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What do I do?(17 Posts)
Hi all we got our adm last week on being linked/matched with our kids, full adoption not complete just yet. We started off doing foster to adopt
CSW came today and has said tummy mummy wants to meet me and see the kids one last time even though she declined her final contact while with previous FC, we've had them 8 weeks and it was 4 months prior she declined. I feel this has come across as a this is happening rather than an option.
We have them in such good routines and I'm scared they will regress if they see her. Can anyone help? I'll due to speak to my IRO this afternoon for further advice.
Has anyone on here been in a similar position please? I'm happy to meet her but I honestly don't think it's wise for the children. At bridging we were introduced as mummy and daddy and seeing birth mum may cause problems for the children.
Please bare in mind these children are 3.5 years old and have been away from her for 12 months total.
Thanks for reading and I await replies xx
They will likely regress but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be beneficial for them to have a last contact with her. I'd be thinking about how long they were removed from her before coming to you, how often they had contact with her before the declined final contact with her, whether there's a relationship there that could do with a planned ending basically. They might be confused by seeing her, or it might help them put the pieces together especially if they have any memory of living with her.
The hard part is you won't know unless/until you go through with it, bit regression or other reaction isn't necessarily a bad thing - it can support them professing the loss and change they've experienced.
In terms of meeting birth mum yourself, you can choose not to if you'd rather not see her.
Laura...if its come across as this is happening rather than an option it may be the decision has been made by csw and managers.
Its one of the down sides of fta - you are not the childrens legal parent yet, and wont get a say in some of these decisions.
Its likely the IRO knows already....often fc are the last to find out these things.
It may or may not help or hinder the children, but it is usual to have a goodbye contact, and it is often delayed by birth parents for many reasons - it must of course be dreadfully difficult for them to contemplate and agree to do.
I think I would be feeling as you do. They haven't seen her for 6 months so I think any memory of her would be hazy. I would let them do it as it could be very important to their story but have a good chat to the SW first.
Did the little girl get closure and does she even remember her tummy mummy, I'd be staying how you are
Concerned I regards to the children's
Personally if this was
Me I wouldn't want to meet the
Mother but then I suppose is she is the other end of the country it may not be an issue and if this has to go ahead it would be good for the children to have you there as suppport
We are no longer fostering the children we are on adoption placement. IRO didn't know as your suggested but she is going to email CSW to confirm if it is just me she wants to meet or kids too. As when I wrote this my head was all over the place. The kids have never spoken about tummy mummy while in our care and their previous foster carers who had them 10/11 months did 3 day weekly contact visits and some TM never didn't show, no phone calls etc. So the children's hopes got built up for TM to let them done and PFC said their moods dipped dramatically, bed wetting occurred. On her last contact before we were matched if you will she was approached and declined meeting as it would be too upsetting for the children. Yet 6 months later when they are happily settled with us, have routines she (so CSW says) wants to see them one last time. This is our first placement for fostering and adoption and we don't know the protocols on if this is meant to happen. Can she just turn around now and again requesting to see the kids when it suits? We will be putting in our paperwork within the next couple of weeks to become their forever family.
Can she just mess around when she wants?
IRO said it shouldn't have been asked and if I'm not happy I don't have to go or take the kids. Sorry for venting etc still very raw and hard to take in. Xx
They were relinquished by their mum 12 months ago. X
While the kids have been with us they have never asked about or mentioned their birth parents. They were relinquished 12 months ago but did see TM/BM 3 days a week every week as far as I can remember their last FC telling me. They got placed with last FC then came to us. Xx
If she has been offered this previously Tm/by and did not turn up whilst obviously this may be have been upsetting for her and she may not have been able to deal with I would still think it is not in the best interest for your children and frankly think it would Just be confusing. If you have been told by the iro you don't have to id be going with your gut on what is best for these your children
sorry Laura - i don't know at what point a FTA becomes not a FTA placement...I assume they are not yours legally? ie you don't have an AO for the children and therefore cannot refuse to take them....(i've never been involved with FTA so knowledge limited)
What order do the children have if they were relinquished? this may make the difference here...if BM still has any PR at all she can exercise her right to see her children prior to an AO being made - there is nothing that can stop her seeing them if she holds any PR, though of course SS will place condition/supervision etc on this.
