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To not understand why babies can't go straight to adoptive families

(89 Posts)
mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 14:35:49

I have read a little around this lately and I don't understand why babies are first sent to foster families then to their adoptive parents? It must be traumatic for them to be parted from their foster parents.

AIBU to think the system seems strange in a number of ways? Or are there good reasons for this?

ghostyslovesheep Sat 13-Dec-14 14:41:00

yes - there has to be a legal process - which takes time - you can't just take kids and give them away

often the parents have the option of trying to work to get the child back - if that doesn't work then the adoption process kicks in

plus it's just fucking cruel really to take them at birth - for all parties (unless there is a massive proven risk)

PedlarsSpanner Sat 13-Dec-14 14:41:20

Because the neat paralleling of child available/suitable match doesn't exist in RL.

Paperwork can be onerous. The legalities necessarily take time. Placing a child within immediate family might need exploring.

In the meantime the infant needs loving care, hence the placement with foster carer.

CruCru Sat 13-Dec-14 14:42:18

My understanding is that there are few parents so immediately incapable that their babies get taken off them at birth with no option of them getting them back. I think the law / system means that people have to be given a chance to keep their children.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 13-Dec-14 14:42:39

Maybe it is to give the birth parents a window of time to change their minds? Better in that case for a child to ve removed from its temporary foster carer than be taken from a person or couple who see the little one as their own child.

I really dont know how traumatised a very small baby would be at going from.a house where they are loved and cared for into another house where they are loved and cared for. A tiny baby has a very simple set of needs.

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 14:49:47

But what if the baby is relinquished? I realise that is rare. Or if it is immediately taken from the birth parents due to exceptional circumstances (for instance if Baby P's mother was to have another child - bad example I know but the first one that sprung to mind and I'm fairly sure babies ARE taken from birth parents if it is deemed they'd be unsafe.)

26Point2Miles Sat 13-Dec-14 14:52:38

op,I thought you said you had been reading up on this? confused

Themoleandcrew Sat 13-Dec-14 14:53:11

Because even in families with a long history of neglect or abuse there is a period where the birth parents are given time to get it together. Because the legal process takes time. Because family have to be assessed as willing/able to care for the child first. Because while all this is going on the birth parents are entitled to contact visits. They are starting to approve prospective adopters as foster carers so in certain circumstances (such as families with a long history and little chance of them being able to get it together in time to regain their child) they will take care of the baby as a foster carer whilst all of the above is happening and then when the legalities are finalised they will become the adoptive parents.

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 14:57:26

26 clearly you feel the question I asked should have been answered in whatever I had been reading and I'm afraid it has not.

I understand that birth families have to have a window of time to change but in the case of relinquished children and in the cases of babies who are deemed unable to ever be with their birth families I feel the system would surely be much kinder to all parties to allow them (the babies) to live with their adoptive families more or less immediately, not months afterwards.

That was why I said "adoptive babies" not "toddlers or children" in my OP.

I personally and perhaps unfairly feel that there are too many "chances" given to birth families - but these are not the ones I'm talking about, I'm talking about babies that are up for adoption from conception onwards. This may be rare but I know firsthand isn't unheard of.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:01:17

Because there is a legal process?

Yes some parents have fair too many "chances" but social services are not infallible and do a bloody hard job, sometimes mistakes can be made.

I know someone who is a foster carer, generally of babies removed at birth. Removed from parents who will just keep on having children and just keep on having them removed. Tragic. But there is a legal process, all avenues must be explored such as possible changes in circumstances, family members who might be able to offer within the family adoptions.

It isn't as simple as just handing over babies or children to people who want them. Nor should it be.

fatterface Sat 13-Dec-14 15:01:21

There is something known as concurrent planning where babies who will probably be adopted are first fostered by potential adopters while their future is decided.

This is better for babies as it means they will either be adopted by the fosterers or return to their birth family, but obviously for the family who wish to adopt it means they might care for a baby for many months and then have to hand them back.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 13-Dec-14 15:02:33

You should read some Anerican adoption blogs written by birth mothers. In most states, it is usual for babies to be relinquished within 48 hours and there is little or no "cooling off" period.

Relinquishment is much more usual in the US. However, that has lead to adoption being used in some cases as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The problem then being that once the problem has been resolved (say, homelessness) a few weeks later, the birth mother is unable to retrieve her child. The sadness in these blogs is just awful.

