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Forced adoption and my son. A birth mothers prospective.(86 Posts)
First of all, hello! I'm new to the forum and have found myself here after going through a very traumatic experience with AS.
My son was born on in 2013 and taken from my care at three days old. I never supported the adoption and cry for him every day, the whole experience has virtually destroyed me and has damaged my trust in our government and social services beyond belief.
The reason my son was taken from me was because his father had a history of being violent to his ex girlfriend. They had a daughter together who they had in their care for two years before she was removed and placed for Adoption due to witnessing domestic violence between the two. When I met this man who went on to be my sons father, he told me that he had a daughter who was removed due to her mother's lack of parenting skills 'after they split up' and he did not tell me about the violence or social services concerns about him.
At the point of falling pregnant he became increasingly controlling and I saw a different side to him, there were multiple occasions I had to call the police due to his "kicking off" and although he hadn't yet been violent he was definitely abusive. I decided that I would look into making arrangements to leave him safely.
During a midwife appointment early on I told her how I felt about the way the relationship had been, on that basis she referred me to social services who then came and visited me, I was 13 week's pregnant at this point.
When the social worker came to visit me she told me the real reasons his daughter had been taken into care, I was shocked, upset and angry having been told a completely fabricated version in the past. She asked me whether he had been violent to me, to which I replied no but he has been abusive in other ways, that was the truth at that point. I told her straight away that I don't condone any of what she told me and am prepared to move out of the town ASAP with their permission and help (I have very little family support and none of the family I do have lived in the local area). I was scared out of my wits by this point thinking these people were going to take my baby. I'd heard so many horror stories about social services in my local area alone to conclude that the chance of my baby being took was in fact real so I vowed to work with them whole heartedly and do everything in my power to keep my child in my care. I did everything asked of me including a drugs test which came back fine, permission to access my medical records and they requested I attending a parenting group to address my "lack of experience" with children and babies having been a first time Mum. I had to find a parenting course by myself unaided by them and despite the only one I was able to find being tailored to older children - I attended regardless desperate to prove my commitment.
The social worker I had didn't want me to leave town and made that very clear, she said not to worry because she can see many positives in my favour and that "she wouldn't have thought" my baby would be removed because "my case didn't warrant it" (sic). She then told me that she had already began her assessment and by me moving at that point it would "cause disruption to the case" (sic) - I swear those were her words.
When my child's father got wind of me leaving him that is when the violence began. I moved into a different house in the same area at 5 months pregnant and he wouldn't leave me alone, he attacked me multiple times and despite me banning him from coming to my home he did all of the time.
I didn't dare report him to the police because of how social services were now using those past police logs against me. The handful of times I had called the police on him in the past before falling pregnant were now being used as 'serious concerns' and so I was terrified to seek help from the police out of fear of social services using the new logs against me so I kept quiet, much to my regret of course but I felt incredibly backed into a corner by these people who were blatantly unsupportive and were writing untrue information about me.
They were writing in their reports that upon becoming involved i was 'minimizing' the violence by telling them in one meeting that he hadn't physically attacked me, when in fact at that point he hadn't - I had been completely honest with them and they were putting on paper that I was a liar and a deceiver, a perpetrator of domestic abuse as much as he was and saying they are concerned with the lack of support I had in the area. The latter was extremely contradictory as I had virtually BEGGED for permission to go and have my 'assessment' in the same city that my family members lived in.
The twisting my words and falsifying information continued throughout my pregnancy. At one point the social worker wrote in her report that I too had been a perpetrator of domestic abuse which was fundamentally untrue, there had never been any accusations of abuse or assault made against me and it took me going to the police personally to have this clarified to have it taken out of the report.
I felt bullied by them, I couldn't believe the way they were portraying me and as they are portrayed as an agency who's purpose is to Support families they had shown me no support at all, in fact quite the opposite.
They arranged a PLO meeting when I was 8 months pregnant and then held it without me present. My then-representative who turned out to be notorious for working with social services told me to take a seat in the waiting area of the town hall where it was being held and said she'd come and get me when it was time. She didn't. She told me after I'd been sat there over an hour that she took the initiative to attend the meeting on my behalf because the local authority were going to take my baby at birth and wouldn't be changing their minds therefore she didn't want me getting upset in the meeting. How utterly disgusting is that? I was literally tricked into not attending a meeting when it's purpose was to determine what will happen to my son once born.
