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Help - I've received a request for financial help from DS2's birthmother

(15 Posts)
ForPetesSakeNotAgain Sat 06-Dec-08 15:27:53

We have limited one-way contact through a lawyer with DS2's birthmother. We send letters and photos updating her on how he (now aged 21 months) is getting on. She has 4 kids living with her, no outside job and little or no support from the BFs (she lives in the USA and so welfare is very limited). She is clearly in dire straits and has had to move in with a friend who has taken her and the kids in out of kindness. We are comfortably off and can afford to send her some money. We do not want her or DS2's half-siblings to be on or below the breadline and would like to send her some money (particularly as Christmas is coming) but we don't want to prompt a stream of requests for money for years to come. We did send her $500 via the lawyer when DS2 was 3 months old and the lawyer discoverd that the BM and her kids had been evicted from their flat and needed a deposit for a new flat.

I have asked the lawyer's advice in case she can suggest something clever (I wondered whether there was any way to get a welfare organisation to front our payments and filter future requests?). Does anyone have any other ideas?

SatsumaMoon Sat 06-Dec-08 15:51:02

Gosh that's a tricky one. You have my sympathies.... A welfare organisation might be good - even if your donation goes into the general pot rather than directly to her, they could assess what she really needs and also maybe help her to manage her finances/life better and make sure she is getting all the benefits she's entitled to...

thisisyesterday Sat 06-Dec-08 15:55:29

gosh, how hard. I'll be honest and say that I would want to know, 100% that they are as bad off as they say.
I know that's an awful thing to say, but they could, and I stress the could, be taking you for a ride. knowing that you'll feel that you rteally want to help out.
and I do agree that it could prompt requests for things in the future.

could you ask if there are specific thins you could buy? rather than sending mney? you could maybe order online and have shipped? groceries or something like taht?

or look into if there is anyone that can help her in America? welfare organisations as you mention etc.
why is she in this state? how do others in the US cope in this kind of situation?

Saturn74 Sat 06-Dec-08 16:00:31

I think the idea of providing assistance through a third party is excellent, particularly as you have provided money for a deposit in the past, but she is now living with a friend.

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Sun 07-Dec-08 13:00:43

Thank you very much for all your suggestions. Unfortunately the lawyer has come back to me to say she doesn't have contact with any welfare organisations that could help. She has suggested sending some money as a Christmas gift without mentioning her letter. I am not particularly comfortable with this suggestion as I think it may lead her to believe that she will receive money at future Christmases.

TheBlonde Sun 07-Dec-08 13:07:57

You may not want your child's half sibs to be living in or near poverty but that is the reality

Even giving endless cash will most likely not solve the BM's financial problems

They are not your responsibility

Earlybird Sun 07-Dec-08 14:16:41

Churches are often at the heart of direct assistance charity in America - they view it as part of their 'community ministry'. Many people in dire straits get help directly from churches in America. Churches can also suggest charitable organisations that can/will help individuals too.

Is the BM a church member? If so, suggest she goes there first for immediate help (perhaps they could be your 'third party'). If she is not a member anywhere - without sounding too crass - suggest she contacts churches located in wealthy areas. They are likely to have wealthy members who are more able to help. Also, their own members are less likely to be in dire straits so more money can go toward need in the larger community.

FiveDollarShake Sun 07-Dec-08 14:24:00

I agree with TheBlonde. It must be so difficult for you knowing that your DS's birth family are struggling. They arent your responsibility though. You have done the most wonderful thing of all for them are raising DS and giving him a better chance in life than he would otherwise have had.

Colditz Sun 07-Dec-08 14:26:29

It's absolutely horrific that people can be so poor while those around them are so rich. AMerica is the richest country on this Earth, why is nobody there looking after this woman?

Nancy66 Wed 10-Dec-08 15:00:52

Do you know the birth mother's full story?

Is there a history of drug or alcohol abuse? I know this all sounds very harsh and judgemental but you need to be sure that any money you do send goes on food, rent, clothing etc.

Personally I would think twice about sending money . I know this sounds mean spirited and not very charitable but your responsibility is to your son not the whole family. I think if you did it once the request for more would follow pretty quickly.

hester Wed 10-Dec-08 22:28:02

Oh hell, what a difficult issue. Have you thought of talking it through with someone at your local post-adoption service?

ForPetesSakeNotAgain Fri 19-Dec-08 00:36:08

Thanks for all these suggestions. The BM does belong to a church as she told us in her letter that a very kind lady at her church had taken her and her 4 children in and she is at the moment still living with her. She gave the impression in her letter that she had approached lots of organisations for help but it was difficult to find help in the current economic climate.
There is no history of drug or alcohol abuse so I know that money that goes to her will be spent on the children. There is a risk that she will keep pestering us but I just think how DS2 would feel years in the future if DS2 found out about the letter and that we sent her nothing. So I think we have to send her something and hope for the best. All correspondence is via the adoption lawyer so if the worst came to the worst I could just ask her not to forward them to us.

RebeccaX Wed 24-Dec-08 09:31:44

My daughter was adopted from China. We know nothing about her BM and I really wish we did as one day my DD will have a lot of unanswered questions. Her BM probably lives in dire poverty and I would welcome the opportunity to give her some financial support - and we're not "comfortably off" as you state you are. If I were you I would send money regularly to help out the BM and your DS's siblings. I know there are lots of arguments why you shouldn't but I'd do it anyway.


daisysue2 Mon 22-Jun-09 14:51:16

Yes I agree with Rebeccax my sister in law lives in the US and has adopted there. She is regularly contacted by the BM and has given aid. She did put a condition on this and that was that it would stop if she ever ended up in jail which she did. I think if you have adopted from China or Africa the issue seems easier to deal with as we know all about the poverty in those places. But we all feel that the US is different. But the poverty there is the reason there are so many adoptions in the US.

bumsrush Mon 22-Jun-09 14:54:32

I know someone who befreinded a russian girl from chernobal on a visit. They stayed in touch but the letters became desperate and always asking for money and she had a baby. My freind decided not to send money but often sent coats, shoes and other practical items.

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