Support thread thread for those feeling a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of threads atm

(136 Posts)
Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 09:52:06

Thats it really - do you feel a bit under siege?! I do.

I feel cross that I seem to be constantly defending a system that I think is far from perfect but that on the whole those attacking have no idea of the ramifications of some of what they are suggesting.

I feel sad that once more adoptive parents seem to be considered the people who aren't quite behaving perfectly enough when the reality is that our children are where they are because their birth parents weren't quite perfect enough.

On one thread, it was suggested that if adoptive parents couldn't deal with sharing their child with birth parents that perhaps they weren;t up to the job and that if a child had been with adoptive parents for 10 years that maybe be child should still be returned to the birth parents if it were discovered there had been a mistake.

I cannot say again and again and again that I think even 1 mistake is a tragedy and that we must make every effort to avoid this. And yet every new starts again with the assumption that adoptive parents are "against" any birth parents. They seem to think that we have no empathy or understanding of the horror birth parents feel at having a child removed - like we're not really parents and we wouldn't feel the same horror at having our children removed. My blood runs cold at the thought of it.

I have also in the last year had a bit of a wake up call about how convincing people you know can be when they swear blind that they didn't do something, that their child has mental health problems and made up stories. When it was all proven to be true, I can;t tell you how much it shook me - even nice "normal" people do dreadful things to their children and it amazes me that social workers see this all the time and still manage (on the whole) to give parents a fair hearing.

I'd love to be able to have a sensible conversation about how many times parents fight and continue to fight for their children and the children are still subsequently adopted - I think that would help me quantify in my own mind how fair this figure of "thousands" thats been bandied around is, because I'm fed up of not being able to refute it for lack of evidence that that doesn;t seem to stop anyone else.

It's wearing and I'm getting sick of it and I've got work to do.

Here endeth the first rant.

cedar12 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:56:00

Well said Kewcumber

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 09:57:17

and if you're not going to be fluffy and supportive then bugger off this isn;t the thread for you.

(not you Cedar)

Moomoomie Thu 16-Jan-14 10:34:47

Well said Kew. To be honest I have avoided the threads, just skimmed them, as I don't feel eloquent enough to speak. Also I reckon my threads would be deleted :-)
It is bad enough that I have heard a couple of people in RL moaning the fact that adopted children will be getting pupil premium, they are so misguided cos they think the kids will get free school meals too.... I wish!

imabitoverwhelmed Thu 16-Jan-14 12:18:42

Umm - I've been lurking for about six months on this site, reading lots of what comes up, but only just joined and posted. We were approved to adopt towards the end of last year, and are in the process of being matched at the moment.

I'd just about worked up the courage to post asking lots of questions (I have oh so many!) when all this started this week and I am now completely overwhelmed. I'm beginning to panic about everything!

I have nothing useful to add for you, sorry, you all have far more knowledge, experience and answers then I will ever have. But you've all answered many of my questions over the last few months, so thank you!

MrsBW Thu 16-Jan-14 13:03:29

While I'm surprised I haven't knocked myself unconscious with all the head -> wall banging, in some ways I'm finding it useful.

It's giving me an insight into what the Birth parents may well say to my children when/if they meet at adulthood; and prepare them better.

But honestly - the judginess is unbelievable!

MrsBW Thu 16-Jan-14 13:05:28

Hi imabit <waves>

Don't panic. Save that for the first day you're left behind closed doors with your children at home alone [grins]

Congrats on your imminent matching.

Lilka Thu 16-Jan-14 13:08:03

Oh kew thank you smile I just knew you were the OP before I even opened the thread

I often take part on threads like the ones we have going at the moments, when I have something to say, or I want to try and educate people as to why say, banning adoption without parental consent is a terrible idea etc

But I find it very hard when these threads appear in the adoption section as opposed to say, AIBU or In The News

This is my safe place. I know I sounds odd, but this board feels safe for me to post on to get support when I need it, precisely because we don't normally have any threads in which there are arguments or goady people or people who say things which feel like they're blaming us or attacking us. This board functions as a support board. And whilst we can discuss anything adoption related here, when we suddenly get a load of threads relating to "forced adoption" etc, it's really not nice. It honestly doesn't feel like the same board it was a week ago.

I was going to start a thread yesterday just for a wee bit of moral support because I'm struggling a bit at home ATM. But I didn't do it. It didn't feel right with all these other threads here, and I didn't know who was going to reply to me. After all, it involves birth family and reunions and stuff, what if I got attacked by an idiot who thinks my kids must be stolen or something?

So as much as I take part in the threads, I'm struggling with them being in here

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 16-Jan-14 13:27:45

I agree Kew. It feels like all hell has broken loose, and from there being a lovely supportive adoption page, we have now having to having to defend ourselves to some people who IMO are generally talking out of their backsides (sorry, I know that's not very fluffy smile )

I haven't felt eloquent enough to argue the case, and arrived late to a couple of the threads. Whilst I know that there will be mistakes (and that isn't acceptable). I also know the circumstances to which many children come to be adopted, DD included. I have just spent a couple of hours writing her birth parents a contact letter, in which I have to put aside what happened to her. I am drained. And annoyed at the judging tbh. I've also been on the receiving end of a few unthinking comments recently. I suggest they walk a mile in our shoes before they pass comment.

Sorry - that was a bit of a whinge. I think I need chocolate smile

Imabit Good luck with the matching process. It is the best thing we have ever done smile

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 16-Jan-14 13:28:53

X-post Lilka, but you put it better than me smile

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 16-Jan-14 13:30:04

*we are now having to

Told you I needed chocolate.

drspouse Thu 16-Jan-14 13:43:49

Thanks so much for starting this kew. One thing all these goady threads is showing up, though, is who our real friends are (the tea bag analogy). There are people I'd really love to get to know better IRL!

There are also people who think like you are saying about our type of adoption - why would we even suggest our child should know about their birth family/country because surely they'll just automatically want to go back and live there/with them as soon as they can? And despite our DS not having been "forcibly removed" there is absolutely no way I'd want his history in the public domain, or the ongoing legal matters surrounding other birth family members ditto.

RabbitRabbit78 Thu 16-Jan-14 13:52:18

Thank you for this Kew, I came over all teary when I read the first post. Don't think I'd realised quite how pissed off I've been feeling - MN has kept me same over the past few months and "under siege" is a good description of this past week.

Curiousity Thu 16-Jan-14 15:19:14


Don't know all the history, but anyone feeling overwhelmed in the adoption process, go and find two places where you will get non judgemental support and a feeling that you aren't alone. - lots of blogs etc - wonderful site run by two adopters

and on the proboards app there is a UK adopters and foster carers board - don't know how to link to it but if you go on the adoption uk site message board and ask for help to access the pro boards app you've heard about then someone will message you.

Good luck - please don't give up or think you're alone - those of us who are in it, going through it etc are out here, just not all on this site tbh.


Sadoldbag Thu 16-Jan-14 15:22:44

I know it really annoys me some idiots suggesting god knows what based on what they read in the mail ffs

Ireland seems to have the system uh and others want children sit in care until there 18 just in case there parents get there act together

MyFeetAreCold Thu 16-Jan-14 15:39:25

They'll all get bored and move on soon enough. In the meantime we can apply the 'don't feed the troll' mantra to goady feckers too (she said fresh from having just posted on the telly addicts thread...)

We all know why and how we're doing what we're doing (and, since the DCs came home 10 weeks ago, I'm doing brilliantly at learning how to filter out noise and nonsense. grin).

Don't let it stop you asking for support if you need it. I'm sure an actual support thread would be far too boring for the GFs.

MrsBW Thu 16-Jan-14 15:58:16

Yeah I just bit too myfeet

People really can't be that stupid can they?

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 16:06:03

imabitoverwhelmed - ha ha ha haha! What a great week to delurk and be going through matching! It's like a pressure cooker in here! The adoption boards feel all lovely and supportive (I would say fluffy but in reality they tend to be a little more on the "budge up and make room for one more on the hard old cow bench" side)

DS is a joy to me and the issues that he has don't touch the sides compared to what I've gained by having him in my life.

And the whole process is almost worth is just for the pleasure of meeting some others who have adopted, more than a few of which are on this board.

It'll die down soon enough.

I'm so torn by the need to correct the complete inaccuracies and just thinking I should: "Put the thread down. STEP AWAY FROM THE THREAD" <<said in megaphone stylee>>

MyFeetAreCold Thu 16-Jan-14 16:10:45

Stupid and/or goady...

Tbh, I get more pissed off by the people that say they have a spare room so could adopt. Like it's only about having room for an extra bed.

I've also been judging myself as MN would judge me (just for fun really...)

In the good adopter column, we have:
1) had the first children whose profiles we saw placed with us (because we had a great SW who totally got us)
2) they're a sibling group

In the naughty adopter column, we have:
1) we still have a spare room. We should have taken more, dammit!
2) The DCs were young.
3) They are unbearably cute. We should probably have held out for some ugly ones.

Anyone else want to play?!

MyFeetAreCold Thu 16-Jan-14 16:13:01

DD's sitting on the sofa arm next to me cuddling my head. Wouldn't change a damn thing!

