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Ex Wife Involvement Hell!(11 Posts)
We had our initially meeting with our social worker today and she mentioned the possibility of my husbands ex wife being contacted about our adoption. Their history is painful. They were married for 18 months and in that time she cheated a lot, got him into piles of debt, disappeared for days on end and was on a couple of occasions, physically aggressive. He hasn't seen or spoken to her in 8 years and they have no children together. The idea that she would be at all involved is very distressing for us and it would be great to get some advice on this. Can we choose for this not to happen?
The fact that they didn't have any children together might help. My DHs ex-w wasn't contacted, we told SW (truthfully) that we wouldn't know how to contact her even if we wanted to. Depends on the SW I guess but you have good reasons for not contacting and again, no children involved, so fingers crossed.
I'm not sure if they woudl allow this . There have been problems in the past when an adoptive father who abused his child turned out to have abused his first wife .
Other times it turns out that someone has a child by their first marriage who they don't keep inconstant with or pay maintenance for .
You will understand why these things raise big concerns in adoption. And most people in these situations simply say " oh don't contact her , she's crazy / an addict / mentally ill" .
So the usual practice is for them to interview former wives or long term partners .
I undertstand that it's upsetting for your H, but he wouldn't be contacting her himself , it woudl be SS. And if he's unwilling to deal with painful issues from his own past, SS may feel he's not very well equipped to help a child deal with their own past ( which is probably much more upsetting that an 18 month marriage that didn't work out ).
If your H is still so upset about it , Perhaps he might find it helpful to go for some couselling now, as once a child is placed with you it may bring up distressing issues for him . Also if he is still too upset about it it might not be the best time for you to consider adoption . There's nothing wrong inputting it on hold while you work through these things .
SS are used to the fact that some former partners are bitter and may say negative things about their ex. She is not being asked to give her approval for your adoption .
I hope you can see they have good reasons for this request, it's not just nosiness, it's about a Childs safety and welfare .
I think it's worth stressing that later point of Kr1stina's - a SW would be experienced at interviewing former partners, and would absolutely not be seeking their approval. The SW would have (sadly) plenty of experience at discerning the truth in the emotion, and in calmly handling tricky conversations. Your DH would not be involved at all.
The SW would not be doing a proper job for a child needing placement, if they didn't do absolutely everything possible to ensure adoptive parents were safe, and were in a good, stable relationship that gives the parents the best chance of handling the demands of therapeutic parenting.
I understand it can feel intrusive, but it truly is only done to give the placement of the child the very best chance of success. I hope it might help to think of it from that point of view. Good luck with your journey
Thank you. Now that a bit of time has passed, we are feeling a bit more objective about the whole thing. It's a relief that we wouldn't need to do anything to sort it out and we honestly don't have any contact details for her at all so it would be down to them to look her up if it came to it.
I'm glad you are feeling less worried about it . However I'd urge your husband to consider going for couselling if he's still so distressed about it .
Unresolved issues tend to come back and bite you once you have a child placed with you - their grief and loss can triggers things for you.
He's not distressed about the relationship. It was more the fact that she could have a say over whether we have a child or not.
I see. When you said their history was painfully and you found it very distressing, I thought you meant he was upset about his marriage to her .
Thanks for explaining .
Don't worry about not having contact details For her BTW, SS are very good at finding people as obviously your DP has her full name, date of birth, former emplyers, address and names and addresses of family members .
They will find her quite easily , it's hard to go missing in the Internet age .
Some reassurance I hope. In my case, they wrote twice to my ex husband and he didn't reply. I was very frightened that he would reply maliciously but he just ignored the letters (I hated that he even knew about our plans), our SW instead interviewed one of our referees who had known us both during our marriage. That was sufficient and we did have a child together.
In another case that I know of (a couple on our pre adoption course), she had an abusive previous ExH and SW took a view that it would not be fair to contact this person.
As Kristina said, it's very important to rule out previous domestic abuse etc but there are other ways around establishing this that don't always involve contacting ex partners.
Best of luck
Almost the same in our case... DH got worried about exW having a say. She'd accused him of DV to her friends in the past (completely unfounded).
Spoke at length with social workers who said yes they had to contact her but they were well used to ex partners with a grudge. If she accused him of DV in their interview with her, they'd look to verify her account, i.e. to see if there were any police reports. There weren't of course, since it didn't happen.
So, in short, we were completely open about our concerns from the outset (and I mean, from the first meeting with the SW as we knew they'd have to contact ex partners when we started the process). Had she tried to put the boot in, I think it would have been ok
In the event, she gave him a glowing 'report'
My DH was married before and he and his ex wife had no children.
She wasn't contacted on either occasion we were approved.
To be fair - she lived in another country and we had no real way of getting in contact with her.
So they might not contact her
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