To be so so torn over this...,

(79 Posts)
louloutheshamed Sat 05-Apr-14 12:52:43

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. hmmhmmShe 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....hmm

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.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sat 05-Apr-14 12:55:24

Have you posted this before? I'm sure I've read this same post in the last couple of days.

almondcake Sat 05-Apr-14 12:57:59

I haven't any advice, but just wanted to say how sorry I am thst you are in this terrible situation.

If you did adopt, do you think there would be issues of sil and bil interfering in your family life with the new baby?

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sat 05-Apr-14 12:58:38

To me, there wouldn't even be a decision to make. If one of my siblings or dh's siblings had a child that would be going into care then I would take the child on in a heartbeat.

Sirzy Sat 05-Apr-14 12:58:47

What a horrible situation. Can you arrange to talk to a social worker involved about the practicalities of it and whether it would be an option? Would your PIL support the decision and help out if needed?

Good luck with whatever you decide

louloutheshamed Sat 05-Apr-14 13:00:10

Yes I have posted some details in 2 previous posts, it's all happening v suddenly and new info emerging all the time.

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Apr-14 13:02:18

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

I'm not sure it's the same for newborns though is it?

I thought that would be more about older children or am I wrong?

Thymeout Sat 05-Apr-14 13:04:57

There was a programme on Channel 4 this week - part of a series. There were two babies who had been removed at birth, now 7/8 months. They were put up for adoption and the sw's said they would have an excellent chance of finding adoptive parents.

I know that older children taken into care often have less good outcomes, but I think there would be a very good chance that this baby will be well looked after by a couple who really want him/her.

wouldbemedic Sat 05-Apr-14 13:07:19

Adoption is not as bad as you seem to think! Yes, there are likely to be extra psychological tasks for an adopted child and it's not necessarily going to be plain sailing - but many, many adopted children are adopted into very loving homes and go on to be very strong, happy adults. Especially if the adoption takes place very early on (though I'd be surprised if there is justification to just adopt straight out of the gate like that - perhaps a foster to adopt placement is being considered?).

If you adopted this child, it would still be an adoption. There would still be tasks to do. Unless you personally would like another child of this age and feel very strongly that you and your DH are completely committed to being this child's parents, I wouldn't go ahead. Writing off a loving couple because there might be attachment issues in the future is simply not a good enough reason.

Prospective adoptive parents are put through the wringer and forced to accept that they may, at some stage, be dealing with some very difficult situations. They will not be in the difficult position of having children of similar ages, however. I personally think that if things went wrong, the adoptive placement, rather a placement with you, would be more likely to survive. Although your concern is touching, your personal circumstances and emotional reluctance would outweigh the advantages of the family connection, in my 'umble opinion.

wouldbemedic Sat 05-Apr-14 13:08:50

That said, if there was a possibility that the child would end up in fostercare, I would step in at once.

halfwildlingwoman Sat 05-Apr-14 13:09:11

Honestly, I would do it. Without question. But would completely understand if you didn't. Could your DH take time off to raise his DN? Could wealthy PIL help lighten the load?

fifi669 Sat 05-Apr-14 13:09:33

In all honesty if I was in this situation due to bereavement I'd take on the child without a second thought. However, will BIL and gf be around? My family come first and if they'll be in any danger or if there'll be a lot of agro brought into our lives by the parents I'd need to seriously think about it.

NancyJones Sat 05-Apr-14 13:09:42

I agree with worra, in that the outcome for a newborn who is heading straight for adoption is far rosier.

WhatsTheWordHummingbird Sat 05-Apr-14 13:11:03

I think the absoloute best outcome for this newborn would be to grow up as far removed from SIL and BIL as possible.

I fear that beconing adopted within your family will make for an exceptionally difficult and painful life for all involved, and in actual fact, this Newborn could become adopted into a family that will break the pattern of BIL/SILs life.

NancyJones Sat 05-Apr-14 13:11:25

But yes, if that child is likely to spend the next 3yrs in foster care with a toxic mother coming and going then it's a whole other matter.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 05-Apr-14 13:11:37

I know a few people who have adopted newborns and they are lovely people who are well-read on the problems with attachment that can occur with adopted children and who are bringing their adopted child in happy, loving homes. Don't assume that adoption will end badly for the baby.

If I were you, I'd start checking out details.