I have found it all quite tumultuous. Normally, people are busy saying how great adopters are, which I know pretty much all the adopters I have spoken to are very quick deny! Then we get the heartbreaking cases on the Panorama documentary, which I found very sad indeed. Alongside that the radio progamme about mums on the run and a bit of that was on Women's hour and so here was lots of 'stealing' talk and then the activity party programme which I hoped would attract lots of positive attention for children looking for families! Sadly, that attracted some negative comments (as well as positive ones) on facebook and mumsnet.

Portrayed as all good or all bad, so unrealistic. It has made as aware that not all people in real life will be so positive about us adopting and not to expect such a warm welcome as I got here on mumsnet adoption boards!

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 16:38:35

Mostly Italian people in real life are too scared to tell you anything to your face except how brave and marvellous you are.

Or maybe they are just too scared of me...

ghostinthecanvas Thu 16-Jan-14 16:40:43

I have missed all this. Have the rage anyway so it's probably a good job.
Hate all this ridiculousness that goes with adoption. We are either saints or sinners. People don't seem to have the slightest idea that we are in the murky grey area in the middle, just doing our best. It is all sensationalist rubbish that will pass.
Congrats to happiest and myfeetarecold - 10 weeks in flowers
I wish I was more informed with figures etc but I don't think i am any less informed than others with their 'facts'

weregoingtothezoo Thu 16-Jan-14 16:46:58

Hi Kew and others, hope it's ok to add this birth parent's hurting voice.
I've not watched/ listened to the TV or Radio programmes, because I know I can't cope with it at the moment. I've glanced at a couple of the threads.

I wish I had the strength to add my voice and say, do you know what, even if it was realised that I am capable to parent my DD now, 10 months after her placement, of course I wouldn't disrupt her again and want to move her home. That is what a loving birth parent does. Says that I want my child to be attached and secure, and I want her to be with me in that order and if the first has been achieved then I waive my right to the second.

I get so angry. Birth parents that make us look worse, if that were possible, than we already are. Huge respect for those of you that have gone onto other threads and calmly educated people whilst being calm yourselves. I think what I say needs to be heard but feel a right coward for not going and saying it.

I hope you don't mind me joining you here, I really need a bit of handholding.

drspouse Thu 16-Jan-14 16:48:48

Yes I think we are naughty adopters too because we didn't take a sibling set of 5 UK teenagers who would burn our house down.

On the other hand we do take DS to see his birth country and we have met birth family and I didn't refuse to ever see my friend again when she slipped up and said "his mum... no sorry I mean his birth mum, you're his mum". I even occasionally refer to his birth mum as his mum, especially when I've just referred to his birth grandparents, who it's easier to award equal status to (especially as 2 of the others are no longer with us - so he has 4 living grandparents that we've met).

Choccyjules Thu 16-Jan-14 16:50:13

Marking place for if it all gets too much; up to now it just feels like it's 'adoption in the spotlight week'. Actually it's helpful for me as everything you experienced folk write on the subject is internalised for a rainy day, whether in our corner of MN or on the chat/tv threads smile

(Is this where I mention DH and I stayed up far too late last night discussing the children we were hoping to parent as the assesment is all getting rather exciting? No?!)

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 16:55:08

You're not a coward zoo and you know you are very welcome here hiding in the corner away from the madness. Any parent who can say "it is better for my child to have a happy life away from me rather than suffer the pain of another move" gets my vote for hero of the year. thanks

I have no idea if I could do this for DS. Of course I like to think I could but I haven't been tested and I hope I'll never know what it takes to make that kind of decision.

And you should note that my thread didn't say "for adopters" just for those that want a refuge from the madness, anyone else can fuck right off.

MrsBW Thu 16-Jan-14 16:58:16

Hear hear Kew

Zoo thanks

weregoingtothezoo Thu 16-Jan-14 17:03:18

Thanks kew I hadn't realise I'd repeated my essentially "excuse me for existing" line in there twice. I do know I am welcome and I would imagine all members of the adoption triangle have found it a very tough week.

I wonder if I should watch it rather than be fearful of it and have guessed bits through snippets that I've read without realising.

I definitely agree with the black and white thing. Neither adoptive parents, OR social workers, or birth parents, are either. We all exist in the grey that is real life.

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 17:05:58

I haven't watched it - don't intend to. You know sometimes you're allowed to choose the thing that doesn't cause you pain?

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 16-Jan-14 17:06:51

I'm going to quietly sneak in and give you all flowers and wine then quietly sneak out again.

This too shall pass.

Many of you on the mad threads have shown a dignity and love for your children that the crackpot brigade wouldn't know if it smacked them round the chops. x

TwistAndShout Thu 16-Jan-14 17:25:23

Very well said Kew, thank you for starting this thread. I don't post often but find the adoption pages a tremendous support and agree that we seem to be under siege this week!

It's scary how many people have such a simplistic idea of adoption. It's by far my biggest challenge (and I've always enjoyed a challenge!).

I also find it alarming how easily people are taken in by such a one sided programme. It was shocking in its bias and yet people have taken it at face values, very worrying. (Panorama)

It's lovely to have a thread to retreat to!

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 16-Jan-14 17:29:28

I'll take the wine thank you.

I am a naughty adopter too. Although we said yes to the first profile we were shown, we ticked 'no' to most things on the list given to us by our SW as we felt we couldn't cope with many of them. We have a spare room, DD was young, gorgeous and of course a girl!! From the other thread, it's clear I couldn't be a worse person grin

Kew .....well..... you are pretty scary! wink

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 17:33:47

Out of interest did anyone adopt a child who they thought was pug ugly?! I can remember when Angelina Jolie was getting it in the neck for adopting a cute little baby (conveniently ignoring the fact that she was adopting a 3 year old asian boy who have to be one of the harder to place groups internationally) - I thought at the time "How many ugly 3 year old aren't cute?!"

How many children aren't cute? Surely they don't generally start getting "interesting" looking until they're at least 5.

Not that it matters because DS was as cute as a button and I still was horrified at how little I felt for him initally.

I think the whole 'cute' thing is a bit of a red herrig. We saw pictures of a child we thought looked 'cute' and then read up and felt we could not cope so even if they were cute they were not for us. Saw another who was 'cute' in some, not in others and felt we could cope. I mean cute is not what you base your decision on. I thought Connor in the 'Finding mum and dad' was one of the cutest little boys I have ever seen. Cute was never a criteria on the list we got to see!!!

I hope those little ones get familes but they are the tip of the ice berg, everyone wants them to find families because we know about them (me included!). But there are so many more.

I think adoption, fostering and all the whole kit and caboudle might be in need of some sort of compassionate overhaul, I wonder if it will come, what it will be and whether or not the 'authorites' will seek to speak to adopters, foster cares and most all people who have been through the adoptive process as children (plus those of us 'stuck' part way through) to get input?? (pig flies over roof!)

Lilka Thu 16-Jan-14 17:43:04

I'm partly a good adopter because:

I adopted two older children with significant needs, and I did a pretty open adoption with DD2's birth mum and loads of sibling visits with every sibling of every child it was a good idea to meet with

On the other hand, I'm a bad adopter because:

I refused to consider babies when I adopted the first two times (yeah, isn't it funny how people castigate people who only want a 0-2 but not those who only want a child aged 6-10? It's the same principle people!)

I cope with my DD2's reunion but I'm not over the moon about it and refuse to pretend to be

I was only approved for a girl when I adopted DD1 and later DD2

Also, on the one hand I'm evil and don't care about birth parents because I believe in the principle of adoption without parental consent

On the other hand I'm a 'bleeding heart liberal' because I always try find empathy and compassion for people who have lost their children, even when they are, gasp, addicted to drugs or have 11 children or commit crime etc etc

Kew well MY children are the most beautiful children in the world, that's for sure

The rest of you probably have the second, third etc, most beautiful children in the world

grin wink

prumarth Thu 16-Jan-14 17:53:20

Thanks for the thread Kew - I've found these other threads really upsetting and all the "child snatcher" / "picky adopter" press at the moment finally got to my husband last night. He was so upset - his view is that birth mums often say "I don't care what I'm having as long as they are healthy" whereas he is treated as being "picky" when he can't cope with the idea of dealing with a child exhibiting sexual behaviour after being abused, or a child who never attaches to us because of their trauma. I know it's just people not knowing the process but I've found the judgemental tone so hard to hear particularly here where I've felt very safe and supported. I know I need a thicker skin but it just kicked off at a bad time for me after we spent a day with SW's discussing the many ways a child can be traumatised and the behaviours we can expect to see then people commented that I'm wanting a perfect child that sings edelweiss! Do people really think that's what we do???

Prumath try not to let it get you down, people can only say 'I don't mind what I get' because they know usually pretty much 'what' or rather 'who' they will get. It is frustrating and hard but hang on in there.

prumarth Thu 16-Jan-14 18:25:19

Thanks Italian. Opened the wine so feeling better will commence imminently!

StupidMistakes Thu 16-Jan-14 18:35:07

I am a birth parent, and I admit I wasn't perfect, but I also will say the system did fail me, however I do not blame my sons new parents for that, I am, and will remain eternally grateful to them for looking after my son, and showing him unconditional love and giving him a safe and settled environment to grow up in, and quite possibly financially more than I ever could and for giving him a dad that he can look up to and be proud of.

