To be so so torn over this...,(79 Posts)
Ok there is a v long back story to this, it is a heartbreaking family situation we are currently in.
My 28 yr old bil who I have known since he was 15 has never really grown up. He has had a string of disastrous jobs, relationships, written off 2 cars, debt problems and generally shows very poor judgement with the unpleasant addition about being v cocky and arrogant. Very wealthy pils have bailed him out on countless occasions - he's never had to claim on car insurance for example, he treats them with contempt and only ever gets in touch when he needs money. Tbf they have enabled him in a lot of his behaviour but now he has gone too far even for them.
He got married 4 yrs ago and had a 4yo and 3yo with his much younger wife, both pregnancies were surprises and there is only 11mo between the two dcs. Last year his marriage broke down and he very quickly moved on to a new relationship with a new gf who became pregnant pretty much instantly. Apparently she has had cervical cancer, chemo and part of her cervix removed so didn't think she could get pg. she has 2 dcs who are preteen age but they both live with different grandparents. She and bil are engaged to be married in the summer (bils divorce has just come through.)
We found out that sil has a conviction for child cruelty from 10 yrs ago, one of her dcs was left with multiple fractures to its arms and legs. She told bil that she was in an abusive relationship and it was the bf that did it but SS have finally caught up with her (She moved areas So slipped under the radar). SS visited pil this week to tell than the full story and it has become clear how many lies she has told, but bil appears to be sticking by her. SS are waiting to get hold of a psychological assessment she underwent at the time of her conviction.
It looks as if the baby is going to be taken into care. When as visited pil they asked if pil would have the baby and they said no, on account of them having 5 other grandchildren and ailing elderly parents.
SS will be visiting us as a safeguarding measure as sil has been around our kids, but are also likely to ask if we would take the child on.
Mil is v naive and says things like 'she hopes the baby ends up with a nice family'. I am less optimistic. I know the outcomes for looked after children and about attachment disorder etc and can't bear the thought of a child going down that route....
Dh is heartbroken over this and I think is seriously considering it. But we already have a 3yo and a 7mo. The baby is due any day. I am due back at work ft in 3mo. I don't even know if we'd be allowed, and I really couldn't do it if we had to keep up contact with sil, but info we have so far suggest we won't.
This is tearing me up. My mum made a comment about 'those genes' as in idiot bil and monstrous child abusing sil. But I have always come down firmly on the nature side of the nature/nurture debate.
How on earth do we even begin to make this decision. Is mil being naive and optimistic in thinking that the baby will end up in a lovely family....? Am I being naive in thinking that we could do this without it having a detrimental impact on our dcs- a 7mo age gap would certainly be a challenge!
Any advice or help would be hugely appreciated.
Sadly from your last post I think it may be better for the child to be with a family with no contact with the birth parents. Sounds like if you adopted it would create more tension and potentially make things more complicated for the child.
FC are highly dedicated and skilled individuals. As well as being expert childcarers, they also understand how to deal with birth families, SWs and healthcare professionals.
I'd agree some are, TeenAndTween, but sadly many aren't. If you aren't able to look after the baby long term, could you foster until adoptive parents can be found?
Bernie just anyone looking after it
Honestly it isn't like that. FC are highly dedicated and skilled individuals. As well as being expert childcarers, they also understand how to deal with birth families, SWs and healthcare professionals.
Looking after ILs baby is not just a point of giving them a home, it has loads of complications that come with it too. I think the OP would really need to be in it for the long haul.
Can you agree to foster until the adoption is finalised? I couldn't bear to think of the child having just anyone looking after it in it's very first days.
Whatever you decide will be the right decision,;good luck
Fostering to Adopt is being pushed at minute. But it can be punitive for birth families. Regardless of what changes they make in their lives, they have virtually no chance of getting their children back.
In the area of DV, women whose children go into care because of a violent partner are losing their kids even when they leave. By the time they can prove they have really broken contact and managed to get suitable rehousing, their kids are settled with new carers and the adoptions go through .
