More of a who is right.....adopted daughter

(135 Posts)
MmmPercyPigs Mon 01-Oct-12 18:04:24

Two of my colleagues have recently had a big falling out. We are in an expat community in a Russian speaking country and colleague A (America) has recently adopted a daughter from Russia. Her DD is nearly 3 years old, and seems to be a lovely girl.

Colleague B is Canadian but of local heritage. She is furious, because colleague A has changed the girl's name (from a very obviously Russian name to a more 'Western' name) and colleague A has forbidden her nanny to speak in Russian to the girl (the girl speaks no English). Colleague B voiced her objections and the two have fallen out.

I don't really have an opinion on it, but I was interested in hearing a few more point of views.....

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 22:29:55

Nice to see you Kew.

As probably the only person on this thread with any direct experience of this, your summary is very appropriate grin.

I think that if the people concerned were here, no one would be sticking their oar in. MN would close down if everyone shut up unless they had a peer-reviewed, expert opinion.

KitchenandJumble Mon 01-Oct-12 22:34:35

Could we perhaps not assume anything about anyone else's experience? Fair enough if someone specifically mentions having no experience about a particular subject, but it's quite an assumption to make in general.

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:00

Oh Maryz - I really wouldn't have clicked on it if I'd known. There are some mindnumbing statements here and an incredible number of posters appear to calm a knowledge of how it should work. Which is a surprise really because there are currently around 150 intercountry adoptions in the UK a year and many many social worker will go their whole career never having dealt with one. And yet so many people seem to know all about it confused

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:30

calm = claim

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 22:37:13

Oh shit - I'm colleague A shock

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 22:38:47

Well, kitchen, I don't suppose it is likely that anyone on this thread does have a child adopted from Russia?

Apart from Kew, of course (well, Kazakhstan, which is nearly the same thing [geographical dunce emoticon])

I do think that assuming that colleague A is doing her best for her child, and colleague B is sticking her nose in unnecessarily is a pretty likely scenario.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 22:39:03

This is AIBU. It where people talk about stuff, sometimes learn stuff and offer opinions. If we were only every allowed to discuss things that we have direct experience in with every possible fact available to us all, then MN would shut down.

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 22:39:41

Yup, and it is also the place where people who are talking shite should expect to be told so.

MrSunshine Mon 01-Oct-12 22:40:15

I think its more the attempt to speak with authority where you have none. How can you have any sort of real opinion on a subject you know nothing about, anyway?

That would have been a short thread...

OP: AIBU

DameKewcumber: YABU

The end.

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 22:54:28

MrsPratchett - everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some opinions are better thought through than others, not always dependent on their personal experience.

All I have read on here except from a handful is a pile of supposition about the child and teh adoptive parents and many statements of fact which are not necessarily true.

No doubt very interesting in the abstract but not terribly relevant to the reality of adopting and raising a child in a different country from that of their birth.

Apparently the "facts" are:

- she is too old for someone to change her name (nope she isn't, depends on name/circumstances etc)
- There is a scary number of adopted children handed back hmm (actually fewer adoptive children are "handed back" than birth children are given/taken into the care of the state so lets not talk about how unprepared adoptive parents are)
- It is their name (well no actually it might not be. DS's room mate was known by a pet name totally different to his legal name and didn't recognise his given name)

actually I have loss the will the read any further.

OP - no-one is right. The adoptive parents are doing what they think best/have discussed with their social worker and no doubt like the rest of us they will get some of it wrong but hopefully more of it right. If colleague B feels so strongly I would like to propose that she adopts a three year old from an orphanage herself and does what she thinks is the right thing to her own child. Or takes up a time consuming hobby.

honeytea Mon 01-Oct-12 22:55:43

Isn't that the point of aibu? I think most of us agreed that colleague b was out of order by offering her seemingly unsolicited advice. I don't see the harm in saying what we feel would be the right so long as it is a theoretical discussion. If we all only had opinions on subjects that exactly mirrored our own lives there wouldn't be many posts on mn. I think there is a big difference between someone posting looking for support and someone posting asking for opinions.

OwedToAutumn Mon 01-Oct-12 22:58:37

To compare an adoption like this with the case of Australian Aborigines who were forcibly taken from their parents is mind boggling.

I don't know anything about this first hand, but I am absolutely sure that there is not a "one size fits all" solution to this case. The parents should do the best they can to bond with their child, and the busybodies (colleague B) should STFU!

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 22:59:40

I'm not sure where you read in my posts that I think everyone isn't perfectly entitled to post their views. Unfortunately (perhaps) I am also "everyone" and therefore also entitled to post my views as I see fit. And to take with a healthy pinch of salt many of them.

Off to inform some people on the pregnancy board what they must do when in labour.