Can you extend your maternity leave? This baby will be yours when you adopt and will need his/her mummy at home as much as your other children have done.

Are you ready to have another child that will be as mich your child as the ones you already have? This child reserves to be as wanted as any other son or daughter you have. If you think you will always feel this child is outside your family, then adoption to a family who wants this child may be best.

Are you going to be able to cut your bil and sil out forever? Your sil can't have access to this child. Is that realistically going to be possible?

Just a few thoughts.

Fathertedfan Sat 05-Apr-14 13:12:34

What a horrible situation for your family. What does your brother in law have planned for the future of the new baby? If he were to end his relationship with this woman and put the future of the baby first, SS would consider him as the sole carer of the baby. However if this isn't something he plans to do then SS will look to place the baby within the family somewhere. You may well be approached by SS to look after the baby, either in the short or long term. As a foster carer, I'd say think very hard about whether this is the right thing for your own family. There will be a lot of involvement with SS with this baby, regular contact meetings with the baby's parents, regular meetings with social workers. As foster carers we are more arms length to the emotions involved with the wider families of the children in our care. However, for you, this would be very close to home. If your BIL stays with this woman there could be more babies to come in coming years also, each with the same considerations. I'd say don't agree to anything and don't be pressurised by your family, until you know what you really want to do, and what's in the best interest of your own family.

Deck Sat 05-Apr-14 13:14:19

Name changer...

I have just (yesterday!) met an adult nephew for the very first time. He was adopted at birth when I was a young teen. He is a wonderful, well rounded man who had a happy childhood and is surrounded by a loving family. He agrees that what happened to him was a win for all concerned.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 05-Apr-14 13:15:08

Adopted children usually experience very loving and happy lives with wonderful families. I've heard much worse things about fostering tbh, not least because children stay with one foster family for their whole lives, so there's a lack of stability and consistency.

My heart says that unless you really want to take in this baby, it would not be the right move. Ask yourself if you could honestly provide the same loving care for him/her as for your own children. Adopting/fostering someone else's child is a real vocation and not something to do out of a sense of duty, as well intended as that sense may be.

Good luck to you and I'm sorry you're in such a heartbreaking position.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sat 05-Apr-14 13:16:07

Apologies; my previous post should have started "not least because children rarely stay with one foster family for their whole lives, so there's a lack of stability and consistency."

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 05-Apr-14 13:16:31

I agree with worra - if a child is going to be adopted at some point, then it is far better for the child if that happens as a newborn.

What really causes problems seems to be when children are bounced between parents, grandparents, foster parents etc. etc. for several years before being placed for adoption.

A baby adopted as a newborn has the same chance of a happy, loving, problem free childhood as any other. From a totally uninvolved point f view, letting the baby go might be the kindest thing to do for him or her. As hard as that may be.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Apr-14 13:16:58

I am not an adoption expert, but I do know about child development and I think there would be no more risk of developmental problems with an adopted newborn than a biological child, unless the mother has taken a lot of illegal drugs in pg, drunk heavily, or something like that. The attachment issue comes as a result of care, not origin. However if you already have a child under one it may be that the baby is better off with a family who don't have children so close in age. I would let this one go, unless you really wanted another baby for your own reasons. (And it sounds like you don't).

Topaz25 Sat 05-Apr-14 13:17:42

What a heartbreaking situation. Talk it over with the social worker to see whether you would be allowed to take on the baby and what sort of support you could receive. Find out your options to make an informed decision. There may be an issue with your youngest being so close in age to the new baby but I don't know how that works with family placements.

If there is any possibility of your BIL being able to keep custody of his baby if he leaves the mother then that's something your DH should seriously discuss with him.

redexpat Sat 05-Apr-14 13:18:52

I think i would struggle to justify not taking in a family member in need, but you shouldnt have to do it without support. And as far as i know you get maternity leave when you adopt although am hazynon the details. Why not research all the options, get all the info from ss before making a decision.

Kitsmummy Sat 05-Apr-14 13:19:41

In these circumstances I would go down the adoption route, get that baby out of this family, it will probably stand a much better chance (not saying you wouldn't be great parents, just that I don't think this baby should stay within your wider family).

My DH is adopted and has had a great life, he was really wanted by his (adoptive) parents

louloutheshamed Sat 05-Apr-14 13:27:51

Thank you for your thoughts. I suppose the adoption vs foster care question is the crux. This is something we'd have to ask the Sw about.

