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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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Humsta · 24/05/2016 22:44

If only you could forget about the past, ignore tomorrow and just live this pregnancy one day at a time - you might just come out the other side.

Keep posting to get all the support you can from here - it's a start! Flowers

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NM8448 · 24/05/2016 22:50

Italian,
I wouldn't want a way to force them and I wouldn't want any contact with baby as want them to bond with baby and him with them, adopted or not I want him to feel like they are his parents not us..

It would just be a polite request if they could just send us a pic of baby and an update on his wellbeing once a year that's it. I wondered as adoptive parents how they may feel about that request.


I wouldn't want to write back unless they asked me to, anything I have to say to baby I could write and keep myself until a time which he may choose to make contact as an adult but I also understand that he may choose to never make contact (that would really hurt but it's part of the reality of this situation).

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Italiangreyhound · 24/05/2016 22:51

NM8448 sorry I did not see your post about your family history when I posted about letterbox letters.

Can I just say that is a lot of information out there for anyone to read. I am sure no one would think it unusual if you asked for that post to be deleted and you know you can pm (private message) anyone on this thread who is reading and responding if you did feel you had shared too much.

But thank you for sharing this very complicated story.

Can I ask if you have had counselling for all this, not marriage or adoption counselling but specific counselling about this?

It seems you have been treated incredibly shittily by your mum and dad, and by your husband. Knowing all this only makes me want to say again, what is right for you, that is IMHO the most important thing.

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NM8448 · 24/05/2016 22:57

Hum,

You are absolutely right, I am worried about my partners feelings more than mine but that's because I can't do this on my own emotionally and he isn't emotionally available to support me with the baby.

I have secretly hoped for months his situation would stabilise enough to get us through but it just hasn't happened and is very unlikely to happen.

If one of us was stable and sorted emotionally we could pull this off but both being like this makes it impossible to cope with the practical things we need to overcome to make this work.

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Cleo1303 · 24/05/2016 23:00

I completely understand that you don't want your baby to go through what you went through, although I'm sure he wouldn't if he stayed with you. You would make sure of that.

You are terrified of changing your mind as you say. You have some weeks to think about it. Just do what is right for you. I do think though that somehow you should get some specialist counselling about your whole life and experiences before you make a final decision.

Hugs.

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Italiangreyhound · 24/05/2016 23:06

NM8448 I am sure you would not want the family to be obliged to do anything all I meant was that whatever adoptive parents say before they adopt they cannot be held to that, in reality.

Having said that our son's birth family have not responded to recent letters and we will continue to send them because we feel it is best for ds.

The idea about the birth parents writing to us is not that the letters will be seen by our son but that we can help him by dropping things into conversation, e.g. you like camping so did your birth mum etc.

I think anything you can pass on to your son about himself, his wider family etc, the better

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Italiangreyhound · 24/05/2016 23:07

I mean The idea about the birth parents writing to us is not that the letters will be seen by our son while he is a child.... he will get them when he is older.

One of the reasons that adoptive families do not share letters early is that they may cease at some point.

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NM8448 · 24/05/2016 23:10

Italian,
I have had counselling and sorted through all of that years ago.

This pregnancy has opened up those wounds but I'm ok, it just makes me be extra protective of this baby more than anything else.

Currently I see two different counsellors..
One from the local crisis pregnancy service that helps me weekly to cope with the feelings and anxieties I have about that and they will offer support after the adoption.

The second counsellor is a private one I went to originally years ago to sort through the childhood stuff, she then saw me and my ex as a couple to work through his affairs and now she sees us as a family therapist to help us with parenting issues now we are separated and to navigate the children's feelings regarding the separation and adoption.

As much as all the childhood stuff has been horrible, I worked though it, I'm not depressed, I logic things out ok and cope perfectly fine day to day. Life has been good to me otherwise.

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Italiangreyhound · 24/05/2016 23:18

I'm glad you worked through things and sorry this pregnancy has made things so tough.

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GingerAndTheBiscuits · 24/05/2016 23:38

Have you considered discussing with your social worker what support might be available in your situation if you did decide to keep your son?

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ClassicCoast · 25/05/2016 07:19

Hope you are going on ok today. I keep thinking about you and am worried that you started off so fixed on adoption that you are not exploring the full impact of all this. A lot of American birth mothers start off sounding just like you and many go on to awful regrets. You may not of course but you sound like you are solving a problem and not making space for you.

