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.
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.
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?
Kr1stina · 29/09/2016 13:13
Another one thinking of you and your baby
confusionoftheillusion · 01/10/2016 04:50
Me too OP.
Hope you are ok
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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!
Kr1stina · 01/10/2016 12:00
That's great news. I agree with poppy, the best thing for baby is always to stay with his biological family if they are able to care for him properly ( this is not a criticism of anyone who has made a different decision for their own personal reasons) .
Yes Jake has a complicated family but so do most kids. And by the time he is old enough to be aware of anything like family politics, the current complexities will be ancient history .
NM I hope you have got decent legal advice and are able to sort out a reasonable divorce settlement with your STBX.
I'm glad to hear that your colleagues and friends have been so supportive . Once everyone knows that Jake is staying , you won't have to worry about baby things because you will be inundated with gifts, I'm sure.
Please don't worry about your partner - he doesn't get to stop you keeping the baby in the same way that you could not have stopped him keeping the baby if you wanted to place him for adoption . It works both ways .
Remember you have a tendency to put other adults feelings first all the time ! You don't have that luxury now, you need to put yourself and baby first . Then you other kids . The other adults around you need to be a lot less selfish.
I hope your partner is able to grow up enough to be a good father to Jake, however things work out between you two .
And finally , many congratulations
NM8448 · 01/10/2016 18:08
I am glad that you had the courage and conviction to do what was right for you. I have had help and support from social services (with no safeguarding concerns for baby or his brothers) and they helped me figure out the best way forward as well as supported me keeping the ex husband in check when it comes to our children and access to them as he started to make contract difficult at times.
The adoption social worker was the best person I have ever dealt with professionally, she could see I was under pressure at times and asked tough questions in order to subtly dig through what was going on underneath all the pressure and decisions so I am very grateful to her.
While both deductions have serious hard consequences for me. Keeping baby is the one that's more right on many levels for him and me.
I just spent 9 months not even allowing myself to think of keeping him that I am now just in a bit of shock and trying to adjust to the new decision and organise my life accordingly. It does not mean it's not the right decision it's just an unexpected one for me.
The men and their involvement (ex and current partner) are a secondary issue: the ex is playing up and his true nature is coming out. He's in denial over his part that led to all of this and takes zero responsibility for his actions that contributed to the current situation. While pregnant I tried to maintain an amicable relationship with him for the kids same now the pregnancy hormones are wearing off the true nature of what he has put me through and I am angry... Really really angry.
Partner wise he's been great but I don't tend to talk about him on here due to the loss of anonymity.
I don't know what the future looks like but I feel finally strong enough to stand up for myself and baby and just tackle things much better as I am fighting for his future as well as the other children's. I'm not good at standing up for myself but I am quite cut throat when it comes to making sure my kids (all of them) are ok and happy.
Rocketfuel · 01/10/2016 19:23
I am so pleased NM that you have been able to make the decision that is right for you and Jake
You are his whole world right now and you sound stronger and like you are feeling a bit more empowered.
Please do get good legal advice and take good care of yourself
confusionoftheillusion · 01/10/2016 19:26
OP I am weeping for you.
You are inspiring, brave and in Your personal situation have done the best for ALL your boys.
I am glad you worked through your options and came to your decisions.
confusionoftheillusion · 01/10/2016 19:27
Yes you are definitely sounding a lot stronger!
Kr1stina · 01/10/2016 19:33
I just spent 9 months not even allowing myself to think of keeping him that I am now just in a bit of shock and trying to adjust to the new decision and organise my life accordingly. It does not mean it's not the right decision it's just an unexpected one for me
I think it's entirely normal that you woudl be in shock . You have spent 9 months deliberately not bonding with your baby , because you thought you woudl be giving him up .
It reminds me of someone I know who had a silent pregnancy . I don't mean it was concealed , she genuinely didn't know she was pg. she and her DH has been TTC for years and had given up hope . Her periods were always irregular and she thought it was the start of the menopause .
She was a tall big woman and didn't look Pg at all . In fact she worked in the ambulance service, so you would think one of her paramedic colleagues woudl have spotted it . But no, she didn't know until she presented at A&E with a abdominal pains to be told she was in labour .
Of course she and her DH were overjoyed, but both very very shocked. It's hard to have no time to psychologically prepare for being a parent , especially when you have given up hope.
So please be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to get used to your new family situation .
I'm so so pleased for you and especially for your baby.
user1471467667 · 01/10/2016 21:06
NM, I'm so pleased to read this. Ive been following you for some time and it always seemed to me that you were contemplating adoption because of other people, not because of what you wanted. I'm so glad you have had the time to consider what is right for you and your baby.
I'm an adoptive mum of a 12 year old who was relinquished at age 4. Different circumstances, birth mum very troubled but with more support dad may have coped. My son has to live with the consequences. I love him with all my heart and am very proud to be mum to such a brave and resiliant child, but deep down I know it would have been best for him to stay with dad.
You are a very brave lady. good luck for the future
Italiangreyhound · 01/10/2016 21:50
Totally agree with halfdonga, Kristina and others. BRILLIANT news. And I feel totally right for you and baby.
And get that stbx sorted. The future is bright, and will be even brighter when you know where you stand 're house, ex and most importantly of all other sons too.
YOU are brave, doing what is best for all despite adversity. As Kristina says, you tend to put others first now YOU must be centre stage in your own life to ensure you can look after all those dependent on you! Bless you.
user1471134011 · 02/10/2016 06:13
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
wildflowermeadows · 02/10/2016 10:49
Congratulations to you NM, I am really happy for you and baby Jake. I kept checking back here hoping you would update to say he was staying with you. Good luck to you and I hope the situation with your ex gets much easier in time.
Mooey89 · 02/10/2016 14:23
Such a lovely, lovely update.
HaveAWeeNap · 02/10/2016 18:44
That's wonderful news.
So pleased for you and baby Jake
ExtraMushroomsPlease · 06/10/2016 20:59
Wow I lurked on this as thread but I just had to say congratulations. What a lovely update, welcome to the world baby Jake
NM8448 · 06/10/2016 22:34
Thank you everyone for all the support, home truths and sharing your experiences. It's been really tough reading here at times but it's helped me even though it wasn't what I wanted to hear.
With each day that passes I feel more confident keeping baby was the right choice for me and it's been a tough journey but it was made somewhat easier thanks to the care and support I received along the way and that's including on here.
So once again thank you.
mamarach26 · 06/10/2016 22:53
I've read through all these comments.
I'm in tears,
Your mummy is a strong woman baby jake
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.