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Adopting despite having a biological child?

(67 Posts)
1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 13:32:59

So, this isn't something urgent (DD is still an adorable little baby and we definitely have time) it's just something DH and I have been talking about.

We definitely want more children, but we just don't think they have to necessarily be our own biological children. There are no indication of any reproductive health issue. although I will admit that pregnancy wasn't exactly 'fun' for me. But I don't want you to think that I think of adoption as an 'easy' way out or anything, being pregnant again is definitely an option.

I just don't see why we have to 'create' a new child when other children need a home.

So, do you think adopting despite already having biological child is a good idea? Or having an other biological child and adopting? It isn't disrespectful, right?

(Btw, if this sounds insensitive, English isn't my first language, I'm not trying to be.)

conserveisposhforjam Thu 15-Dec-16 13:45:03

There are lots of people on here who have birth children and adopted children. Have you searched this topic for threads? Because I'd say this comes up once a month on average! smile

Maybe do a search (I'd search the adoption topic for 'birth child') and read a few replies and see if you have any really specific questions?

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 13:50:44

Oops 😂

Well, at least my concerns seem to be common.

Well, one concern is how this may impact the relationship between biological and adoptive child.
The other is whether it would be disrespectful to parents who have trouble conceiving? Or whether it's just regarded as weird? Or lazy, like: 'you just didn't want to be pregnant again, right?'
And whether adoption agencies tend to think it's a 'good idea' or not?

I'll search to see whether somebody asked these questions already. Thank you smile!

conserveisposhforjam Thu 15-Dec-16 14:17:46

I think you'll find answers to most of those smile

I can tell you now that it's far far far from the easy option. I have an adopted child and a birth child and if I could have given birth to the adopted one then there is no way on earth I would have gone through adopting. None at all. But I wouldn't change a hair on her head so adoption has worked for us.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 14:33:32

Oh, I know it isn't easy. I just meant that somebody could say that/say that to the child.

Or that some people may object because DH is a SATD and I work (a lot).

I mean, there is no indication that I can't give birth to an other child/other children.

I guess for us it would be more about... not charity. That's definitely the wrong word. Principle, maybe?

We are lucky enough to be in a very blessed situation and there are already so many children that don't have what we could offer. Maybe I'm not making sense. I think something I'm trying to say may be getting lost in translation. DH (who is English) could probably describe it better.

flapjackfairy Thu 15-Dec-16 14:59:20

The main thing to bear in mind is that most ,if not all adopted children have some level of need that is unlikely to be experienced by birth children due to their difficult start in life,genetic heritage , neglect etc.
This means that they will need to be parented differently to birth children who have developed secure attachments from birth.
It is hard to overestimate the impact that this can have on families and the long term implications can be v challenging . It would be good to research modern adoption whilst you think about whether adoption is right for you as a family and as you say there is no rush so that would be my first step . Good luck

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 15:02:19

So... to be quite honest. There are two reasons for this.

One is as I said in the far future. The other is because I'm the godmother of my best friend's child (back home) and she was diagnosed with an illness.

Thank you, flapjack.

I definitely will.

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 16:51:10

The trouble with adopting for altruistic reasons is that children are, generally, ungrateful little shits. And so they should be! And parenting is really hard work, adoptive parenting takes that to a whole new level. Adoptive parents are waiting years after approval to be matched, there is no shortage of adoptive parents for young children with lower needs, which realistically they would place with you given the age of your birth child.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 18:13:44

Oh gosh, of course they're ungrateful little shits 😂 (Not that I have parental experience, but I'm from a patchwork family, so many of my half siblings are muuuch younger. And I myself was certainly an ungrateful little shit)

Ah yes, in the U.K they want the parents to adopt children younger than their own, right? I imagine that leaves many older children out.

That's so interesting to me. I for example went to school with a boy that had an older adoptive sister (who was adopted when he was already born).

I really hope my friend gets better. Because I love her and for the sake of her boy. I hope to seer over Christmas. (No father in the picture, her parents were arse holes and should be around no child...)

But what's so bad about doing it for altruistic reasons? Is it so different from somebody that does it because they want children (and can't have them)?

It's not like anybody expects a thank you or anything.

