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what would you do if...

(82 Posts)
hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 18:37:20

(changed my name just in case) friends had asked you to be character references for their adoption proceedure and you felt in your heart of hearts that (one of them) isn't a suitable candidate. if they were going to get pregnant its none of my business wether i felt they would make good parents or not, but i have to tell the person who comes to interview us what i think about them as people and potential parents, and i guess you also have to consider that they are looking at a child who may not have had the best start in life so its even more important to get it right.... but they are my friends!!!! HELP

assumedname Tue 26-Jul-05 18:45:04

Can you tell them that you don't want to supply a reference, rather than have the interview?

Perhaps you could say that interviews always make you nervous and you don't want the interviewer to get the wrong impression?

Sorry, cr@p excuse, but short of telling your friends straight out...

SoupDragon Tue 26-Jul-05 18:47:52

Why do you not think they are suitable?

hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 18:56:16

i've known them for him for 13 years and her for 6 they both work in very demanding jobs doing long hours and often at the week ends, she even lives away from home 3 days a week, in the few years that i've had children neither of them have ever held either of mine as babies, they enjoy going on holiday/away for the w/e out for dinner etc at short notice and he is (although a good friend of ours) pretty immature in many ways, i just can't see them as parents (they originally didn't want kids when they got married) and they never discussed it with me (although he has slightly with dh) and how they plan to change their life/work situation. also the prob is he is dh's best friend so i don't want to do anything to spoil that. i couldn't just say that interviews make me nervous because this is obviuosly an important issue for them and they would surely expect me to be supportive

snafu Tue 26-Jul-05 18:59:30

Well, you probably can't imagine them as parents becasue they've never been parents. That's the same for a lot of us, I would think. We all enjoyed going out for dinner at short notice before kids!

Could you not ask them what their palns are re: work etc? Obviously none of your business in the normal sense but you could say that you expect the interviewers will ask you, so you need to be clued up - and then take it from there?

Bellie Tue 26-Jul-05 19:00:34

hiddenmum - you have just described my life prior to having dd - I was not a 'baby' person and lived for my work, spontaneous dinners out and luxury holidays.

However my life has totally changed now and to be honest can't actually remember how I used to live my life before dd and wouldn't want to as life is much more fulfilling now.

All my friends cannot believe the transformation in me and never thought that I would every have children or give up work.

What I am trying to say is - how do you know that they have not thought about the life changes and what it means - maybe you should ask them before agreeing to be a reference so that you will feel more comfortable??

Bellie Tue 26-Jul-05 19:00:34

hiddenmum - you have just described my life prior to having dd - I was not a 'baby' person and lived for my work, spontaneous dinners out and luxury holidays.

However my life has totally changed now and to be honest can't actually remember how I used to live my life before dd and wouldn't want to as life is much more fulfilling now.

All my friends cannot believe the transformation in me and never thought that I would every have children or give up work.

What I am trying to say is - how do you know that they have not thought about the life changes and what it means - maybe you should ask them before agreeing to be a reference so that you will feel more comfortable??

snafu Tue 26-Jul-05 19:00:54

And plenty of men are immature before they have kids (and after!)

Sorry, not trying to have a go at you at all - it's definitely a dilemma - but I thought you were going to say one of them was a drug dealer or something tbh...

Bellie Tue 26-Jul-05 19:01:04

oops no idea how I posted twice

assumedname Tue 26-Jul-05 19:02:38

You could just do the interview and be honest. The interviewer will talk to other referees, I guess, and spend some time with the couple themselves.

Are any of us really ready for children before we have them?

snafu Tue 26-Jul-05 19:04:51

How much have you actually talked to them about it all? I think it's fair enough to ask them if you can sit down and have a chat about it, for the interview's sake, iykwim.

hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 19:14:34

dh has spoken to them a bit about it,but we're not really supposed to talk to them about it because what we say to the interviewer is supposed to be purely our opinion and we aren't supposed to be "primed" by them i know they are generally good people but i was lead to belive (although admittedly second hand through dh) children weren't on the agenda - she didn't want them (but changed her mind when he said he wouldn't marry her if there were no children in the future) (she is a lot older than him and has been overheard saying that she is afraid he could one day leave her for someone his own age) - so it worries me that
1. she is only doing it to "keep her man"
2. he is immature and not ready to be a father
3. this is potentially a troubled child they will be taking in
4. it could all spoil dh's friendship with a guy he has known since nursery

Poots Tue 26-Jul-05 19:35:33

Obviously I don't know this couple but I do have some friends having trouble having a family and the behaviour you describe doesn't seem to unusual.

Working lots of hours happens a lot when people want to keep themselves busy or convince themselves that their life is full without a child.

Not holding other people's babies is also self defence, I know my friends can't bring themselves to hold other babies.

I think I could put the 'not wanting to have children' statement in the same catagory if there is potentially a medical reason involved or it could be a genuine change of mine - the biological clock is a funny thing.

