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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

post-adoption counselling

(30 Posts)
nameescapesme Mon 14-Jan-08 16:07:08

Does anyone know where to get post-adoption counselling without going through social services? I'm not a birth mother who's had a child adopted, but a wider family member and don't wish to reveal too many details in case I'm identified (have changed name for this reason).

I ask because the social services involved have been less than supportive and although criticised by the court for this, little has improved.

Thanks, I hope someone can help.

hifi Mon 14-Jan-08 16:20:05

hi nameescape, what kind of counselling? are you finding it difficult with the child concerned? just a few more details and maybe someone can help.

PortAndLemonaid Mon 14-Jan-08 16:26:52

I think nameescapes me is saying that she is a member of the birth family of the child who has been adopted, although not the birth mother herself, and wants counselling from that perspective.

hifi Mon 14-Jan-08 16:31:39

oh!sorry,get it. have been in similar situation with my family and sadly ss didnt want to know, they just dealt withh dh and i, my mum and mil are still suffering. only thing i can suggest is seeing a councellor who deals with family problems. can you pay or have bupa cover? if you are in london i could recommend someone. extended familes are not looked after and they should be.

Lauriefairycake Mon 14-Jan-08 16:35:07

This part of the legislation is very little known - in order to counsel someone who has been adopted the counsellor has to be an actual adoption counsellor (or their supervisor and organisation has to be).

I suggets she contact Barnardo's for post adoption counselling or if you go privately you need to ask if the counsellor is trained in post-adoption counselling. Social services should keep a list - but I appreciate that you don't want to go through them.

hifi Mon 14-Jan-08 16:38:33

we had a counsellor who dealt with mother and child relationships and loss, she wasnt and adoption counsellor, she helped me through. the counsellors the adoption service were going to send us to wernt either.

Lauriefairycake Mon 14-Jan-08 16:41:39

yep, most people (including me) were/are breaking the law here (the childrens act) though i have to say you may not necessarily know if they are accredited with this as its just a very short course.

I was breaking the law here because it wasn't the presenting issue and I had been seeing her and had an established relationship with her - I was however immediately assigned to a supervisor who was accredited so we managed to get round it.

nameescapesme Mon 14-Jan-08 16:51:57

Thanks for your answers, I appreciate I've given little to go on (especially frustrating as I am so desperate to talk about it) but I am petrified of being identified.

LFL I'm not sure what you mean from your post, I haven't been adopted myself but a member of my family has been - does this still apply? I won't approach SS for a list though.

Hifi - I was really hoping to get an answer from someone else who's been there, so thank you very much for responding. I just feel clueless as to where to turn. I will try Barnados to start with and if there is someone you can recommend I would be very grateful.
Thank you all smile

Lauriefairycake Mon 14-Jan-08 16:53:34

No, I just read that you were trying to get help for someone else - ss should still provide anyone who asks with a list of qualified/registered adoption counsellors

nameescapesme Mon 14-Jan-08 17:47:24

thanks LFC - do you know if I would have to give details to get the list or could I do it annonimously?

Does anyone know if there are any independent birth family support groups?

Hifi, you are so right, extended families are not properly looked after, either before, during or after adoption IME also. It is very sad and does make me wonder whether in some cases adoptions could be avoided if only the whole family felt supported.

I know that thinking is generally changing towards improving support for birth families and I welcome this for those that face adoption in the future. It just seems so painfully slow in the uptake by those working on the ground IME & IMO. I would give anything not to feel sometimes as if my integrity as a human being is tainted by the stigma. But I appreciate there are good social workers and adoptive parents who work hard and well with birth families, I am sure it can't be easy sometimes.

expedia Mon 14-Jan-08 17:54:47

Nameescapes me I totally feel for you.
the experience you are having is one of the reasons I decided to terminate a pregnancy 15 years ago.
I wanted to go ahead and then have the baby adopted but the pain that that would cause my family was harder to bear than the private pain that I have suffered as a result of my decision.
I hope you don't think my response is insensitive - I didn't mean it to be.
I hope you find the help you are looking for.

JingleyJen Mon 14-Jan-08 17:57:36

I don't know if [[ ]] these people will be able to help you at all. They are part of a pregnancy advice service perhaps they will help wider family members as well?

Good luck

JingleyJen Mon 14-Jan-08 17:58:08

try this

nameescapesme Mon 14-Jan-08 19:49:04

Thank you expedia and Jingleyjen.

Expedia, thank you for your good wishes, your post was not insensitive at all. I am so sorry for your situation, it must have been a very traumatic decision for you. Each situation is so unique yet we regrettably live in a society that's very keen to bundle everything into a box and give it a label, sometimes with no thought as to the impact on people who have to live with the consequences. It breaks my heart what some mothers have to face, out there in the real world, when they've done everything they can to make the right and responsible decision for their families.