DameKewcumber could you tell me where the information comes from about children being "given back"? Someone on another thread quoted the number form the Daily Mail <rolls eyes> and it suggested that a very high proportion of children had "failed" adoptions. I thought it sounded high at the time so if you have a good clickable link on numbers, I would be interested.

My comment about it being her name was from personal experience, actually. I lived abroad as a child and my name is unpronounceable to a lot of people in that country. I found it very difficult and had to use a different variation which didn't feel like my name at all. I am, as a result, extremely careful to try to use people's names properly.

People don't have your experience but equally, you may not have my experience of having a different name foisted on you. We all speak form our own experience, however limited that might be.

Asamumnonsense Mon 01-Oct-12 23:05:16

I am with B on this! why would she completely remove that little girl from her heritage? why adopt a russian speaking child then if she won't accept her the way she is? I think its not healthy for the child. How will she justify this to the child when she is older? I do not get it.

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 23:07:36

And there we go [sigh]

She adopted a Russian speaking child because she adopted a child from Russia.

There is no evidence she is "completely removing a little girl from her inheritance".

As she is unlikely to do that, she is unlikely to have to explain anything when she is older.

What an extraordinarily un-thought-out post. You might "get it" if you read up on it and thought about it, rather than just judging with no evidence.

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 23:10:07

"I don't see the harm in saying what we feel would be the right so long as it is a theoretical discussion."

Absolutely no harm.

But I also feel there's no harm in me saying that the theoretical chat you are having might bear no resemblance to the reality you are trying to discuss. Eg no-one despite all the relevant experience people appear to have mentioned that many children in orphanages are call pet-names by the carers and won't recognised their own names which appear on their birth certificates. I know one parent who was convinced their child was deaf because they never turned in response to their own name until they stumbled by accident across a carer who called them a totally different pet name. Their name might have been picked as the next name on the list by a junior un-named doctor at a maternity hospital rarely to be used again.

But of course a theoretical discussion with no basis in reality is just fine too if thats what you'd prefer.

I would be quite interested to know how many "well meaning" adoptive parents hand back their children - I can find statistics for birth children in care but none for adoptive children in care.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 01-Oct-12 23:14:50

Isn't the bigger thing worthy of discussion in the OP the communication issue rather than the name issue.

It's strange how people with more knowledge are just getting stroppy about alternative opinions without offering an explanation as to why stopping a small child from being able to communicate is the best idea.

CandiStaton Mon 01-Oct-12 23:17:48

it is most common for children of dual heritage to loose contact with one or other side of their heritage as they grow, no matter how good the parents intentions are..why would an adoptive situation be different to that, particularly as neither of her adoptive parents are the same heritage as the little girl?

why have we to assume that Colleague A is doing what is best? plenty of parents dont confused

I think it is as up for discussion as any other subject

Asamumnonsense Mon 01-Oct-12 23:18:16

Maryz.. sorry that you feel so angry about my response but MmmPercyPig asked for it so I am untitled to my opinion. I am judging it with the information provided :-)

MrSunshine Mon 01-Oct-12 23:18:42

Because you don't know that anyone is stopping anyone to communicate.

This isn't the kind of thing where everyone has a valid opinion. There are people here who do know what they are talking about, and your "alternative opinions" are a direct criticism of how they parent, even though you know nothing about it.

DameKewcumber Mon 01-Oct-12 23:19:32

"you may not have my experience of having a different name foisted on you" no I haven't which is why I would be reluctant to express a forceful opinion on it (name-changing). I have said on the other name-change thread (linked by Lilka or Maryz I think) that every situation is different and the only thing of value I can do is explain what my reasons were for changing DS's name and leave it at that.

If DS hates me for it in time then I will answer to him for it. I can only do what I think is the right thing for my child. Some of the opinions here (particularly about children in foreign institutions) are based on peoples imagination about what life for a child who has always been institutionalised might be like and how attached they might be to their name - and their opinions are not very well informed.

There are no reliable numbers about adoption disruptions in this country depending on what stage you consider disruption to happen. Talk is around 20% but I think it is lower for younger children and probably higher for post-school age children. Adoption don't disrupt because adoptive parents failed usually because because birth parents failed. And I tend to react badly to implication that disruptions are due to "well-meaning" adoptive parents who just didn't quite do well enough.

honeytea Mon 01-Oct-12 23:19:33

BI suppose I feel like we should respect each others views and if necessary correct other people's misinformation rather than dismissing their views because They can't use real life experience.

I think the situation the op put forward is really very unique because tge child will grow up in a country where their first language would be useful, I guess I'd liken it to if a british child from an English speaking family was to be adopted by an only welsh speaking family at the age of 3 and not given any chance to hold onto their first language. I don't think ss would allow that to happen, I may be wrong but from the research I did into adoption in the UK there seemed to be a strong focus on keeping up links to the child's birth culture.

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