Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Independent (especially boarding) and suitability for adopted children

(135 Posts)
selly24 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:30:11

Can experienced adopters/social workers share their experiences and opinions on this please?

selly24 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:31:29

Schools, I mean in case that wasn't clear! Sorry missed out word!

PlugUgly Thu 15-Sep-16 22:43:21

Are you saying you want to adopt and then send the child to boarding school? Surely not?

Hels20 Thu 15-Sep-16 22:48:59

I think the unanimous opinion on this board would be "no way" to boarding - unless your child had very special needs that could only be catered for at a residential boarding place. But even then it would be a last resort for me.

How old is the child? If 16 then possibly I would consider it if the child asked to go.

As for choosing an independent school, if you have the money and think that is best for your child, then go for it. I am v happy with my local state school and intend to see through DS's primary school years there because it is right for him, nurturing, one form entry etc

selly24 Thu 15-Sep-16 23:12:24

We have met an adopter who sent her son to boarding as she is a single parent and he seems to thrive in the structured environment....
Interested to hear more opinions...

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Thu 15-Sep-16 23:27:12

Dear God...

RatherBeIndoors Thu 15-Sep-16 23:32:39

"Appearing to cope" and actual "thriving" are, I suspect, worlds apart - and it is seriously likely that the separation and perceived rejection/abandonment of boarding could deepen existing trauma rather than help it to heal. I know there are highly specialist residential placements for traumatised children (mulberry house is one I think) but that's a very different set of needs to what you seem to be describing...

I'm a single adopter and find structure is very important, yes, but totally achievable at home.

PoppyStellar Thu 15-Sep-16 23:39:53

What Hels said.

I have no experience of this but my opinion would be a resounding no. Irrespective of adoption I personally have concerns about the impact of boarding school on any child's attachment and emotional health, to me it would seem to send a message of 'we don't want to / can't look after you at home so go off to school where someone else will do it.' If you then throw adoption into the mix, and think about a child who has already experienced massive loss and upheaval as well as a wealth of other negative and damaging experiences such as neglect and abuse then the potential for long lasting damage to the child seems, to me, to be massive.

I'd be interested to know if any adoptees have had positive experiences of boarding school but for me personally I can't see how it can possibly be the right thing to do for a child who will already have been moved around from pillar to post, had primary carers taken away from them without a moments notice (particularly if they've had several foster placements whilst too young to fully grasp or process what is happening) and gone through the level of loss and trauma most of our children have been through.

I'm actually quite horrified that an adoptive parent has done this. I'm aware that is me being judgemental, and I know I don't have the full facts but I'm a single adopter too and there is not a cat in hells chance I would send DD to boarding school.

PoppyStellar Thu 15-Sep-16 23:41:08

X posted with rather who summed it up much more succinctly than me!

selly24 Fri 16-Sep-16 00:22:12

I am particularly thrown by the positives friends children have experienced as a result of boarding versus the issues raised here and also by boarding concern website.

Do children attending day schools also feel abandoned in some way too...? Would the ideal scenario be to homeschool?
I am guessing on a practical level most adoptive parents need childcare for after school hours ( a year or more into placement)? So if so they might feel a bit pushed from pillar eg Breakfast club to school to childminder to holiday club..? I suppose my initial (naiive?) positive thoughts about boarding were that activities, sports, meals, friends, trusted adults were all in the same place an extended 'support network' for the she family in effect? Predictable routines. Home time would be 100% quality time.

That is probably very idealistic....

There are those of course who would not entertain the idea of boarding for any children. What is fabulous for some is a disaster for others no.matter what their needs/background...

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Fri 16-Sep-16 06:40:22

I can't speak for most adopters, but I can't imagine a breakfast club, school, childminders, holiday club scenario working for DD. It would just be too much. We have changed our working lives to fit her needs. I suspect that is common.

jimbob1 Fri 16-Sep-16 07:12:28

My cousins were adopted (3 siblings). One was sent to boarding school as she was causing alot of trouble between parents. She felt a huge amount of abandonment.
They all ended up back in the foster system.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 16-Sep-16 07:48:58

Are you an adopter op? Or planning to be? Or are we just looking at the vague musings of an idle mind?

selly24 Fri 16-Sep-16 08:02:32

In the process and sizing up schools. Trying to keen an open, informed mind.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 16-Sep-16 10:58:42

Hmmmmmm. Maybe Google 'attachment'? hmm

JustHappy3 Fri 16-Sep-16 11:01:33

The thing is that your adopted child is likely to be behind in school - emotionally, educationally etc.
State schools can be very good for supporting kids who need extra help and for valuing them. Independent schools don't always have the inclination or resources to support them.

Clockworklemon Fri 16-Sep-16 11:06:23

especially boarding?? Why this?

JustHappy3 Fri 16-Sep-16 11:07:00

I'm assuming your background is in the private sector. But you may need to adjust your thinking that private is best and also get used to the idea that your child's success story may not feature academic success. You need to give time to thinking whether you can cope with this. I don't mean that nastily - it's something you need to address and move on from.
Attachment will be a major part of your life and everything is going to revolve around it. Boarding school probably doesn't fit into that scenario tbh.

selly24 Fri 16-Sep-16 12:09:20

My background is State (which I champion) and not that academic. I consider I have a very good understanding of attachment and the emotional/developmental challenges of LAC and adopted. Before I met the parents with adoptive children who are happy in boarding my understanding would have been that it was NOT suitable.....however I was looking for a variety of opinions but overriding opinion is NO. Thanks for your responses.

Maiyakat Fri 16-Sep-16 12:27:59

Every child is different. DD is fine with before and after school club, but she wouldn't cope well with being away from me overnight (even with grandparents who she is very close to). Boarding school seems counter intuitive for an adopted child, but if it's that or the placement breaking down then surely boarding school and staying in your adoptive family is better? (No idea if this is the case in the family OP refers to though).

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 16-Sep-16 12:50:25

IS every child different when it comes to attachment? I think that might not withstand too much scrutiny tbh.

selly24 Fri 16-Sep-16 13:07:14

I am a firm believer in the one size does not fit all philosophy. There are some guiding principles, especially with regard to trauma, but sometimes old assumptions need to be thrown out of the window if we are to best serve children as individuals
In my research I am trying very hard to avoid making sweeping assumptions/ writing off certain 'possibilities'. May post this query on the Education board to glean further insight.....

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 16-Sep-16 13:28:26

That's a great idea! I'm going to toss out my underlying assumptions later and make water boil by freezing it. Can't wait for that brew

Clockworklemon Fri 16-Sep-16 13:57:49

What an odd post. confused

greenandblackssurvivalkit Fri 16-Sep-16 14:08:54

I could imagine that if, for instance, a child was a very talented dancer, gymnast or musician, or similar, and they could only pursue that at a specialist boarding school, and the parents were fully involved, attending all performances, being there for all possible exeats, free afternoons/evenings to take for tea etc (I would imagine this would involve a huge commitment for the parent/s!) then boarding could be in the best interests for a child, even an adopted child. If the whole family could not move to allow this to happen on a day attendance basis.

However, I am against instutionalising anyone, if at all avoidable. I would also be concerned that private schools are quick to move 'difficult' children on, whereas state are aware of their responsibilities to vulnerable children.

This Book tells the story of an adoptee who was sent to boarding school. It's a good, readable, book.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now