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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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Haffdonga · 07/08/2016 11:57

Hi NM You're in my thoughts a lot. I'm so

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Italiangreyhound · 07/08/2016 00:04

NM hope all is ok.

I don't think any of us think you are giving up baby to 'cover' affair. I think everyone else wants baby gone because of affair. No one at all (not even your partner or ex husband) seems remotely aware og or concerned about how this will affect YOU.

No one seems to have even given a tiny glimmer of interest in how this will effect YOU or BABY. At all. ONLY how it will or will not affect them!

That alone should push you to seek more wise counsel totally removed fro. your own toxic environment.

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NM8448 · 06/08/2016 23:55

Baby thought etc have been on hold for a couple of days...work and a death of a colleague has been an unfortunate distraction.

I will be answering as soon as I can get the space to think about what you all said...

But I do want to clarify a couple of things that have come up quickly....

Im in no way giving up baby because I want to hide or sweep the affair under the carpet so to speak! The affair is out and has been for some time, there is no one who does not know about it now... Baby or no baby...

Giving up baby will never erase or make the affair any better than what it was... An affair...I'm fully aware and understanding of that...

My partner has cheated and lied on and to his wife.... But I'm not innocent in this! I got with a married man!!! It's not fair that he takes all the flack for that....

Giving up baby won't make up for any of that.. His marriage is over and his ex is hurt... Baby or no baby again that will never change... People will also judge us regardless of what we do
Can you really see anyone saying "oh well you two had and affair and ruined marriages but you have given up your baby so it's all forgiven!" I really don't see that happening!

I can't really dislike or be upset with my partner for being honest and saying he can't cope with bringing up baby... How many men do you all know that make so many promises to their pregnant partners then run away and leave the kid without a father?? Atleast he's being honest from the start..

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Italiangreyhound · 06/08/2016 23:15

Marley and Jellyfish excellent posts.
Op we are here for you.

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jellyfishschool · 06/08/2016 10:00

OP if you wanted to keep the baby you would almost certainly find inner strength once the baby is born. Although it will be a huge challenge initially, you are likely to meet new people and gain the support you need. In relation to short vs long term I agree with Haff and MephistoMarley. It is not surprising that there is the toxicity around you at the moment because people are still shocked and hurt, but it is quite possible that things will mellow with all concerned. Your 15 year old may well have change of heart as he goes into his late teens.

As an adopted person, I agree with what Kristina and Classiccoast and MephistoMarley have said about adoption.

If you decided that adoption really was the only way for you, then in fact ongoing face to face contact with you and your children is almost certainly going to be the best thing for your child, and the other children, and you, and if I were the adopter I would really be very committed to that. The reasons are explained better in the recent thread direct vs indirect contact and the links although you may be too close to your due date to be reading much at the moment, it is something you can think about later.

In relation to your partner, I am sure you are aware that the fact that he was fundamentally dishonest with his wife (ie she did not know he was sleeping with you) was not a reflection of their relationship but of his attitude towards emotional honesty. It is likely he'd be like that with you too. I am sorry if this makes everything harder - I would draw strength from the fact that you have had so much support on here.

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MephistoMarley · 06/08/2016 08:57

I've just read most of this thread and I see its approaching the due date.
My observations are that NM you are in a massive mess just now and making the decision based on the circumstances around you at the moment. As you rightly say in 2-3 years all this will probably be a bad memory and you will be happily raising your 5 children.
The baby will probably be fine if he is adopted. He will have a chance to build a secure attachment to his new parents and he will probably have a nice life. But. In the absence of abuse or neglect, babies/children do better with their birth families. Growing up knowing you were given up by your birth mother is something that people don't tend to get over. (I know there are examples of people who do, I'm talking about the vast evidence relating to the vast majority)
You are really not doing the best thing for your baby by giving him up. It might be the best thing for your ex and your boyfriend, his ex, the adoptive parents, maybe even you. But for your baby the best thing is to stay with you. I'm sorry if that's a harsh thing to say but it's simply true.
Your boyfriend sounds like a waste of time tbh. He could support you to raise this baby and get court ordered contact with his other children. He's being a coward. I'm surprised you can't see that.

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Italiangreyhound · 04/08/2016 09:40

NM it's a new day, how are you doing?

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Italiangreyhound · 04/08/2016 09:30

Sorry there is a start a new thread BUTTON at the bottom of the page.

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Italiangreyhound · 04/08/2016 09:28

Menchis you should start your own thread and ask your question. I am sure people will be happy to discuss this with you. This thread is about a very sensitive and personal topic and it would not be appropriate to derail it with answers to a totally different question.

There I'd a start a new thread at the bottom of the page. If you choose to do this you can report your question above so it is deleted.

We will be happy to answer you on your own thread.

