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Perceptions v reality

(6 Posts)
kitk Mon 16-Dec-19 21:14:54

Please be kind but honest ladies...

DP and I have been trying for a baby for 2 years. I have a DD8 from a previous relationship and DP is an amazing stepdad to her. We're both disappointed we haven't conceived naturally, maybe me more so than him- conceived DD v easily albeit with a horrible ex.

Anyway, one of DPs friends has just adopted and it seems to have ignited a spark in DP. I agree that it's a lovely idea on the face of it and something that I would be so happy to do if I didn't have DD but I have some major reservations. Some of these are likely borne from stereotypes but I'd like to vocalise this to you lovely ladies to see if you felt the same before you started your journey or if I'm just being massively selfish and will never be able to adopt

1. Mostly I worry about DD being miserable. Lots of you talk about how hard the first year is. It's not just the effect on DD but also her dad's reaction which will likely be to try and keep her with him- I don't want another child at expense of losing existing DD to my ex

2. If ex were interviewed and think he would be, he's likely to be malicious. Has already reported me to SS to try and take DD away. They sided with me that time but obvs they need to be even more careful with people and adoption

3. I'm scared that the effect on my life would be too much to bear even if we assume points 1 and 2 wouldn't be an issue. I don't think I'd be able to go back to work until the child started school and depending on their difficulties I may not be able to use holiday childcare. I don't think I could quit work- I like financial independence and my own bit of life... DP is a much higher earner so we can't afford for him to give up work

I think I'm too selfish for this journey and DP is far too idealistic... I'm wondering if my doubts are specific but normal or just plain selfish. Do be honest, but please don't judge. I already feel awful enough that I'm likely going to have to let DP down

OP’s posts: |
Papergirl1968 Mon 16-Dec-19 23:09:54

kitk I’m really sorry, but I’m your shoes, I’d be very wary.
Even without the added factor of your ex causing problems, adopted kids almost all need a huge amount of input, and both parents need to be 110 per cent committed.
It’s a long hard process just to get approved, then there is the stress of waiting to be matched with a child.
You might be lucky and get a baby or a toddler who is relatively straightforward - but I know a lot of adopters and to be brutally honest, a lot have very challenging behaviour.
I adopted two little girls who were almost five and almost eight. The oldest was a handful but like many adopters I thought that after six months with me they’d both be absolutely fine. How wrong I was. It’s been ten years of extra help needed at school, Camhs appointments, the ongoing presence of social workers in our lives, and the police here on a regular basis.
The oldest became increasingly aggressive as she got older, left home at 16, came back pregnant and the baby was sadly taken into care. The youngest one, who originally presented as having no problems, actually has serious mental health issues and recently went back into care because she was out of control and I couldn’t keep her safe.
The house has been smashed up, I’ve been attacked, they’ve stolen from me and my elderly mum, and there has been self harm and running off. I love them but by god, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
There’s no harm in going to an information event to find out more, but if you do decide to go ahead, you both need to be on board and be realistic, and be aware it could put a strain on the strongest relationship.

Allington Mon 16-Dec-19 23:47:35

I wouldn't worry about no. 2 - sadly a lot of people might have a malicious ex, of course the SWs will need to hear from them, but they will be looking for evidence to back up any allegations.

Point 1 - well, that could go either way. Your DD might adore being an older sister, might not. It also depends how much she still needs to be your 'baby' vs an increasing involvement in external relationships. This will change with time, so even if you think she's too young now, that might change in a couple of years. DD (aged 12) is far less bothered about having my attention than she was a couple of years ago. For the first time ever today, she said she wanted a younger sibling, where she has always been adamant that she wants to always be the 'baby' of the family! This is more of a timing issue than an outright yes/no.

Point 3 - again, it depends. I know several single adopters who have chosen to adopt an older (school age) child, because they need to work for financial reasons. School is quite a test of what a child can cope with, so if you decide to adopt a school age child you have a clearer idea of their needs. Obviously their needs can still change, but there is a bit more certainty than with a younger child. Papergirl has given one possible scenario, and others have had different (more positive) experiences, where their child's needs have panned out pretty much as expected. Not problem-free, but challenges that could be predicted at placement, and children coping well with full time school.

Go to an information event or two, read up on the impacts of trauma, keep discussing it. There's no hurry.

Italiangreyhound Tue 17-Dec-19 00:17:28

@kitk I think in your shoes i would want to really explore if this is what you want. I think really wanting to have a child (by whatever means) is quite key.

We have a birth dd, conceived on our second round of IUI. We later had a missed miscarriage.

We went for more IUI and three cycles of donor egg IVF.

When we stopped IVF (having run out of money and me frankly hating being injected so much) I felt relief. We waited 6 months and then went through adoption and adopted our son within 20 months. He has been with us for over 5 years.

I would not change a thing. (Except I would like all the assisted conception money we paid back!)

Our new son was three, almost four, when he joined us. Our birth dd was smitten with him on day one of meeting, we had over a week of introductions and then he moved in. The honeymoon period lasted exactly one day, the day he moved in! By day two the jealousy started and she was very jealous of him, and he (in time) learnt to be jealous of her.

Despite that they learnt to love each other!

I’ve not had all the issues with our adopted son but have had many issues (including autism and mental health issues) with our birth daughter.

Italiangreyhound Tue 17-Dec-19 00:46:20

Re your points

1. "Mostly I worry about DD being miserable. Lots of you talk about how hard the first year is. It's not just the effect on DD but also her dad's reaction which will likely be to try and keep her with him- I don't want another child at expense of losing existing DD to my ex"

Would you worry that having a birth child would also drive your dd away? or that your ex would attempt to influence here away? Just something to think about.

2. If ex were interviewed and think he would be, he's likely to be malicious."

I think social services are used to listening to vindictive ex's. I would not let this stop you if it were your only concern.

3. "I'm scared that the effect on my life would be too much to bear even if we assume points 1 and 2 wouldn't be an issue. I don't think I'd be able to go back to work until the child started school and depending on their difficulties I may not be able to use holiday childcare."

I think this is a serious one, but again, possibly with a birth child there may be issues.

I think if you are seriously thinking of adopting it would be good to know if having a baby together (biologically) is on the cards or not. And an adoption agency may ask you to use contraception to avoid getting pregnant, how would you or your dh react to that?

May i ask how old you are now? Feel free not to say.

kitk Tue 17-Dec-19 07:53:00

Thank you to everyone who has commented. You are reinforcing how I feel tbh. I'm just not sure enough about it- May try an info night to see how we get on but I'm not convinced this is for me. I'm 35 and DP is 42

OP’s posts: |

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