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Giving baby up for adoption and struggling for practical information
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NM8448 · 22/05/2016 08:38

Hi

I really hope this is the right place to get some information for my situation.

I am 25 weeks pregnant and will be giving up my baby boy for adoption voluntary at birth.

Basic background: I am in my 30s and fell pregnant shortly after separating from my husband, we already have 4 children, I work full time and can't emotionally cope with raising another child, no safeguarding issues in place and my family has never had any social services investigations or interactions before.
I made the choice based on loving this baby and wanting him to be raised in a loving family environment and although the baby's father and I are together and get on well we both acknowledge we can't provide this baby anyway near the stability and family network that an adoptive couple can..

Financially, emotionally and practically our lives are in complete limbo as we are both going through divorces and struggling to cope with huge life changes after 40 years of marriage between us.

I contacted SS after making the decision 2 months ago and they have carried out an assessment on my Children and family as the first step to this process, all was found to be well with my children and no concerns were raised so I assumed I would be passed to the adoption team by now but this hasn't happened, I got passed to an intermediate team and they don't have the answers I have been anxious to get about how this process works.

I have sought private counselling regarding the adoption and have that support but there are practical questions I am anxious to get the answers to and as the pregnancy progresses I find myself getting more and more anxious about how this works...

All the leaflets and info I have been given are heavily based on children taken away from their families for safeguarding issues or young mums etc, there is very little to help people who make the choice voluntarily...

I worry about how baby is going to feel when he is older about being given up for adoption and want him to know he was loved and cared for not abandoned..

I worry about how things are going to happen straight after the birth, I don't want baby to go into foster care while waiting for parents to be selected by SS.. I want him to be with us for 2 weeks then go to his adoptive parents..

I don't want contact with baby, I want him to bond with his adoptive parents but I would like a pic and a little letter from them once a year just letting me know he's ok and how he is doing.. Is that realistic? How would the adoptive parents cope with that request?

I know about the legal side of things, I understand how that process works.
I need help and advice from birth mums who have done this and adoptive parents who can give me some practical advice on what they would have liked to receive from the birth mum with baby..

For example.. Scan pictures, do I send them with baby to the new parents? Naming baby, do I get to give him a name?

Letters from his brothers and sisters and us, is it helpful to send those with him for the adoptive parents to pass on when he is older?

Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

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Hels20 · 22/05/2016 11:23

OP - I am so sorry that you are in this situation but I echo what justhappy has said above. Your child is going to grow up knowing that you kept your other 4 children, but not him. The emotional fall out from this could be huge - could leave him with massive physiological issues all his life. He may well feel "why wasn't I good enough?" My Mum didn't love me enough. There is no guarantee that your son will go and have a stable/wonderful life - parenting an adopted child is hard work. There are so many more considerations. So many more issues. Relationships are tested and break down.

I know I am being harsh but a child remaining with birth parents - in absence of neglect/abuse etc - is almost always best. Even if you think there might be better parents out there, it doesn't mean he would be better with them, rather than you.

Please please think very carefully about this decision. I think there is a 6 week cooling off period after birth. You must be in turmoil. I wish you the best.

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bookwormish · 22/05/2016 10:36

Hi NM I can't imagine what you are going through, it sounds like you have made some very tough decisions. There are procedures to follow for this type of adoption, and I expect there should have already been joint involvement from c&f social work and adoption team to talk you through the process - if not already completed, then I think that will happen soon. Because nearly 50% of mothers are known to change their mind, it's incredibly important to tread carefully, however that doesn't mean that there can't be any pre-birth planning underway. Definitely speak with your midwife to make sure that your plans are listened to. You should be able to request in your birth plan to either be separated from baby, or to care for him yourself. You'll be able to leave the baby in hospital when you are ready to leave and then the sw will usually ask for baby to be cared for by a pre-adoption foster carer....then you should be involved in discussions about who will be the best adoptive parents for him, unless you explicitly state otherwise. You will be able to withdraw from all of this right up until the point of the adoption order being applied for by the new parents. Wishing you all the best.

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JustHappy3 · 22/05/2016 10:25

I hate to be negative - but you know that your child could be adopted by parents with equally busy jobs; who, after adoption leave, do the 12 hour-a-day nursery thing. And there thousands of people out there who do this with their own children and they are not bad parents. I worry for you because you still have many things you want to control (how long he's with you etc) when the reality will be that after the court order you won't have any.
The social workers will welcome any and all paperwork to save for the future though. My baby has a treasurd box. What would be useful are 2 copies - so that one can be handled and one kept for best.
You will also choose a name and the adoptive parents are likely to keep this. But equally likely to move it to a second name and choose their own choice of first name.
But you know you won't get any real choice about the adopters or know anything more than "Here's John & Jane (no surname) - they're a nice couple aged x, with no birth children and a cat." There's very little the adoption team can do at the moment with you tbh.