I am sorry if sometimes it doesn't sound that I am grateful, however I am, I wouldn't expect my sons new parents to hand him back to me if there had been a mistake if he was happy, healthy and settled where he was, there would have to be a lot of give and take, even if a court ordered him to come home, I would want his new parents to have a MASSIVE part in his life, because they have after all, been there for him day and night for the last 6 and half months.

Maybe Im not every birth parent, but the bottom line is it always has to be what is best for the child involved, and cutting ties from those that unconditionally love that child I don't see as being best for a child. and

StupidMistakes Thu 16-Jan-14 18:42:22

sorry, dumb computer and its the childs needs that have to come first, as hard as that may be emotionally for the birth parents, we have to let go.

I didn't hold onto my child and not let him go when the foster carer came to collect him at final goodbye contact, I cuddled him as I always did <maybe a little tighter and a few seconds longer> told him I loved him to the stars and back, and never forget that and then took him to the foster carer and let him go.

For me those few seconds I savoured, they were the last seconds I would spend with my child, so they meant the world to me, and I appreciated that the foster carer told me when she dropped him not to worry, to take as long as I needed to in order to say goodbye so it wasn't rushed.

Didn't mean it didn't hurt any less though. But adopters aren't baby stealing monsters, they are taking on your child and doing all the things you should have been able to do but for what ever reason weren't and in my eyes that makes them amazing people.

SM (I CANNOT use your name you are anything but stupid) you have brought tears to my eyes. I sincerely hope you will one day see you son again. I hope you can move on with your life so that when and if he ever again is there in your life he can be so proud of you too, I am sure he will be. You are an inspiration.

Please I suggest you keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. I don't want to get your hopes up but maybe (just maybe) one day you will see him again and he can hear how your journey has been without him but thinking of him.

I sincerely hope the couple will do a fabulous job of bringing him up and that you will be able to take comfort from that.

Your love and kindness are clear and your desire to put your son's needs first shine through.

Please do record your thoughts and I hope one day the system will work better for every single one of us.

Bless you.

Moomoomie Thu 16-Jan-14 19:05:56

Mistakes..... What a wonderful emotional post. I've read many of your posts and feel so humble. You have always put your son and his needs first.
I wish you a very happy future.

Lilka Thu 16-Jan-14 19:11:54

SM and zoo thanks

Thank you for having the courage to post here

Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 19:28:39

I am sorry if sometimes it doesn't sound that I am grateful I don;t think you should feel grateful. I've said it before and I'm happy to say it again, it has been the biggest privilege of my life being allowed to parent my child.

thank you so much for this thread.
It's actually been stressing me out a bit. I totally feel undersieged. I know that everyone has an opinion but it's people having an opinion that they don't understand that winds me up/frustrates me.

MrsBW Thu 16-Jan-14 19:39:35

It's the hoiking till they get a massive wedgy of judgy pants that winds me up/frustrates me.

StupidMistakes Thu 16-Jan-14 19:59:10

Yep and the generalisation of birth parents being bad people and adoptive parents stealing children and not letting them communicate with their birth family etc.

Reality is every situation is different as is every child. I am grateful though to my ds's new parents and yes they have got a major privilege which I wont lie I would rather have had to see him grow up, however I wasn't in a position to be able to, so therefore I am appreciative that someone else can and will take on my child at three years old and treat them as their own and one of their family.

I hope his new parents will keep up the contact as I know I will, but every story has two sides, and there are birth parents that are difficult to communicate with and don't want the best for their children, but some of us genuinely do, and I am sure the adopters are the same, you didn't do anything, and regards to social services making mistakes or not, I have nothing to feel bitter towards his new mum and dad <and yes it does still feel a little weird saying those words> he has two mums now, me, who gave birth to him and loved him as much as she does and his new mum who will bring him up and be there to wipe away his tears when needed.

Hels20 Thu 16-Jan-14 21:21:34

SM and Zoo - please feel free to chip in on posts if you think you have something to say. I have yet to meet BM - but meeting is imminent. I know it will be very emotional and I hope she doesn't hate me and DH.

One thing that does bother me about adoption (well, my adoption) is whether BM was ever told in plain English and directly by SS: "if you don't do X then you will lose your son"

The only good thing to have come out from all the traffic on the threads that Kew was referring to was that I have now read up on that MP and Ian Joseph. I cannot believe the MP hasn't been disowned by his party.

RudolphLovesoftplay Thu 16-Jan-14 21:53:22

I guess I come at this from 2 angles: 1) I am an adoptive mother, 2) I work in a job where I have significant input in child protection proceedings.

From the bottom of my heart I can say I have never ever recommended a child be removed without 100% breaking my heart about it. It's the saddest, most awful feeling sad

As an adoptive mother, I am 100% certain my children had to be removed. My oldest son has physical scars to prove it.

I guess what I am trying to say is, yes, we have been under siege. Feel like we can't do right for doing wrong etc. I don't know how we can argue our cause any better really, it will die down soon.

To the 2 BMs on the thread. Thank you for bring honest and open, your feelings deserve to be validated.

Devora Thu 16-Jan-14 22:24:42

Ah ladies, how lovely to see this thread. Like sinking into a warm bath smile

Kew - actually, dd1 WAS plug ugly till about 3, when she started to improve quite significantly. dd2, on the other hand, was a staggeringly pretty baby - very Gap ad - and has stayed extremely cute. Mind, she's the adopted one. So you can see what I did there. BAD adopter, clearly - I got a beautiful baby girl (though she's not blonde or white - do I get credit points for that?)

Devora Thu 16-Jan-14 22:26:27

wereatthezoo and StupidMistakes - thanks thanks thanks to you both.

Meita Thu 16-Jan-14 22:35:28

I am from a country that has a dark, terrible history of stealing children. A government sanctioned effort that was nothing short of genocidal; aiming to eradicate Travellers/Roma by removing their children from them, so as that there never would be a new generation. There was a very thin veil of pretending to be doing it for the sake of the children, who would have a 'better life' away from their families and culture; in reality the children were usually used as cheap labour for instance in farmer households, and never became real members of new families, so even that claim was totally false. This continued for too long, and to far to close to the present.
Accordingly, I put a lot of thought into the question of forced removal of children from their parents, when considering if adoption is right for us. Of course it is not the adopters who remove children from parents, nor who make the placement orders; but still I feel that adopters as a group do bear some responsibility. The programme of stealing children I mentioned, would not have worked if there hadn't been any families willing/eager to take on these children. Adopters play a part in enabling 'the system', so if I felt that 'the system' was unjust/morally wrong, I don't think I would want to adopt.
All the stuff going on has made me go back and think again about these issues. It is frustrating: Of COURSE the system isn't perfect, and mistakes are made, and it is terrible when that happens. I have some major reservations about how things work. I just about manage to slide on to the side where I feel it is ok for us to adopt without being enablers of evil machinations. I don't want to defend the status quo, it is far from perfect, I'd say it is only by a small margin 'good enough' - mainly due to the lack of better alternatives. But when confronted with such onslaughts, I find myself having to defend it, or else give in and give up. Even if just internally - so far I have resisted being pulled in. I'd much prefer constructive honest discussions about what really needs changing and how.

Sorry for rambling on - this week, and the threads on here, must be affecting adopters, prospective and actual, in many ways. And birth parents too, and of course adoptees. It certainly is affecting my thinking during the assessment process!

nennypops Thu 16-Jan-14 22:38:16

Can I tiptoe in as a non-adoptive mother to echo DrankSangria when she said "Many of you on the mad threads have shown a dignity and love for your children that the crackpot brigade wouldn't know if it smacked them round the chops. x" I've got involved just because it seemed to me that Hemmings and his followers could not have been more wrong if they tried, and really one of the main reasons they have been so thoroughly shown up lies in the contributions from adoptive parents who quietly show the reality of what these people are posturing about. Most importantly, you have kept the focus on the people they are least interested in, namely the children.

thanks thanks

mrsballack Fri 17-Jan-14 01:45:16

What a lovely thread. I've not posted on 'those' threads as I feel others can put things much more eloquently than I can. The adoption boards always felt like a safe place and somewhere I can come for a bit of support if needed (not that I've posted much)
I came on this week to share my excitement as we count down the last few days until we get to finally meet our children and have felt unable to post about it for fear of being accused of any number of horrid things.
We are defo in the bad adopters group as we turned down an older sibling group in favour of a younger pair (not due to age alone as the sensible people will realise) and we still have a spare room.

Meita your post really resonates with me, thanks for sharing. I really hope that in time the system and the way things work will get better. I fear it will not as I fear our current government will starve it of money.

The Women's hour programme this week which featured a short segment on a mum who fled to another country made a very interesting point that many women have multiple children who are each taken away from them. After the child has been removed the birth mum does not get much support at all so in many ways it is very unsurprising that a while later she may be in the same position again. This is most definitely not the case for all birth mothers but for some, and the lady on the programme had had 7 children. She had had a troubled difficult life and been in bad relationships with me. My heart really went out to her and I think there are so many things wrong with the system when so many people can sort of fall through the cracks!

I wish the energy and emotion in the media directed at all parties in the adoption triangle could actually be directed at better care, earlier intervention, better support for all. I feel we would help to solve (as a society) so many more problems if we tried to sort out some of these basics. So many women and children (in particular) seem to have been failed by the system.