I went into Labour two weeks early on a Saturday racked with stress. Not even twenty minutes after my son was born whilst I was still sat in my own blood and mucus a social worker who I'd never met before came into my room and told me she wanted me to sign a section 20 enabling them to take him into care, I refused. How intrusive and humiliating it was for me to have such a thing thrust into my face whilst trying to saver the little time I had with my darling boy who I'd already fallen in love with.
I called my legal aid solicitor, the one who stopped me attending the PLO and she came to the hospital on the Monday when the local authority were due to go to court to obtain the order. I had lost a lot of blood and was unfit for discharge so she asked me what I wanted her to say on my behalf because she would be attending in my interests. I told her I oppose the order and want my baby with me, I also said I'm prepared to agree to any and all conditions imposed by SS which would make that possible. She told me that she would definitely project my willingness to work with social services but warned me that by outright opposing the order would make it seem like I am not acknowledging their concerns and that I need to address them. realize how ridiculous that sounds now to agree to her saying this but being young, distressed and desperate for help I believed her and believed she had my best interests at heart so I eventually (after much persuasion on her part) agreed to allow her to say that I "do not agree but do not oppose" because I had been brainwashed into believing that it was my only hope of winning my baby back.
My son was appointed a foster carer who fortunately was great, she got to know me personally and strongly disagreed with social services projection of me and their intentions for my baby. Her views were ignored and when she approached the social worker and asked them to consider letting me stay with her and my baby in her house which would provide the safe environment that they claimed we needed in order to be together, they outright refused. They were refusing to explore the possibility whatsoever and the only reasoning they gave for this was that it was "against procedure".
Unfortunately for me, the child's guardian appointed to represent my son in court was the same one who represented my exs other daughter so she was instantly swaying toward adoption. Despite my case being a whole other case and me and my son being completely different individuals. She based her desire to have him adopted wholly on the historical information and concerns aired between my ex, his ex and their daughter. She too was adverse to the possibility of me parenting my son with SS intervention, anywhere under any circumstances because apparently the risks posed by father were too high and I'm unable to protect my son from significant harm should anything happen as I don't have adequate support.
None of the 'many positives' highlighted by the assessing SW at the beginning were mentioned now, instead I was being portrayed as somebody who simply cannot protect their child and doesn't deserve them. I had begged SS so many times for a support structure enabling me to look after my child somewhere his father couldn't find us but instead I was virtually forced to remain in the same town as him so they could conduct their 'assessment' whilst having had my requests for help in relocating rejected time and time again.
Meanwhile whilst all this was going on I was getting trouble from my sons father. He wanted back in and couldn't (or wouldn't) understand how damaging his selfish interference was to my sons case so made my life a misery at every opportunity. He had now physically assaulted me several times when told he cannot come back and I knew I needed to turn to the police for my own safety, I reported him for the multiple assaults and fled to a refuge in the area which was for women escaping domestic abuse.
I realized that I couldn't allow it to continue and that by keeping quiet out of the fear for SS could end up having my seriously hurt so I told the police everything and just why I hadn't reported him for the attacks earlier. Surprisingly the police officer told me that it wasn't the first time they'd heard of a story like mine with SS and they could completely see why I would be so scared about reporting it.
When SS got wind of the police logs and me being in a refuge they reacted exactly how I suspected they would, instead of recognizing that I now had a safe environment and support (with many mothers and children) they updated their report for the upcoming 'resolutions hearing' saying how chaotic my life clearly was and that it's in my sons best interest to be adopted.
Two days before the resolutions hearing my sons father and his mother who's a diagnosed NPD, sent an 'anonymous' letter to the sitting judge in a last ditch attempt to stick the knife in for what he later admitted was spite for me ending the relationship. In the letter were several partially nude photos of myself that only he (my ex) had access to and a note claiming that I am overly promiscuous (which I am not) and under no circumstances should I get my son back. Something acknowledged by all parties was how irrelevant this childish defamation of my character this was to the case but even so it was drawn reference to by SS to 'evidence' the fact that there is 'too much instability and conflict' for it to be a possibility to return my son.
e was approved for Adoption and 10 weeks later placed with his adopters.
