To be unsure if I want this baby?(37 Posts)
Name changed as this is identifying.
My wife and I adopted two sisters when they were 3 and 18 months. Their mum was pregnant at the time the adoption went through and we agreed to adopt the baby. This was 5 years ago. We now have three girls aged 9, 7 and 5. The youngest was born addicted to drugs and we had an incredibly hard first few months with her, my wife struggled to bond with her and at times said she wished we had never adopted her. However 5 years on we both love her to bits and have zero regrets.
We have recently been told by social services that the mum is pregnant again and is very likely to be born addicted again. Despite my wife struggling with our youngest, she 100% wants to take on the sibling of our girls. She says she knows what to expect this time.
However it is me who is torn. I absolutely want my daughter's to have their sibling with them and we are financially able to have a 4th child and have the space but I am terrified what to do.
Baby is due in July so will be here fairly soon.
Sorry I didn't explain why I am terrified...
My wife ended up on anti depressants, we argued a lot and I actually ended up leaving with the baby for two months, social services knew nothing of this for fear of having the girls removed... so because they never knew I can't discuss my fears with them.
I don't think I could live with myself if the baby didn't join our family but fear it will break us.
Oh how incredibly difficult. Clearly you are an amazing, strong family but I’m not surprised you have reservations. It’s not that long really since your youngest was born and came along with addiction. I suppose the real difficulty is the fact that you and your wife aren’t on the same page. Can you imagine how you’ll feel in a couple of years if you don’t adopt? If that would be ok for you, but not ok for your wife, what effect would that have on your relationship? Also what’s to say this isn’t the last baby? It’s a situation totally out of your control and it isn’t possible that your family just grows and grows to the detriment of your marriage.
I can understand your wife wanting to take on your children's siblings. However what then happens if she has more? How many do you take on?
If the baby was adopted by another family, is there any scope for your girls to have direct contact with him/her?
At some point you’d have to say no, presumably? Even if it was baby 9.
Is there any support social services could give you which would lighten the load?
I know someone who was in the same position and they said no to the fourth because they decided introducing a baby with those needs would mean they couldn't give the existing children the time and attention they need. They also recognised that the mother was unlikely to stop at four and it turned out they were correct.
It was very sad and they really agonised but they don't regret their decision.
So I think you need to consider the potential impact on your girls
What if she went on to have 5, 6, 7 babies?
Will you keep taking them on?
I’ve met mothers and looked after their babies straight after birth who are born withdrawn and like all there brothers and sisters before them, will never go home with their mum.
People just keep going.
It sounds like this person will keep getting pregnant.
You have obviously done an amazing job but you have to think of the three you have got and of yourselves.
If you did take this new baby on, it may not be the last she has either, what if you were asked to accept another child a couple of years later too?
I can understand why you didn’t tell SS but please keep them informed in future of any problems.
I agree wholeheartedly with TheAntiBoop
Hope you and your wife can reach a decision together
Sorry I can't offer helpful advice, but massive positive support for an incredibly difficult decision
This absolutely heartbreaking but I think you and your wife are absolutely amazing for what you have done for your daughters.
There's a very heart felt classics thread on here that discussed in debt the needs of the baby born with an addiction, that baby ended up being adopted to a lovely couple after an amazing foster couple looked after her so you are not the only option.
If you want a fourth child is there a possibility that social services can offer more assistance in this instance?
Agree also this is unlikely to be the last time, sadly. I have a close friend who has been through a very similar scenario
How incredibly hard for you.
I completely see where you are coming from - my DS is adopted and so far we have had a very easy time of it but DH and I have already agreed that if birth siblings come along, we won't adopt them.
If birth mum is now on her fourth pregnancy, I'm sure you are aware that chances are she is "filling a void" and will continue to have more children in the future. It's so easy to say "Oh ok, we will adopt one more" but how many "one more's" will there realistically be?
You need to have a really detailed discussion with your wife. Chances are she is wanting to do this out of obligation and not wanting your children to miss out on a sibling. But they can still have a relationship with their new sibling (the family finding team can be made aware that you might want direct contact, and will find suitable adoptive parents who can support this) and you both know that the new sibling will join a family who is loving and wants them dearly. It's not like they are likely to spend years in the foster system if they are removed at birth; chances are they will be with adoptive parents within the first year unless they have significant needs.
