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Adopting after having a biologically related child

(13 Posts)
WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Wed 17-Oct-12 18:52:33


This is a very very early question as I haven't properly decided if I wish to adopt.

I wanted to know about people's experiences regarding adoption after having a biologically related child. I am due to have my first child in the next few days but I don't ever want to go through this again. I had three months of being in and out of hospital with constant vomiting and the rest of the time has been agony with back pain and hip pain. It's been so demoralising and my DH had to do everything for me (cleaning, washing, cooking). I don't want both of us to go through it again, but I don't want my DC to grow up without a sibling.

Does anyone have any experience of this and can it work out well? My DF is very negative about this as he had one biological child and one adopted child (that he adopted when the DC was 3) and says that it doesn't really compare to having 'your own' child, but I've always thought that it was because of the other family issues that he had going on at the time (many and various) as well as adopting his DC2 quite late on.


P.S. Please don't get offended when I've said about my dad's opinions about having 'your own' DC as opposed to adopting. He had a lot of family problems that made it difficult for him to establish a good bond with his adopted DC and his opinions do not reflect my own.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 17-Oct-12 19:11:03

Hi, WhenLife, sorry to hear about your rotten pregnancy

We have a birth child and an adopted child, and for us (over year on) it has been brilliant. DH and I both say that we feel differently towards each of them, but love each of them the same (ie unconditionally, completely, and more than I can adequately express). I think this is the same for any parent of more than one child, ie because they are different children the relationship is different.

We first enquired about adoption when DS was a few months old, and were told to wait until he was five (because the process takes about a year; they like two years between an adopted child and any other children in the family; and most children placed for adoption are aged 4-6), but there are others on here who adopted when their birth children were much younger, so I think some agencies at least are relaxing a little in this front.

Happy to answer any question, but the only thing I'd say at this point is that I think you need to want to adopt, rather than want have a family but not be able to do it any other way. And that's probably something that you can't properly process when you are pregnant unless it's something that you have always thought about.

Adoption was very different back in the day, so your dad's experiences are probably not what you would go through now. But I can categorically say that being a parent to an adopted child is every bit as wonderful (and challenging!) being a parent to a birth child.

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Wed 17-Oct-12 19:40:29

Thanks Families I'm sorry to have asked such a vague question. I have always considered adoption anyway as I have always found it a beautiful thing to do. It is more that my DF's experiences have made me second guess it. It isn't something that I intend on doing for a few years, but it would be nice to figure out in my head exactly how it could work.

My mother was also very prejudiced against adopted children and refused to allow my DF to see his adopted son. She would also mock adopted children openly from when I was very young and was of the opinion that they were in some way inferior, genetically disadvantaged or 'problem children'. (She was not a very mentally sound person and although I do ignore most of her bigoted opinions it is very difficult to drop a lot of the stereotypes that she installed in me from a young age.)

You are very right Families that I should wait until after the birth at least, but it would be nice to hear about other people's experiences too smile

Kewcumber Wed 17-Oct-12 21:10:52

I know several people (and some are on here) who have both birth and adoptive children and I've never heard any of them say they feel one bit different about any of them. I have also heard that its not uncommon to feel more protective of an adoptive child. I have only one adopted Child so I have no idea.

I think lots of people would say it is different particularly in the year before and the year after but I suspect that having every child/pregnancy/adoption is different anyway so I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from that!

Ultimately - if you ever get to that point it will be immensely annoying and hurtful that your father can't be on board. But if its really what you want you'll do it anyway!

lots of children come to adoption through a disadvantaged start and most cases that adds a layer of parenting that you just don't get with the majority of birth children. In some cases that extra layer is very challenging but mostly its just parenting all the same even if it looks tough to outsiders. which I don;t think is a very articulate way of saying what I think.

And unless your father is planning to carry and deliver your next child himself then he isn't entitled to much of an opinion about it.

Kewcumber Wed 17-Oct-12 21:15:24

however I do want to say that adoption really isn't very beautiful at all. My DS is indeed very beautiful but his adoption for him, for me and his birth mother was not at all a beautiful thing but a painful emotional process.

Sorry to sound a bit pious but don't even consider adoption because you think its nice or wonderful or anything else even vaguely beautiful, because it isn't.

Our children are just as wonderful as anyone elses but they aren't any more wonderful and neither are we as parents and the process is just as troublesome and gory as pregnancy and childbirth (just in a different way).

Devora Wed 17-Oct-12 23:20:17

Yes, I agree with Kew and FSG. I have a birth child and an adopted child. They are very different personalities, and of course my relationship with them is different, but they are equally my daughters and equally precious to me. Just as importantly, they love each other and are fully sisters even there is no blood link and they do not look alike, do not even have the same racial identity.

Do be aware, though, that there are drawbacks and difficulties with adoption. One is that the social workers will insist on a significant age gap between the two children (3 years is usual; in our case 4 years) so if you want to have your dc close together that is something to consider.

Very best of luck with the birth and I hope you're feeling a lot better soon.

PheasantPlucker Thu 18-Oct-12 08:09:07

We have a birth child and an adopted child. They are very different to each other, both come with their own challenges, and we love them both.

Please don't see adoption as an easier option to another pregnancy. The process is not for the faint hearted!

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Thu 18-Oct-12 13:27:36

Thank you all for your experiences smile

FreckledLeopard Thu 18-Oct-12 13:30:02

Have you thought about surrogacy as an alternative if you can't face another pregnancy?

Bunbaker Thu 18-Oct-12 13:43:07

Two of my cousins are adopted, then when the youngest was three my auntie had a child of her own. They were all treated exactly the same and my aunt and uncle never, ever showed any favouritism towards their natural child.

HystericalParoxysm Thu 18-Oct-12 13:51:22

I have birth children and adopted children.
I love them all differently because they are different ages, different genders, different personalities. But I love them all with equal depth. Most people I meet cannot tell which children are adopted and which I gave birth to. Adopting is less physical pain, yes, but much more emotionally draining and frustrating and the process lasts much longer than 9 months in most cases!

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Thu 18-Oct-12 15:16:26

I did consider surrogacy but it would be very strange asking someone to go through something that I'm not willing to go through myself.

Italiangreyhound Thu 18-Oct-12 21:18:59

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons just wanted to say that it's very sensitive of you to think of the surrogates feelings like that. I guess some people find pregnancy easier and have an easier time. I had a pretty horrible pregnancy but some people love it and actually enjoy being pregnant.

I never considered surrogecy myself when I failed to get pregnant as I don't think DH would have been keen. I would imagine along with physical pregnancy and adoption it is still not an easy option.

All the best in your search for the future and all the best for this new baby. When is it due?

all best wishes.

(PS it's not weird to think about baby number 2 before baby number 1 is here, I did the same thing and I am very excited that adoption looks to be an option for us, I mean that we feel ready for it, but it has taken a long route to fully understand more about what adoption means.)

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