What really saddens me is that I am sure our government is not really looking for ways to improve it (just to save money) and if they do look to improve it they will probably not take into consideration the voices of those involved (at all levels) or find a way of discovering best practice. There must be many countries which have had cheqeured pasts as Meita mentions (Australia etc as well) but what about counteries that have a good balance, that find the right way forward in terms of protection, early intervention to help, support, communication etc? I know what one person would call good another would not but is there any yard stick for measuring which systems have dealt with people really well??

....bad relationships with men. not ....bad relationships with me!

ghostinthecanvas Fri 17-Jan-14 09:09:15

I think I might be in the good group? WooHoo. With a foot in the naughty group as I have a spare room? What is the deal with the spare room?<determined not to read other threads>
We are definately in a flawed system. I agree Italiangreyhound that early intervention, support etc is lacking. It is such a huge problem though. The system has evolved into what it is without any real direction. There is a pervasive mistrust/blame of social services that prevent early problems being detected. Support? Well, that is a whole way of thinking that needs changed. There is a culture where social services blame/mistrust the parents and so, the dance continues.
Somethings are improving though. Our council has a support system in place where support workers come and help overwhelmed parents. The parents have to want the help though.........and so it continues.
The press aren't helping anything with all the sensationalist crap they write. It is very, very damaging. It always surprises me how readily the written word is believed. I haven't read a newspaper properly for 20 years and have recently been so frustrated with sensationalist, biased reporting on the tv news programmes. There seems to be a requirement to big up every single news item and god help us all when they get their teeth into an emotive subject like children. Depressing.
My children went to school today walking like penguins. No idea why and I know they will do it EVERY morning from now on as it made me laugh.

MissFenella Fri 17-Jan-14 09:12:53

Just popping in to pump my fist in solidarity.

oldnewmummy Fri 17-Jan-14 12:57:48

I've read most of these threads and got thoroughly wound-up even though I'm a bit sheltered from these real life experiences in that I live in a different country and adopted in a different system.

You ladies are awesome, and not just because you've adopted. You are intelligent, compassionate, witty and erudite. (Or, of course, it's all a bloody good act and you're a bunch of psychopaths wink.

And Spero: respect!

StumbledintoMayhem Fri 17-Jan-14 14:09:17

ghost, the spare room thing was because people on other threads were saying they would adopt ALL the children if only they had a spare room. Because having a spare room is all it takes, obviously.

zoo and sm, I'm writing my first letter to BM soon. Your being on these threads helps enormously with that. I have every intention of doing it forever.

mrsballack, good luck with intros! It's the scariest/most wonderful thing ever (until you bring them home!)

booksshoescats Fri 17-Jan-14 14:22:54

Another non-adoptive parent here - I hope you won't mind me sticking my oar in. I think you're all brilliant - I lurk a lot on this board, and have ventured on to post a question in the past. From researching adoption and my interest in child development (because I hope that one day we will be in a position to adopt) I have learned so much about parenting from an amazing community (here and elsewhere) of adoptive parents, which I believe has helped me to be a better parent to my (biological) DD.

I have been very angry on your behalf about some of the attitudes I've seen around the Finding Mum and Dad threads and btl comments elsewhere, and I just wanted you to know that lots of people admire and support you.

Shockers Fri 17-Jan-14 14:40:20

I'm so glad we've been busy and I haven't seen any of those threads. If I'd have heard of someone with a spare room wanting to take on a child, I'd have happily paid DD's bus fare to them.
Yes, a spare room is all you need to parent a child with attachment disorder and FAS, who has had to cope with the inevitable disruption that Christmas (and a birthday two days before) brings to her routine. I love her to bits, but boy is she hard work at the moment! I've just come off the phone to her Headteacher who tells me school is struggling to cope with her "off the scale behaviour" at the moment too.

I'm a very 'bad' adopter ( fell in love with the baby we fostered from birth) and a 'good' one also... wouldn't take him without his birth sister, who was in another placement. Joking aside, I wouldn't be without either of them.

thanks to zoo and sm.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 17-Jan-14 14:52:36

flowers to zoo and SM too. I totally agree with Stumbled in that I'm writing my letter to DD's birth parents. Last time it all felt quite stilted and I wasn't sure what to put.

SM. I have read your comments on various threads with interest. Whilst DD did not come to me in the same circumstances, I feel able to empathise with her BM much more having read your point of view. And whilst she is not willing/able to participate in contact letters, I do hope that should she receive my letter, it will help her in some small way to realise that DD is happy, thriving and loved.

I have written about the fact that we talk about DD's adoption with her - something I would never have thought to do had it not been for you. And hopefully her BM will realise that she has not been wiped from DD's history. So thank you for being so honest.

herladyship Fri 17-Jan-14 14:58:21

I'm not an adoptive parent but it's something I'm considering & a close friend of mine has 3 adopted children

I can't believe some of the views posted on the other threads (mainly by people with zero experience or empathy)

I didn't watch the TV show that sparked much of the debate... not sure if I want to see it or not now!

thanks and wine to anyone who has been upset by the ignorant comments

Shockers Fri 17-Jan-14 15:05:06

I've just read a few of the posts on the Finding Mum and Dad thread. I didn't see the programme, but I have heard of those parties.

Our children's SW approached 10 couples about my children... they all said no.

We had asked from the start if they would consider us as adoptive parents for them, but were told that they must be matched with families already approved for adoption (who couldn't have children naturally, as DS was still a baby).

If those couples hadn't been honest about their limits regarding DD, our children wouldn't be with us now... 13 years on. I joked about sending her off on the bus in my previous post, but we love our children dearly and are right for them. I realise that it doesn't always work out so well though.

I know of a sibling group who were adopted, then the adoption failed. The emotional damage to those children is still very evident five years later, in a settled placement.

fasparent Fri 17-Jan-14 17:17:23

We have 10 children 8 Adopted two SGO's ALL have contact or are in contact with BP's and Some with Grandparents , Unsupervised these are or were called Open Adoptions in most cases it was our suggestion that contact , would be included in proceedings all party's have played ball this has given us and the children the opportunity too extend contact , they have best of all worlds and a additional large extended family there are ups and downs as in any family. Some now have family's of their own,

RudolphLovesoftplay Sat 18-Jan-14 05:20:15

Oh dear, I am proper "bad" adopter:
1) we have a spare room
2) we adopted white, blond haired, blue eyed children
3) they were really young when we adopted them

On the other hand.....
1) they are boys
2) they are full blood siblings that we adopted together
3) we "chose" them from an event not dissimilar to the one shown on TV, but the children weren't actually present.
4) the oldest has big problems with behaviour and learning at school.

Do they balance out???

ghostinthecanvas Sat 18-Jan-14 10:26:12

Mmm. I still have a spare room....One more please! Maybe 2. Gotta be cute. Does that sound right? Though actually I do sometimes think we could do emergency fostering......
Seriously though, fas I was wondering about increased contact birth dad. I was interested to see what you wrote. Can I ask for him to be more included? As we are finalising everything my social worker says that it would be thought strange to want him in their lives more?

Kewcumber Sat 18-Jan-14 10:46:12

I am on the bad list fpr so many reasons...

Single adopter who did so ONLY because I wanted to. (bad adopter)
Adopted from a different country (bad bad adopter)
DS was young, just under 1 and ridiculously cute (bad bad BAD adopter)

On the other hand...

I don't have a spare room anymore (bad bad BAD adopter)
DS was 26 weeks premature with a query cerebral palsy diagnosis and hadn't been considered by anyone else in 5 months of being available (bad bad BAD adopter)
I "rescued" him from a overseas orphanage (bad bad BAD adopter)

Ooh looky there, I'm actually just an adopter!

I'm actually getting to quite relish being the bad guy for a change instead of being heroic or brave.

Kewcumber Sat 18-Jan-14 10:48:58

And if you only know knew how often I'd had to preview that message to get the crossings out to work (and btw thay don't work with bolding) then you with know with certainty that one thing adopters are is bloody determined!

Unlike the "oh they're so cute and I have a spare room" brigade who then want to stone adopters for not being perfect.

weregoingtothezoo Sat 18-Jan-14 10:52:34

Stumbled and wellybobs I'm really touched that you feel a bit differently about writing contact letters. I can't "make" DD's parents write to me but if I can improve the situation for someone else then I'm happy.

It's been tough this week because no-one's mentioned it to me. DH has been turning the TV off, and I've seen a few friends who have sort of said "is there anything else bothering you??" I was sat here sobbing the other night when I posted and the bits I've read have made me so angry - I think when Kew wrote that adoption break down is equivalent to birth parents having to agree to their children being in care that really struck a chord with me - it is awful, both of those things are awful, to come to the end of yourself and fail, and the judgement is there for both and this run of judgement for adoption breakdown is just an extension of the vitriol birth parents get all the time. And breathe, too long a sentence.

I also feel strongly about the "grab your child(ren) and run" philosophy because I thought that, felt it from the bottom of my heart, the urge to run, and hide. I have a good second language - could I have made it abroad somewhere? But I didn't I stayed to face things, to do everything in my power to get better for my DD. And told the SW when DD's school let her go with me unsupervised when it wasn't allowed. Doing the right thing is bloody hard enough without idiots saying well if you really loved her you'd have grabbed her and run.