in 10 months of being with you not talking about BM is not necessary a good sign either....or a bad sign....it may be LOs are indifferent, or need permission to talk etc.... it could be good for them and open the door to the beginning of life story with you. they will absolutely need to talk about what has happened to them at some point - sooner the better really.....if you start now it won't be a big shock when they are older.....
if they are 3.5 and relinquished a year ago, they remember BM, they don't have the language to discuss this with you, but they remember her, and will have trauma from leaving her, no matter how good/bad the home & relationship was, they had a loss in leaving her and will need help to process that loss. saying goodbye to her will help that process.....allowing them to say goodbye - even if it goes against everything you feel, think and believe, will help in the long run - in my humble opinion.....(others may feel differently - read lots, consider carefully, look up DAN HUGHES)
I completely understand why you feel so against this- you want to protect your kids no matter what. I haven't done FtA, so can't be too much help; but my thoughts are as follows:
1. Decide whether you are willing to do it; and try to consider it fairly, despite your gut feeling.
- It must be horrific to lose a child, even if BM is responsible for those choices. If you can ease that process without harm to your kids, you should.
- There is a lot to be said for boston's argument that a positive meeting with you present could really help the kids feel positive about their past and their new life. 3.5 YO will really remember BM and have complex thoughts about this process.
- Equally it could upset and unsettle them. I don't think its necessarily going to be positive for them in the short term. I do think any regression or upset will be temporary.
2. Even if you decide no, your options are limited. Until the AO passes you have the (near non existent) rights of an FC, whether FtA or not. In practice, however, there are some things you could do because the LA would be incredibly reluctant to disrupt a placement.
- Get the AO application in asap. Having the application in gives some protection.
- Argue that a meeting is against the kid's interest. Cite the prior contact/missed contacts from FC. Get the IRO on side.
- Ask the SW to try to persuade mum that a meeting would really upset them.
- Whatever you do, talk about the kids interest and avoid it becoming a direct conflict- defer and ask for more time/expert opinion instead of saying no.
Be very, very careful here. Get advice from your SW. You could harm your chance of future adoptions or even create some risk to the AO if you went all potty about it; but there is nothing wrong with asking questions to ensure the interest of your child.
3. I would not do 2. Instead I would try to control the situation to get the best realistic outcome.
- I'd try to do a meeting with just you and the BP first, so you can talk about how to make it work for the kids- tell her that you are worried for them.
- I'd make damn sure the CSW has talked to BM about how the meeting with kids will go and has done everything possible to make it positive, including being a bit bolshy with BM about putting kids first.
- Start dropping BM into conversation now. Normalise it, don't make it a big deal. No explicit conversations yet, just little references to make it a non-taboo subject.
- Insist on enough time to prepare the kids and build up to a meeting. Tell them once you are sure it's happening, ideally having met BM.
Hope it works out. Once the AO is through you'll be surprised how quickly this stuff is a distant memory. Congratulations on your new children.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks for everyone's advice so far. My SW is currently on leave till Monday so will speak to them soon as possible. All I'm thinking is about the children's welfare. CSW kinda mentioned it in front of them yesterday but they didn't blat an eye lid. Awaiting back from the IRO hopefully via phone call today. I'll keep all posted xx thanks again xx
so CSW has clarified that it is myself and husband birth mum wants to see. NOT the children. She CSW said why would we do that? It'll upset the children, we just wouldn't put them through it! Phew....
She probably just wants to thank you both, face to face.
Yes think that's all it is. Iro has confirmed also the kids will not be meeting her again. And she also brought up the fact she originally declined her final contact so I'm feeling so much happier for the kids x
Aw that's good she probably just wants to meet you to put her mind at ease in regards to the children x it way give her some closure. I can't imagine how hard and the feelings of grief they must go through x
Good outcome though for your children x
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