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Forced Adoption

(191 Posts)
Syd35 Sun 19-Sep-10 18:27:02

Hi, I'm new to this and wanted to talk about this upsetting situation. Where to start...I will try to make this long story as brief as possible...
My sister's little boy was taken into care a while back due to her drinking and drug use although she always made sure the little one was well looked after. What we thought was a temporary thing has turned into a long drawn out nightmare. The social services are now trying to place him for adoption against her will. My sister dearly wants to be given a chance but the social services are not interested and she hasn't been given any support, just talked down to and belittled. None of the family are in a position to help and I would love to take the child on but my husband is not on board with it so I haven't been able to pursue. I was able to visit him recently and can see he is a very sad and confused child. He loves his mum to bits and they have a lovely bond and it was heart-breaking to hear his foster carer telling him "when you go to your new mummy and daddy". I think it's heartless to tell a young child who is clearly missing his mother that they will be going to a new family. I cannot forget the sadness in his eyes as we said goodbye. Yes my sister has done silly things but she is still young and keeping her away from her child is destroying her. I hate the way SS have handled the whole thing and told lies and had no compassion. They have far too much power and are playing with people's lives. I don't know how they can sleep at night. I understand they have to protect children but how many times have they got it wrong? I am sure with the right support my sister can turn things around but I fear time is running out. Has anyone had a similar experience or any advice?

Italiangreyhound Wed 22-Sep-10 16:37:57

Syd35 just wanted to pop back and say that you are a very caring person and I wanted to echo the wise words of these people who know so much more about all this than I do.

I think we all are concerned for children, our own and others. It is horrible to see anyone suffering, especially a sister. I guess I just wanted to say take heart, things do sometimes work out. Please do not allow this to take over your life. It is a terrible situation but your sister may now be able to get some help and turn her life around. Whether this will be in time to keep custody of her son or not, I do not know. If it is not then hopefully her little boy will go to live with a family who will be able to look after him in the way he deserves. Although this is all terrible sad at least this situation is out in the open and others are involved in sorting it out, you are not alone. I hope you will find some support for yourself.

I think maryz makes some very important points from her own experience, and it was so helpful for her to share the sadness and difficulties of the situation.

Anyway, I hope you will find someone to talk to who can help you personally, it sounds like you are not getting support from within your family. If you are losing sleep etc, please do find a place/counsellor or whatever to talk to to relieve some of the pressure.

It is very brave of you to keep on coming back and answering questions, thank you for keeping us updated. Thinking of you.

hester Wed 22-Sep-10 21:00:36

You must understand, Syd, we - or I, at any rate - am not judging your sister. I do have family and professional experience of addiction, and I am intensely sympathetic. I know her life is not a barrel of laughs; I'm sure she loves her son and wants to care for him.

But, again, the point is that at this stage it's not really about your sister anymore. Not for social services. It's about her son and what he needs. And it doesn't sound as though your sister is holding it together enough to convince social services that she will be able to continue holding it together throughout the coming years, through good times and bad.

I'm sure your sister doesn't 'deserve' to lose her son. I'm sure you must be terribly worried about what impact the adoption will have on her state of mind and motivation to continue trying to turn things around. But, whatever you decide to do about contesting the adoption, I think it really important that you get some support organised, for you and your sister. There are organisations and self-help groups that can help your sister. There are also groups that can help you. You are going through a terrible ordeal, not least the family secrecy and the lack of support from your husband. Please don't try to get through this alone.

lijaco Wed 22-Sep-10 21:59:57

syd35 what you need to do first of all is see a solicitor. Social services have a priority to keep children within their birth family if they can. Can you put yourself forward to look after this little boy temporary while things are being sorted out with his Mum. You will need to show that you are willing to do this via a solicitor. Ensure that you can show what support you can provide for your sister and her little boy. Your sisters little boy will have a gaurdian that is purely for the child within a court situation. Ask social services who is the gaurdian and speak with them of how you feel about the situation. The gaurdian is independent and soley for the best needs of the child. There is not much that you can do unless you appoint a solicitor and your sister must do too!! A child can only be adopted when a judge thinks that there is no other option for a child. The judge makes the decisions not social workers.
You have to show and prove that this child is an absolute priority. I have been through a similar situation and I know how difficult it is but it is possible to turn this around.
Good luck

NoelEdmondshair Wed 22-Sep-10 22:10:51

This little boy needs to be adopted. If you are not able to adopt him (forget about fostering, he needs a permanent family) then you have accept that he needs to go to a loving family who will nuture him and put his needs before their need for drugs and drink.

Your sister has had her chances and she let her son down. I'm not being harsh towards you, Syd, but I'm not going to join in the collective anguish over a drugs/alcohol abuser who has had her son taken away from her.

Syd35 Thu 23-Sep-10 08:31:15

Italiangreyhound - Thanks so much for sending the positive vibes, it is so lovely of you and has made me glad I posted. Before I posted I wasn't sure anyone would be interested or care.

