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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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Italiangreyhound · 22/08/2016 03:05

NM thinking of you.

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NM8448 · 22/08/2016 01:16

I literally just woke up with a massive anxiety attack...

Every time I think I have reached an ok place, there is a comeback that just drags me down again..

The SW team had a meeting on Tuesday because while our adoption SW has been great and has an actual clue, the child in need one really is difficult to deal with, she's new, inexperienced and making life much more difficult because she is clueless as to the procedures and keeps messing things up. So they all met on Tuesday to get on the same page... For example the adoption SW advocates and supports meeting the parents while the other SW said its not possible and it's not ever done!
lucky we got them both in the same room on Monday and they hashed out their contradicting views and it turns out the adoption social worker is right but the other SW is the one who has identified the two potential adoptive families... So at this stage I am a bit lost as to what's next... Been told to call the adoption SW when baby is born... And I will be passed to a different team than the child in need one at that stage so the less clued up social worker will be out the picture as we would be fully passed to the adoption team afte that and she will no longer have a need to hold our case.


Sweep wise I'm not that hopeful..but I know they don't want me to go over the due date this time so hoping they will put an action plan in place if it does not work.

Last two babies were 2 weeks late..and that led to complications.

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BuffaloCustardbath · 21/08/2016 22:36

You sound at peace and well supported right now NM, I'm glad you've got some time to reflect by yourself whilst your boys are on holiday - sometimes the day to day chaos of family life does a great job of busying the mind and allowing you to gloss over any other worries that you may have, but it sounds like you're in a good place.

Did your social worker tell you anything about the 2 adoptive families that have been found so far? At what point would they be informed that they may have a baby coming to them very soon?

I think waiting to write the letter until baby is born is a good idea, the right words will come, there's no need to force them out before you're ready.

Good luck with the sweep on Tuesday, were your other boys born before or after their due dates?

Thinking of you a lot.

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NM8448 · 21/08/2016 21:45

Hi
Sorry been absent a bit but there is very little to update still at this stage.
Social services are moving forward with things, I have one great social worker who deals with Birth parents who has been good, met with us, asked the tough questions and discussed options like letter box contact, meeting the potential adoptive parents etc....

She has made a valid point that the adoptive parents get full training in aspects of contact and therefore it may be beneficial to have letterbox contact with them especially with regards to discussing baby's siblings and passing information and updates on them.

I also asked if possible that baby is placed with adoptive parents that have adopted before or willing to adopt more kids,...I don't want baby to feel like he is missing out on siblings when he has some already.

My last day at work was Friday, I'm now due in 10 days but having a sweep in the hope to speed things up on Tuesday so I don't know if that will start labour off or not...

The kids come back from their holiday on Wednesday so I am taking advantage of the next few days to rest and prepare for things.

I feel ok but can't quite face writing the letter to go with baby yet, I think I rather do it when he is here rather than do it now... I need some emotional recharging time before it all kicks off. I feel that I am in a little place of calm before the hard stretch starts and I'm just preserving some energy in order to face the next bit.

I'm still going to therapy and doing my best to communicate about things but have somewhat closed off emotionally at the same time in a kind of self preservation way.

I am scared of the future but have done my best to prepare for it, for me and baby. That's all I can do at this stage...

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Italiangreyhound · 21/08/2016 17:28

NM hi, how is it going?

I have been thinking about you and wondered, if you definitely decide to relinquish your son for adoption (if YOU decide it is right), could you go for an open adoption where you could see little one or at the very least get regular updates/photos?

I know you may worry this could affect him bonding/attaching (I think you said that before) but I think he would know his parents as the ones who cared for him/met his needs. So it would not adversely affect him.

The vital things if it were more open (IMHO) would be:
He would know who you are and that you cared for him
You would know he was alive and well
There would be a connection between you, which may help both of you in the future

NM I am aware you put everyone else first (which you do not need to do) and in some way I think a more open arrangement may help the wider circle 'effected' by this, Eg your kids and your partners kids. They may benefit from knowing he is safe and well. I can't answer for your partner as I just don't know how he feels but the kids might have questions...

Where is he? Is he well? Etc. If the adoption is very closed you may not be able to answer this.

I posted this hear rather than personal message because some here may have experience of this and could provide helpful comments on the reality of this.

We have letter box but birth parents have stopped replying. We are happy to provide photos etc but do not know that they are being viewed. I think it works both ways. we would like to know how our child's bps are because one day our son may ask us more about them.

Just thoughts.

Bless you. Smile

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StackladysMorphicResonator · 19/08/2016 14:06

NM I've just read this thread and wanted to wish you, your partner and your DC well.

My dad got my mum pregnant at university over 40 years ago - they were living together, but still students and in no position to care for a baby. My mum bravely declined an abortion, carried and gave birth to the baby, and gave her up for adoption with my dad's support.

