Adult daughter wants to see social services paperwork about her from 15 years back(12 Posts)
15 years back, my ex-wife and I were divorced, DD lived with ex-wife and I had contact every other weekend and during holidays. Without going into vast detail, ex-wife made some life choices that resulted in social services getting involved, DD becoming subject to a Child Protection Plan, ex-wife not appreciating the concerns that were being raised, and DD ended up living with me, and for a while with very restricted contact with Mum/ex-wife.
Explained to DD at the time, and in age-appropriate terms, both myself, and teachers, counsellors and social services why she could no longer live with Mum.
Ex-wife and DD recently re-established contact occasionally, which I'm glad about. I'm not sure its ever going to be a cosy mum-daughter relationship, but DD is an adult now, living independently and capable of making her own decisions. ex-wife's life over the past 5-10 years does not contain the same concerns as before. Although I was massively angry and upset with ex-wife at the time, overall I'm glad they're in touch and have some sort of relationship.
DD recently asked me if I had any of the records and correspondance from that time, because although she knows why things happened, she wants to understand it more as an adult, and is interested in what was going on between all the adults in the situation at that time.
I know she has a right to know more, and could always contact social services for their records on her anyway. I'm not worried about what is written down about what I did or said, but some of the details about ex-wife/her mum could be very uncomfortable reading.
Any thoughts or suggestions here?
Thanks in advance.
You said it yourself she is an adult capable of making her own decisions.
It is her choice to make and you can only support her. Unfortunately there may be questions you can't answer but hopefully she can sit and talk with her mother about what happened and why.
I do understand you don't want your daughter to be hurt, but you have done the correct thing in letting her make up her own mind about both you and her mum. She will appreciate that.
The only thing you can do is be there and try to explain and answer any questions she may have (without being bias or mean spirited - which you have managed to do so far).
It is so lovely that you were able to protect your daughter from the fall out of what would have been a very difficult and unsettling time for all of you. Your daughter is an adult now and as such can find out herself if she so desired. How about a Frank and honest talk about how it was a hard time and how decisions were made that had negative consequences, asking her what it is she hopes to find out from the paperwork, and if she is wanting to base her future relationship with her mum on the findings. With a gentle reminder that anybody can make mistakes and that you always put her safety and wellbeing first- as did the authorities overseeing the case. You sound like a very fair and reasonable parent who just wants to continue protecting your child from the raw truth, but this could just be what she needs to help understand and process what will have been a traumatic time. All the best.
It’s her choice, when my son is old enough to ask similar I will tell him everything, I do think he has a right to know why his birth parents couldn’t look after him.
All you can really do is either say nothing or warn her beforehand that some of it makes for uncomfortable reading...
It’s her choice. If your in a position to then offer to pay for private counselling so she can discuss it with someone independently.
I wonder if her mother has told the story differently from her own perspective and your DD wants to find out who is telling the truth?
I think you sound like a brilliant father. I think it might be best to give her the paperwork, and then before she reads it, tell her how you're feeling. That you will always want to protect her, that you're always there for her, that you love her, and you're scared of her getting hurt, but am proud of her independence and her interest in her own past. Ask her if she'd like you there, or not. She will likely greatly appreciate your openness and love.
It sounds like you've done a great job, and making sure she knows that if she is upset, her dad is there for her - always - will help.
If you have the written info, double check she’s sure she wants it, then give it to her.
I think I would say I'm worried you will find some of this upsetting and that it might damage the relationship you are building with your mum. Sleep on it for a week and if you're still sure I will give it all to you.
One of those hard things to balance - even when your kids are adults you want to protect/look after them. I'll chat to her and be around if/as she wants to talk.
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