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Oh crap. Just found out birth mother is pregnant again

(6 Posts)
MrsWillMcAvoy Tue 20-Oct-15 13:03:18

Have name changed as this will totally out me but am a regular

Have DS and DD placed 20 months ago when they were 6 and 4 They are full siblings.

Things are going ok... We had a rough patch a while back but they are good kids and are starting to show signs of being properly settled, ie starting new year at school didn't phase them as much as I thought it would etc.

Things for DH and I (especially DH) are turbulent at work. Hopefully will be resolved soon though.

We have just found out (not through Social Services - had no contact from them) that birth mother is pregnant again

She is unlikely to be reassessed favourably. I don't know anything about this LO's birth father (different from my two's birth father) or whether anyone in his family would be approved so this may never be a concern.

But of course we are immediately thinking it may have the outcome of LO needing to be adopted and we know we may get the call.

Some questions if I may.

1
We put a call in for some support to the LA a while ago for DD and DS. It didn't come to much from their LA although they did an assessment (long story but they then decided they wanted to reassess before putting any support in place. We were in a better place by then and had accessed great support via a different method so never pushed it). Would this colour the LAs view on whether we're to be approached (if it ever got that far)?

2
If (I know it's a big if, yadda yadda) we were looked at for this LO, what's the process nowadays? Foster to Adopt? Presumably that means LO will still have direct contact with BM and BF. How does that work then? (we have been advised against ever meeting birth mum as she has tried to trace the kids quite aggressively in the past)? This question sounds ridiculously mercenary and I don't mean it to, but do you get paid to foster during the fostering bit? Does the LA provide things like cots? Obviously I know the risks with foster to adopt and while I don't mind forking out hundreds if adopting, I don't want want to if LO would only be with us for a few weeks/months. Sorry, I know that sounds incredibly mercenary.

3.
Has anyone ever been in this position? What things did you consider when reaching a decision? My immediate thought is if we take this half sibling, what happens if she has another, and another? At the moment. The 'line is drawn' with us having the full siblings (there are two other half siblings out there on dads side who were adopted at the same time as ours)

Any other insights in terms of thought processes/what to expect over the coming months would be greatly appreciated - especially if you did this, how it affected your existing kids (which is, of course, my primary concern).

Many thanks

Mama1980 Tue 20-Oct-15 18:42:54

I was in this position, I have custody of my eldest by sgo since she was removed from bm care (I was originally her godmother) her bm is sadly an addict and faced criminal proceedings at the time. I then had two birth children when 2 years ago bm fell pregnant again.
I was approached quickly by ss not least because bm had requested I take custody of the baby when it was born.
In my case it was a foster to adopt situation as bm consented, it was all very simple really my youngest dd was placed in my care the day she was born (as my dd was born addicted and there were medical decisions to be made) the adoption order was granted by the time she was 8 months old. I had to undergo assessments but nothing anywhere near as intrusive as when I'd taken custody of my eldest.
I found ss very keen to place dd with me, they will push for established sibling placement if that is an option. Be prepared for this but also stick to your guns, you know what is best for your family, don't be bullied into something just because it will be easier for them. (Not anti ss but they did push me very hard so wanted to warn you they may)
The decision for me was tough I discussed and looked into medical issues my youngest dd may have, I looked at my finances, I worried endlessly about my other children....the uncertainty was such a worry, bringing a total unknown into their lives. How would it effect my eldest especially, being biologically her half sister. I have an old thread on here if you search my username and got some amazing advice.
Bottom line, my heart said yes, and so I did. I've never regretted it for a second, my daughter is beautiful ,but it hasn't been plain sailing she has medical issues, but my children adore their baby sister. It was right for us, but if it's not for you and yours then say so.
And don't feel guilty the situation is not of your making. ( for me the guilt influence took some getting over)
Sorry to have to be brief, little people need me smile any questions feel free to ask I'll help if I can.