I do believe fundementally that attitudes around adoption will change, it's just such a long slow progress.

Jingleyjen I will contact the organisation you have linked to, thank you. If they're not able to offer post-adoption support they may well know of somewhere else I can try.

nameescapesme Mon 14-Jan-08 21:09:02

It occurs to me that my posts have come across as not wanting to provide details because I am scared of the stigma. This isn't the case at all. It's more because of legal reasons and identifying the child that I am concerned this does not happen.

My family has nothing to hide that I wouldn't hold my head up high for. I would gladly and openly challenge any stigma, not hide.

Just thought I should explain.

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 13:16:16

Hi there again
I hope I haven't scared everyone away. One of the hardest things is to express opinions about problems I've experienced with the system but not be able to explain how I came by my opinions, in case I identify the child. Which can sometimes mean I can seem bigotted and opinionated!

Hifi I would be really interested to know whether your mum and mil find ways to express their grief. I heard somewhere following some gov funded research that there was talk about possibly setting up a restricted access online forum for extended birth families, so we could all at least talk to each other, without declaring all and sundry to the world.

At first I thought this was a great idea, I'd love to talk to people who have been through the same thing, but I've an inkling even this might be risky to identifying children - any thoughts?

I'd also be really be grateful for the contact you mentioned in London, but don't want to give my email so a bit stuck, would it be appropriate to post it on here?

I also don't know how much or little I can talk about any of it to anyone - legally I mean. Can anyone shed any light?

hifi Tue 15-Jan-08 13:27:22

go onto i saw a councellor called Kitty Hagenbach, i think she is there twice a week, call her and explain what has happened and see if she can help, if she cant im sure she will recommend someone.

mil still asks wether she can have contact, this is after 5 years. it was a failed adoption in my case, we had to give the baby back, my mum was in bed for days and gets very upset when talking about it. they both talk together but have refused any help that i have suggested, thats why they are both in the same place and i have dealt with it, although it has taken a long time.

you can talk about anything, its confidential.

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 13:30:39

Thanks Hifi
It's really helped to come on here, at least I feel I am doing something!!

hifi Tue 15-Jan-08 13:32:28

you are welcome.

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 14:02:26

Hifi I've just re-read your post. How awful for you, to have bonded with a baby, and have to be parted. It is probably very similar feelings we are all having to deal with though very different situations, and I appreciate (as extended family) my feelings must be minute in comparison to those having lost from a mothering role. I am glad you have had support. Do you have contact at all? Does this help?

I'd be fascinated to know the reasons why the adoption failed, if you're open to talk about it. Again, I'd give more reason behind why I ask if I could, I'm not probing out of nosiness and certainly don't want to cause any upset if it is still painful. If you don't want to give any detail that's fine, I understand.

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 14:06:53

Or indeed fathering role I should say

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 14:43:13

Just a thought, do you think I am letting fear rule my life because I don't try to access counselling through my GP or SS? Not sure I wll be able to afford private, though if there really isn't anything else I probably can't afford not to. But I'd really like to talk to a specialist.

I live in a different area than where the adoption took place, but I am scared to mention to anyone locally, anything to do with it, because I fear "beady" eyes will be on me (not that I have anything to hide, but there's been enough sh*t happen I have become very risk adverse!)

Do you think I am paranoid and shutting down a possible means of help? I am sure my day to day life is suffering, with having all these feelings bubbling away under the surface.

Sorry to whitter away and thank to all who are reading this. I am being able to get my thoughts about things more ordered just by posting and it's feeling rather addictive!

hifi Tue 15-Jan-08 17:21:05

hi nameescapes, i think its better to do something about it, its hard at first and does bring alot of other things up.

adoption failed as birth mother got her act together, not as we know it but acceptable to ss.birth mother said we could have contact but we didnt want to as what we saw we couldnt deal with, drug addict etc.

the sad thing is we know there is nothing we can do, its learning to accept it.

nameescapesme Tue 15-Jan-08 20:19:17

Gosh, Hifi how awful for you, did you have the baby with you long? And had the adoption actually gone through? - I didn't think they could be reversed.

I know what you mean though, it's being powerless to do anything and just having to live with the consequenses. I'm sure the birth family were grateful that you gave their baby a lot of love and security for the time you were involved. I can see how direct contact would be very upsetting if you knew more about what was going on than ss. These situations are so complex and sensitive and I wish I could find more words of comfort for you.

In my situation I would like contact so that the child knows that they are loved and that if they ever need support in the future I would be there, but it remains to be seen whether this is possible.

hifi Tue 15-Jan-08 20:37:59

from another perspective,we have a dd now, adopted. we couldnt love her more than we do, wherever your relative has gone you can be sure they are loved and wanted.

our dd birth grandparents are devastated as to whats happened with their dd but we send a letter and photo every year. unfortunately they also have to deal with it.

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