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NM8448 · 22/05/2016 10:06

Yes have an allocated child in need social worker who unfortunately has no idea about the adoption side of things.. She is involved to support my kids through it mainly and just because they don't really know what else to do with my file while waiting for the adoption team to take over.

Waiting for the adoption team to get all the answers.. Even asked if I could meet with them in the interim just to get some answers even if I am not under them yet. Waiting to get an answer on that as well.

I have literally exhausted all possible avenues with SS to get this mouving.

So thought this forum could help while I am waiting.

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NM8448 · 22/05/2016 09:47

To address baby's possible future development and emotional wellbeing I will do my best to let him know he was cared about, his brothers and sisters are all engaging with him, they stroke bump, they are helping choose his name, they talk about him, he's not hidden...

HIs father and I are making a diary of all the things we have done with him so far, like travel, concerts and pics of us cuddling him (while he is still a bump) in order to hopefully help him as he grows older and starts to have questions or feelings about being given up for adoption he could hopefully see that he was loved and not abandoned.

Is this the right thing to do?
Would it help him?

Sometimes I worry that I am trying to do the right thing but it's going to cause him upset or emotional harm in future

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RandomMess · 22/05/2016 09:42

I think your baby will be such low priority to them. It's not going to come to harm, baby will be high on demand - services are stretched and so on.

I suspect they will be in touch around 35ish weeks. Have you tried getting in touch with your SW to ask specific questions and told them that the leaflets aren't relevant to you?

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NM8448 · 22/05/2016 09:38

Thanks for the reply.

I am doing all I possibly can to reassure SS that I won't change my mind.. I have kids that I love very much and I am not blind to how extremely difficult emotionally this is going to be but I can't shrug off the feeling that I simply can't give this baby a good life compared to what the adoptive parents could provide..

My kids know about the baby going up for adoption and they interact with bump in a healthy way..
I have in no way hidden what my decision is from anyone, work, friends and family are all aware baby is going up for adoption despite having been judged negatively (as in why did I choose to put myself through this as opposed to abortion) at times most people have been supportive.

I work in healthcare not as a midwife but have delivered babies, I am not prepared to have a baby then put it in childcare for most of its life because I work 12 hours and random shifts, I have zero family support so while my kids have grown up with grandparents aunts and uncles, this baby will just have me and his dad who both work shifts etc.

I regularly walk myself mentally through what the handover of baby is going to be like and try my best to let myself cry when I need to and be practical when I need to in order to be as prepared as possible to go through this.. Don't know what else I can do to assure SS and the future adoptive parents that I won't change my mind and that I made this decision practically, emotionally and with nothing but love and care for the little one.

i don't know what else I can do at this point to make some viable progress with this adoption.. It seems like SS is determined to make it as hard as possible for me.. I just want to be under the adoption team so I can start working with them to get this moving forward!

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RatherBeIndoors · 22/05/2016 09:34

I too think they are giving you time. Nearer the birth, they will be there to see what your decision is. I think your midwife might be a good person to talk to about practicalities.

It is usual for there to be an agreement between the birth family and adoptive family, to exchange annual letters via the social services department. While the agreement isn't usually legally enforceable, most adopters do honour it. The exception comes if they feel for any reason it's not in the child's best interest (can be a temporary pause) or of course, once the child is old enough to decide for themselves.

Any pre-natal information, like scans etc, would be cherished later by the child - it's very rare to have that kind of thing. I know of quite a few foster-to-adopt placements that have successfully achieved continuity for the baby, so if you decide adoption is the right option, hopefully there would be ways to avoid moves/disruption.

I cannot imagine what you are going through. Whatever happens, I wish you great support Flowers

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RandomMess · 22/05/2016 09:08

Have you sent you a pm

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JustHappy3 · 22/05/2016 09:02

I didn't want to read and run although I'm not sure I have the answers. You sound very caring and thoughtful. I suspect the SWs are waiting til much nearer the birth as you could change your mind.
Here are a few things that might be good for you to google: "foster to adopt" is where adopters foster the baby until they can apply for the court order to adopt.
Your baby would be in heavy demand - relinquished babies are so very rare. But they would still have issues to cope with later in life around adoption. As adoptive parents we are taught in training about how difficult this can be during the teenage years - however loving the adoptive parents. Google Primal scream.
Once the adoptive parents have legal parental control then no-one can make them write to you. So that photo and letter you would like may not come. Unlikely tbh but it's not guaranteed.
I badly want to urge you to reconsider. You sound so very caring but that would be crass as you are very much more aware of your personal circumstances than I am.
Flowers

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