Devora Tue 20-Oct-15 22:33:13

I've been in this position too, and decided not to take on the LO. Social services contacted me after the birth and basically said, "Will you take him?" No discussion, no how are you doing Devora, and how are you coping with the children you have? No how do you think this will affect your current children, no can we help you think through the issues.

We thought about it very, very seriously. And in the end said no. We were both back at work and needed to continue to work. We were tired and feeling too old. And - most importantly of all - we thought the benefit to dd2 of being with a birth half-sibling was outweighed by having to share us with a new demanding tot. She has very, very high needs for constant attention, and so would be very affected by us having a new baby in the house - as would dd1, who already suffers from lack of attention.

Having made that decision, I asked social services if they could ensure the new baby was adopted by people who were committed to direct contact between the siblings. Then followed a year of chasing them for information - in the end I had to take a complaint to the top before I got any information. Turns out they had placed him within the extended birth family, with someone who had offered to take on dd1 but been turned down as unsuitable. I have never been able to find out why this child was able to be placed within the birth family but dd2 was not (which I guess I will have to explain to her one day). Worse, as the new child is having direct contact with one of the birth parents, that means he cannot have contact with dd2.

I've never regretted that choice - we are now caring for elderly parents as well and really, really couldn't have coped - but I feel bad for dd2. She knows he exists and asks about him very frequently, with real longing and sadness. It is not an easy choice. But our first loyalty is to our existing children, and yes, sometimes birth mothers have not just one but multiple children and we cannot take them all.

Please don't let anyone guilt-trip you into doing this if it's not right for your family. I've seen posters on MN say, "oh how awful not to take the new baby' but funnily, none of them were adoptive parents. Your children are only very recently settled with you and you will need to give this very, very careful thought.

With your first question, my experience was that social services just wanted me to take the child and they couldn't be less interested in how I was coping. But that might not be universal!

On the question of financial support, they will probably be very keen for you to take the child so I think you can be quite demanding - say what you need.

I'm afraid I don't know much about the processes. But I would think very, very carefully about foster to adopt in your situation. You REALLY don't want your current children to bond with a new sibling and then have them taken away - or indeed to get the message that children can join your family and then have to leave again. I would not want this as even a remote possibility with adopted children, particularly recently adopted children.

Apologies for the long post, and best of luck.

DeccaMitfordsEntryVisa Wed 21-Oct-15 10:22:30

Wow, our situation is almost exactly the same as Devora's.

In the end I asked a health professional for some advice. We were feeling we 'should' take the baby for (adopted) dd2's (half sibling) sake. Health professional pointed out that if there was a further baby would be feel we should take him/her too? And at what point did we think we would have to say 'no' due to bedroom constraints/finances/our age etc.

I totally agree with Devora's comment, 'With your first question, my experience was that social services just wanted me to take the child and they couldn't be less interested in how I was coping. But that might not be universal!'

Good luck with everything OP.

(PS I am the poster previously known on these boards as 'PP' if that makes sense! Kew and Stacey know me)

MintyLizzy9 Wed 21-Oct-15 18:06:11

Hi, I've considered foster to adopt recently, I relation to pay you don't get paid to foster as a standard foster carer would. If you are fostering under the foster to adopt scheme then you start your adoption leave the day LO comes home (even tho you are fostering at that point). It's pretty much treated as an adoption placement. I was told no further financial support but suspect this was because LO was tiny baby with no known health issues so they pretty much had a line of adopters waiting to welcome her home!

MrsWillMcAvoy Thu 22-Oct-15 09:38:49

Thanks all, really good advice. I will call our LA soon to see what the process is and start to find out more.

Minty... I didn't know you could go on adoption leave when starting the fostering bit of foster to adopt. Not saying we'd do F2A, but just trying to fill in all the blanks in our knowledge.

I guess at the moment we're trying to answer the 'could we' questions before the 'should we' which will be far harder to answer and, as Devora says, will need a lot of thinking about from DCs point of view.

Thanks all

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