I'm in the countryside with patchy wifi so might not be able to update for a couple of days, thank you.

squeakytoy Sat 05-Apr-14 13:28:35

I was adopted almost from birth. I grew up knowing my parents wanted me very much and never suffered from any sort of attachment disorder.

A baby will not be aware of or ever remember the first few weeks/months of its life and from what you have posted Op, this baby will be much better off having a chance in life as far away from its biological parents as possible.

LoopyDoopyDoo Sat 05-Apr-14 13:31:50

Why can't BIL care for his child without the mother?

I very much doubt adoption would be on the cards at this stage - foster care with contact presumably more likely.

I would definitely do it, as would DH.

drspouse Sat 05-Apr-14 13:32:39

If it is all pretty much as you say and a) the SIL will not be considered for rehabilitation and b) she is unlikely to bother visiting (or won't be allowed to) then the two possible outcomes I'd say are either:

1) You decide to do what's called kinship care (or similar terms). You can ask your work for flexible working arrangements (legally you are allowed for a non-biological child too) but can't legally have new maternity leave for a foster/kinship child, but if you are in time you could extend your current maternity leave to be a year plus any annual leave, or your flexible working could be "unpaid time off and then part time". You may or may not get a fostering allowance for the new child. If it is very unlikely that the child is going to ever be able to return to the BIL/SIL, then they will be put under a placement order (I think that's the right term) and you will be assessed to adopt (you will only have a minimal assessment for fostering/kinship due to being relatives), and then the baby will be with you permanently. There will still be identity etc. issues but not as many attachment issues as for many adopted children. The main thing that might affect the baby in particular is alcohol drunk by SIL in pregnancy - you don't say if this is an issue. Drugs, stress/DV are also issues but not like alcohol.

2) the baby goes into foster care following which a placement order is made and the baby is adopted either by their foster carers or an unrelated family. You (if you are safe, able to support the idea of adoption by someone else, not objecting to adoption by e.g. a gay couple) will probably be asked if you want to have regular contact and (if the adoptive family are reasonable people and not convinced that seeing birth family turns them into "glorified foster carers") this could be regular visits through the child's life. If the placement is handled well (or if the original FCs adopt the child) outcomes are also likely to be good, with fewer attachment problems, same risk factors as above.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 05-Apr-14 13:39:10

What an awful situation. Lots of good advice here, so it sounds luke more fact finding for you I think - what ss are looking for as the next step. Good luck.

MissMalonex2 Sat 05-Apr-14 13:43:40

If the child would be able to be adopted, after sometime whilst sorted out with a foster cater who looks after newborns, I think it might be best for the child to be away from SIL and any possibility of her being involved (even if not supposed to be - she wd know where you lived hmm) - I know of friends who've adopted a child who was never with his birth mother, with same foster carer since birth til adoption. Child seems very settled and happy.

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Apr-14 14:01:22

Why can't BIL care for his child without the mother?

Because he's going to marry her.

Karenblixen Sat 05-Apr-14 14:34:19

We were in a similar situation years ago when my exP's godson died of an overdose (he was a convicted drug dealer) and left a baby. The mother was equally a heroin addict and had children before that had been taken into care. I felt we ought to help the poor baby as the other option was the incompetent grandmother who has eventually adopted her. But we were concerned at the time that the grandmother would constantly interfering as well as having to accept a degree of contact with the birth mother who went on to have more children and I think kept some of them.

I completely agree about the fact that a newborn baby is unlikely to take after incompetent parents and that was not my concern either.

My main concern was the unstable rest of the family, in particular the mother.

The poor child ended up being adopted by the grandmother who is on ADs and drinks a lot. Last time we saw the child two years ago she was obese, very badly behaved and shockingly rude to my DCs.

We no longer have any involvement with that family, including the exP and therefore I am grateful we did not adopt her, but my concern really at the time was the fact that because she was a close relative, there would be a lot of involvement from other family members and everybody would want to have a say in her upbringing which would have been very confusing.

