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.
Have you posted this before? I'm sure I've read this same post in the last couple of days.
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?
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.
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
Yes I have posted some details in 2 previous posts, it's all happening v suddenly and new info emerging all the time.
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?
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.
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.
That said, if there was a possibility that the child would end up in fostercare, I would step in at once.
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?
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.
I agree with worra, in that the outcome for a newborn who is heading straight for adoption is far rosier.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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