Adopted daughter wanting to live with me(12 Posts)
Bit of a long read so don't worry if you don't fancy reason haha
I am a 36 year old mother to 2 sons, 19 and 17. I had both my sons very young as first was an "accident" if you like (one I am glad to have made though) and my 2nd was, whilst I was still very young, planned as I had married the dad of both my children.
Just before I got pregnant with my second I fell ill, something that is still not diagnosed but causing me a great deal of trouble. I was due to start my meds the same week I found out I was pregnant so didn't start them until I had given birth. These meds were going to make me infertile whilst I took them (they are a life long thing, if I planned to get pregnant I would have to come off.) and I no longer had periods, at least not regular and consistent ones. Because of thinking I was infertile when j started to pile on weight I put it down my meds instead of a pregnancy. I had gone in to hospital for an operation on my back when I found out I was 5 months pregnant, it amazed both me and the doctors as to how this had gone unnoticed. I got told that if I was to carry my baby to full term she would be born with a drug dependency and possible a lot of other problems. Being only 20 at the time with 2 young sons I knew I wouldn't be able to deal with having a child who would need my constant attention. With a very heavy heart I had her put up for adoption.
16 years on and my "daughter" (let's call her Ellie) is in contact with me. Ellie contacted me a year ago after her parents had told her she was adopted. This was okay with me from the start, her adoptive parents were in contact with me all through her childhood and i had told that one day if she finds out she is adopted and wants to meet me I would love to. She was born with a drug dependency but she is now fine and very well, she never developed any other problems.
She tells me she does not have a good relationship with either of her adoptive parents and they are now divorced and constantly fighting over her. She will be 16 in June and her mother had said she will support her in moving out of she wants to do that. The only problem is she wants to move in with me and my sons and my partner. I've explained to her that that may not even be allowed in the UK and she won't be able to have contact with her father. We divorced long ago as he is an alcoholic and very abusive, I've not had contact with him for over 10 years now. My sons rarely even speak to him themselves.
Another problem is I live in a 3 bed house with 2 sons meaning I just don't have a room for her. Both my sons are now, in my opinion, too old to share a room especially because they both have girlfriends who sleep over occasionally.
Just after Christmas my son, 19, went away for 3 weeks to America with his girlfriends family around the same time we took Christmas decs down so it got dumped in his room as I was too poorly to take it up to attic at the time. He brought his bed, tv and most his bits needed day to day down into our empty dining room and he stayed there until a month ago and he said he actually wishes that was he permeant room as it was more private than his bedroom for some reason. The only reason I'm telling you that is because maybe if she did come stay with us would it be appropriate to move my son into that room and Ellie into my sons room.
All in all i just need some guidance. Is she allowed to come live with me? Would it be appropriate? How do I approach this subject with my sons? And will it be okay to move around my son for her to come live at my home and if so how do I actually go about telling my son that is what is happening?
I can't help you with the "is she allowed" part as I have no idea how that all works. What I do know though is you lose all legal rights when you put her up for adoption and I'm not sure you can ever get those back? Even if she is living with you. So instead of having your daughter living with you it'd be more like having a 16 year old lodger.
That would then force me into asking some questions, which you may know the answers too so sorry if you do, such as is she being honest with you about her relationship with the adoptive parents? She may be telling you that she doesn't get along with them and they are always fighting as a way to get you to feel sympathy. If she has done her research she may know that you actually don't have legal rights like her adoptive parents therefore there are somethings that you can't legally force her into such as attending school/college. She may see living with you as an easy option.
Are partner and sons aware of the situation? And more importantly are you happy to have her living with you? Don't feel obligated, you have every right to say no to her. You could suggest maybe her living in her own place with her adoptive mothers support and having regular vists with you, that may be easier than having her live with you and take a lot of pressure off you.
As far as moving your son into the dining room goes if you don't need it as a dining room and he is happy to then I don't see how that would not be okay. It sounds as though your son liked that room and he say it has more privacy so he would probably be more than happy to move.
I would suggest having a conversation with your partner and sons and discuss all this with them before making any decisions though.