I have a friend who fosters newborns. If the adoption is contested, it can get very nasty. Honestly, if your BIL and SIL are likely to contest this, then it is far better that the baby is fostered away from the family. The stress on you and your family could be horrific.
DIY the BM being in favour I think makes it much less risky for the adopters.
I would be surprised
flabbergasted if in 10 years time it isn't still a very small proportion of baby adoptions planned for this way. I know it is one less move for the baby, but it's such a huge risk from an adopters point of view.
OP - Suggest you write down a list of questions under 2 headings
1) What if we took the baby in?
What support would you give us (practical & FC allowance)
What contact would be have to facilitate with ILs whilst fostered
What would you expect wrt engagement with ILs long term
Would ILs have to agree baby could be placed with us
Is this likely to destroy our family relationships
2) What if baby went into FC
How long would they be in care before decision to adopt/return
Could we see baby whilst in FC
How long would it take to find adoptive parents
What contact would you be expecting for baby with ILs
Could we do one off letter & photos to go with the baby
Any chance of letterbox contact with baby ourselves
Tween - it's new, but it's growing, they're one of the first in this area. In their case I think it helps that the biological mother wants the baby adopted, it's the rest of the family that has to be 'consulted' now.
And you're right, both she and her DH are absolutely amazing!
I think the baby would have a better life away from your BIL and SIL to be, so the right thing to do would be to let the child be adopted. With a 7 month old too, it would be very difficult for you all.
Fostering for Adoption is I think quite rare (also known as Concurrent Planning). As the adopters have to be prepared for the baby to go back the BPs, and have to deal with the BPs having face to face contact with the baby until there is a placement order. It is a very very very special kind of person who wants to adopt but yet is able to cope with the emotional toil fostering-to-adopt could bring.
A baby going to one FC at birth, and staying there until being moved to adoptive parents will be likely to have very good outcomes. They will experience stability / good care from birth, and should develop attachments to the FC which they then transfer to the adoptive parents.
DIY hats off to your friend for doing this.
Loulou, Find out from the Social Workers what the chances are of the baby being places with prospective adopters on a Fostering for Adoption program. The prospective adopters have the child placed with them as a foster child, until the legal process of adoption goes through. They accept the risk that the child may not be placed for adoption with them if family take the child on or on the slim chance it is returned to the parent. But if your family can't take the child, then they will know that the chances are slim.
A friend of mine is going through the process right now. Her 'DD' was two weeks old when placed with her, will likely be over a year old when the adoption goes through as there is not seen to be any rush, as the situation is so stable. It also means they get foster payments for that period of time, which stops when the baby is adopted.
Meanwhile bil has rang dh with a sob story involving an abusive boyfriend and a corrupt policeman and misinformation from ss, saying that sil is innocent
Yes, and that horrible mindset would probably continue if you took the baby on yourself; you could even find them trying to poison the child against you in the future: "We really loved and wanted you, but nasty Loulou told lies about us" etc, etc
This is exactly why "in-family adoption" can sometimes be such a poisoned chalice ...
Ok with that latest information I wouldn't touch with a bargepole, I really hope it's a very open and shut case so the baby has the best possible outcome - foster carers and then adoption by 6 months.
God the whole thing just gets worse.
The Sw is visiting at the end of the week. I feel sick.
Meanwhile bil has rang dh with a sob story involving an abusive boyfriend and a corrupt policeman and misinformation from ss, saying that sil is innocent....
Dh says he 'doesn't know what to believe'....
I do, and given his track record, it's not bil.
The thing is the they aren't really adopted at birth, the way the system works nowadays it is usually about 6 months before taken-at-birth-newborns end up with adoptive parents (slower if the bio-parents have a funny genetic history).
I have a friend who only fosters babies, often from birth or soon after. She's very loving & has finally adopted one for herself. So I guess that's my contribution. The foster carers are very well vetted too and will make sure the baby feels well-cared for and forms good relationships.
I agree with those who say it's too complicated with crazy SIL & BIL still in the family. You can't give the child the fresh start they deserve.