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 18:25:35

It's not that altruistic reasons are bad. But are they good enough?

Plus, are you able to offer something different to all the other approved adopters who are desperately waiting? Is it actually altruistic to take a child in the current adoptive climate if you're not? (These are genuine questions I had to ask myself.) Turned out I do very much have skills that are needed, and DS would have gone for the less stable option of long term foster care if I hadn't applied to adopt. I also didn't have another way of having a child that sat right ethically with me, and I ached for another child.

But both kids can be little shits. wink

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 18:32:20

we could offer a stable home, a stay at home dad, financial security, a good education etc. Not sure whether to call that better or worse. Or what you mean with the current climate.

Why wouldn't they be good enough? Seeing as they aren't even just altruistic? We want an other child. Either a biological one or an adopted one.

But tbh, my far more pressing question is... what about fostering/adopting an older child?
If things don't get better we are honestly thinking about moving back to my home country. I'd work for my family.

It's such a shitty situation with my friend, tbh.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 18:33:17

If things don't get better for my friend, I mean. Not for us. Things are honestly very good for us.

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 18:48:00

Things with your friend sound awful. I have been talking about adopting from care in the UK, but are you talking about a guardianship if your friend dies? That would be different.

In terms of adopting from care, adopting out of birth order is discouraged, I suspect because it leads to a higher chance of disruption.

The current climate is that there are far more adoptive parents than children waiting. Lots of those waiting families can offer a stay at home parent, money, education. In fact, most. Do you have something else you can offer? Why should social services need you to parent a child rather than a family who are waiting? (You don't have to answer, but they are questions to consider.)

Fostering can be done out of birth order, but is effectively a full time job, and they're not your child. Apples and oranges. There is a fostering board here you can ask on.

I hope your friend recovers.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 19:01:34

Hope so as well. It wouldn't be in the U.K. anyway, so it would be quite different, I suspect... the fostering rules would be quite different. Yes, and things are awful
We will probably have to talk to a lawyer. Because if she doesn't get better the legal situation back home is so restrictive (needing to have been marriedfor at least 5 years or be over 35 and whilst the wishes of the bio parents are 'considered' the parent needs to give up their rights to the government who then decides who will adopt the child). It sucks. It's a system that gives the state all the power and the people that actually love the kid the most (his mother) none.

It's such a mess. I obviously pray for a fast recovery. But it if not... it is probably going to get very messy.

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 19:11:19

I'm sorry.Your situation sounds so specific, and country specific, that I'm not sure you'll find non-expert advice here helpful.

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 19:12:32

In the UK, guardianship is different to adoption and fostering. Is it the same in your country?

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 19:18:26

Yes... it's the same.

I didn't come here for legal advice.

Just some experiences, I guess.

But... well. Yeah... too specific for applicable experiences, I guess.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 19:26:03

We would however be allowed to foster if we were to move back to my home country.

So, yeah... we'll have to talk about this during Christmas break.

Thank you smile

giraffessay Thu 15-Dec-16 19:26:09

Sorry, your OP sounded like you after general adoption with birth kids advice, which we have lots of. Things like the new child is almost always younger, success stories of sibling love, etc. Is that what you want to know about?

I doubt you'll get many experiences of adopting an older child with a young birth child because that would be vanishingly rare in the UK.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 19:31:32

Oh.... both, I guess?

I should have worded my post better or made two different ones. I was just trying to sound out attitudes and then kind of realised that whilst I am very interested in hearing more abiut the more 'usual' experience that nothing would be applicable to the current... issue. So, decided to kind of add that.

I'm not keen on moving back home. But not supporting my friend and adding the stress of having a stranger look after her child... would be worse imo.

Italiangreyhound Thu 15-Dec-16 22:57:12

Horatio I think you are asking about one specific thing, or are you asking about two quite different things?

Here is my best 'suggestion'....

If your main concern is your friend and her child you could talk to your friend and see what she can suggest and you could research this specifically with the country in mind. I can't begin to know what the legal restrictions are in that country but if it were my friend and my country (and my friend did die and left a child the same age as mine so it did briefly go through my mind)...I'd get all the facts and details straight.(Remembering that there may be exceptions to the general rule due to some things).