It's not easy to adopt, there's lots of meetings and paperwork, your interview will only be a small part of it. Believe me, their working hours and plans will be looked into in depth.

I'd say do the interview, be as positive as you can about them without lying and see what happens. Your interview will only be one bit in a big jigsaw so however it turns out you'll not be responsible.

Mud Tue 26-Jul-05 19:39:44

I am gob-smacked by your thought process to be honest. I think your problems with the couple seem to describe many people's sistutaion before they ave children. I think that you should reconsider your position on giving them a reference very thoroughly. not one of the points you ahve brought up would make them unfit to be parents and your assumptions about why they are doing it sound very harsh

hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 19:53:33

poots - the working lots of hours, not holding my kids etc started long before they started trying to have children, i'm not assuming about the not wanting to have children and then changing her mind in order to get married, (he told my dh that when he told them they were engaged)

i don't have a problem with either of them, i just feel its a big responsibility to be involved in this process and i don't want to make my decision lightly.

if i do go ahead with the interview and am asked the question "what kind of parents do you think they would make?" what do i say (or is this not a typical question they would ask)

SenoraPostrophe Tue 26-Jul-05 19:59:54

Well if you really feel that way, i think you should say no to the interview.

However I do think you are being a little unfair. Not being a "baby person" s not the same as not being cut out to be a parent and I think it's very grown up of him to consider adoption in the first place (how many men do you know who would do that? the vast majority of my male friends wouldn't). Do you know if they're hoping to adopt a baby or an older child?

Mud Tue 26-Jul-05 20:00:55

what kind of adults are they? from what you have posted I would imagine your answer would be

they are extremely hard-working and tenacious and not afraid of putting in lots of effort (from "both work in very demanding jobs doing long hours and often at the week ends")

she particularly would go to any lengths to be good at what she does and I am sure she will bring the same commitment to being a parent (from "she even lives away from home 3 days a week")

they have strong social skills and any child placed with them will enjoy a variety of experiences that will help them become a rounded indivual (from "they enjoy going on holiday/away for the w/e out for dinner")

when I first knew them they didn't want children, but this has obviously become a driving force for them as their relationship has got stronger and I am sure a child can complete their family and want for nothing(from "they originally didn't want kids when they got married")

I actually think if you don't see it like this then you aren't the right friend to be a referee and should back out now before you do any more damage

if you'd said they were violent, alcoholics or highly strung it would have been different

Gobbledigook Tue 26-Jul-05 20:05:59

Oh Mud, thank goodness - that's what I thought. Not sure any of those issues would make them unsuitable parents. And women often say they don't want children when they are climbing the career ladder - it may have been a fear that she had that she couldn't have them/wouldn't meet the right man to have them/worries about giving up career. All sorts of things. My friend is very much a career woman, spends a fortune on clothes, works away a lot - she always said no to kids too but she got pg unexpectedly and is a fantastic Mummy.

At the interview, presumably they wouldn't ask you outright whether you think they should adopt or not - they'll just ask questions about their lifestyle and personality I guess and you just need to answer those honestly and leave it up to the adoption services to do the rest.

I do understand that this feels like a big responsibility to you though and it is good that you are taking it seriously of course - I can see that you have the best interests of the prospective child at heart

Gobbledigook Tue 26-Jul-05 20:06:43

X-postss - referring to Mud's 1st post there.

spidermama Tue 26-Jul-05 20:08:57

You could refuse to do it and say it's because you care about them and don't think they're making the right choice. You think it would blight THIER lives.
It's the truth, more or less?
Not easy to do, but then this isn't an easy situation is it?

SenoraPostrophe Tue 26-Jul-05 20:08:57

I agree with mud - she's put it better than me.

I asked about the baby/child thing because you have to remember that older babies and children don't always get adopted. You seem to be worried that this couple won't provide quite such a good home as other adopters. But they'll provide a much better home than social services could by the sounds of it.

hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 20:12:17

mud - i take offence at the "before you do any more damage" -i haven't done anything to "damage" the siutuation, i was just asking advice on how others would handle the situation, and the way you inferred about the kind of friend i am.

i do however agree with you on how you've put the rest of your post and that does help. i would like nothing more than for their motives to be genuine and if this is the caase i will do everything i can to help, i think i really need to say to dh that before we agree to this we should meet up for dinner or drinks and have a chat so we know more what their thinking plans etc are that way perhaps i'll get a better feel for how they truly feel

hiddenmum Tue 26-Jul-05 20:14:51

btw they are thinking of adopting from abroad (probably chinese) but i don't know why

kama Tue 26-Jul-05 20:18:14

Message withdrawn

LittleMissNaughty Tue 26-Jul-05 20:19:06

I also used to love going out, going on holiday and my career before having a baby. As soon as dd came along, my priorities changed. I'm sure it will be the same for your friends.

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