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The future???(28 Posts)
I am a birth mum. My son was taken into care just over 4 years ago and subsequently adopted.
I have done a lot to get into a position where I have a stable home (been there 3 years, only ever twice in rent arrears, once was a day late as I was hit by a car and 2nd time was because the payment got lost on their system) I am working and have been for 18 months. I've done therapy, counselling and psychotherapy.
So my big question is this really.
If I was to have another child what would the procedures be and would there be any chance of me keeping it? Or would it just be placed for adoption because of my history?
I am not currently pregnant but I'm looking at my 5 year plan and wanted to know as I couldn't go through losing another child so would just make sure I don't get pregnant
Hi OurMiracle it's great to read this update. You have so much courage and insight and these qualities will stand you in very good stead in continuing to rebuild your life (I've been here a long time but NCd, by the way). I hope someone will be along soon who understands what the process is likely to be, but I can't believe any future child will be automatically taken into care, and I'm sure your progress will impress social services as it has impressed us here.
Best of luck.
I was about to suggest you could talk to social services now, but I seem to remember you felt very let down by them recently around letterbox etc?
Hey Miracle you have worked so hard to get so far, it's a credit to you. My best guess is that your GP and midwife would let a SW know, and you might be asked to agree to some extra monitoring through your pregnancy and early days of motherhood. I would hope it would mean there was better access to support, in case there were any tough times (and it would be totally normal for there to be really emotional times, because of all your memories and how tough it is with a tiny child anyway). I think it would be "automatic" for there to be a watchful eye kept to start with, but from that point on, it would be about how you're doing now. If you have a good relationship with your GP, you could have a general chat with them about how processes work?
Its not an automatic that your child would be removed - some BM do go on to keep another child. But a referral would be made by the midwife automatically.
It would be hugely in your (and the new baby's) best interest to work hard to co-operate with SS to make a plan of how you can support the child. They will look for evidence of how your life is different now - the reason your first child was removed must no longer exist - and they will require you to demonstrate how you will support and care for the child. That may mean you showing how you can feed, clothe yourself and the child, keep a home clean, cook simple food etc. Put simply there is a minimum standard you must be able to achieve to keep a child with you.
SS will work with you in order for you to keep your child. You have worked very hard, and your love for your first child is always evident here in how you write.
They may ask for you to go to parenting classes or similar. They may ask you to jump through lots of hoops you don't want to.
For our BM assessments began during pregnancy and so by the time babe was born everyone was clear that she could not look after baby. IF you disclosed your pregnancy early then lots of work could be done during the pregnancy to help and support you and work towards when the baby was born.
I hope that helps.
Our bm was given a chance to work with ss when our third child was born, and the placement order for number two had only been granted 6 months previously. I suspect that if you work with them and they can see you are in a better place and are able to do what they require of you there would be reason for them to automatically take another child into care. My experience has been that ss give the birth family a fresh chance each time a new child is born.
I would approach ss myself before getting pregnant to ask what they think your chances of keeping your next child would be and what else can you do to improve chances.
You will automatically be referred by your gp or midwife as you will be flagged up on the system so get in first!
I am a fc and i can only say work with them as much as poss as it is the only way. If you show you have changed circumstances etc they will do all they can to support you with next baby.
You are a social workers dream! Someone who has overcome so much and made a good life for themselves.
You have much to be proud of and i wish you all the best for the future.
I've got nothing to add that PPs haven't already said, but I wanted to give you these.
Would seek out a good local support network who will you could depend on
similar too NHS Family nurse partnership, best too have a supportive 3rd party too help you and can liase with social services on your behalf.
And be non-judgmental.
Great to hear your positive update!
DD's BM has had a subsequent child that she has been able to keep, so it's definitely possible. In fact, my understanding of the legal process is that SS have to be able to justify their decisions for individual children, even if they are intervening at the same time for the same reason. (So an older child might be fostered but a younger child adopted, because that was best for each child, rather than both being fostered or adopted, for example.) They can't just say that because one child was removed all children will be removed - they need to do a new assessment and consider whether the previous risks have been addressed to their satisfaction.
It's so fantastic to read about the changes you've made. Congratulations
Just to add another point that SS would consider - who else is involved with the child. Obviously there will be a father who may or may not be actively involved in your lives. If he is a supportive parent for example helping you out practically and emotionally that may well go in your favour. However if SS believe he'd be any sort of risk to you or the child, you could find it could make it more difficult to show the real changes you've made.
So if you're dating or seeing anybody make sure it's somebody who treats you with the love and respect that you deserve.
I would inform my sons adoption social worker as soon as I found out, I already have details of family support workers attached to local children's centres and would self refer as soon as I was pregnant
I can cook (basic) meals. I shower daily.