The judge overseeing the case was seemingly sympathetic, he said it brought him no pleasure concluding with adoption and myself and everybody who knows me cannot believe that he did.
Looking back over all the documents filed by social services it's apparent that adoption was a preference to them and not a last option. They never tried to support me nor keep me with my son and did everything possible to have him adopted as a first resort. They lied, twisted and manipulated the situation to achieve their desired outcome and it is an opinion shared by all whom know me that they preyed on me because I was an easy target. I was a workable case and it was them who refused to work with me, now when I beg to meet with the people who have my son under controlled circumstances I am told that this cannot be. I know that this is because they don't want me to tell them the truth about my sons case and it's misconduct in case it affects their willingness to adopt him. I don't pose any threat and that is evident, but they are telling me that they refuse to so much as pass on a letter or permit a telephone call between me and the adopters making it absolutely impossible to gain peace of mind let alone closure.
I am not angry with my sons adopters, I know for a fact that they have been lied to. nor do I think that adoptive parents are bad people because contrary to my own case I have much respect for what you ladies and gents do, but it scares me how (some) social services departments can manipulate, abuse and betray vulnerable young ladies who can and want to keep their babies.
I'll never forget my son, and due to the nature of his removal I fear I'll never find peace. Despite posing no risk to my son I am robbed of the right to watch him grow up, but what's worse than that is the fact that he has been robbed of a biological mother who can in fact care for and protect him. The pain is unreal, believe me. I feel like I have been used as an unwilling surrogate, I have seen posts on here proclaiming how parents had received umpteen chances at getting it right before their child was adopted - that's no been the case with me and my baby, I promise you.
Had I been given a chance to take him Home and had I messed it up for myself I would not be on here pouring my heart out to a board of strangers. I was never given a chance and he was ripped from my life straight away, if they would have given me a chance I could have done it but instead my son is about to spend Christmas with complete strangers.
Please, please, please prospective adopters make sure you meet with the birth family to avoid taking on a baby like my son. I know there are many children who are better off being adopted because their parents are drug addicts, criminals etc but my son isn't one of those babies and I'm not one of those neglectful parents. Although social services do get things right they do get things wrong, I urge you all to look at forcedadoption.com before agreeing to take on a child who has never been abused by their parents. Please.
Thank you for reading
That's absolutely heartbreaking.
How often were you allowed contact? The only advise I can give others who might be in your situation is to attend contact whenever offered.
This story is heart breaking and I'm so sorry for what you have experienced.
I do hope this story serves as a warning to others who find themselves in a similar situation to yourself. When the ss tell you to stay away from an abuser they mean it.
If they get wind that you have been in touch with that abuser then you are deemed of not keeping to your side of the bargain. Usually the abuser is so spiteful he will even prove to them that you have been in touch.
By staying in contact you will be demonstrating that you cannot be trusted to protect your child from such a person, perceived as putting your own desires above the safety of your child, minimising the impact of abuse on your child.
And OP you are right that lots of women daren't call the police after they have been told to stay away, because they know the referral will go straight back to the SS.
You certainly could have moved away without any consequence, your case would have been transferred to another LA.
I'm so sorry.
How very sad for you. I think the above point is very relevant however, social services have to do what they deem to be best for the child at all times, and they evidently felt that the child's father was too much of a risk.
Thank you for your post
I forgot to include was that at no point was it made a requirement that I stayed away from his dad. Although SS had those concerns they didn't give me that ultimatum which beggars belief I know.
I wanted to move away when I was early on in my pregnancy but the SW said it would disrupt the assessment. I was already anxious about the possibility of him being taken that I thought by staying and working with them like they'd asked me to instead of going against their advice and moving out of town I'd be helping my case and shown to be working with them. In hindsight I truly do wish I went, I blame myself all of the time for not going and for staying around here then I'm reminded that SS told me not to leave. I'm certainly not blameless in the sense that I didn't report him when I should of, but I just can't get to that place where I can find peace because of all the underhand tactics they used and how they lied manipulated and twisted the paperwork in favor of his adoption since before he was even born with not even one shot at a support system
That's just horrifying it really choked me up.