But that might not be the case with your BIL and SIL and

SolomanDaisy Sat 05-Apr-14 14:39:51

A baby in care from birth has a very high chance of being fairly rapidly placed for adoption. The family will be well screened and will probably have wanted a baby for a very long time. That's not a guarantee of anything of course, but don't confuse the life chances of a baby in this position with an older child who has been neglected/abused then taken into care.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sat 05-Apr-14 15:13:39

As I said on your other thread, as long as there's a chance of the birth parents being involved in your lives AT ALL, I wouldn't dream of keeping an innocent baby within the immediate family ... I've seen this done and believe me the result was deeply unpleasant

A tiny baby will certainly have a great chance of finding a loving family and going on to enjoy a wonderful life - what a wonderful opportunity compared with the alternative

CPtart Sat 05-Apr-14 15:15:19

I personally wouldn't do it. Harsh and selfish though it seems your priorities are not this child but your own family-your DC and DH. Being pessimistic I would fear what possible negative impact this may have on you all in the long term. Could your relationship survive this upheaval? Would you be left as a LP to 3 DC if it crumbled due to the strain?
Very difficult for all, good luck.

Nerf Sat 05-Apr-14 15:21:28

But if future sil has two pretend where are they? Surely ss are unlikely to try to have the baby removed if they live with her?

Nerf Sat 05-Apr-14 15:21:42


WhoNickedMyName Sat 05-Apr-14 15:26:42

I think this baby would be better off being adopted out of the family. Your BIL and SIL know where you live, they could turn up at any time, you don't know how they'll behave in the future, they're family so you can't totally avoid them for ever. Imagine the trouble and interference that is possible from BIL and SIL. The strain on your own little family and your own relationship. Plus if you and DH crumble under the strain, what happens then?

It's just too complicated and a newborn baby stands a really great chance of being adopted very quickly.

Afritutu Sat 05-Apr-14 15:28:41

Outcomes for babies adopted at or soon after birth are VERY different compared to those taken away later and put into foster care as they take much longer to place and often suffer psychologically. Parents adopting babies are extremely carefully vetted and are usually desperate for a baby they would treat as their own.

dolceetdecorum Sat 05-Apr-14 15:39:24

Would just like to second the statement above about babies who are adopted from birth having a very different experience than those adopted at a later stage. I was given up for adoption from birth, placed into a (very loving) foster family for 18 months and then permanently 'placed' with two lovely parents who were unable to have biological children. Had a very normal childhood, and didn't experience any of the emotional "horror stories" I often hear about in relation to adopted children.

Social workers are incredibly careful with vetting potential foster carers and adoptees, and you just have to peruse the relevant mumsnet threads to see how much these babies are wanted and looked after smile

StrawberryCheese Sat 05-Apr-14 15:42:08

I agree with others saying it would be best for the newborn to be fostered/adopted. It will be very difficult situation for you as the years go on.

My nan adopted her own nephew back in the early 50s. Her sister was married but fell pregnant by another man and was going to put the child up for adoption. Nan was pregnant with my mum at the time and it had a detrimental effect on my mum's childhood. She was sidelined constantly because her cousin/adopted brother was regarded as the special one. I'm not suggesting that you would be like that with your children but the complications of adopting within the family have had a massive impact on ours, even after all this time. My great Aunt went on to have another child, by another man and this child was put in to care.

Your SIL may regain residency.

SS will look if there is a family member who will foster the baby, whilst the court process takes place.

This could take over six months. It depends on if your SIL and BIL fight to gain residency.

SS will want short term and long term Foster Carersfrom the family, if there is no-one to carry this out, then SS Foster Carers will be found.

It will impact on your family, contact may be given and you will probably only be granted a temporary residency order and SS will hold a Care Order, alongside.

You have to decide if you want another child, or if you are Willing to care for the baby, attend court dates, meetings etc whilst they battle to gain residency.

Just to add, that you would be caring for the baby on SS and SILs terms, so it won't be like having your own baby, it is harder.

Nottalotta Sat 05-Apr-14 16:50:24

What a truly awful situation to be put in. Your bil sounds like a tool.

I am pretty certain that the 'looked after' children you are thinking of are not babies. The adoption process is a rigorous one and many people prefer a younger child or baby. Mymum is a foster carer and has fostered babies while the court process runs its course, they are then adopted by a lovely family, often who areunable to have childrren themselves.

drspouse Sat 05-Apr-14 16:50:41

In contrast to those suggesting that kinship adoption is all doom and gloom - I know of situations in which it can work well if:
The functional members of your family are able to accept you as parents (not go on about the child's "real" parents)
The dangerous members of the family are not pestering for contact and are not enabled in this by other family members.
The child is able to have a good sense of their biological history e.g. who their eyes/hair/left-handedness/musical talent came from
And the child is brought up knowing about both positive (good family traits, positive family memories) and negative (realistic reasons why the birth parents could not care for them) aspects of the birth family.

