Would really appreciate other veiws on this(17 Posts)
This may be long, so apologies in advance.
I have been married to DH for 3 years (together for 10) and we have a just 2 year old DD. I had a really rough time in pregnancy and birth, DD born at 26 weeks, had eclampsia and eventually HELLP, we were both super lucky to survive. For that reason we won't be having any more biological DC.
We had been considering adoption or fostering once we were in a position to think about further DC (we had decided to revisit this when DD is 3/4). We have just moved house to a grown up house and are just getting settled.
DH sister is a mess, she is on and off heroin, a prostitute and generally very difficult, she believes none of this is her fault and has excuses for all of it. She has 2 DD, one of them lives permanently with my MIL abroad. She is 8 and is doing well. She also has a 2 year old DD, there is only a few weeks between her and my DD. It has recently come to light that she is uncapable of caring for DNeice and she is being cared for by her grandad. This can not be a long term placement for various reasons. It has been suggested that we care for her. We have had initial meetings with SS and they have suggested we foster her for a year.
We are absolutely torn as to what to do, I realise this makes me sounds really selfish. Obviously this is a 2 year old child who didnt ask to be born and who doesnt have much chance unless we take her. However, SIL is VERY unpredictible, this is part of the reason MIL lives abroad with 8yo. She has been violent and is already suggesting we are trying to 'steal' her child. The father lives in the same small town as us and we are likely to see him, this would be really disruptive, from experiences with 8yo both parents have tried to tell DC they have been kidnapped and the rest of the family hate them. They are both violent and have targetted houses of people they feel have wronged them in quite scary ways. I really dont want to put my DD through that. We have been told there would have to be contact, I am really worried about this, although obviously wont take place at our house and would be supervised.
I have no idea what to expect from fostering her, how much involvment would SS have? How much responsibility would we have? Would we be able to make decisions about her?
My DD has developmental problems, due to her prematurity, she will require a lot of support. I don't feel ready for another child, at all. I had dreadful PND and am still on medication for this. But can we really not take her? I'm not sleeping, we need to make a decision and we dont know what to do. DH is no clearer, he feels obliged to do something but is also not ready for another child.
Thoughts? Anything would be hugely welcome, apologies for the essay.
What a very difficult situation you are in, I think you may need some professional advice, could SS help you to explore your options? I would be inclined to say that the needs of your daughter have to come first, that said I an sure that she would soon adjust to a new 'sister' and what an amazing thing you would be doing. I am sure others with greater knowledge will be along soon to advise. Best of luck with whatever you decide
Well only you and your DH can decide, but I think if it was me I would have to put my own dd first. It sounds like it would put an awful lot of strain on you as a familyand I ccan't see it being anything but detrimental to your dd
Thank you so much for your responses, I thought I was in for a flaming for even considering not taking her.
SS are just really keen for us to take her, to be honest I feel a bit railroaded by them.
I also want to put my DD first, but when I look at her, I think about our poor neice, she is the same age and just wants for the same things...
What a horrible situation for you to be in. My heart goes out to you.
If I was to foster a child with violent parents my address would be kept from them and contact would be supervised in a contact centre. You wouldn't have those safe guards and neither would your niece. In an ideal world it would be a wonderful way to expand your family but in reality I think it would be unbelievably stressful and possibly detrimental.
Don't let SS pressure you, they should be thinking of your nieces best interests not the easiest way to find her a home.
Hi, I'm a foster carer who has cared for numerous children born addicted - which your niece is likely to have been. They are VERY difficult to care for, even those placed with me at birth. Those who have spent their first years at home, usually in very chaotic circumstances, are even more difficult. You're probably going to experience violence, social delay, attachment problems, food issues, sleep problems - at the very least. I'm usually told they need to be my only placement as they need 1-1 care.
In addition to that you'll have the stress of birth mum possibly turning up at your house at all times of the day and night. Contact will be supervised, but handovers aren't. Parents can be waiting for you to turn up in the car park, or leave at the end. They're also likely to criticise everything you do with their daughter - from the clothes she's in to the care she's receiving. And with such a young child contact will be at least 3 times a week.
I know it's a tough decision but with your own child being so young I don't think I'd be considering it if I were you.
OP, Id think very carefully about this, it is OK to say no, but ask SS if you could have a relationship with the child and see her on a regular basis.