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Italiangreyhound · 26/05/2016 18:19

NM8448 how are you doing? Just wishing you well. Thanks

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NM8448 · 26/05/2016 19:39

Hey IG,
I'm doing ok.. It's been a rough couple of days, thinking about the baby stuff, waiting for the opportunity to prioritise it as a talk about baby things with my current partner but has been overwhelmed by other issues...so left a bit alone to process all the info I got on here.

I have therefore shut down emotionally in order to cope with it all which is something I tend to do when things get overwhelming

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Cleo1303 · 26/05/2016 20:27

I completely understand that. It is a complicated and very difficult situation. Take care of yourself.

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Italiangreyhound · 28/05/2016 10:47

It's totally understandable. Please look after your mental health. We are here if you want to talk. I sometimes forget to check. You can always pm me. I am away for next 5 days with limited internet so if I don't reply it is not because I have lost interest, it is because I can't check. Is it half ter. Where you are? That may be a full on time.

Look after you.

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Italiangreyhound · 28/05/2016 10:47

Half term

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Cleo1303 · 28/05/2016 11:10

I'll be away too with no internet, but will still be thinking of you.

Take care of yourself.

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NM8448 · 28/05/2016 17:23

Thanks ladies, yes it's half term here but I have gone into busy mode anyway.. Went into work today even though I wasn't due in to help out with a couple of bits and just trying to be as busy as possible to try and not think about anything.

I have stuff planned with the kids on my days off now until wed when I'm back at work so not giving myself a chance to stay still for long.

Hope you both have a good weekend away and thanks again for the thoughts

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Humsta · 28/05/2016 19:48

Thinking of you too

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NM8448 · 28/05/2016 21:25

Thank you too Humsta

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Italiangreyhound · 29/05/2016 01:09

Hope half term goes well.

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marmalade999 · 29/05/2016 07:48

I've just come across this and just wanted to say NM i really feel for you.
I am an adopter (very recently) and we are writing to birth mum with pictures. She is due to reply (we had the choice of recieving a picture of her too).
I have helped people whose children have been removed/relinquished and it really does depend on the authority/sw on the information that is shared. One of the ladies I worked with comes to see me every year proudly showing off the pictures she has been sent from Adoptive parents.
I collected a baby from hospital a couple of months ago that was relinquished. Parents had time with baby in the 1st few hours of her life and then I took her to foster placement. It was heartbreaking for everyone. They were devastated but they stuck with their decision.

I don't really have any words of wisdom or advice I just really feel for you.

Flowers

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BoxofSnails · 30/05/2016 07:52

Hi NM
I have just read all you have written and the wise words you've received.
I surrendered my daughter to adoption (but would have been forced) during active addiction, because I knew it would be better for her to be raised by better parents than me. I too am a health care professional, in recovery, and most who met me now would be horrified at my past. All that aside I just wanted to put a few things out there.
As part of the work I did with Social Services they wanted me to say, very early on, before adoption was even mentioned, that someone else would be better to raise my daughter. I thoroughly believed that then and despite only being 30-something and married now I remain convinced I would believe it again and could not have a other child. Someone else would be a better mother to him or her. It's not the aftermath I could see - tbh I probably hoped I would die fromy addiction - but I can't imagine how those sorts of thoughts and feelings could affect your relationships with your older sons.
In terms of reading, there is an American book called 'Birthmothers' probably more relevant to your situation that it is to mine. If they don't print it any more then PM me - I'll send you mine. I also think you should read 'the Primal Wound' which is more easily available - just because it sounds like you need to face all this head on, as you have been doing. The latter is pretty well respected by adoption SWs but if they only appear at 36+ weeks it might make a tough reading list and too little time.
Am thinking of you - all of you. You are a brave and dignified lady and mother.

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BoxofSnails · 30/05/2016 07:55

And letterbox - DD and I were very securely attached, SWs recommended I could continue to see her but the court ruled against that in view of the attachment issues that you have already raised yourself. I write to her twice a year (reading Italian's post I'm now full of turmoil that maybe they don't give them to her???) and her adopters write once, but despite years of fighting, no photos.

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bostonkremekrazy · 30/05/2016 18:10

boxofsnails - i'm an adopter who very definitely reads letterbox letters and we treasure special photos and keepsakes etc....
if we could we would send photos but sadly not appropriate in our situation.
we try to send handprints so BM can see how much the children have grown :) i have real compassion for her.

i know many adopters and lots of us feel the same way (usually where are children were not hurt but rather removed or given up because of difficult circumstances) by the grace of god go I!

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