Giving baby up for adoption and struggling for practical information
NM8448 · 22/05/2016 08:38
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.
Haffdonga · 01/10/2016 11:45
NM, how lovely to be able to offer you congratulations again on the welcoming of your new ds into his family with you. What a wonderful update!
For some people adoption is the very best choice, but for you and your ds, it never really felt like you were convinced, (despite your very honest and well-thought through posts). Of course you'll have tricky times ahead as you establish your new life, but you'll get through.
Wishing you much joy, love and happiness in your new lives!
PoppyStellar · 01/10/2016 11:40
I've been following your thread and just wanted to say I think you are an amazingly strong person. Fwiw I think you have made the right decision for you and all your children. Wishing you all the best for the future
NM8448 · 01/10/2016 11:27
Just wanted to add that no family was even contacted in the end regarding baby as social services were still looking for the right match so no one got let down or effected by my changing my mind in the end. I would have been absolutely gutted if a family was expecting him then were told I had changed my mind.
definetlynotbored · 01/10/2016 11:25
You do seem like you want to keep it which is great. Just make sure it truly is what you want and not what you think is the right thing to do. Good luck!
definetlynotbored · 01/10/2016 11:23
I gave my first son up for adoption and I have NEVER regretted it. Everyone told me I would but I haven't. If it's the best thing for you please do it. I am a Social Worker so if you;'d like to know anything about the adoption process please inbox me
NM8448 · 01/10/2016 11:22
Sorry for the late update
It's been an emotional couple of weeks but the outcome was worth it.
After the revelation from the ex that I wouldn't be going back to live at home after baby was given up, I did a lot of thinking and with my sisters visiting found myself in a position where I allowed myself to explore keeping baby, during the pregnancy I just didn't even entertain that option I was really set on giving him up as I saw no other way forward, once I had him with me and with a lot of support and care from friends and family I started to open up to the idea of raising him and what that would look like. Although it's still scary and I am still scared it's going to be hard for him growing up as in the middle of this situation I just got to the point of not being able to think about handing him over without a full sick to the stomach feeling.
So the end resul is... Baby Jake is staying for good. I feel a huge sense of relief and fear all in one but i am determined to make sure he has a good life.
His brothers have all had time with him and see him on a regular basis.
He met his sisters last week and that went really well, they absolutely adore him already.
I have a lot to figure out like where to live etc but I got ideas to tackle the childcare where baby gets one to one care (au pair, nanny as opposed to nursery setting) and that makes it easier to deal with my work pattern and his care.
I feel a bit traumatised still by the whole pregnancy and stresses during that time but I'm slowly picking the pieces back up and tackling things.
Starting with actually getting baby stuff Jake needs because with the original plan I hadn't got anything for him past a borrowed car seat and Moses basket.
No one has been judgy or upset with me for changing my mind which has been a blessing. Colleagues have been really happy about the news and friends super supportive.
My partner wasn't happy about the decision change to start with. But now he has completely accepted it and is being a great dad to baby although I can see panic in his eyes at times due to the enormity of the decision.
confusionoftheillusion · 01/10/2016 04:50
Me too OP.
Hope you are ok
Kr1stina · 29/09/2016 13:13
Another one thinking of you and your baby
BuffaloCustardbath · 29/09/2016 09:02
Still thinking of you NM, I hope you're doing well and your situation as settled as much as it can. Did you get the opportunity to seek any legal advice yet?
Italiangreyhound · 18/09/2016 13:02
I totally agree with Haffdonga that your ex has shown his true colours.
PLEASE do not give him anything, not half your home or any extra time with your children than you are not required to give.
You know he does not and cannot look after them like you have. You have been the main carer, he has cleverly switched things around in the last little bit of time, taken them on holiday etc, and is trying to make it look like he's the main carer but you know that is not the case.
He is trying to make things look one way, and they are not that way.
One term for this is gaslighting, he is trying to look like the innocent party, he is not.
Please remain strong. You may be tempted to give in, give ground, all in the hope of an easy life. you know he will not give you that easy life. If he gets the home, I think he will put locks on and keep you out. If you allow him certain rights that are not required he will not do you any favours, that is my personal opinion based on what I have learnt about him. If I am totally wrong then there is time to ease up and be lenient later.
For now I would play hard ball for the sake of your kids, all of them.
Make sure all involved know this is for the sake of your kids. It is important everyone knows you are looking out for their interests and what is best for them, which is you, contact with you and a continuation of the care they have received from you.