I have an appointment with my social worker on 9th November and I was going To raise this then, but wanted as much info as possible before making any decisions.
My room is hygienically clean and reasonably tidy but not spotless but I would want to move before having a child.
I'm always in appropriate clothing dependent on weather and where I'm going.
I can manage my finances well. (Rent is always on time or in front, freezer is full 90% of the time and fridge is getting bare towards end of week but I do my shopping weekly so that's to be expected working full time)
Always got plenty of cleaning products etc in and toilet roll. I live less than a 5 min walk from boots and Superdrug's so nappies etc would be readily available
I don't plan on a baby in the next 12 months but I want to know my future.
Thank you everyone
Miracle - they are going to want to keep you with any new child of yours. Remember it has to be the absolute last resort. If I remember, you had an abusive partner and were also going through turmoil as your Mum was terminally ill and it was a struggle. 4 years is a long time. You would have a different partner (and hopefully his family would be supportive and loving and not have a violent history) and I think that would make a big difference. There was a programme on TV about 2 or 3 years ago and one lady was on it - she had lost her first child but SS had not taken away her second child (who was about 2 years younger) because her situation (and partner) were different.
I have a very similar situation to Olenna so just wanted to add another voice to the 'yes it's definitely possible'
I really hope if and when you get to the point of having another baby everything works out for you. You always come across as so thoughtful, reflective and wanting the very best for your son and his adoptive family despite how hard that must be to cope with. I have huge admiration for you.
Well done on getting back on your feet sounds like you're really getting things sorted.
Like the otherside have said no its not automatic that the child will be removed. Sounds like you are being very sensible and it all seems positive for you and a future with lo.
I just wanted to add, please also consider the risks that the birth dad may present if you choose to have a baby. Hopefully he'll be a good egg and everything will work out fine!!
I also know of people who have had children removed and gone on to keep a child, so you are definitely in charge of your destiny if that's what you choose.
I recommend a book by Penelope Leach called "Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five". If you haven't read it, it would give you insight into what SWs are looking for and more, and will also help you decide if and when you are ready yourself.
It covers almost everything including physical care, psychological and emotional care, how the brain develops and how to stimulate it, what toys and activities and how to play with your child at each age.
As a health warning it may also be a painful read at times because of what you have been through.
It has been updated since I read it, and you can get it from Amazon. Make sure you get the most up to date version, as some of the health advice from earlier versions would no longer be correct.
There are other books but I found that this one covered the emotional and psychological side of things the best. Other people may have other suggestions.
Miracle, there are some agencies that specialise in helping birth mums with subsequent pregnancies although I think some deal with birth mums who are in a destructive cycle of on going pregnancies/care proceedings without changes to circumstances. But they may still be able to give you some support or advice.
One is pause.org. The other is after adoption.
Thing to keep in mind is who the birth father was its all good making postive changes
PBut if you were to get Invloved with Somone who say had also had a child removed or did drugs I think this would indicate to ss that you were still unable to make postive changes
Also if you do get pregnant then you must say at the earliest possible stage hiding a pregnancy will be seen as a bad sighn
My only worry is that your thoughts are about having a baby and not meeting Somone and getting married then a baby and I worry ss may think yu are trying to replace
Yu need to view having a child in the context of a stable relationship rather not than just having a child
I'm looking at my 5 year plan. I would never re marry but I would want to be settle down. However Should I meet someone I would want to be able to tell a potential life partner where we would stand.
I would inform social worker as soon as I was to have a positive pregnancy test and have seen my gp.
I would of course be aware of fathers past and wouldn't choose to have a baby with someone who could be a risk.
My reason I'm looking into this is because I suffer daily in pain with poly cystic ovaries a split right ovary, previous abnormal
Cervical cells requiring treatment and endometriosis, so if chances are I wouldn't be allowed to keep a baby I would be looking into the possibility of a hysterectomy to prevent my pains etc
I am by no means planning on getting pregnant soon
It's good you are thinking of all your options, miracle. Do you have any counselling - it might be helpful if you do decide to have more children. I think a pregnancy might throw us some very traumatic emotions.
You should be very proud of yourself. I really wish my son's bm is able to make changes to her life in the way you have done.
I have completed counselling but earlier this year I was able to return to the organisation and restart counselling so once I have answers I am likely to return to counselling again and should I become pregnant or have a child it would be a service I would use as I am aware it may being many emotions
But having said all this you do have the face the possibility you may not be able to keep the child however well you think your doing because it's about the sw perception
And having another child ay thorow up things for you
Today is the day of the meeting with the social worker.
Dreading it to be honest but Least I will know more. I dont want his personal opinion I want facts and steps to take.
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