In the UK you can make some kinds of arrangements, I think, so I would explore this with her and see what you can put into writing if the worst comes to the worst. She may have other plans, she may be pleased to discuss it. I just feel it is best to be out in the open. We have it in our wills (DH and I) that if we both die my sister will take our kids. This is to avoid any uncertainty from anyone in the family.

The order of child ages does not matter so much when you are taking in a child known to the family, very much like step kids - who may be all different ages etc and fit in OK. And may know each other before they become siblings or step-siblings.

In terms of adoption from social care, the order is normally birth order and this is for good reasons. This is for protection of all the kids.

The birth kid who may be less troubled and less 'street smart' than the new incoming child, and a physically larger and perhaps angry/stressed new sibling will not be nice for a birth child.

Also for the incoming child, who will almost certainly have more needs, these can be better met and the child will be better cared for if that child is the youngest in the family (or in some cases he only one in the family a the time).

I think if you are looking to adopt as an altruistic approach then unless you wish to take a very troubled or disabled child you really do need to re-think. The easier to adopt, fewer-issue children will be in 'high demand' if I can say that without it sounding weird (and yes I am native speaker!)

Many who adopt with birth children (like me) were not able to have as many birth children as they would have liked. Although, personally, we really did also want to adopt so there are often a whole range of mixed motives and mixed emotions.

But purely altruistic is, I think, potentially problematic for adoption. And not generally a good reason, alone to become a parent. It's a bit like the difference between befriending someone because you want to be their friend, and because you see them as a 'project'. Of course, if a person has no friends at all they may be pleased to be a 'project'.

But ideally everyone deserves to be be-friended and loved for their own self and this is true of children too.

If that makes sense.

Good luck. You sound very kind and I think you need to work out exactly what it is you need to find out. thanks

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 23:17:17


I asked about two different things 😖

Yes, I have to talk with her. We actually already have a date to talk about it but she has already told us that she'd like us to look after her child if she couldn't anymore (which I hope won't happen, obviously!)

I wish I remembered family law from uni. But it has been revised too often anyway, I suspect.
We need to find a law firm that caters to U.K. And Swiss law.

The birth kid who may be less troubled and less 'street smart' than the new incoming child, and a physically larger and perhaps angry/stressed new sibling will not be nice for a birth child. that does make sense, I was admittedly a bit surprised when I first read about it.

I mean, we certainly want an other child. We just don't know 'how' we want it? If that makes sense? So, it wouldn't be purely altruistic, because we certainly do want at least one other child.

However, I think it's more important to worry about my friend now. Talk to several doctors and then think about relocating (luckily not a big problem) and applying at least for foster care status.

Thank you <3

Italiangreyhound Fri 16-Dec-16 00:33:02

I should clarify when I say street smart, (talking of children who have come through care system and notyour friend's son) I mean thta children who come through the care system may have seen:
drug taking
excessive alcohol intake
may have drunk alcohol etc
may have witnessed sexual activity, pornography etc

BUT they will be very vulnerable and generally may act and appear younger than their birth age. This is not always the case but I think often is. So a mixture of being younger than a comparative birth sibling in abilities/schooling/mile stones met; yet having been exposed to things a birth child would be unlikely to have seen. So in such a situation a younger birth child could be vulnerable.

1horatio Sat 17-Dec-16 15:57:29

No, I understand.

I'll just pray my friend gets better. There's nothing else I can do until I see her anyway (which will be soon).

Maybe she can get through it with a nanny. If not we'll definitely move back.

But you are right, I don't think we could offer anything extraordinary. And neither DH and I have experience with specialised care... so, it would be selfish to adopt.

Italiangreyhound Sat 17-Dec-16 17:43:23

It is not selfish to adopt. Not at all. You just need to really, really, want it - and maybe those who want it most are those who ha e no other option to have a child or to have another child. But wanting to adopt is not wrong or selfish. There are very, very few relinquished babies (thankfully) so the kids in the care system have usually suffered neglected, or abuse, do have 'issues'. Even my boy, who is adorable, is working through things.

Do not give up, see what the future holds

Hope your friend is OK.

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