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When birth parent has a new baby - what to ask social worker?

(10 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sat 27-Jul-13 18:03:38

Devora no advice I'm afraid - but hope all will go well whatever you decide.

All the best.

floatyjosmum Sat 27-Jul-13 09:13:56

It would be another assessment which they would want to so ASAP if they were thinking of placing with you since birth.

If birth mum has made changes and they think she might keep this one (I don't think that's their thoughts if they are visiting you) they may be looking at additional letterbox contact etc - but again don't think they'd visit at this stage

Devora Sat 27-Jul-13 00:07:01

Thank you all so much. Particularly Lilka for her fantastic-as-always posts - I was hoping you'd answer smile

duchesse, if I'm honest my initial reaction was, "Oh no". We just feel so stretched, already barely able to give the girls the attention they want, money tight, no spring chickens... But of course it is also appealing, and it feels like a very big deal to deny dd2 the opportunity to have a blood relative in the family.

floaty, it is over 4 years since we were assessed so I guess we'd have to go through all that again.

Maiya and Moomooie, thanks for the good advice smile.

dp has started going, "Ooh, just imagine, another little curly-haired baby" so it looks like I'm going to have to be the sensible one grin

floatyjosmum Fri 26-Jul-13 22:33:08

They may ask about placement early on as they consider a fostering to adopt placement and are trying to sound you out

Is it long since the last set of proceedings as they may be wanting to skip assessments if there has been a recent set

Moomoomie Fri 26-Jul-13 18:06:37

Another fantastic post from lilka
To add my story, as many of you know. We adopted our eldest two daughters in 2001. We always said if there was a sibling we would be interested.
Fast forward to 2007, I received a surprise call from SW to say another baby had been born and was going to be adopted.
For us it was a very easy decision to say yes, yes, yes! As I had always wanted more children.
I reckon the biggest question to ask isabout alcohol consumption in pregnancy( two of our daughters have FASD)
Don't let anyone rail road you into making any decisions about this little one. Sometimes it is easier for social services to place with a sibling.

Lilka Fri 26-Jul-13 13:16:54

Then there was sibling number 2...

I was told about this sibling about halfway through the pregnancy (and to be honest, I was shocked at the tiny age gap between the two babies). Baby number 12 was born in late Febraury 2005. This time the circumstances were different and I was very surprised to hear that because this pregnancy for some reason DD's birth mum had made life changes (ie. sobriety) and 'engaged with professionals' that this baby was staying with mum for now and she was having a chance to keep him.

Fast forward and this attempt did not work out, and birth mum decided that she couldn't cope, so baby went into foster care at 4 months old. The plan was adoption.

I was asked about placement and contact in September 2005. I said exactly the same as with baby 11. Letterbox with photos, no dc now but maybe in the future. I said no to placement because of DD's needs. We were recovering from a terrible year in MS school, we had finally won the statementing and special school battle and she was starting a new school and we were being referred for therapy because of her emotional and behavioural needs.

It should have ended up like baby 11. But in the next year, there was a sudden serious delay. Social workers went off sick, baby changed social workers like he changed nappies, no one put papers into court etc. Also in that next year, our circumstances changed too - DD settled into school and her behaviour there really changed, we finally recieved therapy which lasted months and made a real change. During this time I did make calls to get updates on the baby and the case and contact.

SS contacted me in October 2006 and said that finally they had applied for the placement order, it would be granted in early December all being well, and how did I feel now, 13 months after the last time I was asked?

Then my head exploded... and all the social workers held some meetings and concluded there were lessons to be learned from this sad case

I spent the next month agonising over my decision. We were now in a place where I felt we could cope with another child, but was I going to jeapordise DD's progress? I always wanted a big family, but how would DD react to sharing attention? And so on....but I said yes. And my beautiful wonderful DS came home in February 2007 aged 23 months.

I can't lie about how hard it has been at times. Really really hard, especially the early days. I have thought 'this was a mistake' and then shouldered on. But I don't regret it now. Where would I be without my son? smile

<sorry for mammoth post>

Lilka Fri 26-Jul-13 12:56:39

Yes I've been in your position Devora. You have all my sympathy and hugs over this if you want them x

I've organised a huge amount of sibling contact over the last nearly-17 years - DD1 having contact with 4 out of 5 siblings, and DD2 was one of 10 at the time she was placed (12 children now) and we have contact with the majority of them as well.

So it was the two children born after I adopted DD2 that I've been in the 'there's a new baby being born' position with.

I brought her home in March 2004 and there was a baby born in April 2004. SS removed the baby immediately at birth and the plan was always adoption. Obviously with DD2 so newly placed (and with very challenging behaviour) I could not take placement, but I did ask for contact. Because of DD2's needs at the time, I didn't ask for direct contact straight away, I asked for letterbox twice a year with photos and I said direct might be a possiblity for DD2 in the future so could the adopting couple be open to exploring that in years to come. The baby was adopted very quickly and I did get the letters and photos. We've never had direct contact because the parents don't think it's in their childs best interests given childs general attitude to birth family and letters. I do understand that, and they've been brilliant with writing lovely letters to us.

I do think some adoptive parents would not agree to any direct contact. Realistically there are plenty of people who say no to any DC and there isn't any guaruntee this baby wouldn't be adopted by one of that set of people. However most parent I know do really make an effort for siblings and most parents are very willing to send letters to adopted siblings IME.

I have to agree with Maiya that when the siblings are both adopted, the adoptive parents are often left to sort out contact between them without any involvement from SS. That has its up points and down points. I've only had SS involvement in organising direct contact with siblings in long term foster care.

Maiyakat Fri 26-Jul-13 11:50:22

I'm on the other side of this dilemma as my DD has an older birth sibling who is adopted. No decision has been made yet re direct contact, I think sibling's adoptive parents are still unsure. The impression I get is that if they say yes it will be very much left to us to sort it out.

I hope they say yes as it would be good for DD to have that connection with her birth family, to see someone who has the same genetic makeup and do all the comparing familiarities that the rest of us take for granted. However, I am worried about how I will get on with the other family, how their way of explaining adoption and family history may be different from mine, and what will happen if DD's sibling decides to make contact with birth family and DD is not ready to.

Sorry not very helpful - just more confused thoughts!

duchesse Fri 26-Jul-13 08:45:05

Would you be interested in adopting the new baby? I think SS like to keep siblings groups together as much as possible don't they?

Devora Thu 25-Jul-13 23:15:32

So, I was expecting this to happen. One of our dd's birth parents has had another child, who will almost certainly be adopted. Social worker wants to talk to us about placement and contact.

Leaving aside the placement issue for now (because it makes me feel like my head is going to explode) can I just ask for the expertise/experience of anyone who has been in this position re. contact? What should I be asking at this stage? Would everyone agree to direct contact or do some feel differently?

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