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Birth parents with low IQs

(13 Posts)
PurpleGrapePip Mon 09-Oct-17 18:39:25

We got a call today about a very small baby who we could potentially be linked with. He's currently meeting all his developmental milestones and has a risk of inheriting a medical condition that DH and I think we can manage, so that's not a problem.

But parents have very low IQs - I was hoping some of you might have some experiences with this and what the implications have been for your children? We are awaiting the CPR as it's possible the low IQs are a combination of biological and environmental factors, so I'm really just looking for some experiences from fellow adopters?

hidinginthenightgarden Mon 09-Oct-17 19:11:04

I honestly think IQ is the least of your problems when adopting. The impact of their start in life (including the pregnancy) will have a far greater impact on how they get on in life than IQ of parents. I know some very clever adults produce not so clever kids and the other ways round. Environment matters so much more. Instil a good work ethic and value of education and the rest will follow.

PurpleGrapePip Mon 09-Oct-17 19:17:47

It just all seems too good to be true. They are still very very young, have been with foster carers from day 1 so have not experienced any neglect or abuse, and as mum was monitored all the way through pregnancy they are fairly confident she did not drink or take drugs as it's just not her personality. Parents are in a loving relationship but are not competent to look after the child. So it would seem that (besides the obvious trauma of being removed from parents at birth) they have had a good start in life compared to others in care.

We also only got the call at 4pm to confirm the ADM had formally approved us as adopters, then this call came an hour later!

donquixotedelamancha Mon 09-Oct-17 19:38:30

No direct experience. Some thoughts as a teacher and a parent:

1. Statistically the child will be cleverer than the parents, due to regression to the mean. Statistically they will be of below average IQ. There is HUGE variability in IQ inheritance; any child, of any parents could be anything from genius to simpleton.

2. Genes are not intelligence. Upbringing, education and character are a huge part of intelligence and achievement. You, as parents, will be the biggest factor; not the gene donors.

3. I was preoccupied with my children being clever before I met them. It really, really doesn't matter. You will love them and be proud of them no matter what, and their brains or otherwise will just be part of who they are.

hidinginthenightgarden Mon 09-Oct-17 19:43:06

Do you mean that the parents have additional needs rather than just a low IQ? DD's birth mum is went to what she described as a "special school". Has severe dyslexia and a poor IQ. DD isn't even in school yet so too early to tell how she is going to fair but we will probably just pay close attention and ask for professional support sooner rather than later if we feel there are issues.

dimples76 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:25:40

My son's birth parents both have learning disabilities and like your possible match my boy was removed at birth at risk of neglect. My son has global developmental delay so the indications are that he probably has some form of learning disability but it's too soon to assess (he's only 4).

He is an absolute joy to parent and helping him learn has been hugely rewarding. I do worry about the future and whether he will able to live independently as an adult but for now we are very happy and he is constantly acquiring new skills.

My son's BP both had horrific childhoods and stood no chance of reaching their full potential but I hope that my love, support and advocacy will ensure that he has many more opportunities

Twogirlsandme Tue 10-Oct-17 08:29:45

I'm a foster carer and I've just had a baby girl from birth (now a toddler) whose mum was described as low IQ and having LD. When you look at Mum's life experiences, they were horrific. Also she barely attended school so no wonder her IQ was low. When I did further I found Mum didn't even have a proper diagnoses of LD but just a label people had used. Who knows what her potential would have been if she had grown up in a warm, nurturing environment where education was valued or even had her most basic needs met.
I'm not saying the baby you are looking at will have a high IQ but life experiences do matter, hugely!

PurpleGrapePip Tue 10-Oct-17 09:11:29

Who knows what her potential would have been if she had grown up in a warm, nurturing environment where education was valued or even had her most basic needs met.

This makes sense. Obviously we don't know much about the birth parents yet as it's still early days but we have been told that although both have a very low IQ, they both also have had very difficult upbringings. Therefore their 'genetic potential' could have been much higher than was actually achieved.

I do think we can handle raising a child with a lower than average IQ and mild learning disabilities, but it's the potential for them to be quite severe that scares me a little bit. But at the same time, there are no certainties in life and if we had a birth child there is every chance they could have a learning disability too and it doesn't mean I would love them any less, and the same goes for an adopted child. I guess it's just actually making the decision that scares me!

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 10-Oct-17 13:08:45

Would you be OK if your DC couldn't go to mainstream school? If not then maybe this child isn't for you, and again maybe a slightly older child might be a better match. In my view it isn't the same as a BC because to some extent with adopting you are actively choosing.

Slightlydizzydaily Tue 10-Oct-17 14:09:35

I think before making this decision it would be good to do some relevant volunteering e.g riding for the disabled. We have dc with mild and severe sn in our immediate family and I think it would be good to see how extensive the support required can be and what you are comfortable you can manage

PurpleGrapePip Tue 10-Oct-17 14:29:01

Thanks all!

I'll take your comments on board for the future but it turns out this isn't the baby for us anyway after reading his CPR - it's far too close to home, with birth parents that are actually quite mobile, and relatives of the baby who are friends with one of DH's cousins on Facebook, so it's a big no!

Bitchfromhell Tue 10-Oct-17 14:50:57

Aw, how disappointing for you. Hopefully the right match will come along pretty soon. It must be great to know that you are desirable as a couple though. Interest after one hour is good going!
Best of luck with the next link.

PurpleGrapePip Tue 10-Oct-17 15:03:41

Trying not to feel down about it actually because I know a lot of my cohort of adopters in our LA very well now and no doubt any one of them would make fantastic parents to this little baby smile and if it's not right for us then it's clearly not meant to be, I'm sure the right child will come along at the right time! We weren't expecting anything until after Christmas so was a bit of a shock anyway!

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