Sorry for another complaining post from me - I am positive most of the time, I pray for DD and her new family daily, I long most of all for her to be happy and settled and free from uncertainty and pain.

holycowwhatnow Sat 18-Jan-14 11:10:50

I'm a very bad adopter becasue I adopted the most beautiful blonde haired brown eyed girl on the planet. And I didn't wait politely to be referred a child like I was supposed to do- I actively campaigned to adopt her having seen a 'promo' video of her on a Russian adoption site. And what's more, I don't give a damn.

Horrible what's going on at the moment. They should all have a taste of what life is like in Ireland for a child in care. We were respite carers for a child - now adult- in care for 10 years who had the constant threat of being given up by her foster carers all her life. She was never ever going to be allowed back to her BM -removed at 8 months due to total emotional neglect with lifelong brain damage as a result- but could never be adopted because BM would not consent. So wrong on so many levels. Is this what people want for these children? And she's one of the 'lucky' ones who only had 2 (not very good) foster placements.

Kewcumber Sat 18-Jan-14 11:39:21

zoo - complaining posts are allowed in the refuge. Only posts banned are judgey posts from people keen to tell us what they would do in our situation.

Yeah right hmm

weregoingtothezoo I pray you may get letters some day. Maybe some brave film maker will make a documentary about contact letters and the adoptive parents will see it! There is always hope. You sound a wonderful person, caring and honest. I know these are only tiny posts and I don't know you at all but I feel privilaged that through the power of the internet we can connect to each others stories. I hope thinking of you will make me a better parent when we adopt.

Kew wow you skills with the old bold and cross out are awesome. Good job.

fasparent Sat 18-Jan-14 13:24:44

Ghostinthecanvas Contact issues are different for all children proceed with caution, there may be issues you are not aware of. Not uncommon for folks too be receive custodial sentences after Contact issues have been put in place( Innocent until guilty and all that). From experience 5 and 10yrs custodial. one 24 years on some folks don't change sad but that's how it is.
Younger children often have no say on contact issues, but do have when they get older and able too understand and wish too reverse contact issues. As for your situation if you feel strongly would go for minimal as you can with a written in option giving you the right too either or either reduce or increase contact as too the benefit of the child and family members. a very contentious subject area . Worked for us but had many many future problems had too be addressed not easy so be very cautious.

weregoingtothezoo the other day I said this to another birth mum on here, I feel kind of cheeky even saying it but may I suggest if it is not too painful that you keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Things you have posted on here etc about wanting your daughter to be settled etc. I just feel you have a wonderful way with words and maybe one day, I don't know, maybe *without getting your hopes up) you will communicate or see your dd again and it would be so good for her to know that she had been in your thoughts in such a positive way. (I say this very humbly as I have no real right to suggest anything to you).

I feel words can get lost in time. I keep a file on my computer of letters to my dd (even though I live with her). I write the letter about twice a year, just general stuff. In the future I will show them to her and if anything happens to me she will get to see the letters to her. I do this because a friend once told me her mum died of cancer when she was a child and never left her any words about how much she meant to here.

fasparent Sat 18-Jan-14 14:54:17

Too the optimist's, Sadly no room's at the Inn, most time's ss get it right
month's later there will be room, after months of medical and social interventions, post traumatic stress 0 too 6month's for example, some will have lifetime medical and social problems but most do go on too supported family's and Adoption., and are loved forever "Better outcome's is the key factor over all.

ghostinthecanvas Sat 18-Jan-14 15:54:37

Thanks fas. Caution all the way. The children have lived with us for 2 years already (can't believe that, so fast) so we are quite informed. It is something I have been thinking about for a while. Need to think a bit longer though.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 18-Jan-14 17:03:34

Thank you for starting this thread, Kew - there has been quite an onslaught recently, hadn't there.

I think I'm a bad adopter:

- blonde hair blue eyed girl
- young (not a baby, but still little)
- very realistic picky about what we could cope with, and DD has no diagnosed medical issues or concerns
- still have a spare room but no intention of filling it

On the other side.... Not a lot <shrugs>

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 18-Jan-14 17:10:35

And thank you to the birth mothers posting here. Please never feel that this board isn't as much for you as it is for adoptive parents. And I may have got something in my eye reading your posts

I'm normally pretty cynical of most government reform programmes, but I do believe that on adoption they are genuine: Gove (the Secretary of State in charge) was adopted himself; Edward Timpson (the minister in charge), grew up with parents who were long time foster parents, so I do think they are acting out from a genuine desire to improve the system not just save money. Frankly, it's not a vote winner to change the fostering / adoption system one way or another, and some of the changes - like extending the school admission criteria to previously LAC who were adopted - has little financial impact but potentially profound impact on the real life outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children.

m0llyr0se Sat 18-Jan-14 17:35:47

Current thinking 9 weeks into placement is that we are good adopters???! Older child, boy, no spare room (no spare space anywhere actually!) and he was about to be placed in LTFC...

We are however average parents - total fail on getting him to eat fruit or veg, always forget something from the leave-the-house routine (brushing teeth, wee-try, drinks / snacks in bag...), can't do the 'Numeracy' (what happened to 'maths'?) homework without referring to a crib sheet and sometimes wish we could have our old life back and go out for dinner and have a lie in!

And I never knew there were so many different jokes you could make about farting ;)

Kewcumber Sat 18-Jan-14 17:41:03

Ooh Molly - you tick lots of boxes - you may actually be a good adopter! But did you take the first child mentioned to you? Thats crucial I gather.

m0llyr0se Sat 18-Jan-14 18:32:39

ah no Kew - we must be bad adopters after all... we saw our LO in CWW at the same time as getting 10 profiles from the national register so we rejected 10 younger, 'easier' children in favour of just the one ... maybe we could get some bunks and take them after all...?

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 18-Jan-14 20:08:33

Oooh, forgot the "take the first one you see" criteria! I'm a partially good adopter after all!

I'll sign up to bad adopter.
Blonde blue eyed baby
Still got a spare room
Not the first child discussed.
Adopted because we wanted to, not to "save" him.

Kinnell, I'm thoroughly ashamed of myself now, great that there's all these random posters coming on here to discuss how it should be done.

RudolphLovesoftplay Sat 18-Jan-14 21:10:33

I also forgot "take the first one you see" rule! That firmly swings the balance back into bad adopter for me then, as we turned down 2 sets of children.

MyFeetAreCold Sat 18-Jan-14 21:14:37

I think the 'first ones you see' criteria actually has extra weighting. Shall we call it double?

If only they weren't so damn blonde/cuteI'd be at the top of this chart!

TrinnyandSatsuma Sat 18-Jan-14 21:17:17

Thanks for starting the thread. I started to read some of the others and couldn't read them as they made me grumpy.

We just started watching the Finding Mum and Dad programme, and didn't get further than the first two minutes. I was getting tearful and my hard as nails husband had a lump in his throat! It made me think of the children we said no to......for very good reasons, but I firmly believe the match has to be right for the child and if you don't feel you have what the child needs, you need to be realistic. I won't forget their names though, and hope they are now placed and happy.

TrinnyandSatsuma Sat 18-Jan-14 21:17:57

By "the others", I mean other threads, not other comments on this one!

Maryz Sat 18-Jan-14 21:31:29

Hi everyone. I haven't read the whole thread, but we are having the most awful day today, so it's nice to see there is still one place here that's unconditionally supportive.

Maryz Sat 18-Jan-14 21:32:06

I'm never, ever, ever going to comment again on an anti-adoption thread.

I just can't do it any more, it makes me too sad.

Maryz Sat 18-Jan-14 21:38:11

And having read that far, flowers for zoo and SM and anyone else who simply says "the most important thing in all this mess is the children".

Because it is -when all comes to all the rest of us are adult, and can cope if we have to with grief and loss.

But the children deserve the very best that we as a society can give them.

Lilka Sat 18-Jan-14 21:40:43

I think I should get double weighting for something <pouts>

Maryz, I totally understand that. It makes me really sad as well. I will keep commenting but maybe not on threads in the adoption section. Maybe if no one comments, they will just die quickly <hopeful>

MyFeetAreCold Sat 18-Jan-14 22:16:11

maryz, you've been commenting beautifully and I don't know where you've found the energy tbh.

lilka, are you familiar with Calvinball?

Just call yourself Calvin and give yourself double weighting for something... (Although you've already got to be fairly high up the list of good adopters, are you not?)

namechangesforthehardstuff Sat 18-Jan-14 22:25:31

I love Calvin smile My favourite one is the one where his mum dresses him up to go out in the snow and in the last frame he just slowly falls over under the weight of coats and scarves and ski jackets and hats and gloves and jumpers and boots...

Thanks for starting this thread Kew. It's been pretty bloody awful here in the last few days and I'm really not sure how some of you have kept being so bloody reasonable with people who are just spouting shit about something that's so personal and private and important to so many of you. It's really easy to have a go at a bunch of strangers on the internet about something you know bugger all about though isn't it? In fact that might be the unofficial definition of the internet...

fasparent Sat 18-Jan-14 22:34:39

Linking, matching, is a 3 way process have attended many , the Adoptee's, Suitability (SS) and the child. Suitability can be judged by all 3. until a near perfect match , so most can be confident they are of the best outcome for the children soon too be placed, a good system though not perfect. with the new 26 week's process things should improve, which in reality mean's , Linking and matching process can take place sooner , should fast track the waiting process for adoptee's and more important the child.