That is something we discussed when we took in our youngest, what if she gets pregnant in future. We were told it was very unlikely as their bio mum was in prison and would be for a number of years... obviously something happened that got her released early. She is in her mid 40s so will have to stop reproducing soon.
Our daughter's have two brothers in their late teens who they see twice a year but have no real relationship with.
Sorry I am typing as I think. It's so hard.
When the baby is born in addiction circumstances, is the treatment approach standardised? I.e you expecting certain improvement at certain time, baby staying in hospital for long time and how often is the baby monitored once out? I guess what I'm saying is that it depends on what the medical experts tell you about the approach and if it's similar to last time, i d go for it. You ll obviously make many people happy if you go ahead so only the transition will be painful.. or maybe not..
I think you are an amazing couple for what you have already done . If your wife is the main carer and she thinks she's ok then are you? And I do support the fact the birth mother still could do this again,(sorry she's just a selfish bitch ) not much of a help !goodluck
Gosh I feel for you. It's heartbreaking that your girls are not with their brothers so I can totally see why your wife doesn't want their new sibling in a third home.
Adoptive relationships are such a minefield for all concerned. I would talk to SS, you don't have to tell them everything, but you should tell them if you do take the baby you will need more support this time.
You've done an amazing thing, you would maybe hope she stops conceiving, but it's not a given, you need to think when will you say sorry we just can't.
It won't make you bad people to refuse, given that your wife struggled last time, I don't know how baby withdrawal works or how long it goes on for. You have to be 100% sure that this is right for you.
Do you have any questions to ask the SW, like, has anything changed from last time that will mean baby suffers less? Is there alternative ways of detoxing baby as you could be honest that you found it challenging, more specifically what you both found challenging.
Maybe this weekend, write a list of what you struggled with, do some research to see if methods have changed, support has improved etc. Then anything you're not sure about go back to the SW and say we just wanted to ask a few things.
Ultimately it's your choice and there is no right or wrong answer? Might be a daft question, would finances allow for extra support during the worst part? Are there any organisations that would benefit from a student or students getting experience of dealing with withdrawing children & babies?
You definitely need to think about the main issue or issues, then the ones that aren't as big.
I don't think there's a definite right or wrong here, but you know better than anyone here how important the safety, security and wellbeing of your current family actually is. Your DW's emotional health is vital. Could she go through a repeat of what happened last time? Could your marriage survive that again?
In an ideal world you'd adopt this next baby and live happily ever after. But if your happily ever after isn't the same as your DWs, you have to put her needs first on this and let go of - or at least compromise on -your dream.
Friends of mine are in a similar position. They decided they couldn't cope with another child. He was adopted by another family. There is sibling contact. Their adopted daughter has seven older siblings and two younger!
As their daughter got older, it became clearer how deep her problems were and they are very glad they didn't adopt again.
You need a plan.
You need to fully understand the implications of each decision.
Is baby likely to be placed locally so te siblings can easily be in touch?
Your children may become very volatile in their teens- has your wife considered this? Just because you can manage at the moment doesn't mean you will manage going forward.
You are right to be wary. The mum could still have another, then what? If this one is placed elsewhere and a sibling comes along they can be together.
Oh you wonderful people
I’ve no advice but I just want to thank you for being so selfless and I hope you come to a decision everyone is happy with.
I have friends in a similar situation who did take number 4. They stopped there but unfortunately there were more siblings who were adopted elsewhere. They are in contact.
Personally I feel that if the last baby scenario nearly broke your wife and the marriage you need to think very carefully about the risks for your wife/marriage/your existing children. Remember your children may well develop extra emotional needs as teenagers......
You are clearly amazing people and I know why this is so hard for you. Maybe the silver lining could be that another couple get the chance to have a baby?
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to reply. My wife and I have a lot to discuss and I fear we need to be honest with social workers about how things were last time.
Somebody commented about my wife being the main carer... we are both female and run our own business from home so there is no main carer we are both equal.
My two cents are that I don't think you should take the new baby as you would be risking the other children's wellbeing too much and the new baby could well benefit from more one to one attention than you would be able to give it.
There a beautiful thread a few years back written by a foster carer who had taken an addicted baby. It covered about a year until the baby was put up for adoption. It's in the mumsnet classics section. Maybe you could discuss the baby going to a good foster family to help it through this stage and possibly adopt it afterwards?
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