My parents went on to get married, and had 3 more children 10 years later.

I didn't know about my 'extra' sister until 5 years ago, but she has had (and is still having) a wonderful life with her adoptive parents, who are truly lovely. When I found out I was in awe of my mum's bravery. My sister is thankful that my parents gave her up so she could have a better life than they could ever have given her at the time she was born.

My sister and I have since become incredibly close, and I love her and my DNs with all my heart. My mum and dad said it was really painful giving her up, but they remained (and are still) convinced that they did the right thing, which my sister 100% agrees with.

I just wanted to reassure you that these things can and do work out, and that you need to do whatever you think is best for you and your baby.

Flowers

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Haffdonga · 18/08/2016 19:48

It's good to hear you sounding more at peace with yourself MN. Have you managed to put together a letter for the baby yet?

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Italiangreyhound · 18/08/2016 17:28

Definitely good to meet them. Will you request letter box contact?

Thinking of you.

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Kr1stina · 18/08/2016 10:32

That's all good news. I'm glad you are keeping well and that you have a supportive SW.

Do you have a birth partner ?

You say you are missing your sons - are they away on holiday with their father ?

You know don't you that you can ask for information about the prospective adopters and express a view about who you woudl prefer? You can also ask to meet them .

There should be no problem with any of this - you are not a security risk to anyone. I know many adopters who have met birth parents and they all find it very helpful , although very emotional .

And I think many birth mums prefer to actually meet the people who will be parenting their child . It's hard to tell things from a piece of paper.

Everyone finds that the other party is much nicer and more ordinary ( in a good way ) and less scary than they had imagined .

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NM8448 · 18/08/2016 07:00

Hey Buffalo.
Yes all settled down. Two weeks to go and many social services meetings plus hospital appointments. It's my last week at work. Tuesday I have been booked in for a sweep so baby might come one week early.
I'm doing ok, I am really happy with the social worker we have been allocated, she's questioned things, has been helping with the practical answers and in general makes me feel quite supported.
They have now identified two potential adoptive parents but not approached them yet.

I am missing the boys but have also been kept busy with all the last minute preparations for the birth.

Emotionally I am also ok, I don't know if I have just switched off and gone into practical mode.

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BuffaloCustardbath · 17/08/2016 22:43

Thinking of you NM, my heart aches for you and the incredibly difficult situation you're in. I hope you find the peace and strength that you need in order to truly make the most of your two weeks with your boy.
Have the health issues settled down now?

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DropIt · 11/08/2016 17:13

OP you sound so confused and upset. Your partner sounds like a selfish arse who has managed to wriggle out of every obligation in his life with no thought of how he is affecting other people. His needs are, I'm afraid, irrelevant to you. This is your baby, your body, your life. Fuck everybody else and do what is right for you.

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Italiangreyhound · 09/08/2016 20:34

Totally agree confusion.

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confusionoftheillusion · 09/08/2016 15:53

OP - forgive me if you've already said this but would you be able to get a couple of sessions with a top notch counsellor? Independent of your partner and social services etc... Someone you can confide in about YOU?

I wish you were a RL friend as I want to do so much more than seems possible from the end of an Internet forum.

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Italiangreyhound · 09/08/2016 00:38

NM it is great that you are still reading. We are all thinking of you.

If you had come on and said I cannot cope with raising another baby, I don't want to be a mum again and I can't wait for this to be over... I am sure we would have said some of these things but we would have maybe felt you were more sure of what you were potentially planning to do.

But because you have consistently said what the needs of other people are... I mean a mass of other people including adopters who are not yet identified.... and put those other people's needs above your own (and potentially above the baby's) that is why we have consistently asked you to think what it is you would like to do.

XXXXXXX

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NM8448 · 08/08/2016 23:45

Yes I am reading everyone's post and really appreciate the care and support.
I am trying to find the space and time to think about everything with all that's going on here...its been really tough and I'm at a bit of an anger stage over things and sometimes had to go into denial to cope... But I am reading and I am listening and I do feel all the care and support so thank you so much for that.

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confusionoftheillusion · 08/08/2016 20:59

OP - thinking about you daily. So much support for you here.

I hope you can answer the questions honestly in your heart and then seek the necessary support whichever way you go.

Flowers

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Italiangreyhound · 08/08/2016 11:59

pugugly I am very pleased things have worked out well for you and your son.

However, pugugly I wonder if you have read the whole thread or are just responding to the opening post? As ClassicCoast points out the mum in this scenario has been relentlessly hounded by evreyone in her circle to give up this baby and it is almost impossible to see this as a free will choice. If she were not able to love and care for this child it would indeed be the right thing, but she has made it clear she could consider this if she were not being relentlessly hounded by others.