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menchos · 04/08/2016 08:18

Hi, I'm not sure where I should write it but. Is it possible to adopt a child for a single 41 yo woman? I'm considering this option as well as ivf. Thanks.

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Kr1stina · 03/08/2016 22:50

You say your friends are great . Can you ask them for some practical support for after the baby is born ?

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Italiangreyhound · 03/08/2016 22:32

The long term is a very good view to consider. Good advice.

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confusionoftheillusion · 03/08/2016 22:22

haff - you wrote exactly what I was thinking.

OP - have you confided in your friends as to how you feel? You said in one of your early posts that your work had been trying to help you find solutions. I am sure if you opened up to people about wanting to keep your baby doors would open for you and you would find yourself with a bit more support. Financially the baby's dad would have to support him and you never know what might happen in time as relations with exs thaw.

I feel bad as don't want to push you but you do have options. Where in the country are you? I'd help you if you were near me!

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Vixxfacee · 03/08/2016 21:53

This was really sado to read.
Can I gently sayou that it feels like you are trying to repair the damage caused by the affair by removing the 'evidence '. Crass way to say it but I don't know how else to say it. I think your partner more than you.

The damage from the affair will still be there whether you keep the baby or not. Giving the baby up is not going to solve this it is going to cause more hurt. For you.

Your partner sounds selfish. He's a liar and a cheat. What does he mean he can't raise another baby. His daughters aren't more important than your son. If he wanted you to keep the baby would you keep him?

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NM8448 · 03/08/2016 20:50

Haff,

You genuinely hit on my most strong doubt about this decision... Am I making a long term decision based on short term circumstances?

That's what I have been asking myself often.

2/3/5 years from now all will be ok if I keep him and that's absolutely right. I would have had the time to sort the practicalities that are a major stumbling block. I would have a more secure and established relationship with my partner or I would be on my own and therefore not have to take his home animocity situation into account..

By the time baby has a memory of life and events things would have settled down and he wouldn't have to remember the turbulent time after his birth while I'm sorting out the fall out of keeping him.

If I had been divorced even a year when this happened the decision would be much different.. But I'm not and this is the position I am in now.

The reality is that I am alone, fiends are great but family support wise I am absolutely alone and therefore don't feel I have any real support to overcome the short term fall out of keeping baby...

I really don't know how to emotionally find the strength, energy and drive to get through the initial fall out and the short term chaos of keeping baby. I am exhausted physically and emotionally.

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NM8448 · 03/08/2016 20:37

Kristina,
I want baby to bond with his adoptive parents. I want them to feel he is theirs without having to deal with me and my emotions about things.
I would absolutely love to have contact, pictures and letters but would nerver want to burden the adoptive family with that commitment.. I want them to feel he is totally theirs.

I will be writing baby letters and getting him birthday cards and thinking of him on his every special occasion but I am still undecided weather to have these as letterbox contact or to keep them in a box with me until a day if he decided to get in contact he can have the box with its contents.

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Haffdonga · 03/08/2016 20:19

NM If you find it difficult to make this decision without thinking about other people, perhaps you could think in terms of the short and long term effects on those others involved.

Short term, the baby's very existence no doubt causes enormous anguish to your ex, his family, your dp, his ex etc. But removing the baby from the family home doesn't negate his existence and he will still be real. Having him adopted won't remove the anguish that has already happened, will it? It will punish you though, which they maybe feel should happen.

Long term (if you kept the baby), you will be divorced from your ex and living in separate homes, leading separate lives. So what if you have five more babies? That will have absolutely nothing to do with him. His negative opinion will have no effect on either you or your new ds because they wont be involved. Nor will you be affected by the negativity of your ex's family. (So, they've moved to disinherit your baby ds. So what? He's not their grandchild so you wouldn't expect them to include him in the family trust fund, I guess).

As for your dp, well from what you've told us about him so far, he doesn't sound like a committed or loyal long term partner. Is he really likely to be in your life in five year's time? He's already told you he wont stay if you keep the baby. But I would imagine if the adoption goes ahead, that the bitterness, guilt and resentment caused by being pushed into adoption that you will both feel will make building a successful relationship with him almost impossible over the next few months and years.

And that leaves your dp's ex and his dds. They will not be in your lives. They just wont. She's already made that clear. So why be concerned at all about the effect on them? They wont be any more or less affected by your decision. Adoption or not, the 'damage' is already done to their marriage.

So that leaves you and your dss (who sound lovely Smile ). The only real question you need to answer is could you love and look after this baby boy yourself as a single parent? Would you and your boys be able to give him a happy childhood?

Somehow, from what you've said, it feels like you could.

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Kr1stina · 03/08/2016 20:07

NM - have you thought about asking for your son to be placed with adopters would allow face to face contact occasionally ? Is this something you would like ?

Or you could exchange letters and perhaps photographs ?

