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to be terrified that Social Services will...

(43 Posts)
MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:31:22

a. take away our little one. b. stop our adoption process.

Long one, sorry. The last few weeks have not been good for us. DH suffers from ME (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome), and I am ocasionally depressive. We are in no way classed as risky parents, and we are both professionals. Both of us are seeking help for our illnesses. We have a little DD (18 months), and while she can be tiring, she is the light of our lives, and we absolutely adore her. We love kids, and I have trouble having another sue to health problems with DD, so last year we started an adoption procedure to adopt from India. The adoption is in its final stages now, and we are due to bring our new DD back with us in October (was supposed to be earlier, but got delayed due to bureaucracy in India).

However, in the last few weeks, something snapped in DH, and he got extremely suicidal. Only the thought of DDs stopped him and we both went to A and E. We got brilliant support there and from the home crisis team, and while DH was sectioned for a day, he saw a psychiatrist who lifted the section almost straight away. He is recovering well now with lots of support from various agencies.

The downside is that because we went to A and E, the psych nurse on duty told us that they had a duty to inform social services, as we had a small child. This has left me terrified that SS will take away my baby, and stop the adoption as well. What should I do, I am sick with worry and stressed out completely. AIBU? Is my fear irrational? The stories I have heard and read about SS are leaving me incredibly stressed. Please help.

kif Sat 25-Jul-09 21:33:26

sad no experience to add, I'm afraid

Greensleeves Sat 25-Jul-09 21:35:01

Without more information it's difficult to have a useful opinion, but from what you've posted:

I can't see any reason at all why your child would be removed from you. Nothing you say indicates that either of you is a danger to her or that she is neglaected or at risk.

However I think it is highly likely that you will not be able to proceed with adopting another child at the moment. I'm afraid I think that is the best outcome too. If it were my decision to make I would not allow you to adopt as things stand sad

Nancy66 Sat 25-Jul-09 21:36:22

Message withdrawn

onepieceoflollipop Sat 25-Jul-09 21:36:43

What section was he detained on? I assume that it was Section 2 for assessment (unless he had a previous mental health diagnosis?)

Ime (I am a mental health nurse) social services may contact you just to check all is ok wrt to your little dd.

I am not sure what the protocol is re your adoption process. If I was in your position I would ring the agency/department that are actually dealing with the process and ask them this question directly. You will obviously need to be upfront about it (as I am sure you are) so rather than stressing about it ring them first thing on Monday.

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:37:25

Greensleeves, the adoption is in its last stages. We are literally just a court date away from bringing her back with us. And we have spent an awful lot of money and invested a lot emotionally in the process. The thought of SS stopping this is too awful to imagine.

blithedance Sat 25-Jul-09 21:38:44

Perhaps a positive thing would be to list out the reasons why what you fear will not happen. Presumably during your home study and medicals all your psychiatric history was gone over and you were still OK'd as adopters. It's just that a depressive episode has happened already, so you can show how well you coped with it and what good support you have around you and how your LO was not in any danger at all.

Your adoption social worker knows you well so it's unlikely that the same dept will suddenly snatch your DD away. You have to remember that A&E deal with very disturbed families too and they have to have one rule for everyone.

CloudDragon Sat 25-Jul-09 21:39:06

Your current child will definately not be taken from you unless there is over information you have not told us.
I'm afraid I no nothing about adoption procedures.

Hope he is feeling better soon ME is rubbish I had it for four years. Tell him low level anti-depressants helped me amazingly though I refused to take them for the first three. I also found out I am massively wheat intolerant. Once I stopped eating it I stopped all my symptoms. good luck x

onepieceoflollipop Sat 25-Jul-09 21:39:18

Also I would tend to agree with Nancy and Greensleeves, this may well affect the adoption process.

However, it sounds like both of you are under an incredible amount of stress at present. SS/the adoption agency have to be 100% sure that the adoption is in the best interests of the child.

So sorry things have been so difficult for you.

skybright Sat 25-Jul-09 21:39:24

I have no idea about the adoption but ss won't take your little girl away,it is protocol and from your posting it does not sound like your lo is in any risk.

Greensleeves Sat 25-Jul-09 21:39:32

I understand Michkit, I am not trying to be cruel sad

but it shouldn't be about how much you have invested financially or emotionally - the only thing that should be considered is what is best for the child being adopted. Your situation. doesn't sound stable enough to me.

Nancy66 Sat 25-Jul-09 21:39:43

As it's an overseas adoption I don't know how much power SS have - there is an adoption folder, you could ask there.

I went through the adoption process in the UK (but dropped out) and I am certain it would be halted in this country.

Greensleeves Sat 25-Jul-09 21:40:28

I have had ME with fibromyalgia and mental health issues too, in the past. ME is hell. I do feel very sympathetic towards you both.

