Birth mother support

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

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

Kewcumber Mon 30-Dec-13 21:43:06

There are definitely birth mums who read and post on this forum but not loads and its probably a quiet time of year - but persevere and come back and bump the thread a few times and you'll get some replies.

Good luck.

Devora Mon 30-Dec-13 22:40:34

Good luck, audley.

weregoingtothezoo Tue 31-Dec-13 11:06:17

Yes, me too. I'd wondered whether it was ok to have birth parent threads here too - but I need to get OUT of that adversarial mindset. I'm stronger than when I was in the middle of it and would love to use that bit of strength for good. As well as be in touch for support - StupidMistakes <she is NOT Stupid> and her messages really helped me in the painful lead up to Christmas.

Kewcumber Tue 31-Dec-13 22:39:05

I hope you feel its OK to have birth parent threads here having "spoken" a little with some adopters. I try not to post o birth parent threads unless its a question relevant to adoptive parents or asking their opinion, not because I have any issue with them but because I think there needs to be a place you (birth parents) can post without worrying too much whether anything you say offends anyone.

I think the adoption board should be a supportive space for anyone involved in the adoption triangle.

Roisin Tue 31-Dec-13 22:43:10

I'm a bm - long time ago - 24 years - but not forgotten.

Trofast Wed 01-Jan-14 13:02:58

Am a birth mother too, the adoption was over twenty years ago and was voluntary though not so much voluntary on reflection.

Sending you all some strength and love for the new year.

audley Wed 01-Jan-14 20:45:02

Hello, thanks for your responses. My birth daughter is 19 but she is still very much part of my daily interior life! Trofast ditto re "voluntary".

Trofast Wed 01-Jan-14 22:59:54

Hey Audrey, yeah part of my inferior life too. Am a few years ahead of you and 18 + years on was very emotionally loaded I think. All that potential...

We are a pretty niche group. Nice to 'meet' you.

Trofast Wed 01-Jan-14 23:01:11

Thanks iPad, leave my inferior life alonesmile interior obviously.

weregoingtothezoo Thu 02-Jan-14 14:14:50

Could I ask if any of you met your birth children once they were able? And whether you were given any photos or information as they grew up?
Definitely a niche group, not a very well liked group in society really.

Roisin Thu 02-Jan-14 23:41:57

weregoingtothezoo - I had an agreed no contact adoption, so have not had any photos, letters or news.

I've made sure I'm easy to find, should he wish to: on the adoption register, sent updated details to the adoption agency, have mention of him on public bit of my FB page, Friends Reunited, etc. But whilst it is my dream that he would choose to get in touch; I feel it should be his choice, not mine.

weregoingtothezoo Fri 03-Jan-14 11:52:12

Roisin that must have been very hard for you. You sound very strong in yourself. Have you had any other children? Same question to Trofast and audley

Kew (and any others) certainly I don't feel it's a problem in general - I guess it crosses my mind though that DD's adoptive parents might read here. I was told they are "distinguished and wealthy" by the SW - not sure if that's in Mumsnet's general 'catchment' or not. So I guess in general all parts of the adoption triangle should be able to post but if it were specific members, maybe not helpful all round.

Kewcumber Fri 03-Jan-14 12:09:17

Thats a fair point zoo - but you rarely see sufficient detail on MN adoption boards to be able to identify individual children, so I don't see any reason why you can't discuss how you feel etc.

Obviously this isn't a good forum f you want to get into the specifics but I can't imagine you'd be happy to get very specific on any internet forums

audley Fri 03-Jan-14 14:13:30

Hi zoo, I have been incredibly lucky and had letters and pics every six months before direct contact was agreed much much later. We got together just the two of us for the first time recently. It was amazing. Whole barrel of new issues now though re dh and his family struggling with the increased contact.

Roisin Fri 03-Jan-14 21:39:52

Yes, I've had two more boys: they're 14 and 16 now.

I was fortunate that I met the prospective adoptive parents just before I had the baby, which was a comfort.

It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I still hold on to a belief that it was "the right thing" all round in a difficult situation.

Trofast Fri 03-Jan-14 22:20:33

Hey zoo, no we haven't met. Like roison I have left contact routes in place so I am easily found if searched for. Again when the adoption went through I had no idea that they could be more open so only a few early photos were swopped. I met the adopters too and found that a largely reassuring meeting.

I don't plan to instigate contact believing it is best happening when and if my birth child is ready to do so. There are circumstances where I might initiate contact, which I believe I can do via SWs but they would have to be pretty extreme. I would love it to happen though.

My current children are aware of all this and whilst too young to be proactive in searching at the moment I am aware that they could choose to search and that is ok too.

I have a merry band of children but they came a long time after the adoption. I think whatever the circumstances of an adoption a bit of healing time before the next birth is probably a healthy approach.

Audley am happy that you have had contact and have met, hope it becomes comfortable for your wider family.

Roisin here i hope you get your meeting too.

Roisin Sat 04-Jan-14 12:53:54

Yes, my two boys (and dh) are also aware of my story and since they were tiny have known they have a (half) big brother "out there". So far they've never shown any interest at all, but maybe one day they might.

Trofast Sat 04-Jan-14 21:21:30

So many unknowns. I hope that for now non contact equates to a successful adoption which is a comfort. It seems there are more contacts initiated by those in their later twenties/thirties which feels understandable.