Doingakatereddy Sat 05-Apr-14 16:55:15

I know of two children adopted from birth / before year old and they are thriving in adopted families.

The parents are So so grateful and treat kids wonderfully. I have shivers just thinking about how much joy these smilies have.

Good luck with your decision x

MrsBW Sat 05-Apr-14 16:57:58

Why don't you post on the adoption board where you'll be able to find out more about the outcomes for children who are adopted?

Hoppinggreen Sat 05-Apr-14 16:58:08

If you decide to do this then I hope you get the support you need.
Personally I probably wouldn't and I don't think you or anyone else should blame you if you don't do it.
This is not your responsibility or fault, if you don't think you can help then there's no reason to think the child won't have a good life.
I think that the child needs to be as far away from the birth parents as possible.

louloutheshamed Mon 07-Apr-14 15:54:04

Thank you for all of your thoughts on this, your replies are so helpful.

I am composing a list of questions to ask Ss when they visit.

There is no drug use afaik. She has smoked throughout her pregnancy. I'm not sure about alcohol as we spent nye with her and she made a big fuss of the fact that she was abstaining, which I remember thinking was odd when she was happy to smoke.

whatareyoueventalkingabout Mon 07-Apr-14 15:56:54

I just

whatareyoueventalkingabout Mon 07-Apr-14 15:57:29

oops I just wanted to say it might not be the best thing for either the baby itself or your own child so please don't feel guilty if you don't

Nerf Mon 07-Apr-14 16:08:55

But where are the two other children she has? When did you find out about them/ does she still have residency?

TeenAndTween Mon 07-Apr-14 16:16:11

I too suggest you post on the Adoption board (under Becoming a Parent). We are very friendly smile. I can't help much as our children were older when we adopted.

Given that your BIL is planning to stay with SIL you need to consider implications for family gatherings in future, and generally what 'contact' might be expected. With a 'third party' adoption they would probably try to set up letterbox contact yearly. But with kinship adoption it is all a bit different I think.

A newborn with no obvious disabilities, who will go straight to foster-care, will have no difficulty at all being placed with adoptive parents and will be very much wanted, and would hopefully go on to have a great life. But that niece/nephew will be lost to your family.

RedFocus Mon 07-Apr-14 16:26:33

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.

mineallmine Mon 07-Apr-14 17:06:44

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.

mineallmine Mon 07-Apr-14 17:10:22

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.

NatashaBee Mon 07-Apr-14 17:24:16

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.

TeenAndTween Mon 07-Apr-14 17:37:15

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?

louloutheshamed Mon 07-Apr-14 17:49:08

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 hmm 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!

RandomMess Mon 07-Apr-14 18:01:27

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.

GimmeDaBoobehz Mon 07-Apr-14 18:07:36

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.

creamteas Mon 07-Apr-14 18:16:15

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.

BuggarMeGently Mon 07-Apr-14 19:05:47

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.

HolidayCriminal Mon 07-Apr-14 19:25:49

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.

louloutheshamed Tue 08-Apr-14 18:16:37

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.


RandomMess Tue 08-Apr-14 18:20:42

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.

Puzzledandpissedoff Tue 08-Apr-14 19:21:05

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 ...

DIYapprentice Tue 08-Apr-14 19:28:06

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.

TeenAndTween Tue 08-Apr-14 20:02:36

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.

Driveway Tue 08-Apr-14 20:11:33

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.

DIYapprentice Tue 08-Apr-14 20:16:40

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!

TeenAndTween Tue 08-Apr-14 20:35:42

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

sittingatmydeskagain Tue 08-Apr-14 20:58:08

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. sad

creamteas Wed 09-Apr-14 09:30:40

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 sad.

BerniesBurneze Wed 09-Apr-14 10:07:45

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 thanks

TeenAndTween Wed 09-Apr-14 11:26:47

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.

mygrandchildrenrock Wed 09-Apr-14 11:41:59

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?

Sirzy Wed 09-Apr-14 11:52:49

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.

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