One could see that in this world there may be people well able to care for our children, people with more patience, more time, more energy, more money. But we do not give our children up to these people if we can care for them. I include in this our adopted son. I expect out there there might be better adopters for him, but we were chosen and having accept the link and adopted him, I now know we are the best people to bring him up, faults and warts and all! His birth patents could not care for him.

I guess what I am laboring to say is that there may be others who can care for children better then we can but if we are parents to a child by birth we are the first in line to parent them, we have a birth dd too, I am quite sure someone somewhere could have done a better job than me! But parenting is not about doing the best possible job! It is about love and care and if a birth parent can do that, then they are the person to do it.

Being selfless is something that is constantly forced on women and it is not something that should be celebrated, IMHO, it is not genuinely 'self'less if someone else is pushing you to do it (as is the case here).

Although, I will agree that there are always going to be occasional cases where birth parents chose to relinquish their child and it may well be the best thing for the child but in this case I think it is actually just the best thing for all the other people in NM's life. People who have no care at all for her by the look of things.

I don't think it will be the best thing for her four son's never to know their brother. And I think it could be quite damaging for them to know that their mum relinquished their brother and as a result they will never know him, and to feel that they played a part in that decision.

The decision is the OP's alone, and she is not being given the space to make that decision properly, IMHO.

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ClassicCoast · 08/08/2016 11:20

I think the problem lots of us have reading these posts is that whilst absolutely wishing the OP the very best we worry that she is not being 'selfless' and suitable for thanking but rather that she is being manipulated and isolated and more suited to worrying about.

I hope however it works out you are OK OP but I am sorry you are surrounded by useless, hostile and ineffective family. You deserve better.
Relinquishing is very rarely voluntary or something when looked at closer that it would be suitable to thank someone for.

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PlugUgly · 08/08/2016 11:04

Also, My son aged 12 now knows he was relinquished as a baby and is totally accepting and cool with it all, the fact that it is the accepted thing to talk about it as as possible really helps as he has grown up with the information and it is his 'normal'

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PlugUgly · 08/08/2016 11:02

As the mum of an adopted child who's birth mother also gave him up voluntarily can I just say on behalf of his future adoptive mum, your selfless actions are commendable, thank you.

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Darthvadersmuuuum · 08/08/2016 10:43

Flowers Thinking about you NM

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Italiangreyhound · 08/08/2016 00:48

Haffdonga has really said what was on my mind.

Kristina is so right, the men will be ok. They have done all along what has suited them.

But they have demanded of you what suits them too. And what they ask would be too hard for many to bear.

Neither of these men, who have loved you, have really considered what it will do to you to give up this baby. Again, it suits them so this is what they are both pushing for.

When you are weighing up various losses if all the people involved remember to weight fairly. You've mentioned hardships to your sons, maybe a small sacrifice here and there. To your partner maybe a small cost, to his rd and their kids really nothing to your ex and wider family, nothing. To you. Maybe the greatest sacrifice a mother ever makes. They are not playing fair with you.

Please do consider what Haffdonga asks.

I too am sorry for the loss of your colleague but please do keep your mind on this issue!

For you, really, in the long run, this current issue of your baby's future is so vital try not to allow the issues of anyone else to creep too far onto your thinking.

Many sad things happen that we cannot control or that have happened and we cannot change. Your affair fits firmly in the second camp, this collleagues death in the first camp, and now the second camp. Your baby's future is in your control and is, so far, undecided. Focus as much as possible on that.

Bless you.

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Kr1stina · 07/08/2016 13:28

NM - I'm sorry to hear about your difficult few days but glad to hear that you and the baby are still well ( I assume ) .

I hope you get some space to focus on what you want NOW. Half donga asks good questions .

Don't worry about any " flack " that your OM or your STBX get on here. I think I can safely say that no one he gives a stuff about either of them and neither should you. They are history.

Yes you may have made bad decisions in the past but you can't turn back the clock now . What's done is done and you need to focus on you and the baby now, and your other children .

Everyone here is concerned about YOU and your unborn baby.

They are big boys and can look after themselves and their own interests . As they have been doing all along .

On a practical note, can I ask who is your birth partner? If it's the baby's father, can I advise that you have someone else as a back up in case he lets you down .

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Haffdonga · 07/08/2016 12:16

Oops Blush ... I'm sorry to hear about your colleague.

I don't think anyone meant to suggest that you are trying to somehow cover up the affair by having your son adopted. Just that it's easier for them to ignore if the child isn't in front of their eyes. (My point was that if you kept him they wouldn't be around to see him anyway, so their feelings are irrelevant).

I agree it's not a bad thing that your dp is being honest that he's not going to stick around (adoption or no adoption). It helps you to make a much more realistic decision and he really doesn't sound like a keeper

It still boils down to these questions:

Would you on your own be able to love and care for this child?
Would you on your own be able to provide a secure home for this child?

And do you on your own want to parent this child ?

But I know you already know that. I wish you strength over the next few weeks. Thanks

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