NoelEdmondshair - I take on board your comments too and don't take them personally but it's not as cut and dry as that. This is a lifechanging situation for all involved. I guess I am just after the happy ending and accept that not everyone will be on side.

I also appreciate the concern for me comments. I am a bit of a worrier by nature but am strong so I'll be ok. It has really helped to talk about this via mumsnet.

I will continue to post updates for anyone interested.

Italiangreyhound Thu 23-Sep-10 13:33:23

Syd35, yes, I am sure I speak for other when I say we are interested.

I really hope for the best possible outcome for all concerned, but as an outsider I have no idea how that would look!

Would it help you to keep a journal of your feelings and thoughts. It may be a help in the future if you are in contact with your nephew to be able to remember how you felt, etc. NOT that you would give it to him or read it to him but that it would remind you of your feelings and the situation. If this is a naff suggestion, please ignore it.

Lilka Thu 23-Sep-10 17:33:50

I do feel for you Syd (usually many more people are interested and care than you think). Its so clear that you want the happy ending and are devastated at this situation. I think you should maybe try to search out some kind of counselling - even if it's just to a helpline of some kind. I think that by now this situation will not transform itself into the happy ending that everyone would have liked. This isn't your fault and maybe you need to talk about it with someone who can help you make sense of all this and help you think perhaps more objectively about this whole situation. I can't imagine how it all feels right now. I do know that when I have been in very upsetting situations it helps me to draw/ paint my feelings (of course you may find this ever so naff or silly!). I just find it helpful to record my feelings on paper, and then look back later - it helps me sort my own feelings out.

I think you need to think about yuor nephew. The state is a rubbish parent, lets be honest here. It may well be better than the childs original home, but its nowhere near as good as most adoptive homes. I think maybe you have to accept somehow that your nephew will probably be best off in the long run adopted. Many children have contact with birth family. You could maybe have a letter from your nephew new mum and dad once a year, or at best maybe actually see him. However you would have to be very supportive of his adoption for this to work, and it would have to be shown to be the best thing for your nephew a swell as for you. You would have to accept that this is now his best chance in life and his adoptive parents would give him the best opportunities and love and security. I truly am sorry for your nephews sake an yours and your sister that it has to be like this. I hope this is resolved soon for everyones sake.

thefirstmrsDeVere Fri 24-Sep-10 20:52:33

Syd has your family been in contact with If you sister has a chance of regaining residency (although I am afraid it sounds really unlikely) FRG will be able to tell her.

Give them a call. Explain the situation and they will be able to give you clear and unbiased advice. They are not anti or pro social services.

I am sorry this is happening to your family and to that little lad. I wish I could say it sounds hopeful but if your sister is failing drugs tests it seems pretty hopeless.

I have no doubt she loves her son and of course he loves her. Its not enough though is it?

Push for an open adoption and plenty of contact, i think its the best you can do.


Syd35 Sat 25-Sep-10 09:00:11

thefirstmrsDeVere - Thanks for that link - I have been googling the subject quite a bit and hadn't come across that one.

The suggestions re writing/drawing my feelings are great. Just writing on here has been so helpful in helping me to deal with my feelings so it's worth a try.

fizzledrizzle Thu 07-Oct-10 15:17:24

Syd - you sound like a lovely sister.

luvscotland Thu 07-Oct-10 23:27:18

There is hope - you need to speak to ian josephs - seriously, the guy is amazing with family and adoption/legal advice and does everything for free including the phone calls. is his website - He gets over 100 new calls a week from people in the UK who need help with cases like this. Call him and leave your number, tell him it's about adoption and he will call you back.

Italiangreyhound Thu 07-Oct-10 23:55:44

Syd35 how are you doing with the writing or drawing to help you with all the feelings in connection to this? Thinking of you.

Lilka Fri 08-Oct-10 17:30:09

I too am thinking of you and hope you feel somewhat better in yourself. I still hope for your nephew that his future can be sorted for the best xxx

Syd35 Mon 11-Oct-10 20:17:28

I haven't logged in for a few days, how much have the last few posts cheered me up on a day when I'm feeling quite down. Really nice of you Italiangreyhound and Lilka to check in on me! I didn't do the writing or drawing thing yet. I did end up blurting everything out to a lovely lady who really gave me some perspective, I was surprised to hear she'd had someone in her own family with a similar experience so I guess it's more common than what I think.

Thanks fizzledrizzle for the lovely comment and luvscotland for the website recommendation, I have been looking at that one with interest in recent weeks, it's so reassuring to know people are out there who are trying to help.

Sadly no updates on the situation yet, everyone and everything are still very much in limbo.