Given that you are relinquishing him, it's quite reasonable of you to ask for this . If your agency don't have any waiting adopters who's woudl allow this, there are plenty others elsewhere who would.

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NM8448 · 03/08/2016 18:59

As far as all the other posts...

OnNo... I'm sure if you wanted to contact M directly he would be honest with you about what's going on.. He does not hide from anyone who wants to get his side of the story and has been happy to talk to people he knows even if they are friends with his ex more than him when they have approached him directly.

other posts..

I'm really struggling with the concept of doing just what's right for me... My decisions and actions all have consequences on the people around me and their lives, from my kids, the exes, my partner and his kids, extended family etc... To the future and emotional well being of this little boy I'm carrying.

Yes I admit I am under immense pressure from many sides and circumstances to give baby up for adoption and yes he would be loved and looked after well by me if I kept him... I raised 4 beautiful and loving boys already ... But this does not change the fact that I am in the position I am in now...

How do I stop the pressure? How do I stop the fact that my decisions will inadvertently effect the lives of all the people around me? I don't understand how you expect me to just think of myself and ignore all of that.

This decision has not been taken lightly and my main concern is baby's future and the fact that I want what's best for him up and above everyone else...including myself.

Will I regret my decision one day? Absolutely! But that does not mean it wasn't the right one.

Will I be devastated by his loss and grieve for the rest of my life.. Again I'm certain that will happen too but if he has a good loving and caring upbringing then it's worth my grief. His ultimate happiness is worth me going through this.

Am I torn up about the fact that he may well choose never to see me or make contact again? Yes, that point really hurts but again it would mean that his life was good and that he's got all the love and care he needs from his adoptive family.

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NM8448 · 03/08/2016 18:40

Hey Lottie,

The boys are doing well, first they got assessed by the normal social services team who spoke to them individually privately and concluded the boys were in a healthy and well adjusted state.. The boys were open and confident when they spoke to that team. They contacted their schools and they received a brilliant report on their behaviour, sppearance, attendance and characters. They really are amazing little men and everyone loves them.

Then as I keep strongly staring because there are NO safeguarding issues..so the next step was to be passed to the child in need team who also assessed the boys and found that there is no further action but want to keep file open in case the kids need any support after the adoption.

My kids don't hold back (wonder where they get that from?) they have no issue with expressing how they are feeling and we have open talks about the adoption with them.

We also seek privately sourced advice from the family therapist regarding how to handle the adoption with them.

The eldest is 15 and is completely disinterested in anything to do with the adoption... He's too busy being a hormonal 15 year old and dealing with puberty is his main priority.

The 12 year old is my heart baby and he is not really emotionally open as he has some generic issues that means he can't quite connect with things emotionally. He is a happy, loving and very kind young man who despite his delays in many ways (growth, learning difficulty and emotional connection issues) is doing great at school and is very popular with the other kids and teachers.

The 10 and 8 year olds are the most curious about the baby and they are the ones who express interest the most... They haven't had the experience their older brothers have had of having a baby in the house.. And the therapist said this is the main reason for their curiosity so not to encourage or discourage it.

They talk about baby whenever they want and they know baby is not going to live with us and that they won't have contact with him after he's adopted. The little one expresses sadness about that often and he's really the most vulnerable out of all of them in this situation

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LottieL · 03/08/2016 18:05

I wonder how the brothers are coping with the soon to be loss of a sibling, if they are aware of everything that's going on?

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Kr1stina · 03/08/2016 18:03

Indeed , it's a very complicated story and I'm sure I've missed out a great deal . But the essence is the same .

But anyway the Op has decided on her plan. I'm sure that his adoptive parents will help him deal with his past in a sensitive and age appropriate way.

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purplemoonlight · 03/08/2016 17:44

Well yes, if the facts are presented to him as such, but you've omitted huge chunks of relevant information.

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Kr1stina · 03/08/2016 17:09

Before the end of the last century, there was a great stigma to having a child outside marriage . There was little social or financial support for lone parents . Babies were often given up for adoption . People adopted in these times generally understand that things were different then .

This child will have to come to terms with the fact that he was given up for a whole set of complicated reason outlines in this thread , which seem to boil down to the fact that his mother and father both want to keep their exs happy and that means not keeping him .

And that no one in his extended family wanted him either .

That seems quite a thing for a child to deal with . It's not the same as kids ( like me ) who were relinquished decades ago . Yes of course I can't KNOW that this will be a problem for him . But I'm guessing it will , based on the many adoptees I've known and the many books I've read and talks I've listened to .

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purplemoonlight · 03/08/2016 10:13

Yes, my experiences are in the U.K. :)

I recognise the majority of children are removed via a care order. That doesn't mean that every child who stays with their birth family is better off than they would have been if they had been adopted.

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