Although you may rightly feel how very badly he has treated you, and you do need to let others know what he is like, try and ensure your focus is the kids and what is best for them. Just as he has shown his true colours with you, he will with others. You need to be calm, and rational (even though anyone in your shoes would be freaking out) as well as loving, a devoted mum etc, which you are!
Bless you, and keep talking to us if it helps. We are all behind you.
Haffdonga · 18/09/2016 10:48
Thinking of you NM
Perhaps a good thing to come out of your xh's appalling behaviour is that now you are making all decisions with the clear knowledge of how things are going to stand from now on. Intially you were talking about having your ds adopted, then getting divorced next year I think partly in order to be allowed to stay with your other dcs in the family home? Seems like your delightful ex couldn't wait that long to show his true colours and you are now in the 'this time next year' scenario already. In the long run he really has done you a favour but in the cruellest possible way
As you are looking at finding a home for yourself and your dcs without your xh or your dp, the decision as to whether or not you want to keep your youngest ds or have him adopted may be much less muddied by the pressure to keep others happy. It's now only about whether you can give him the love and care he needs in your own new home with your other dcs.
(Could an au pair be an option for childcare if you do funny hours?)
Good luck my dear. The only way is up.
ChickyDuck · 18/09/2016 07:49
Well done NM, I am both so glad the baby is doing so well, and shocked at the childish mind games your ex is pulling, I can't believe he thinks that it's ok to do that to anybody, let alone a women who has just given birth!
Be strong, for the sake of your kids and your gorgeous newborn. He can't keep you out of your home or keep you from your kids, and the courts will 100% back you up with that.
Italiangreyhound · 16/09/2016 20:41
Totally agree with jelly best thing for you NM is to be back in family home with the boys, all your boys. If ex can't cope he csngo elsewhere. Your ex drove you out by his controllong and manipulative behaviour. This must be illegal. He needs to be stopped or he will potentially permanently drive a wedge between you and your children.
jellyfishschool · 16/09/2016 20:00
OP I really think that in relation to the family home, rather than giving you exdh what he wants, if you think about what is best for the children then all things being equal I would say it would be better for your children for you to go home, and to discuss whether your exdh should stay or go. I suppose I say this because of my own experiences - in the vast majority of families I know the woman does the vast majority of the parenting - so it has to be read in that context though. I would imagine that especially the younger children will want you back at home, rather than somewhere new? This would apply whether you decide you need to keep your new baby and take him home with you, or whether you decide you need to pursue adoption. Your exdh obviously feels that it would be too difficult for him, but if it is for the benefit of the dc (and I think it probably is) then ... he should suck it up, because he is the grown up. As well as getting professional advice, can you try to persuade your exdh to make peace so that you can both try to focus only on what is best for the children? I have known it to happen in this sort of situation, sometimes...
I didn't see the deleted post, but I am impressed that you responded. I am not sure I agree that a lot has changed in 40 years, but that is by the by.
confusionoftheillusion · 16/09/2016 17:54
OP - I am so happy to hear your baby is doing well and that you and he are still together. Definitely not the time to make any decisions.
You are a very brave and strong woman
Sounds like your partner might have stepped up a bit?
I imagine the exes are concerned about the kids bonding with baby if baby doesn't stay?
However of course as others have said what your ex is doing is DISPICABLE. He cannot keep you from your children. I firmly echo what others have said about you needing urgent legal advice. I know life with a newborn is tough but PLEASE PLEASE see someone asap. You WILL be entitled to AT LEAST half the equity in the house and don't let your ex bully you.
We are all here for you. I have never felt so much empathy towards another poster on MN. Your emotions shine through in all of your posts and I am simply in awe of you.
Sending you strength and hope you get to see your other boys soon
user1471134011 · 16/09/2016 13:04
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Italiangreyhound · 16/09/2016 01:56
NM dear lady I am so sorry this is so shit.
Re "I will leave him the house but I will claim my kids back as soon as I have somewhere for them to come and stay."
DO NOT give him anything, that man is evil and he is separating you from your kids and your kids from you. Every penny you give him or allow him to keep means he has more time and energy and you have less. GET LEGAL ADVICE.
He has made you homeless and separated you from your kids, he gave you the impression if you just gave up your baby it would be easier for you but now he is showing his true colours!
He does not care for your needs or their needs, only his own. Why should he have 50% of their time when he is seeking to deny you and then 100% of the time with each other.
He does not want children exposed to a baby! What bollcoks. He is a controlling man, seeking to control your every action because you dared to end it with him. There are laws to prevent men doing this. He is trying to rob you of half of the home and of this vital time with the kids.
