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Meeting up with FC....would you?(15 Posts)
Long story short my DC foster carers became too attached and lied about elements of development and behaviour when it became clear that a forever family had been found (previous to this everything was great) SS stepped in and gave them a lot of support and expedited matching panel and placement date because of this. Our first meeting was awful, horrendous in fact, the main FC refused to attend it and instead sent their partner who although was nice towards me was so very negative about DC. SS launched a full investigation into how things got this bad. The outcome of which hasn't been fully shared with me other than "they are very inexperienced and became far too attached and lied in a misguided attempt to keep DC".
They took good care of DC physically and had obviously built a bond to some degree. DC was under 2 years old and was with them for under 6 months (trying not to out myself with ages and durations so these are ball park figures).
By intros they were fine and ensured that these few days were used to my DC's best advantage and for that I am forever grateful.
Now they either have the skin of rinos or SS never actually disciplined them (I know that's not the right phrase) as they never batted an eyelid and have stayed in touch with me via email. Again a ball park figure but my DC has been home for a few month (over 5 but less than 12 months). We have exchanged a few emails (led by them) where they have asked how DC is doing and I've sent a couple of pics and an update. I'm happy to update via email but dont think I will be sending many more pics, DC is changing and it won't be long before the baby is gone and the young person is there IUSWIM.
They want to meet up, my gut reaction is hell no, far too soon, but I'm conscious this may be more down to my feelings rather than what is best for DC. As grateful as I am to them for the love and care they provided to DC they broke my heart at the beginning.
I doubt DC will remember them due to age, so I don't think that DC would benefit from a meet up either, certainly not until older and it can be explained who they are and can grow up remembering meeting them.
My LA is rubbish and to an extent I blame them a lot for this, FC need support especially those who are new to it but that is a whole other thread!
I need to get my head straight about this before I speak to SS, we are pre AO so I will need their input on this.
Sorry long story not so short in the end!
Not been in this situation but I'm guessing you want to hear other opinions. Be neutral and meet in the middle. Tell them that because it's still early days and pre AO you'd rather not risk your hard work with attachment and authority. Say that you can't see the benefit for your son right now but maybe suggest a FaceTime call or Skype so they can actively see him and speak to him.
You say they became "too attached" to your DC. It is that very attachment that enabled your DC to thrive in their care and to make the transition to you. They would have felt safe in having been given permission by fc to move on.
Even if DC is a baby, FC is a huge part of their life story and will hold important information about them during that stage of your life. Your DC may want to contact them in the future, I would be wary about cutting them out. It also shows the child that their time in foster care is nothing to be ashamed of and that FC loved them and cared for them.
I understand that you have been hurt at some point, but foster Carers do an impossible task of loving these young children (because that is what they need to thrive) and then letting them go. Please do underestimate the value in what they did for your dc. Support for fc is patchy and if they are new fc and haven't moved on a child before they may not have gone about it in the best way, but that's not their fault entirely.
It's standard practice for a meet up to be arranged after 6 weeks in the authority I work in, and you may think dc is just a baby. But in the future it will be important to them to know that the FC came to see how they were getting on, and for the child to understand that FC still exists, they haven't just disappeared because they now live with you.
Don't try and erase FC from your child's life, what is the harm in sending a picture? They will hold a piece of your DC in their heart forever, wouldn't you rather that than your DC came from a family that didn't care?
I moved a child on to adoption a couple of years ago and the adopters were and continue to be fantastic. They send me photos and videos every couple of months and we are arranging a meet up this summer. I was and continue to be a part of that child's life even though she lives far away now. I have so much respect for the adopters for being brave enough not to cut me out, but it's not about me as the FC, it's about that child knowing they were loved at every part of their life. I also hold useful info about the birth family as I saw them every week at contact. The child may or may not be interested in that in the future.
Please try and make it about your child and not any animosity you feel towards them, you may regret it in the future.
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Candy I don't under estimate the work the FC did and I am keeping them updated and have been sending pictures. I don't agree that their over attachment was good as it resulted in some awful behaviours on their part that were most certainly NOT in my DC best interest. I have said that I will be forever grateful for the love and care that have to DS. The purpose of my post is that I don't want my feelings to push my decision here but rather what is best for my DC (and not me or the FC). Myself and DC look at old photos including some of FC every now and then and in no way am I 'ashamed' and have at no point said I would be cutting out the FC. I am asking if this is too soon to meet. My LA had a standard 6 month rule regarding meet ups and I personally think 6 weeks is far too soon and must be very confusing for the children. I have also said that I mainly blame the LA in this due to the lack of support offered to them from the start. Your implications that I would do any of this is rather insulting considering the info I provided in my post.
Tybelt Skype is a brilliant suggestion and I can suggest this as an alternative to SS, thank you.
Actually you said that they must have the skin of a rhinoceros, implying what a check they had to get in touch after what happened. You said yourself they initiated contact, and it sounds like although you sent an update, you didn't want to.
I was just offering my opinion from the other side. No offence meant
a meet up would only be on benefit to your child. they will have experienced so much loss in their lives. As long as you are in control of the meet up, its in a neutral location and only for a brief time there is no reason not to meet up. You are his Mum now but keeping in contact with carers is often beneficial to adopted children.
