kind of you to say so. It hasn't escaped me that some of the (for want of a better word) soothing techniques I use on DS and the ability not to react I have learnt have come in very handy on this thread.

But sometimes people just have offensive views and believe they are right about everything.

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 09:51:24

roadwalker - its interesting (and might actually be relevant to OP) that I came to the same conclusion last night. Talking too much about adoptive parenting or therapeutic parenting gives people the mistaken impression that it is somehow something different or special or weird that sets our children apart from others.

In fact its really as simple as parenting your child the way they need to develop as well as they possibly can - whatever their needs.

I don't use time out (as Lilka said and we have discussed this before as our boys have similar issues) because it doesn't work for us. We have alternatives that work well if you are persistent.

When I discuss this with people in RL I don't mention "adoption" just discuss different ideas... generally on an adoption support board though its OK to talk more openly about what has caused the issues we deal with and what works for other people.

OP - it is an interesting lesson which many of us have learnt though - DON'T MENTION ADOPTION! You will be bombarded with people saying that all children do (insert behaviour of choice).

If taffleee thinks we are exaggerating the effects of adoption on a substantial number of children I hope she never signs onto AdoptionUK forum, her head may well explode!

Never mind... its all part of life's rich tapestry eh, MrsDV?

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 10:05:51

Ah it's amazing how a nights sleep makes me so calm and collected!

I agree with Kew

MrsDV - Just looked at that other thread, ohhhh dear. Great how no one gave her the time of day grin i could learn from that. I'm not as good as Kew at not rising to goading. I have a lot of patience and calm when it comes to the children but I just can't make it extend to strangers, it all goes out the window!

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 10:17:05

Aw Lilka - have a hug and some time in... grin

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 10:18:20

and I would imagine that the posters on that thread weren't deliberately not giving her the time of day just a bit bemused about why they should go an laugh at a pile of random adopters!

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Nov-13 10:32:08

I am astounded that anyone would read your posts lilka and kew without at least pausing to try and understand a different point of view.

You always remain so calm.

roadwalker Thu 07-Nov-13 10:39:37

Which thread?

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 11:15:18

The immigration one on aibu

She starts on page 20 then by 22 its all 'EDL' and at some point after that she randomly starts moaning anout thos horrible woman who doesnt love her kids and wants to kick tafflee off because she doesnt yhink kids are traumatised or something like that. Not sure whether she was talking about Kew or me, i suspect me. It was sort of funny in a really pathetic kind of way

Thanks Kew grin

Now I'm off to cook a batch of gruel wink

Now I really want to watch Oliver....

cornflakegirl Thu 07-Nov-13 11:29:43

I often read posts in the adoption section, but never post because I have no personal experience of adoption. It's such a shame that this thread has been derailed, because I've learnt so much from Lilka and Kew and the other regulars. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you guys share. Lilka - your daughter's blog post was beautiful, and made me cry.

roadwalker Thu 07-Nov-13 12:21:56

Thanks Lilka
I love the way they just ignore her

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

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your reports.

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. Please read our talk guidelines for any extra clarification.

Maryz Thu 07-Nov-13 12:40:03

Wow, this thread has got incredibly nasty shock

I'm never impressed by people who so clearly know nothing about adoption feeling it's ok to spout shite and make accusations against those who do.

For what it's worth, op, (and I hope you are still reading, despite all the crap), I think your motivations are absolutely fine. Most people come to adoption from a "I want a child" perspective. The vast majority of those of us who have adopted love our children unconditionally - not "as if they were our own" but because they are our own.

But it is very true that all adopted children have suffered trauma. Even in so-called ideal situations, where the children were voluntarily relinquished and adopted very young there is still trauma of being separated from birth family and the knowledge that they are "different", not helped by the off-the-cuff and sometimes cruel remarks of strangers.

Both of mine were adopted very, very young. Both were seemingly "normal" babies. Both carry the affects of their adoption. ds1 struggles massively with attachment, has communication difficulties and feels displaced. He is and always has been desperately unhappy. dd is the opposite - she is a "people-pleaser", always anxious to do what makes others happy, reluctant to stick her head above the parapet and cause a stink in case people don't like her.

I love them both to bits - I love the so much that although I will always be grateful to have them in my life, I also wish very much that it hadn't been necessary for them to be adopted. I wish (for them) that they had been born into happy families who could have loved them and kept them.

Because although I have tried my best, it would have been infinitely better for both of them had they never needed to be adopted in the first place.

Maryz Thu 07-Nov-13 12:48:48

And I've just seen Taffleee's posts on the other thread.

I can't see her being around for long grin

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 13:49:30

Thanks mods

And cornflakegirl , thank you, DD cannot believe the amount of lovely responses she has got smile

Maryz yes I totally agree re. the difference between 'loving a child as if they were your own' and 'loving your child who IS your own'. My children are not like my own, they ARE my own, and I think the distinction is very important

unusednickname Thu 07-Nov-13 15:06:35

What Maryz just said with a side order of 'once social services get an idea of her political...Um...let's call them 'ideas' there's no way on earth they'll consider her for fostering'

marfisa Thu 07-Nov-13 16:51:30


Another example of the poster above having communication issues.

