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Birth children and adopted child relationships

(10 Posts)
Lostmykeys Fri 07-Aug-09 21:54:09

I am eager to adopt a child and already have 2 birth children. DH unsure of how it will 'affect' our 2 DC who get along fabulously and in his mind are a little 'unit'. Please share with me your experiences.

NanaNina Sat 08-Aug-09 19:12:38

Adoption is something about which you need to give very careful thought. You also need to bear in mind that all children who are awaiting adoptive families will have suffered from some kind of abusive past, physical, social, emotional, sexual etc and so will be affected bytheir past.

If you apply to adopt you will probably be invited on to a Preparation course where you will hear all about all aspects of adoption.

Re your own children - they will of course be affected by an adopted child joining the family just as they would be affected by another birth child, or indeed any change in the family circumstances. You also need to think how an adopted child willbe affected by/ fit in with your own children as they are of course a "little unit" which is not surprising.

i don't know the ages of your children but it is mostly likely that the adopted child will need to be the youngest and there will need to be a 2/3 year age gap between the adopted child and your own children.

Don't know if you are aware that most children awaiting adoption are older children (over 5 years) and sibling grous and those with disabilities.

Needless to say you and your DH need to be in this together and the children if they are old enough to understand. Having said that there is often one partner more ready to adopt than the other. You need to go slowly and think carefully about all aspects discussed at the Prep group and be honest with yourselves. Adoption is a risk and it is not for everyone. There is nothing wrong in "selecting yourselves out" of the process at anytime.

Also the adoption process is very lengthy and you will need to go through hours of interviews with a sw. to ensure your suitability to adopt. I'm not trying to put you off but it is something that needs much careful thought. Children awaiting adoption have already had a very bad deal in life and as far as is humanly possible it is important that they are placed in families who will be able to restore their trust in adults.

Please feel free to raise any more issues and I wil be happy to help if I can. I am an ex adoption social worker

Lostmykeys Sat 08-Aug-09 19:31:06

Thank you NanaNina I have done considerable research and received an information pack from an agency, you are right in the fact that one of us is more ready to adopt than the other. It is something we are carefully considering and doing lots of homework on as utimately we want the best for all parties - our children and an adopted child.

hester Sat 08-Aug-09 21:44:54

HI Lostmykeys - I have one birth child and have just completed home study. Like you, my main concern has been the relationship between adopted and birth children. There was another couple at our prep course with birth children and they withdrew because of this issue. We have decided to go ahead, with hope in our hearts but also very prepared for all kinds of issues and problems.

I think you will find prep course invaluable in helping you decide whether adoption is right for your family. Your SW will also want to assess your current children and the potential impact of adoption upon them.

Good luck.

thegrammerpolice Sat 08-Aug-09 22:34:37

I have an adopted brother. He is older than me so it isn't quite the same. I'm not for a minute saying it's all a bed of roses in this situation but I love my db as much as I could love a biological sibling. I don't even consider the fact he isn't a biological sibling apart from when a conversation like this comes up.

I imagine it was considerably easier for my parents to do it this way round though - tougher issues involved when the biological children come first.

Good luck whatever you choose.

dizzydixies Sat 08-Aug-09 22:39:42

I am the adopted one in our family's scenario, my brother is my parent's biological child whom they had first and then adopted me. I think my parents handled it well by explaining it to me as soon as I was old enough to understand - I was told I was chosen and very much wanted. I love him completely as a brother and we had the usual squabbles growing up etc.

he is my brother, its that simple and as annoying as he is, he's a fabulous uncle to my daughters, couldn't love them more if they were biologically related to him and if DH and I popped our clogs I'd be happy for him to raise them as his own

Hormonesnomore Sat 08-Aug-09 22:51:47

My sister was 12 & I was 9 years old when my brother was adopted - he was only 6 weeks old & couldn't have been more welcome in our

family. I have never felt that he was anything less than a brother to me & now I am closer to him & his DW than to my own

sister. Probably because he was a tiny baby when he joined us it was easier to integrate him into our family unit and I don't remember feeling

any jealousy or resentment toward him - only delight in this new little person we were sharing our lives with.

maryz Sat 08-Aug-09 23:03:32

I have two children who are adopted, and one (the youngest) who isn't. While my children have all had a fairly normal relationship (i.e. love/hate like most families) up until recently, we do have some issues between ds1 (adopted) and ds2 (not adopted).

Most of these stem from the fact that ds1 has Asperger's Syndrome, suffers from depression and I think is developing some mental health issues. He, I think, suffers badly from attachment syndrome and definitely feels that he is unloved and that he doesn't fit into our family.

If we did not have ds2 these issues would still exist, but might not be as noticeable, and certainly would not be as difficult for us all to cope with. ds1 and ds2 used to adore each other, ds2 in particular hero-worshipped ds1. Now they can't be left together at all. ds1 calls ds2 "the golden-haired boy" and refers to him as "your son who you worship" and things like that. He uses the fact that he is adopted to prove to the world that we have no time for him, and that we don't care for him.

These issues are getting more difficult as they get older.

Having said that, dd (adopted) gets on really well with ds2 and I know we would have problems with ds1 even if ds2 didn't exist.

However, these problems are the type of thing that can happen in adoptive families. I am certainly not saying that you should not adopt, or that problems will be inevitable. Just make sure that you ALL want this, and that you have thought it through carefully.

It is also important to realise that as NanaNina says any child you do adopt is likely to be older or to have special needs of some type. It is not like it used to be 20 years ago, when a family was likely to adopt a small baby, which by definition is the easiest way to absorb a new family member, iykwim.

thegrammerpolice Sun 09-Aug-09 15:59:00

Another thing that I think is a significant change since I was a child is that there is so much more emphasis on genetic heritage these days - nature more than nurture.
When my db and I were children it was all about nurture and I imagine these days the subject comes up a lot more. Not necessarily a bad thing but something I've noticed.

Hormonesnomore Sun 09-Aug-09 21:09:19

sad maryz. It is definitely more fraught with difficulties nowadays.

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