I have a FC at home who has come from a violent home where alcohol was the issue. Although they haven't ruled out drugs. He has developmental delay, anger issues, violent and aggressive, controlling, was non-verbal on arrival, has major attachment issues, sleeps badly. He is also absolutely lovely and I adore him but he is very, very hard work.
Because he is on an interim care order (ie his final care plan is yet to be decided) he has weekly social worker visits, he also sees a therapist, is involved with CAMHS, has a speech and language therapist. He is going to need years of therapy.
Add to that the threat of a relative who is a junkie and volatile as they come...
If you are already vulnerable and your own child is high need, I would say no. Seriously, as much as you want to help, there is no way you will be able to manage with two high need children if you are still on ADs. And with the parents knowing where you live and threatening you. You cannot live with that level of fear - I know!
Because of the nature of some of the abuse he suffered, I am seeing a therapist also because its harrowing having to mentally deal with some aspects of his past, and the constant fear for my own family from his relatives.
First of all, give yourself permission to say no. As others have said, thats ok. Secondly, SS have an agenda. Do not let them guilt you into this.
There may be middle ground until you get to know your niece better and until you know how your sister will be. Ask for regular contact with DN. Say you want to build a relationship first. You have your families safety to think about. quite often you don't know the issues a child comes with until they are in your home. Of course, SS may decide to place her out of area for the foster carers safety. If they do, you know you have made the right decision.
Sympathies op and I hope your DN gets the loving family she needs
So sorry I dissapeared, am posting from work, I also have a highly stressful academic job.
Thank you for all the wonderful responses, scarlet she was born addicted, yes. I have no experience at all so your experiences are MUCH appreciated.
SS have said things like, "contact will be arranged but we dont think SIL will attend" it all seems a little bit, 'what if'.
We havent actually met DN since she was a baby, I have no idea what she is like.
I have been speaking to my wonderful best friend, who told me bluntly that her priority is me, not my DD or my DH or my DN and that she is concerned for my mental health and doesnt think we should do it. She did say she would obviously be supportive of whatever we decide though.
suzylee you have pretty much summed it up I think, in an ideal world it would be lovely, in reality I dont know if I can manage. Writing it all down has been super cathartic and if i read this post I would probably be thinking its too much to take on.
if it wasn't for the risk if violence (and that is proper scary violence nnot just the chance dhs sis would hit you...) then I say take her now but unless you could be guaranteed 100% police protection It might be that it is safer for her to be taken and placed somewhere the parents can't find her. Alternatively, could you reason with her mother? would she understand that ss will take her anyway and if you have her she can have contact where as if she goes into care at 2 she will be adopted out and she may never see her again... that you are offering to help her! If she can't understand this then I don't know if it is possible for you to take the child and risk your own child's safety. I have a close friend in a similar situation, only it is his 3 year old son, whose mother comes from a family of gypsies and he is seriously concerned that if he has custody the child will be kidnapped or the house set fire to especially as she's made threats! he doesn't know what to do either.
Hi, thanks for the response. To answer questions, we wouldn't be given police protection as such, although obviously we would call them if something happened. There is absolutely no reasoning with sil, she is adamant she can care for DN and that SS have got it in for her, she has done nothing wrong etc... This, after she posts on bloody FB about alcohol and drugs and being out all night with different men.
After a few nights of little sleep DH and I have, I think, decided it's simply too much, it isn't fair on our DD and it isn't really fair on DN. Feel like dreadful people but we really have to put DD first.
Also alita your brothers situation sounds much worse! wishing him all the best whatever happens
Whoops, your friend, not brother
It sounds like it would be safer for your DN if she was put with foster parents away from where her mum is. I think you have made the right decision for everyone involved in the situation.
Thank you. Seems like the rest of the family disagree. The social worker was actually really supportive of us saying we aren't doing it.
the rest of the family disagree? OK, well they can step up and look after the child then.
Its very easy to stand on the sideline and disagree with something when it doesnt affect your day to day life. Dont be guilted into this, its a life changing decision.
Oooh just seen your message dwells and thank you. We still dont know what is going to happen with DN, SS are investigating other options. I feel really rubbish about the whole thing, I feel like we have made the right choice but its so unfair that the only person who will suffer with be DN.
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