5 months is a long time in his life, but if yiu want to wait 6 months then arrange a meet up for a few weeks time, will be 6 months by then. Some children need to see their carers quite soon, others dont, each child is different.
William858 Ive reported your spam post.
If you feel it is too early then stand by your gut instinct. If your LA has a 6 month rule then I would send an email saying that although you will be happy to possibly arrange something in the future that you feel it is just too early at the moment.
Our LA recently changed their position on this. It had been they supported a meeting after 2-3 months. Apparently recent research has indicated that sooner is better, so they now recommend approx 6 weeks. We followed that, despite quite a challenging time with our FCs during intros. The meeting wasn't easy, but I think it was probably important. We did it in our home because LO was calmest there, and our SW "dropped in" towards the end, to help draw it to a close - when they still hadn't left after a couple of hours, and were ignoring my hints. FCs became very upset, and while I totally understand and admire how hard their role is, I really felt it wasn't my role to support them as I rather had my hands full. I am pleased we did it; LO was unsettled through the meeting, but it made a positive difference to how settled they were afterwards. We have since stayed in loose contact by email, in case LO ever wants to ask them anything. LO age was also around 2ish at the time. I do appreciate the prospect of meeting up can be a bit anxiety-making, but if you can do it, I would. Good luck
Candy I actually feel they had skin of a rino for not acknowledging their behaviour and the impact it had as the link almost fell through because of it at the very last minute not because they got in touch, we have been in touch since day one of placement, if I really didn't want to then I wouldn't. I have initiated contact once when I had some nice pictures to share, they have done most of the initiating as its more often than I would honestly think to do (every few weeks). There is a lot more to this that I obviously can't detail but rest assured behaviour was unacceptable and most certainly not in DC best interest. I have NO issue with keeping them updated because like you say they were a big part of DC life and I'm not against meeting up and would rather like to when DC can actually talk with them, my quandary at the minute is timing, it just feels soon given the issues. I'm not here to bash foster carers, most do a truly amazing job and don't get the credit they deserve with little to no support. So I apologise if this is the impression I gave, my issue is with particular instances and a total lack of acknowledgment of the impact they had.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, just waiting for SW to call me back so will take it from there but I'm feeling more open to a visit after hearing about the latest research.
I would recommend trying to manage a meeting if at all possible. Our DCs foster carers, while nothing like yours, were very (understandably) possessive of DC and introductions were on the intense side. We met up after 4-6 weeks and have kept in touch since. It has been of enormous benefit to the DC and I'm very glad we did. If the FC can overcome their distress at losing DC they can give them the all-important permission to 'move on', while still knowing that there are other adults out there who love and care about them.
I think I would try and take a very deep breath over whether they acknowledge their behaviour - it's really hard but it must involve such intense emotions and you are virtual strangers to them. It might happen further down the line, but for now Id try and put it behind you both and start afresh for DCs sake. Very very hard to do I know.
I think it depends what you are after in terms of the ongoing relationship between your AC and the FCs. If you want them to be in your AC's life then a face to face meeting sooner rather than later makes sense. If you are just envisioning a one off meeting down the line when your AC is old enough to have questions then I would have thought minimal contact between now and then would be fine.
For what it's worth, we have a great relationship with our AC's FCs. We first met up with them again 3 months into placement. I was keen to ensure that AC would remember them but be fully established as a part of our family. Our AC was pre verbal at the time so maybe a similar age to yours now. It was stressful planning the meeting and feeling uncertain if it was the right thing to do, but it went like a dream. AC clearly remembered them and was v excited but consistently returned to us and looked to us for reassurance. We now meet up every few months. That said we had a great relationship with them from the beginning so I understand your reluctance with your history.
Hi, it's clear it's been a tough road and so am not going to tell you what to do. I will tell you what we did and what I would do in your shoes....
We were very lucky our son's foster family were great. Intros went well and he was clearly very attached to them, and they to him but in a good way.
We met after one month, as our local authority advises. We met in a neutral location.
After that we met after about 3 months (so 2 months later) then at six months (3 months later) then 8, then a year. This seems a lot but it worked for us, he was older, 3 and had been with them twice as long as your little one, roughly.
After that the meetings dropped off to about two in the second year.
We are just starting year 3 with ds, now 5, and have planned to meet next month. This feels beneficial to ds and to all of us. But very low key, we do fun stuff and ds is very chilled about it all.
In your shoes I would meet in a neutral location. Picnic park or cafe and soft play etc. And for a relatively short time 1-2 hours tops.
Whether you send photos is up to you but I send about 4 a year by text to foster family and an update by email about twice a year.
Your son adjusting to you as parents and processing his past could be helped by contact with foster caters but trust your instincts and only commit to what you are happy with/can accept.
In your shoes I would maintain relationship as amicably as poss.
Their behaviour was wrong and that must be very upsetting but he is now your son and so you can afford to be generous with some aspects, e.g. a meeting if you choose/photos of you choose.
IMHO I see no reason to withhold photos as long as you are meeting. Eg if he was playing and they got out a camera would you say no photos? If not, why not send photos? Again, trust your judgement.
Lastly, if you would feel happier meeting after adoption order you can stall until then and could do a Skype call.
IMHO sooner is better but you need to feel happy with whatever you decide if at least accepting.
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