I am very pro-adoption but I think it is imperative for both children and birth mothers to have a minimum period of weeks rather than days before a permanent adoption

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 15:04:18

But that's not what I'm asking Ali: I'm not suggesting that children be snatched willy-nilly and handed over to people who want them.

However, I do think that as the current system stands, it must be distressing for the child to be given to a foster family and "know" them as his/her parents, then given to a new family.

Given there are pre-approved people to act as foster carers, isn't it possible for adoptive parents to be "pre-approved" as well, for when a baby does come available?

Fatterface that makes sense and while that must be terrible for the fosterers it would I presume be less traumatic for the baby which is what everyone surely wants I imagine.

Fabulous46 Sat 13-Dec-14 15:04:55

There are many reasons which include:-

To allow the natural parents to improve on whatever reasons their child was taken into care in the first place. Ie substance/alcohol misuse.

To allow the natural parents a chance at proving they can parent effectively.

To give relevant professionals time to do social background reports and assessments.

Even if babies are put up for adoption by their natural parent it takes time to find suitable adoptive parents. Adoptions don't happen on a first come first served basis with adoptive parents. There are many factors taken into account when children are put up for adoption.

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 15:07:08

I know what you mean Gobbo but even in these cases (which are rare in the UK - not sure why) the situation you describe would be horrendous for the birth mother but there's a little voice inside me saying it might mean less upset and distress for the baby.

I just can't imagine a baby at 9 months suddenly being moved to his adoptive parents. From his point of view it would be like a bereavement?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:07:10

Sorry tartan, only realised after I'd posted I wasn't answering your question. Should read things properly!

Think Fabulous has answered your actual question really well though.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:09:07

With regard to babies going to live with their adoptive parents after being fostered from birth, as I understand it there is a period of getting to know each other and spending more time together with each visit. Foster carer will be present initially and then that will decrease as time goes on. At least that is how it is for the person I know who fosters babies.

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 15:09:26

But Fabulous - forgive me - I'm not talking about children, infants or otherwise, for whom there is a question mark over their future, for whom adoption is a possibility but not an established fact. I'm talking about babies for whom for whatever reason it is known they will NEVER live with their birth parent - putting them with foster parents THEN with adoptive parents seems unkind and above all unnecessary.

I realise this is a tiny percentage of adoptions of course but still.

fatterface Sat 13-Dec-14 15:14:11

mytartan - even if there seems to be no chance they will live with the birth parent, legally the birth family still needs an opportunity to be able to take care of that baby.

TattiePants Sat 13-Dec-14 15:17:34

I do understand that there is a process to follow and this takes time but my god-daughter spent the first 11 months of her life with foster carers until she was adopted. She was removed at birth and due to the abuse of her older siblings, there was no option for her to remain with her birth parents. Her adopted parents had been approved for adoption many months (years?) earlier so the whole process probably took 16 months in total. Surely this is too long?

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 15:20:55

Fatter not always - as Tattie has said. There are cases where if a birth parent has such a chaotic lifestyle or has abused a child the baby is taken from them at birth. It is rare but it does happen.

Tattie they are exactly the cases I think of which really upset me.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 13-Dec-14 15:25:56

Children being removed at birth due to the chaotic lifestyles of the parents/history of abuse isn't that rare at all.

HappyAgainOneDay Sat 13-Dec-14 15:26:35

I think things must have changed. I don't know much about adoption procedures then and now but, in the late sixties, when I had mine, a neighbour was able to adopt a tiny boy aged 6 weeks. They had not fostered him. A year or so later they adopted another little boy in the same way. They have all had a happy life.

I do not know whether or not the adopted two have tried to find their natural parents.

TattiePants Sat 13-Dec-14 15:26:41

In the case I am aware of, the grandparents do have custody of the older siblings but had been very clear since the birth of their previous GC that they couldn't take on any further children (and continued to say this throughout the pregnancy).

The handover between foster carers and adoptive parents did happen like Alis said but was in the space of about 7-10 days. That must be very confusing for an almost 1 year old baby.

mytartanscarf Sat 13-Dec-14 15:27:16

I was under the impression it was rare for them to be put up for immediate adoption, though, but I am not an expert so I'll take your word for it smile

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