Lilka Sat 18-Jan-14 22:35:53

Ah, I know. DD1 was 10 when she came home...actually no, let's go with finalisation, she was 12, and DD2 was 10. I think that ages in double figures should get double weighting. So two lots of double weighting for me <nods in satisfaction>

I might be quite high up, but I have several factors working against me. Like turning down lots of profiles. And searching in BMP and CWW. Being approved for only a girl. Oh and nowadays I have threads about being unhappy with my DD's reunion. Big strike against. Bad bad adopter

steppemum Sat 18-Jan-14 23:01:24

I have not adopted, but just wanted to post to support you guys.

I have listened and watched lots of the programs on at the moment and I get quite upset that they only show the parents side and ss are painted as ogres who have stolen their children. It makes for very emotive TV, but is so unfair to the children. How do the film makers really know what is going on in those families??

I totally respect all you do. It is hard enough being a parent without taking on the extra needs of kids who have had a difficult start.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Sat 08-Feb-14 10:21:46


Unfortunately the forcedadoption brigade has a lot of political power, therefore their nonsense gets published a lot. The funny thing is that once family courts will become more transparent, there won't be any reason for them to exist. Yes, it is unfair that SS were not given the opportunity to talk (anonymously, of course).
It is also unfair that they don't get credit for the children they saved and instead they get a lot of blame for the ones they got wrong.

By the way, I lurked around this thread for three days and... Ladies, I really enjoyed to read all these polite and heartfelt posts.
You are really an awesome bunch of people, birth parents and adoptive parents smile

the daily mail is still trotting them out. virtually every day. They are the first to ambush ss when something goes wrong. Makes me very frustrated!

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Sat 08-Feb-14 12:56:27


The DM virtually has a lot of crusades going on... one against ss, one againts some characters/actors and so on...
Undoubtedly they will exploit the topic until everyone is so tired that they won't even click on DM links anymore...

22honey Sat 08-Feb-14 17:58:28

I think adopters do a great job. My dad adopted me and he was great (despite eventually shirking his responsibilities when he split with mum and I got into contact with my bio dad aged 10).

But thats not to say when reading a lot of posts on adoption forums (I have always had my BM as my mum but was adopted by younger sisters dad as he brought me up etc, bio dad was working abroad and due to go from before I was conceived) I have noticed many adoptive parents can seem rather bitter and hateful towards the BM for merely existing, even though they wouldnt have their child if it wasn't for 1) The BM giving birth to the child and 2) The BM being incapable in some way.

I sometimes think this attributes to the AP's insecurities about the fact they arn't the bio parent. Especially when adoption has been the only choice the person has to have kids.

I think my point is adopters (usually) know they will be adopting a child from a BP who was unsuitable for some reason. To then be incredibly bitter and annoyed about this fact comes across as rather unrealistic and childish to me. I do accept that it is a very emotional situation and parents are sad if they are to see the child suffering due to BP neglect or attachment problems.

Again people getting angry (which is natural and I have sympathy) because their child still has feelings for the birth family and might still have attachment to BM. This is normal and not the fault of anyone.

There seems to be people who adopt but cannot stand the implications and extra issues that come with it. They cannot accept the involvement whether physical or mental of the birth family and that that is never going to go away. There is also the large chance the child will want to know and probably meet the birth family when older.

Its like some adopters see adopting a child as like getting a rescue dog. It is really quite terrible to see.

I have to admit feeling rather angry at the way BM's are spoke about on here and on other forums on a regular basis. Many AP's know nothing about the whole life circumstances of the BM and that they may be incurably mentally/emotionally/psychologically damaged but that doesnt mean they dont love them and wouldnt have loved to keep their baby if they could. I find lots of the attitudes towards BM's extremely judgemental and often cruel. I think some of it is down to jealousy.

Hope I havnt offended anyone here and I know adopters do a great and challenging job. Its just the nasty, dismissive, judgemental comments that always come up about BM no matter the reason why she doesnt have her child that makes me rather angry.

Just thought id add my opinion. xxx

I'm not sure where on the adoption board you've seen anything about adoptive mothers being bitter? I've seen a few posts about frustration but no way have I seen bitterness. The only thing I have seen is honesty and empathy. without seeing what you have said I do find your post offensive.

Hels20 Sat 08-Feb-14 18:47:35

Thank you, inthebeginning for saying what was on my mind.

Bitter? Absolutely not. Upset, frustrated that BM couldn't prioritise her child's needs ahead of her own, sad that my BM will miss out on my son growing up - yes.

And - with the greatest respect - being adopted by your mother's partner is not quite the same as being adopted from the care system...

Lilka Sat 08-Feb-14 19:01:23

I have never ever seen anyone on here be bitter and angry because their child loves their birth mum or has an attachment to her (ditto other birth family members). So I am really confused as to where that's coming from

I believe that it's essential to accept that your childs birth family will always be there in the background and be able to accept that in your the same time, I think everyone has a right to their feelings no matter what they are, and everyone should have a safe place in which to express them, and I hope this particular adoption forum is a safe place in which to do so, where we can all express our feelings and not be

Interestingly, when talking about contact, birth family with other adoptive parents, I've always been one of the most pro-contact, understanding of how the situation ended up like this etc etc people in the group. Been told by other parents that they don't understand why I'm so understanding and pro-contact and so on. But I do NOT think that my views are so much better than anybody else's, if I did I would be really obnoxious. It just is. Can't help how I feel any more than anybody else can. And in addition to compassion and empathy and sadness for her life, I also feel anger, frustration, confusion and everything else under the sun. Which goes back to "safe place" to express feelings

Also, I think it's absolutely 2000% understandable to feel jealous. Come on, it's called being a human being with feelings. For instance, you adore your child, and wish with all your heart that you had been able to cuddle them as a newborn, and their birth mum did, so you feel jealous that she was able to do that and you were not. And to be angry and hurt because your childs birth mum left them with long term issues? I dont know any adoptive parent with a child who has long term issues who hasn't felt even a little bit angry and hurt by it at some points.

Lilka Sat 08-Feb-14 19:03:03


"and not be attacked or put down for them, but have someone there to say 'it's okay'"

Angelwings11 Sat 08-Feb-14 19:25:02

This is an interesting thread. 22honey I was quite offended by some of what you said and I wanted to say that I did not adopt my daughter and see it as getting a rescue dog! You are however entitled to your opinion but I think the saying 'walk a mile in someone else's shoes' is quite pertinent, especially when making sweeping generalisations about AP.

Shockers Sat 08-Feb-14 19:30:00

22honey, I think you need to be a little careful about assuming adopters do so because they can't give birth naturally. Whilst this might be true in some cases, many adopters don't go down the IVF route at all, choosing adoption as their first option. Some are single. Some, like me, fall in love with a foster child and don't want to have biological children after they've adopted.

I, on occasion, rage in frustration against the BM who drank and smoked through her two pregnancies, leaving DD brain damaged. I would much rather she had been born without FAS, LD and epilepsy and stayed with BM, and I had never met her, than be damaged for life, but mine. I say this because I love DD (and I'm only human), also I can see glimmers of the girl she could have been; as it is, she will be dependent on others for the rest of her life.

But I would never, ever say it in front of either of my children... or anyone else in RL.

Moomoomie Sat 08-Feb-14 19:46:43

22honey. If you read the title of this thread you will see it says "support" that is what we do on this section of MN, we support each other, either adoptive parents or birth parents.
We have some amazing birth parents on here who have opened their hearts at the loss of their children, hopefully we in a very small way have offered them some comfort, and they have allowed us, as, adoptive parents see how life is for them.
If you want to make presumptions, read the long list of threads on here, then come back and tell us we are all jealous and bitter.
I love my three girls unconditionally, they will always be my daughters. Do I wish they didn't have to go through the loss they have been through? Of course I do. But I was not the reason they were adopted.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Sat 08-Feb-14 22:45:32

"I sometimes think this attributes to the AP's insecurities about the fact they arn't the bio parent. Especially when adoption has been the only choice the person has to have kids."

Not sure what you meant by this. Personally, I've thought many times to adopt instead of conceiving a baby, this due to my father, who was a certified monster and to be honest I don't want to transfer my DNA and genes to my babies.
Nothing to do with infertility or other choices I might have.

Sorry but I think your post was very unfair towards the APs, because from what I coud read in this thread, they all seem sensible people and not "trying to get rescue dogs".

Devora Sun 09-Feb-14 00:08:12

22honey, I have to say I found your post grossly unfair and somewhat offensive. Inevitably you get a range of views expressed here, including a range of attitudes to birth parents according to people's different situations. If I had to generalise, I'd say that most adopters express ambivalence, a blend of feeling connected forever to these people who most of us have never met, a searching for understanding, often sympathy, and a sense of loyalty almost, a need to find something positive for our child to connect to. And then, some anger yes, because we love our children and it is impossible - surely? - to not feel anger with people who hurt our children. If we DIDN'T feel that anger, if our attitude was, "Well, I knew there would be some damage but hey, I signed up for this" then THAT would be akin to buying a dog from a rescue centre.