I had contact 2x per week at the social services building at first then at contact centers once they were satisfied that I wasn't a "flight risk" and going to kidnap him. This was because I did tell them I was going to take him from the hospital, that I admit, but who in that position wouldn't have said that? I didn't even get to bathe my own baby until he was 2 months old which really hurt. This was due to having to visit him in one pokey room at the local social services offices which aren't even supposed to facilitate contact til they deemed me suitable for contact centers. Sorry if my replies are badly timed in response to the posts I'm on my mobile and it takes a while to type
Yes it isn't good that they didn't tell you to stay away but I'm assuming you told them you would.
That is the thing, they need to believe that you can be trusted to protect the child from the abuse. Even while pregnant, I suppose.
Other factors would have to be taken into account such as where you were living and your lifestyle etc.
I can assure you SW do not target folk for adoptions. They really don't. But they know that if a child is born into abuse that child will likely become an abuser. The cycle always repeats itself and the formative years are the most important for the future.
Options open to someone in your shoes (if reading) are to move away, to a stable environment. A mother and baby unit, a live in fostering arrangement.
However if the SS believe you will still see the abuser the last two options might not be considered. Moving away would mean a new social worker and a fresh perception on your case.
It's a shame that you never got the chance to demonstrate you could protect your dc from significant harm but the judge can only go on what is in front of him. I can only think that the times after your assessment was started that you were assaulted, proved that you were still seeing this dangerous person.
Please don't let this terrible experience define you, you have been through a terrible ordeal. The worst. Good luck
OP telling him that you would take him would just give them fire that you were being uncooperative.
When ss are involved they hold all the cards. People should know that. It's not worth going against them as it just goes against you. It's better to work with them and do what they ask.
It's usually things like attending appointments, manage finances, attend counselling and so on. Obviously a lot of folk take theses things for granted but some people can struggle.
I know it's hard when they are telling you how to live your life but they come into it for a reason.
Your post is utterly heartbreaking and I cried for you when I read it.
However, now you have a choice. A hard choice because it is not going to be easy.
You owe it to your son and yourself now to do something with yourself and your future. Use the next 18 years to get qualifications if you need them ( your post was remarkably well written) and when he turns up you will have a nice home to welcome him into.
If you don't and you just mourn and wallow ( very understandable) until years and years go by and that is all you have done, then it may be impossible for you ever to be happy. It will be then be very difficult for him to be with a bitter and twisted person that you may well have become.
Because he Will seek you out, no doubt about it.
Terrible and horrendous and as unjust as it is, this situation will eat away at you and destroy you if you let it. DONT, please let something positive come out of this tragedy.
Get counselling, take meds if necessary and try to have a plan and stick to it, so that you create a future for yourself, as you sound remarkable.
You have learnt the hard way about a wicked man and a wicked system.
Make sure that in the future that you stand on your own two feet, with a job and a rhythm to your life. Someone decent will find you, believe in you and give you back some happiness in your life.
Everyone that has replied on Mumsnet is supporting you and I wish you well with all my heart.
The ball is now in your court. Xxx
Oh too turn back the clock, 38 years ago as FC's all contact's were supervised by ourselves at our house or BM House , lessons and support was instant in most situations after some months most were reunited, lots of Mums kept in contact for some time with visits and for support, Were in praise of the system .
There were occasions when this was not possible, or contact moved too more secure places and supervised though.
I really wish you well op.
I am so sorry this happened to you. Maybe writing your story will change others lives.
I truly hope you find happiness. Best wishes op.
Thinking of you now because I am also a birth parent myself and I cannot imagine how hard it is to go through what you have been through.
OP, we have several birth families who post here and birth families are always offered our support.
I am concerned however that you have mentioned the recently redesigned forced adoption website. This recently redesigned website is something I would urge all birth mums to show caution with. The advice is in my opinion dangerous and should be ignored.
Thank you for your advice that adopters meet and speak to birth families - it's something both parties find useful. To add to this, I would suggest families use that time to build information on the child, their identity and sharing information that will benefit the child rather than discussing why birth families feel the wrong decision has been made. Those decisions are made by judges with recommendations from many parties and so it's important to remember there are always 2 sides and what is being presented from a birth parent alone may not be all it seems. Like anything in life (such as the internet), adopters never trust just one source as "the truth" but access a wide range of information on their children.
I wish you well on your journey.