Lilka Mon 11-Oct-10 21:15:05

I may never have been in this situation myself, but I imagine the limbo must be one of the hardest things, you want to help or do something but can't because you have no idea what is going on or what will happen. I hope it won't take long and yet court delays can be horendous. I doubt you can talk about the case much Syd, but if tehy are trying to get a Placement Order so he can be adopted, then it can take ages to get through court.

I am so glad you have been able to talk to someone. I know I don't have any practical help or tips apart from writing/drawing and stress reducing excercises but I do always have an ear to listen even if I have no advice smile (or whatever an online ear is called lol!!)

maryz Tue 12-Oct-10 14:09:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Italiangreyhound Tue 12-Oct-10 23:48:24

Syd35 thinking of you.

Silver1 Wed 13-Oct-10 12:31:19

Syd35 whilst I appreciate it is all in limbo for you- that is what your nephew's whole life will be like until he finds a permanent stable home.
His FCs as hard as they are trying can only be conveying a sense of temporary to him.
He hasn't had stability with his mum.
How long do you think his emotionally immature little mind can take it?

I do agree removing a child from it's birth family is close to the worst thing you can do to them- but sadly sometimes birth parents do worse things and that is why the children have to removed.

Your sister when she only has herself to look after can't even hold it together to stay off drugs to get her baby back. People do manage it-parents do sometimes pull themselves together that is why SWs give them all this time-she hasn't yet.

You have my every sympathy-I would be heartbroken to lose a nephew or a niece, but this baby needs stability and the longer it is left, the harder he will find moving on anywhere, be it back to your sister or on to another family.

Lilka Sat 13-Nov-10 23:29:50

I know it's been a month now Syd, but you aren't forgotten here. Sending support your way

Syd35 Wed 17-Nov-10 21:21:24

Thanks so much Lilka. Frustratingly there have been no further developments to report, not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I am feeling a bit better in myself and have faith that the right outcome will prevail. I will be sure to update when there is anything to share.

maryz Fri 19-Nov-10 10:53:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maypole1 Mon 22-Nov-10 11:23:54

Yes i agree with most of the posts on here, as a foster carer the only alternative to adoption in years of being moved around in foster carer and i am sure as a loving aunt you would not want that for him.

the problem ss have is that children sadly like food often have a sell by date the older they get the harder they are to adopt and the less chance they have of living a issue free life

also i am surprised you core issue is getting your nephew back and taking issue with ss when your sister is not clean

i would also say their is no such thing as a forced adoption as she has the option to STOP taking drugs and possibly get her son back and she choices not to

and you say your sister wants to be given a chance and yet she continues to use god knows what the child has seen and he must be protected

and unless you have actually been to the case conferences and family court then to be fair you only have second hand information from someone who is using and has has her son removed


maypole1 Mon 22-Nov-10 11:27:33

Syd35 Wed 17-Nov-10 21:21:24
Thanks so much Lilka. Frustratingly there have been no further developments to report, not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I am feeling a bit better in myself and have faith that the right outcome will prevail. I will be sure to update when there is anything to share.

what is the right out do you think??

Syd35 Tue 18-Jan-11 10:31:23

Sorry I haven't been on for a while. If anyone is still interested, just to let you know the court ruled that my nephew is to be adopted. Just literally found out and am really sad it's come to this. I don't think my sister can appeal or anything so we may just have to accept the fact.

Thanks again for the interest and positive messages from everyone.

NanaNina Tue 18-Jan-11 11:59:55

So sorry for you Syd and your sister, but I'm sure you realise that the child's safety and welfare should come before anything else. One of the problems for mothers in your sister's situation is that SSD do not have the time (nor probably the inclination) to offer any on going support to your sister. Don't think you said how old the child is - this will be dependent on how quickly he will be adopted. The older the child the harder it is to find an adoptive family, so he will remain with his foster carers until an adoptive family is found. Presumably your sister is still having contact, but that will be cut down quite drastically now that the court have approved the adoption plan.

All prospective adoptors have training groups and he difficulties of birth parents is explained and they are encouraged not to judge the birth parents or to say anything negative to the child. Your sister will probably have the opportunity to meet the adoptive parents in a neutral setting - these meetings are very tense for both the birth parents and the adoptors, but adoptors are usually glad to have met the birth parent, though I'm not sure this is true for many birth parents, and some refuse the meeting.

I know it is of small consolation, but there is usually a system called "the letter box" organised by SSD so that your sister can receive an annual photograph via the SSD letter box and some adoptors send news of the child too, but this does depend of course on the adoptive families. Your sister can send cards/letters etc via the system, but it will be the adoptors who will decide whether to pass these on, dependent upon the child's age and understanding.

All adoptive parents have to agree to tell the child the truth i.e. that they are adopted, and provide a life story book, containing pictures of their "first mummy and daddy" and other "first" relatives, granny, cousins etc. It will also contain pictures of the foster carers etc so that the child has some understanding if his beginning.

You sound like a lovely sister and I am sure you will be a big support to your sister in the loss of her child.

Do take care of yourself too.

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