Lifeinagoldfishbowl Sat 25-Jul-09 21:40:49

No experience - but would think they would reccommend counseling or somewhat and probably delay the adoption process until things are a bit easier, esepecially as 2 under 18 months will be hard work.

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:41:15

Lollipop, he was detained on the assessment section, yes. The doctor attending him basically told him that he had to do it, as DH was stressing out about being in the ward, and wanted to come home. But the consultant psychiatrist saw him the next day and lifted it almost immediately.

I have rung the agency in India (I did the day after DH told me he was being sectioned), and they have said that while this not a deal breaker from thier point, the final decision lies with SS here, as they will be primarily responsible for welfare. Which is what is stressing me out.

DebiNewberry Sat 25-Jul-09 21:41:38

So sorry you have had such an awful time.

I don't think ss will do anything more than see if you need any support, and I don't know about the adoption process at all. I do know the awful feeling of your life touching a world in which SS can become involved, but do try not to worry.

Do you feel that adoption as things as they are is the right thing to do, for your family and the adoptee?

onepieceoflollipop Sat 25-Jul-09 21:46:03

What does your dh's consultant psychiatrist think of the situation (if you have discussed it with him/her)?

Perhaps in the short term the adoption may not be possible due to mental/physical health issues? I know this is very hard for you but I am tending to agree with others who have said that you are under a massive amount of stress and this may not well be the best scenario in which to bring an adopted dd in a couple of months' time.

However in the future (I know you want it all resolved very soon, but this might not happen) the psychiatrist might be able to assess your dh and liaise with social services?

I think you absolutely have to be upfront with all concerned.

scottishmummy Sat 25-Jul-09 21:46:45

psych do liase with SS, to ensure safe home environment,stable mental health and appropriate placement this likely trigger a visit,and perhaps another risk Assessment

understandably, SS need to evaluate and
assess if new information comes to light. social circumstances check. this protects you and dd

it will be akward,it will be hard
do be truthful
answer honestly
participate in all questions
get some legal advice

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:46:52

Debi, I do feel I can handle the adoption, the alternative of not having her, I cannot imagine. It was only a month or so ago that my only stress was whether to change her name. And the little girl has become quite attached to me and my LO, as we spent quite a lot of time in India with her. So, while I feel that the episode with DH was stressful, I can cope. Its just the thought of having SS, that's stressing me out.

Our caseworker was lovely, and yes, we had all previous history gone over before we were cleared to adopt. I just don't know if they can revoke the clearance after this.

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:51:03

Lollipop, the consultant said he had to assess DH after a few more weeks. When we mentioned the adoption he said he had no experience of the situation, but would find out for us. We still haven't heard back, so assumed it was all right with him. I just don't know what too think or feel.

We are almost ridiculously middle class, perfect family types, never had a problems before, coped well with stresses and this happens and this had shocked me totally!!

chegirl Sat 25-Jul-09 21:56:48

MichKit

I think I have to say this will be a major issue and SS will want to explore what happened in detail.

They will want to know
what happened
what was the antecedent to the incident. What was going on, how was your OH's physical health etc
What sort of support network you have
How did you handle this crisis
Who looked after DD etc

They are going to want to talk to you about all this stuff so you need to be prepared and very honest.

They are going to act in the best interests of the child. They will want to balance out the damage done by halting the adoption v allowing it go ahead.

A lot will depend on who visits you and how sympathetic they are to you and probably to international adoptions.

Its a terrifying time for you and I am sorry for that.

I hope all works out for the best.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 25-Jul-09 21:56:48

I don't think that you are making realistic assumption tbh Mich (i.e. that the fact the consultant hasn't got back to you yet). In your position I would chase him up (via his secretary)to clarify.

I note that in your post of 21.46 you mention "I can handle the adoption" "my only stres..." " I can cope"

The thing is, it's about you and your dh. You come as a package/team in terms of the adoption (afaik). Certainly this is the case re fostering (which we are going through) and I am fairly certain it's the same re adoption.

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 21:57:04

CloudDragon, thanks. He is on Citalopram at the moment, and it seems to be helping a little.

MichKit Sat 25-Jul-09 22:02:43

Lollipop, as DH had the ME before we had DD, I have always known that I would be the primary carer for any children we were going to have in the future. That was the reason for the 'I' iyswim. We talked through the adoption a lot... and went through pretty rigorous checks (as we both ahd health issues, this was the norm). I realise that we come as a package, but I am always going to be the main carer for both the children (adopted DD is around 3) and at the time, the caseworker did understand this.

You are probably right about the consultant's response, and I will chase it up first thing on Monday.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 25-Jul-09 22:06:59

Hope that things work out for you Mich. Sorry if any of my posts sounded a bit harsh. Trying to be realistic but am also trying to be understanding. It must be very stressful. sad

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