If she has done her research she may know that you actually don't have legal rights like her adoptive parents therefore there are somethings that you can't legally force her into such as attending school/college.
I can't help with much of what you are asking but I'm pretty sure that her adoptive parents can't force her either. Post-16 education is the student's responsibility, not the parents'.
As far as being allowed to live with you is concerned, I think that, once she turns 16, she can leave home and live with whoever she wants - as long as they're OK with it, of course.
I guess I'd also suggest you talk to her adoptive parents. As we all know, it's very common for teens to fall out with their parents, and part of growing up is working through all that. She may be truly unhappy but she may also be not getting on in the usual teenage way and thinking the grass is greener with you. If her relationship with her adoptive parents is basically ok (although she may not see it that way) you could come between them if you agree to have her which would be rather sad. Apart from all that - I agree with the comment over not feeling obliged. You made a rational decision to have her adopted and at that point she became someone else's child. I know emotions aren't that simple but you sound like you've got quite a lot on your plate already. Would you do this for any other 16 year old?
I'm an adopter and I would suggest you take the idea she doesn't get on with her adoptive parents with a pinch of salt. Many adoptive teens have tricky relationships with their adoptive parents but the parents are likely to be doing their very best to work things out. (I'm horrified though by the idea they only recently told her she was adopted. Are you sure, as adoptive parents are very much encouraged to make sure children know their adoptive status from as early as possible?)
I suspect she sees you as an escape from parental boundaries and may have a very idealised idea of what you are like and what you can offer. Her behaviours could be very different from those of your sons. In any case, she is effectively a stranger, as are you all to her.
It would be wise to build a relationship slowly, and with the consent of her adoptive parents who will remain her legal parents for life. You could be opening yourself up to all kinds of issues by just moving her in and you have idea how things will pan out. At the very least try to get an alternative view of her - if not from her parents though that would be ideal, maybe from her school or possibly there is a post adoption social worker who knows her.
Of course, all could go well and she may fit in very well, but I wouldn't advise jumping into anything too soon.
She's 'allowed' to live with you if her parents agree she can. I'm not sure it's a great idea though, it could end up breaking down and causing her more pain in future. I think you should focus on offering her a non judgemental, supportive relationship but without trying to slip into the mum role.
I would let her move in, with the agreement of her adoptive parents. I think that when you give birth to a child you always have an obligation to them. I think that the decision to place a child for adoption is something that you do for their benefit at the time but that you cannot (morally) ever truly opt out of all elements of parenting. If that child needs you in the future I believe you have a moral obligation to parent. That might not be in a traditional parenting sense and should be done with the other parents in mind,carefully and so you do no harm, but should be done nonetheless.
If she was mine I'd be wanting to find out the best way to meet her needs and would not want to reject her by not letting her move in, if she was going to move out of her parents home anyway. 16 is too young to live independently imo.
Please don't do it. Don't even consider it. It would not end well.
Most teens have difficult patches with their parents and at some point many threaten to run away or leave home. The problem here is that for this teen she actually has a real alterative family that she potentially could live with and the fantasy of living with her birth family could well be based on extremely unrealisitic hopes and wishes. It's very unlikely that moving in with you would solve her problems.and the repercussions for her, you, her parents and their whole family could be devastating long term. I
Please tell her that although you very much want to build a relationship with her, you don't think it would be a good idea and that you would support her parents in trying to get things sorted at home. Perhaps she could come for a weekend or two over the summer holidays if her parents agree as a starting point to building something more long term.
There was an episode of Heir Hunters where an adopted out child reconnected with their biological mother and moved in with them. He was an only child and despite being legally entitled to nothing when the father died intestate the crown estate decided the son had a right to the inheritance.
I'm horrified though by the idea they only recently told her she was adopted.
I'm adopted, and I was never told. But, the rules were different then. I guessed, and found out for sure when the rules changed. I never told my adoptive parents that I knew.
Things are different now. She should have been told sooner. I agree with Sundance that it would be worth confirming this. If she really has only recently found out, that discovery will likely have affected her relationship with her adoptive parents, and not in a good way.
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