I think that also, on the whole, we have careful and respectful communication on this board between adoptive parents and birth parents. I know I am not alone in valuing this and wanting to preserve it.

And actually, I agree that being legally adopted by your social father is not actually comparable to the situation of our children, who have suffered early trauma and loss of their birth families.

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 01:00:40

Hope I haven't offended anyone here

Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa!

I've been in a right crap mood all day and poor old DS has borne the brunt of it but that has cheered me right up. I think that has to be quite the most insane comment I've seen on the adoption board (oh and haven't we all seen quite a few!) after the rescue dogs comment, that we are "bitter and hateful" as well as "extremely judgemental and often cruel", did you mention jealous too? Ooh yes I see you did. Why on earth would anyone take offence that that? It would be soooo unreasonable.

But I would be quite interested in the answer to three questions:

a) exactly what threads are you talking about where we all displayed these characteristics? Really I'd like to know where these bitter judgmental and frankly rather nasty threads are, because out of the hundreds and hundreds of threads there are on adoption on MN I see the occasional one venting about damage to our children which if you read them are just angry railings against the injustices our children can suffer from, because we don't like to see our children suffer - really much like birth parents vent from time to time.

b) one of your fathers isn't called Ian Joseph is he? Or Melvin or John. Just wondering.

c) Have you read my second post after starting the thread? Just to save you the bother of scrolling up 'cos I am really vair naice when I am not being a judgmental, bitter, cruel and hateful adopter and if you're not going to be fluffy and supportive then bugger off this isn;t the thread for you.

Oh and just so's you know for future reference it's generally good form to start a post "with the greatest possible respect" when you are about to put the boot in so people know what mud they're about to wade into.

HTH smile

Just thought I'd add my opinion too. xxx

Lilka Sun 09-Feb-14 01:35:07

Well, Kew, you said what I thinking! But I went for the gentler comment, without saying that I found that post offensive. But I did.

I am genuinely curious as to which threads on here are being referred to. I just cannot think of any hateful or bitter threads on here. So 22honey could you give me a concrete example of a thread which has upset you? Because I'd rather not be confused and go judge for myself.

it's going to be one of mine now isn't it?

Choccyjules Sun 09-Feb-14 08:19:54

Wow. I have never seen any APs on here being nasty about BPs. This is the most balanced and caring Adoption Forum I've yet found.

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 08:50:52

kewcumber brilliant!

22honey Sun 09-Feb-14 15:34:21

I am very sorry if I offended anyone, that really wasnt what I was trying to do! I also wasnt referring to any particular poster on this thread, and yes I also agree its one of the most balanced forums when it comes to adoption. There is another site I have read where pretty much all AP on there slate the BF, even without much reason. My thoughts for the post were coming a lot from what I'd read on there. The comments I wrote were merely an observation of all talk from AP I have read on forums.

There is also plenty of adopters on here especially that are very nice and forgiving about their child's birth family, and appear to award them the respect many of them deserve for providing them with their lovely children.

I understand completely why an AP with a child damaged due to parent abuse would feel angry and need to vent. I read these forums because I've always thought of adopting myself eventually, know some people who have had their children taken from them and also because I was adopted (although in a different way and only by a father not a mother and yes I know its not the same) myself. And I love my adopted dad exactly the same if not more than my bio dad. He brought me up from a child and I will always have that soft spot for him and childhood memories I will never have with my bio dad. I know the love for an adopted child isn't any different and I would never refer to adoption as 'stealing' children as some people do!

I went into care for 3 months as a teenager as I was a nightmare (long story but it taught me I wanted to be good for my mother!) and in one home the FF took me to the pub, told me all about how he cheated on FM regularly (these people had some young girls tiny baby that was due to be adopted!) and offered to have sex with me. He also touched me up and tried to get me into his bedroom. I never told SS as they wouldn't have believed me (so I thought), I was a wayward teen and he was a respectable foster father with a nice house, wife and his own 2 children. I ran away from the home soon after and moved to a new one before going being moved home. I often see posts on adoption forums recommending SS intervention and FC at all costs if theres a problem at the bio home (yes, this situation is different the foster care was voluntary) and no one mentions the rate of sexual abuse is higher for children in FC.

I guess some of it might be down to knowing a girl who had 3 children in a short space of time, the father was a drug dealer who had been involved in the sexual exploitation of teenage girls (she didnt live with him, she split with him when it was found out what he was doing and didnt let him have access but still lost all 3 of her babies eventually being allowed to parent just one of them) and she had an alcoholic mother and lost her children even though she much loved and wanted them and did everything she could to make a good home for them, which is why she was allowed to keep her oldest baby. But she still lost 2 of her babies and has gone through a lot of pain because of this. I would hate to see her two boys AP slating her for any problems because she is and was a competent mother SS just thought 3 was too many for her and never gave her a chance to parent her two youngest children. She wasnt abusive and put her children first.

I wasnt aware you had to be fluffy and supportive in order to post on the thread, sorry. I am genuinely sorry for upsetting anyone and most posters on here are very level headed and considerate when it comes to the BP. I know that you obviously want what is best for your child and that you have taken on a challenging job to give a child a good life.

I do still think from what I've read and seen that some adoptive parents are in denial about the reality of adopting, and that I have seen excessively bitter and jealous sounding posts on Adoption forums before (I am not referring to this one by the way, I havnt read much on this adoption forum for a while but I don't post on the other site) and also lots of posts I have found odd and disingenuous have been ones from people thinking of becoming adoptive parents usually because they can't have a bio child. There are lots of people that want a child no matter what and consider adoption whilst thinking and naively telling themselves it would be pretty much the same as having a bio child. And yes I do think anyone considering adoption should be open to the likelihood such a child will be damaged and have behaviour and attachment issues. If a potential adoptive parent cannot handle such a scenario I believe they shouldn't adopt. Even a baby has attachment to their mother. The breaking of this bond damages children and its something that pretty much every adoptive child is likely to have.

Again sorry if I offended, it wasnt meant and I will not post on this thread again if its merely for support and being fluffy. X

22honey Sun 09-Feb-14 15:42:44

and no none of my fathers are called such a thing, what a weird question!

Lilka Sun 09-Feb-14 16:40:47

I'm sorry you went through those experiences in care

This particular thread was started as a fluffy support thread because we were being battered by a load of threads full of "nearly all children up for adoption are stolen by social services and adoptive parents should all give their children back" people.

There is also plenty of adopters on here especially that are very nice and forgiving about their child's birth family, and appear to award them the respect many of them deserve for providing them with their lovely children

Okay, I want to talk about this.

Firstly, do we have to forgive? Aren't there some things which can't be forgiven? There's a difference between feeling some level of empathy and compassion, and between being forgiving, at least in my mind (obviously people define forgiveness in different ways). I can't "forgive" my childrens birth parents for what they did - not least because it's not my place to do that, it's my children's.

Every situation is different, but there are situations where acting nicely would be someting only a very few would manage. When you read a forum post, the thing is you don't know what the true situation is. You might make a guess or assumptions, but the reality is people don't often post a huge amount of their childs background, for very obvious reasons. So that person you are judging as not very nice, might not be saying that their child was sexually abused by their birth parents, or any number of other things.

But it's the second part of the sentence that I find quite puzzling. If my children had been relinquished by their birth parents because their birth parents felt that they weren't able to parent and they wanted a different life for their chldren, then I am sure I would have a lot of respect for that decision and gratitude because their decision resulted in my having my children

But what you've posted, is not my reality and not a lot of families reality.

My children's birth parents did not provide me with them. They had no say in the matter at all. Saying that they provided me with children would, to me, be implying that their birth mothers are reproductive vessels whose job it is to provide me with children. Which...just no. They aren't,

I respect people's actions and choices. Like a choice to relinquish a child, I can respect that

But - my childrens birth mothers became pregnant, had children, and then had them taken away by social services and the courts, who placed them for adoption without consent.

So - are you asking me to respect their ability to have children? Like - "wow, your ovaries and womb are really healthy and work perfectly, but mine aren't, mine are old and menopausal. Respect" (note - I didn't come to adoption through infertility, adoption was the obvious choice for me as a single lesbian at that time. But still, my ovaries are now old and menopausal)

Respect the abuse and neglect that lead to the children being removed?

It doesn't make sense.

I CAN feel enormous sadness for the birth mum's situation and find a lot of empathy and compassion (depending on the situation obviously!), and if the birth mother has made decisions that were brave or good for the children, I can respect those. But I can't respect the ability to have children because it's not a decision. I certainly can't respect neglectful or abusive actions, even when I can understand some of the reasons why it happened in the first place.

Hope that makes sense

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 17:06:02

Lilka, you are so eloquent and say things just as they should be said.

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 18:14:50

22Honey I do sympathise with what you have experienced, but as I said previously I was offended by what you said. My DH and I certainly went into adoption with our eyes wide open. However, parenting a child that has suffered early life trauma can be difficult, as they have other emotionally needs to consider.

I am not sure what forums you have read but quite frankly what is the issue if AP have written anything negative? When 'we' are dealing with the aftermath of neglect, abuse etc inflicted on our children sometimes there is a need to vent with people who understand. Yes we can be angry but we are also empathic! I have seen forums where BP are writing negative things about SS, AP etc....I have never seen an AP post a comment that was in any way in the same tone as your first post.