This happens to 100s of mothers in the UK, it's stories like these that don't get heard. The government have set social services adoption targets.
It's something I have become very passionate about over the years, Denise from this morning is writing a book on the UK forced adoption drive.
I hope you can find peace and your lad will come looking for you when his 18.
Wishing you the very best x
Moongazymummy: targets: this is not true and wiser and more experienced people on here have been clear that trotting out this line does no favour to birth parents in family court proceedings. What a judge wants to hear is that birth parents have made significant changes and blaming everything on a non-existent government conspiracy does nothing to show this. Apart from anything else, I cannot for the life of me work out what the government's incentive would be in setting targets to remove children from blameless birth parents so they can be adopted (as I think you are alleging). The costs for the government (e.g. salaries for social workers, lawyers, foster carer allowances and that is just for starters) are astronomical. Why would the government just want to throw money away like that?
Targets, really? Yes the government sets adoption targets, of course it does. Targets to increase the speed of finding adoptive parents, keeping siblings together etc. ONCE IT HAS BEEN DECIDED THE CHILD IS TO BE ADOPTED. There are no such targets to get X number of children removed from families this year. That is not beneficial to birth parents and certainly not to the government, the costs of adoption are huge in comparison to children staying with their good family.
In fact, currently there is a huge drop in numbers for children who it has been decided should be adopted so if this was the case I'm sure the news would love to state that social services are failing all their adoption targets massively and where are these stories....oh yes, there are none.
Very sad. I am pretty anti adoption myself. It is so absolute and there are often extended family who could take the child. Long term fostering is better. In fact I'd be content if we abolished the legal right to adopt entirely.
Where it is possible to place a child within family, or close familiar people, believe me that's preferred. But there are, very sadly, a significant number of situations where this is either impossible or wouldn't improve the safety of the child. I'm sure long-term fostering placements can be nurturing and successful, but I struggle to believe they are in the best interests of all children - it leaves them vulnerable to moves and further separations, and it leaves them somehow dislocated when they reach 18 and are neither in nor out of the family they've lived with. I truly believe adoption, done carefully and sensitively, and where the birth family history is shared gradually with the child through their life - giving them later options for contact when it is the child's decision - is the best thing we can do for a neglected traumatised child.
So Greengrow - when my DD was abandoned in the special baby care unit at the hospital, a couple of hours after her birth , without even being given a name would you have been "content" knowing she would be placed in long term foster care and never truly have a "forever family" Do you really think her life would be better than it is with us , her adoptive family?
And I'm wondering what extended family would have come forward to look after my DS when he was removed from his birth mother due to her older two children coming to harm in her care. Birth mother had been in foster care on and off herself because of her own parent's issues. Would my DS have been better off if he had been sent to live with them?
Do you honestly think that Social Workers don't try to place children with extended birth family if it's possible?
Greengrow, so my son would be better without the security of loving parents and having sw visits throughout his life presumably in the vain hope bm kicks her lifelong substance misuse problem, penchant for abusive men and starts protecting her children from said men? Is your suggestion that my son waits for her timetable to recover because it is so sad and final for her? What if she never recovers? Bd wanted nothing at all to do with him but rather than having a daddy who very much does want him, he should be in state care forever? Why?
Long term fostering is preferable to adoption? I wholly disagree. Extended family isn't always an option either.
I'm with Angels, I know of kids born one after the other to a drug addict parent. Family said they cannot take on kids. Now the BM is dying in prison and you expect these kids at 18 to finish being in foster care and that's it? No family, life long support etc.? Their mother's choices, not theirs, but they should suffer and not be given the chance to be part of a forever family? Are you absolutely bonkers?? Wow I'm not often gobsmacked but that's done it!
( I know that if you are a long term foster carer that child will often be a part of your family forever, but to the child who doesn't share the family name etc. this does have an impact on feeling of stability. Plus foster carers are not paid enough to be financially backing all the children they longterm foster in adulthood - I have the absolute upmost respect for foster carers but permanence to a child's psyche matters - I say this because I know teenagers who are in this situation with awesome foster mum's and dads who say this is the case, also this can work for the limited number of children in this situation with the limited number of amazing foster carers there are, but everyone in longterm fostering? wouldn't have enough people willing to do it anyway)
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