Please, please speak to Women's Aid because you are the victim of a crime here. How dare he deny you access to your own home. Please, please get professional legal advice, this is not the 1900s when men did what they want. His actions must have consequences.
Sorry for the rant, I am so angry on your behalf. Please do not wait, do not allow him to become established as the main carer, you are the main carer, he has not cared for them properly. They need you. He must not get your share of anything, he will use it against you, he already has!
Thinking of you. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
dibly · 15/09/2016 23:08
Oh bless you. Please get legal advice, whatever path you take you are entitled to half of the assets from your life with your ex. Giving him the house is an emotional response as you're clearly and understandably desperate to see your children. Please don't do that, get advice, take stock and then assess how you can best make this work.
bangingmyheadoffabrickwall · 15/09/2016 20:48
I honestly think you have all the support you can get from MN.
I second sunnydayinmay in that you MUST get legal advice regarding this whole sorry affair.
Kr1stina · 15/09/2016 20:37
NM - you know don't you that you are entitled to half of the value of the house, your joint savings and pensions and other marital assets ? It doesn't matter why you are getting divorced or who initiated the split .
You don't have to " give him " the house, if you want and he can afford it he can buy you out of your half. But if you are having the children half the time, why don't you stay in the house ?
You really need legal advice urgently . Especially about seeing the children now ( not later ) and making sure that their father doesn't represent that he is the main carer .
sunnydayinmay · 15/09/2016 20:11
I have been following your thread, although I do not have adopted children. To be honest, it sounds like you need good old fashioned legal advice now - both you and your partner.
Contact is for the benefit of the children. It cannot be withheld as some sort of punishment by an ex spouse. The house and money stuff needs sorting too.
You will get through this.
NM8448 · 15/09/2016 19:31
No kristina I am not Asian, I'm Italian.
I have been staying with my partner (baby's dad) and he has also been restricted access to his children.
The way the exes are doing that is not a direct thing as in not saying no you can't see the children etc.
Both are saying they don't want the kids exposed to baby until we decided what we are doing with baby.
I'm living in my partners home so his girls won't be allowed over while I'm here with baby, my partner has been generous and has stated he would rather we stayed here with him for as long as we want but I feel that's not fair on his contact with his children.
My ex is doing the same thing, saying I can't see the kids at our home if I have baby with me etc, as I'm breastfeeding that's making things hard. I did but a breast pump and waiting for it to arrive so I can leave baby with his dad and go see the kids, waiting for the next excuse as to why I can't see them although SS are involved and the ex will have to be careful how he behaves while being watched by them.
I earn too much to qualify for housing etc. In our area it's impossible to get social housing... I can afford to privately rent and I am looking into that but I need time to get a deposit together, furniture together and sort it all out.
I also made it clear to the ex that intend to have the kids 50% of the time which came as a shock to him but he will have to get used to that... I will leave him the house but I will claim my kids back as soon as I have somewhere for them to come and stay. My partner is in a one bed flat so having them over is not really possible right now.
I have a long way to go with getting in contact with the right people etc to find out what my financial and practical options are.
wildflowermeadows · 15/09/2016 18:25
I'm so sorry to hear of this awful turn of events with you being limited in seeing your children. I think Krist1na's suggestion is the best thing to do. As you have been made homeless you could also approach the local authority as you may be entitled to housing, especially with a newborn baby. The social worker may be able to help with a referral too. I do hope things improve, I am glad you still have baby with you and think you are right not to make any decisions now. Take care of yourself, we all care about you.
Kr1stina · 15/09/2016 17:28
I'm glad to hear that you and baby are well and still together.
But horrified that your husband is keeping your other children from you. But awful as it is, at least you know where you stand now . Your marriage is over, whatever happens. Even giving up your baby isnt a big enough sacrifice to fix it .
I think you are right not to relinquish the baby right now, in this crisis . He is thriving and happy with you and as you say, he is keeping you going.
Where are you living ? Can you stay there long term with your baby and fight for access to your older children ?
I know you don't have the energy for the fight right now, but it looks like your only alternative is to walk away from your kids.
I think you need a lawyer as much as a social worker . Can you get legal advice ?
I'm guessing you are Asian - can you contact a BME women's advice charity? They would understand more about the cultural issues you face
user1471950254 · 15/09/2016 17:13
OP I cannot imagine what you are going through. Like others I have followed this with empathy and hoped for the best resolution for you and your baby. With the change in your expected circumstances I hope the support you mentioned continues allowing you all to be well and give you the time to decide the next steps. Prayers and thoughts are with you, the new baby and your children
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