Not RTFT yet, but the 'genes' thing is not neccesarilly true: I had a horrific home life-including being taken into care as an 'older child', and I turned out ok.
It is a tough decision, with unknown odds. So whilst you can try and work out the impact on your family, there is only uncertainty to weigh against that.
Whilst there are likely to be lots of people willing to adopt, the baby will most likely need to be fostered at first. So whilst stability might be achieved later, this might not be for a while.
Adoption breakdown rates are high in the UK at about 20%, but this is less likely with younger children. Most adoptive parents are brilliant, but there is also a chance that they might be no better than the birth family. I have recently been working with some children who had to be removed from their adoptive family due to child abuse. Although the application process is designed to minimize this risk, it can never give absolute guarantee.
I would do it if I honestly could do it. But I know it wouldn't be an easy undertaking.
I have a friend who hinted at me taking on her children but tbh I have a 1 year old and am living with my parents. Even if I wasn't, they are 8 and 4 and one has possible learning difficulties so I just don't think I could do it. But if it was family, I would do my damndest.
If our situation was different, I would also do it for a friend.
I think with already having a 7 month it would be very difficult indeed and your PILS would be very conflicted.
In your position my questions would be about how high the chances were of it being an enforced adoption that is decided quickly - that sounds like the best outcome for the baby tbh.
Yes they would be in the same school year. And she could have more kids...
Been mulling over it a lot over the weekend when we've been away and it just seems impossible I'm not sure we could do it and I think it would be especially unfair on our 7mo
All you adoptive parents who have posted, thank you, you're amazing!
Another, possibly trivial, thing to think about.
With the ages would they be in the same school year? That could be interesting/difficult. Also it may make it harder for you to not mention the little one being adopted. I can imaging conversations:
- they're close together in ages, you didn't hang around
- ooh, are they twins?
- what's the age gap? 7 months !!!! Was little one very prem ...?
And yes, you do need to consider that your IL may have more - would you adopt them too?
A poster upthread mentioned that she may have more babies - I think that's something you would need to think very hard about (would you take them on too?). She may get pregnant again simply to try and 'slip under the radar' again.
What I meant by that last bit is that already, we've had tonnes of people tell us how lucky dd is - it makes me mad and I tell every one of them that we're the lucky ones. She's too young now (3 1/2) to take it in fully but she'll hear it plenty throughout her life. If you adopt this baby, he'll hear it too and it would be terrible for him to feel you 'did him a favour.' I hope that doesn't sound harsh, it's not meant to be.
You sound like a lovely person, lou, and your BIL is a knob.
I can understand your instinct to want to take the baby because you feel it's the 'right thing to do.' However, I think it is good that you are being open to the baby being adopted. The outcomes for children adopted as infants is very different to those who have had multiple foster placements/ time with BPs etc and there is every reason to believe that the baby will have a good life with adoptive parents who really want him or her. Your DC are very young and your baby deserves to be the baby for a while at least. A new baby into that mix would be difficult for everyone. If your children were even a couple of years older, it would be workable but I think it would be difficult now. I'm sure that SS would be very open to you having contact in some form with the baby after an adoption because that would be very much in the interest of the child. That's something you could ask them about. I know I'd love if my dd had (stable) birth relatives that could have an involvement in her life.
Also, the baby should be reared by parents who wanted HIM, if that makes sense, not by people who took him because of a tricky situation. My dd will grow up knowing that she is SO wanted and we feel incredibly lucky to have been chosen to parent her. She'll know she 'saved' us from sadness, and not the other way around. I hope that reads the way I intend it- you sound like a lovely person and I can see how torn you are.
I wouldn't even have to think about it I would be ringing them up and asking if I could adopt the baby. I have a daughter with ASD and she is hard work and I often don't get much sleep but I couldn't bare to think of my brothers baby being put into care and never knowing how they are and if they were being looked after.
I am a soft touch though.
Op you have to do whats right for you and your family of course and I wouldn't blame you if it was too much for you to take on. It would of course be amazing if you could have this child. I wish you the best of luck op in whatever you decide.
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