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A fourth child: this is really difficult ... help me sort my thoughts out!

(4 Posts)
alysonpeaches Sun 07-Sep-08 11:28:39

Fostering perhaps isnt the correct board so move it if you want. Here goes...

I have had my two grandchildren on residence orders for a few years now, they are 5 1/2 and 2 1/2. My third grandchild (aged 1) was placed with me recently on a temporary care order which treats me as a foster carer. She is likely to be a permanent resident when some court stuff on the parents is completed. She was with a foster carer from birth, but when I found out about her I came forward as a carer.

She came to us about 10 days ago and is normally an easy child to care for but of course has gone through some adjustment and we have had a very difficult week. She has been clingy and so has my 2 1/2 year old so its been really hard work and exhausting. My husband is trying to get part time hours to help but has ended up taking a couple of days sick to ease the burden.

The thing is, baby 4 is due in 4 weeks. She is likely to go into foster care from birth until further assessments are carried out on the parents. But as they dont have the others its not looking good for them. My husband and I put our names forward as a carer as we will be assessed too.

BUT as this week has been sooo trying, I am starting to have second thoughts about taking on a fourth. We both feel deep down it is important for this child to grow up with her siblings. My husband is adamant that we want her. Full stop. He has no doubts. I do wonder if we could cope, and if she would be better placed for adoption with a family who will be younger and have more time and energy for her. I am really torn several ways. I know if I dont take her I will always be sad about it, but if I do the others will all get less time and attention and they really need it as they have been through a lot.

I would really value an outside opinion from someone not involved.

bran Sun 07-Sep-08 11:53:48

This is such a tough problem, I really feel for you. Are there likely to be subsequent children? Has your DH thought about the number of children that would be too much for you both to cope with?

If the social workers are sympathetic there might be a compromise where the new born is fostered by you until she is adopted. There are more families wanting young babies to adopt than there are babies so it ought to be possible to find a family that are local enough for direct contact between siblings, who are keen to have direct contact, and who would be willing to adopt at least one or two future siblings.

bran Sun 07-Sep-08 11:54:03

In a way two families of two or three siblings each is better than you having most of the siblings and then individual siblings adopted into different families.

Direct contact can work well, especially when the adoptive families get on reasonably well. I know a family who adopted around the same time as we did, and then subsequently adopted a second sibling but felt unable to adopt the next twin siblings too. The twins went to another family but all the siblings meet up regularly and, although the relationship is more akin to cousins, they all know each other well.

alysonpeaches Sun 07-Sep-08 15:24:06

I know if I foster her I will keep her. The social worker envisages she will go straight to another foster carer, and this way we will have a bit more time to help number 3 settle in.

I must say, I get the impression that the social worker wants to go for the adoption option, she thinks its too much for us. The guardian (who knows our family as she was guardian for the other kids when we went through the court process)thinks that if we want her everything possible should be done to support us having her. I asked the SW about support and she said "there is none". I think if I was going to ask for support, I could do with someone to help around the time of the school run. There is no friend nor relative suitable for this as obviously we have pondered this. I dont know whether she is just being a bit tight, as I know there is a home visiting service.

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