Devora Thu 07-Nov-13 21:51:42

It's a funny old place, the adoption cave. We bumble along quite happily, chatting among ourselves, flying under the radar, sheltering from the storms of the big MN seas around us - then once every couple of months someone comes on here and insults us quite gratuitiously grin

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 22:05:55

I was just thinking how rare it is that there is ever an argument on this board, Devora

We get away with it for so long, and a couple of times a year we get one person spoiling the harmony and supportive vibes grin Apart from that one year we had that annoying man who kept putting @ - who started all those goady threads and nearly made Kew quit posting forever, but that was a blip

Maryz Thu 07-Nov-13 22:12:16

It is quite strange to have a bunfight here, isn't it?

I think some people think we should all be fluffy "it's all wonderful" about adoption all the time. Instead of which we are both realistic and supportive.

All of us think adoption is fantastic, but we are under no illusions that it is always plain sailing. Which shouldn't put anyone off, but should make them think, if that makes sense.

Devora Thu 07-Nov-13 22:17:23

I wonder if some people find us quite tough - those that come on saying they have so much love to give a child and we tell em how it is and they run away screaming. (I do NOT mean the OP - she sounds great smile). Perhaps some expect us to be fluffy? We're certainly not that - but I hope we're never offensive or unkind.

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 22:38:50

I'm sure some people find us tough. I find us tough!

I like to think that we're a bit like a pub landlady - hard as nails with a well-disguised heart of gold. No coincidence that my redoubtable grandmother was a pub landlady.

Lovethesea Thu 07-Nov-13 22:40:51

As another lurker I think you are brilliantly realistic, truthful and passionate about adoption.

Reading your posts on other threads helped my DH understand why it wasn't a case of just 'having a third child' if we went into adoption, but a whole therapeutic style of parenting and meeting potentially life long needs that we would be signing up for. He really couldn't understand why I thought wanting a third child was the right motivation and wanting to rescue a child in care was the wrong one. I spent some time trying to explain that the seemingly selfish motivation was the necessary driving force to get through all the hard parts of parenting.

I've made it clear I will reconsider it again once mine are older but since I am so stretched with my two (3 and 4), and 90% of the childcare falls to me, I would never take this path unless I had a strong desire for a bigger family. I know wanting to 'rescue' a child is not the right motivation, only wanting another/a child in your family is strong enough to keep you going.

Moomoomie Fri 08-Nov-13 17:14:44

Wow. I join real life for a couple of days and look what happens.
Well done Lilka and Kew for keeping your cool.
Op, it's not always like this on here!

Choccyjules Fri 08-Nov-13 18:04:42

Blimey. Glad that appears to be over.

FWIW everyone on the Adoption threads here has been nothing but kind, helpful, realistic and positive while we've been researching and now being assessed for adoption. A great mix, I think.

(And while I do go onto AdoptionUK it's always nice to get back here, so it can't be that bad! wink)

unusednickname Fri 08-Nov-13 18:56:50

I don't think you're harsh. Since I started talking to people IRL about adopting I've heard so much stupidity I reckon this topic strikes the right balance of 'Here we are, feel free to vent/wail/ask for help' and 'You want a playmate who's the same age as your BC so they're not lonely? Get a fucking grip'

And I speak as someone who Kew recently told they were 'barking' grin

Right, going to go and get out of this druggie NC...

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 19:23:43

Right, have read all of your lovely comments, and will take on board- I didn't realise this was a 'slap us on the back, haven't we helped society' thread -

There is another side to 'adoption' you know - the only point I was actually trying to make was maybe before so many people reached the stages of being separated from their children, shouldn't more efforts be made to help families stay together?

That was not me knocking the efforts and and credibility of adoptive parents, and if you read 'some' (not all!) of my posts i hope that's understood -

If in later posts I came across incorrectly, I do apologise, I did feel a little 'under attack', but maybe that's because I talked about some topics that were and are very close to you.

I apologise

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 19:41:44

As for a 'personal attack' I merely responded to a discussion - whether I'm agreed with or disagreed with.

If I was to 'report' the 'personal' attacks on me in this whole thread, would your comments also get 'deleted'?? I would hope not, as I appreciate everyones point of view, and freedom of speech -

The only thing I do take offence at is somebody, marisa i think, mentioning I'm traumatised because of my past dealings with the care system - I think that's personal actually

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 19:47:16

At the end of the day, discussion forums should mean 'discussion' - and unfortunately that doesn't always mean people agreeing -

MrsDeVere Fri 08-Nov-13 20:24:20

The adoption forum is meant to be a place of support not debate.
It is not AIBU.

Same goes for the SN boards, health boards etc.

A fair few of us have a very good idea of the 'other side' of adoption. I know I have and I didn't disagree with anything Lilka or Kew posted.

taffleee Fri 08-Nov-13 20:28:20

Then why is this a 'discussion' forum???? I do believe there are individual sites set up for support networks for adoption???

This is 'mumsnet', an open forum for mums, to discuss any topic mentioned??

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'??

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.

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.

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?????

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

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

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 -

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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

I think we could sum all this up beautifully by shouting


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.

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

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.

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.

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 -

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 16:47:09

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??

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

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 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

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 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

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