22honey I am very sorry to hear of your horrible experiences in foster care.

I think this particular thread is meant to be a rather 'fluffy' one as lots of people felt rather battered by media attention on adoption and birth parents thanks to a couple of TV documentaries. I am not yet an adoptive parent but I felt quite 'hounded' just by reading the social media stuff after watching the programmes. I felt almost like I needed to 'defend' adoption after watching one and 'defend' adopters after watching the other.

I think adoptive parents, like a lot of parents, probably need a lot of different things from these forums: the chance to support each other and get support, the chance to ask questions and get advice, the chance to vent when life gets a bit much, etc etc.

One thing that Lilka, Kew, Devora and co have really taught me (sorry to name names, actually loads of people have taught me loads of stuff but these three have taught me specifically about this 'topic') is the importance of birth parents in children's lives.

Birth parents in relation to 'good' stuff (maybe like identity) and the 'bad' stuff (maybe like experiences) and the need to understand.

More than anything else the need to get inside the mind and life of the child and see things from their perspective! As a parent I do try and do that already but to be honest these women have shown me how important this really is especially for children who join a family by adoption.

Things like corresponding with the birth parents and meeting the birth parents etc, are things I would probably have never willing wanted to do! But reading posts here has made me see that these are things that will ultimately help the child we adopt. And the posts from birth parents on this site have also helped to make me more compassionate, and to see the 'needs' of birth families. These needs will never have more importance for me than the needs of the child (which must be paramount) but there are other people in what is sometimes called the adoption triangle - child and both (sets of) parents. (No offence to single birth parents or single adopter parents! just trying to cover all bases!). And everyone has importance in some way.

So in short there are a whole bunch of people who have taught me a whole bunch of things, and you 22honey are one of them because you have shared a bit of your story here. Thank you.

I personally was not offended by your post, but then I am not yet an adoptive parent! I knew as I read your post that others would be offended. This subject is one which is hugely personal. Hopefully as people explain why they were offended you will see that their replies in the light they are meant. I think learning from each other is very important.

I wish you all the very best if you do decide to adopt.

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 19:18:10

And 22honey, for the record I'm offeneded by your post. And your 'apology' shows that you are really talking out of your arse.
I do still think from what I've read and seen that some adoptive parents are in denial about the reality of adopting, and that I have seen excessively bitter and jealous sounding posts on Adoption forums before (I am not referring to this one by the way, I havnt read much on this adoption forum for a while but I don't post on the other site) and also lots of posts I have found odd and disingenuous have been ones from people thinking of becoming adoptive parents usually because they can't have a bio child. There are lots of people that want a child no matter what and consider adoption whilst thinking and naively telling themselves it would be pretty much the same as having a bio child. And yes I do think anyone considering adoption should be open to the likelihood such a child will be damaged and have behaviour and attachment issues. If a potential adoptive parent cannot handle such a scenario I believe they shouldn't adopt. Even a baby has attachment to their mother. The breaking of this bond damages children and its something that pretty much every adoptive child is likely to have.

I'm one of those people who wanted a child 'no matter what' and I couldn't have (another) bio child. However, I have a wide circle of adoptive parent friends and while we all may have been naive at the start of the process, there's no one among us who think it's the same as having a bio child. Who are these 'lots of people' you refer to? Do you know any of them? Or are you just talking out of your arse??

You may not have meant to be offensive, but offensive you have been in both your posts. You don't know what you're talking about and you're spouting off, preaching, your uninformed rubbish at people who do know extensively what's involved in adoption. Having been adopted by your stepdad is NOTHING like what our children go through.

I'm very cross.

CloserThanYesterday Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:17

22honey You seem to be subscribing to the hard done by image of birth parents currently being peddled by the daily mail etc ...

Your experiences sound awful, and I'm sorry for you, but you must realise that some situations will mean that adopters need an understanding place to discuss the awful things their children are dealing with. I've never seen any posts which sound bitter or jealous ... but even if they did, maybe they just needed a heat of the moment rant as we all do sometimes. Who are you to judge without knowing any background?

I am just starting the adoption process, and adopters on this forum are giving me an unbiased, supportive view of the adoption process and beyond. Thank you all!

CheeryGiraffe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:00:35

Since this is now the place to "just add my opinion", I'll join in....

I agree entirely with holycowwhatnow. I am very, very angry, and incredibly offended by what you have written, 22honey. You knew fine well that you were being offensive, otherwise why the "I hope I haven't offended anyone"? Sticking that on the end does not give you the right to spout your rude, judgemental and ill-informed nonsense at people.

Whilst I agree with others that your background and experience is sad, it does not give you the right or the knowledge to comment on and judge adoptive parents. Being adopted by your biological mother's partner, is nothing like adoption in the normal sense of the term. Nor does spending 3 weeks in foster care as a teenager, sad as it may be.

The reasons why people adopt are irrelevant - who are you to judge who should and shouldn't be allowed to adopt? All adopters have to go through a stringent and comprehensive assessment process, and there is almost no chance that by the end of that people have any illusions about what they are taking on.

As has been pointed out by other (far more knowledgeable and experienced than myself) people in response to your posts, adoptive parents have every right to talk about the birth parents of the children they have adopted. They do not know nothing about the birth parents circumstances which led to their children being removed. Just because they don't spout their personal information all over the internet doesn't mean they don't know. Adoptive parents deal with the consequences of decisions and actions of birth parents on a daily basis. They see the devastating effect on their children. They have every right to be angry, upset and generally pissed off. It doesn't mean they don't empathise with birth parents, but their priority is for their children - as it should be.

The very fact that there are birth parents on this forum is evidence of the fact that whilst there are a lot of emotions involved in adoption, ultimately we are all rooting for the children.

I have never seen an adoption forum where adoptive parents have been cruel, bitter or jealous. Perhaps you could point us all in the direction of these forums so we can see what these mythical adopters have been saying to give the rest of us a bad reputation?

I sincerely hope I haven't offended you.... [rolls eyes]

CheeryGiraffe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:07:16

Forgot to add - 22honey you said - "I have to admit feeling rather angry at the way BM's are spoke about on here and on other forums on a regular basis" so your follow up comment of, "I am not referring to this one by the way" doesn't make any sense.

Which is it? Either adoptive parents on this forum are bitter, jealous, cruel and what ever other adjectives you used, or they're all on other forums?

crazeekitty Sun 09-Feb-14 20:35:07

22honey... Our only way to have children is to adopt?

There's a sweeping generalisation. I chose to adopt as my first choice. Hear that? First choice.

I can't be arsed to answer your comments about our opinions of birth parents.

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 20:48:11

Some other posts have been so eloquent. I am soooooo fed up of non adopters (family included) thinking they 'know' what it is like to parent our children. Like I have said previously, you need to 'walk a mile in our shoes' before passing comment and another saying comes to mind 'if you cannot say anything nice....say nothing at all'.

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 21:08:53

And to add to Angelwings, if you want to apologise do it unreservedly. Don't continue to antagonise people who know a lot more than you do. I fail to understand why you felt the need to chime in on this thread. No comment has ever riled me the way yours has.

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 21:48:41

I do think its soooo important to learn from one another, don't you think Honey? smile

My learning is that sometimes people don't seem to grasp that calling people hateful, judgmental, cruel, bitter and jealous can indeed be offensive - just a tad though smile I have also learnt that apologies can offend too (who knew?)

Just to clarify (in the spirit of us all learning from each other) and with the greatest possible respect- people who are "considering" adoption are known in the trade as "people" (or "random people" sometimes) rather than adopters. And perhaps best not to say this too much you have taken on a challenging job to give a child a good life as it irks a little too. No job, no charity - just families muddling along like everyone else just a bit different.

And finally:

Yes this is the fluffy thread - people who can't be fluffy can fuck right off. We don't really do fluffy much, we are (as you have rightly pointed out) hard embittered old hags and we do tough love, muddling along, swearing where necessary and quite a bit of morgue humour. But not here. Here is fluffy.

There are many many other threads around where you can berate us for the error of our imperfect ways. But not this one.

Hope that helps X smile

Now shall we all join hands and sing Cumbaya or meditate together in peace and reconciliation?

people who can't be fluffy can fuck right off think this might become my mantra grin

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 22:48:16

Sitting in the lotus position, eyes are closed and I'm chanting. Peace and love.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Mon 10-Feb-14 09:31:42

Beautiful posts! As Italian greyhound said, I was taught so much on these threads. Thanks ladies thanks


Someone referred to your fathers being called 'that' way because those above mentioned names refer to people in the FA brigade, something also pushed down our throats by papers like the Daily Mail, and their main motto is "a BP is always better". Considering that my father was an abusive monster, my DH's mother even forgot she had children and abandoned them and my best friend's father was an abuser too, all BPs... Might I attempt to add my humble opinion.... usually children are better off with APs not BPs, because I still have to meet an adopted child who was abused and raped, whilst I met loads in my 40yrs of life who were 'trashed' by their own BPs.

I apologise ladies if this comment of mine was not as fluffy as required...
Peace and love smile

Angelwings11 Mon 10-Feb-14 10:05:00

kewcumber I am throwing my hands up and saying 'hallelujah'.....

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