RandomMess Sat 04-Jan-14 21:27:59

I'm a bit of a member on here, put my eldest up for voluntary adoption however didn't go through with it. I live with the guilt having not given her a stable and financially comfortable life because of that everyday. She has now contacted her birth father and they plan to meet soon - he treated the situation as one of adoption to which he had originally agree to.

Trofast Sun 05-Jan-14 00:30:31

Oh random, yeah there are some economic and social gains from the choices I made but I wouldn't like to tally our gains and losses. On a navel gazing day we can all find deficits in our parenting but we did what we do and make the best of our choices.

Bf sounds a shit, you sound fab. I always feel like I would like another child (shame about ancient ovaries...) but really I wonder whether what I honestly feel is that I will always feel like one is missing when I head count as one really is missing iykwim.

Maryz Sun 05-Jan-14 00:41:06

Hi, I'm an adoptive mother, so probably shouldn't be posting on your thread, but I wanted to say that I think the adoption board should be for everyone, and I'm glad to see that some birth mothers do feel able to talk about things - it must be very difficult.

My children are older now - ds has no way of contacting his bm as she disappeared (and he refuses to discuss with anyone whether or not he would like to meet her). dd's birth family would love to meet her, and I'm hoping to encourage her to do so though at the moment she is not keen on the idea.

I just wanted to say that although dd doesn't want to meet her mother atm, she has no animosity towards her (she was voluntarily relinquished, as was ds), and knows that she will meet her at some stage in the future. The fact that she knows we have information and that she could contact her if she wanted to is a source of comfort to all of us.

I wish ds had the same luxury - to find if and when he wanted to.

RandomMess Sun 05-Jan-14 09:09:27

My mental health isn't great, that is really the crux of the matter. I have 3 younger dc yet unsurprisingly having had them hasn't done anything to eliminate the pain I experienced being pregnant, giving birth and leaving hospital empty handed (not to mention the way family and others treated you thoughout all of that).

I have always been honest with my dd about being in foster care and having a bio dad different to my first husband and she does have issues about it, until very recently I never said a bad word about him but I have been more honest about how hurtful I found some of his actions however much I could rationally understand them - ho hum...

Trofast Sun 05-Jan-14 19:44:47

That is hard Random. It is difficult to reconcile the actions of those close to you at such timessad

It sounds a bit like you got some of the tough bits of both choices.

Maryz I think it is sad that info isn't there for your ds, if only there was a better fit between the adoptees who want contact and the birth parents who are happy to be found.

audley Mon 06-Jan-14 10:17:25

Good point trofast, re better fit re preferences with future contact.
Zoo there was a 14 year gap between relinquishing dd and having ds1, not intended or through lack of trying though!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi ellroy, and welcome smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All best wishes.

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

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

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

AGO not AGO!

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

S.G.O . APOLOGIES FOR CRAPPY PREDICTIVE TEXT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi all.

Hope you don't mind me posting.

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

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

I hope she some how knows that x

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

Thanks random

Pinkbear I second Randommess

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

These are links I found elsewhere...

www.ukbirth-adoptionregister.com/resources.php

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please. That'd be a big help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I also think this site may be helpful..

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

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

It says...

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

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

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

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

Hels20 Mon 10-Feb-14 08:07:03

Ellroy - I am so sorry you seem to have been left a bit high and dry by social services. There are definitely some excellent social workers out there - and thankfully I have only met good ones - but I know from reading this board, that there are others which could do with a bit more training.

I was thinking about your post last night (at the same time as I was thinking of my son's BM - our meeting is very soon coming up with her) - and I was thinking of whether she would want things like a curl of his hair (I have cut his hair for the first time recently), a painting he did (admittedly, mostly just a scribbled mess) - although I think I need to send these separately - maybe in with my first letter rather than hand over at my meeting with her). And so your idea of a memory box is lovely and perfect - and I would hope it would provide comfort to you in the intervening years before you are in a position to hand it over to her. (Because, surely you would want to keep this and give it to her when she is older/18.) Or are you suggesting you give it to her now, and send it through your sister/social services?

As an adoptive mother, i have actually started keeping a diary of my feelings - a diary that, if my DS wants to read at some point, he can. I think it is a lovely idea for you to do the same - it provides a contemporaneous record of your feelings and love towards your daughter (and might help her understand the situation you find yourself in - with drugs etc). Thankfully, I have never been in a position of addiction (not sure if you are saying you are an addict but I am assuming it is at least borderline addiction as otherwise I would struggle with why SS took your child into care - apologies if assumption is wrong) - BUT I have been in contact with people through my work in a previous "life" and had friends that had addictions that greatly affected their lives - and it just made me so incredibly sad.

I agree with the other posters - access post adoption support and maybe start a separate post - some birth mums are out there (this should be a forum as much for them as for us adoptive mothers) and they might PM you if not feeling able to post and might give you other ideas of memory boxes/letters etc.

Wishing you well -

audley Mon 10-Feb-14 09:15:28

Hi Ellroy,
just popping on to say hi and welcome! I will pm you with a few details of me! I am glad you found us :0)

StupidMistakes Thu 13-Feb-14 18:27:25

Hello, I am a birth mum and would love to link with other birth mums who can understand my position, and share experiences with. I would like to meet face to face with other birth mums however there seems
little out there.

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