My feed

to access all these features

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


Am I just his babysitter?

8 replies

BPG20 · 04/06/2018 19:51

We are 5 months into placement with DS(18mo) and it is going beautifully. He is very happy and is as settled as can be expected. We have a great attachment and his attachment to DH is also getting stronger by the day. I couldn't have imagined it to go any better.

I am in the process of writing our first letterbox to his birth mother. She is a lovely young lady with very unfortunate circumstances. We met her and I will only have lovely things to tell DS about her, although he will also know why she wasn't able to care for him. I have every confidence that once he is older he will want to find her - he has no reason not to. And when he does she will be welcomed into our family too, which is something I feel strongly about.

But writing this letter, and knowing he will want to find her, has left me with an overwhelming feeling that I am just a glorified babysitter, looming after him until he's all grown up so she can have him back. I know the reality will be different but it's just left me feeling a little bit numb this evening.

OP posts:
Grumplegranskein · 04/06/2018 20:38

Some children are very fortunate to have lots of people in their lives who love them. Aunties, Uncles, GPs, Godparents and friends. When they become adults themselves they often turn to those people for support.

No matter how much those people love them, there are some in their lives, whose love goes much deeper. They care for the child in a way that that is unique. Constantly protectecting, educating, providing the fun of childhood and putting the child’s needs way above their own. Disciplining where necessary, giving them a strong moral sense and giving them the power to be independent when the time comes. Sometimes these people are the birth parents, sometimes the adopting parents. Labels don’t mean anything. You sound like a very loving person, your child, and he really is your child, will be so glad that you chose to be his mum.

I think the fears you have for the future are perfectly natural, but I hope you will find the strength to not let it mar this wonderful time with your son.

donquixotedelamancha · 04/06/2018 21:27

What a superb post from @Grumplegranskein. I lack the eloquence to add to that, so I'll take a different tack: don't be so bloody silly.

You are your son's parents. His only parents. His real parents. Once the AO goes through he will have no connection with his BPs, except sharing some genes. You will make all the decisions, wipe up all the vomit, cuddle away all the the tears, watch his first day at school ...etc. He will have no recollection of any other parents.

Some adoptees choose to contact BPs when they get older. Most adopted at such a young age don't. Either way it does not alter your relationship. While growing up it just never occurred to me to think about my BPs. You (not him) maintain a relationship with his BPs (if you choose to do so) because you want to, so you can answer questions if he wants to ask; but it's one letter a year- it should not be a huge deal.

Sistersofmercy101 · 04/06/2018 21:45

As a now-grown person, who was once in your wee lads shoes, I wanted to add my perspective.
I was aware of my bp's and had letter contact etc growing up, I thought of them fondly and with sympathy BUT my 'actual ' (those that I had a strong child/parent connection with) parents, were the two who soothed my nightmares, listened to my friendship woes , dropped me off at and collected me from school, nursed cut knees and occasionally rescued me from tree's, set my rules and made sure I stuck to them (and censured my transgressions lol) they were there for homework and school reports and all the illnesses and doctor's appointments and even though I'm grown they're still there. I can't put it into words adequately but I wanted to say that in my experience, no you're not anything less than a loving caring parent.
Hope my post made some semblance of sense and that you feel better soon OP. Flowers

anewoneforthis · 04/06/2018 21:48

I agree with much of what grumple has said, and some of what don has said.

A parent's role is a world apart from a baby sitter role. Your job is to parent a child. Their birth mother may be or become an important part of their world, but that doesn't undermine your relationship, nor your role. You are parenting them, you are bringing them up, teaching them how to see the world, how to broach problems, how to succeed at what they want to do, how to love, how to be loved. You are hopefully going to teach about love by loving and being loved by the child. A child can love more than one adult, and love in different ways. And you are in charge here, how you parent will determine whether or not your dc will scarper as soon as they can or whether they will maintain an adult loving relationship with you, and/or with the bio mother!

I think it is important not to underestimate the importance of bio family to many adoptees, and I don't think you have, but it is a different relationship, and does not have to be a threatening one.

Being a parent, any kind of parent, is jolly hard work. And nowt like babysitting. Though we will all lose our babies at some point, as they grow up and have families of their own!

gabsdot · 05/06/2018 13:48

I heard a man on the radio recently. His birth son was adopted against his wishes years ago but they have been able to reunite.
He said they have a good relationship but he said " I'm his father I'm not his dad".
I thought this was a very profound statement.

OVienna · 05/06/2018 14:32

Writing here as an adopted child.

Of course you are not his 'babysitter' - and you know that, deep down - but it's no good just dismissing that feeling.

I don't think it's a given at all that he will want to find her or that if he does it will end up that they having a relationship where they see each other regularly etc.

It's hard to get a real sense of how many adoptees want to find their birth families. I have searched and have known WHO they are for over ten years - I got my adoption records 17 years ago. The agency sent some letters out which didn't go anywhere. I've had a choice to pursue things more aggressively and haven't for various reasons.

For me - I think it was the knowing and the being able to know which was most important though. My adoption was closed. It drove me nuts that other people with no connection to me knew more than I did about my circumstances. It is very different satisfying that need than actually taking things forward to reunion.

I have known other adoptees who have searched and met birth relatives from closed options and other who have not. US Facebook sites make it seem like EVERY adult ALWAYS searches but this really distorted. It might be too early to say how often letterbox contact adoptees end up in face to face reunion.

Throughout my life I have heard both: "I can't see how you could EVER do that to your (adoptive) parents." and "I would NEED to search. I can't understand why you wouldn't." The key will be supporting your DCs choice in a neutral way.

I am so very sympathetic to you - I can understand it would be hard to draft that letterbox contact when you are feeling anxious. I am not sure how my parents would have coped with having to agree to something like that, especially my mum.

The birth mum's life is going to move on too - I think it's really key to remember that. Her life's not frozen in time. She may be keen on letterbox contact and then not. She may have all sorts of reasons for backing away and when the time comes not be at all or very interested. It's a two way street, it's not just your DC and this woman waiting, indefinitely, with open arms to take him back.

Your the one building memories and a life with him. Flowers

Ted27 · 05/06/2018 18:23

Firstly, congratulations on your son
Secondly, don't try and second guess what he may or may not want to do in 17 years time
Thirdly, you don't have to welcome her into your family.

You really can have no idea how your son will feel about her and what he will want to do about it. My son is 14, he would very much like to meet his birth mum, there are things he wants to tell her, he wants her to know what he has achieved and how well he is doing. He has also told me quite emphatically that I am his mum now and this is where he wants to be, not with her. Your son may well want to see her, curiosity is natural, but however lovely she is, she will be a stranger to him. You are the one that's going to be there, the Christmases, the tooth fairy, first steps, learning to swim, riding a bike, first day at school, the birthdays. He will be part and parcel of your family not hers. He will have no memory of her, his memories will be about you. That would be reason alone for him not wanting to find her or pursue an ongoing relationship with her.
I'm not suggesting that if he does want to find her that you are not supportive, that you are not kind towards her, or show considerstion or understanding. But welcoming her into your family is a whole different matter. In the next 17 years her life will change, she may have other children. I think its for your son to decide what the relationship will be. He may be happy with a one off meeting, he may want more. But don't presume for him.

Don't forget that she will not be ' getting him back'. She has parted with a baby, it will be a young man that she meets in the future.
Don't blight your life by worrying about what may or may not happen in17 years time. Enjoy your baby and the life you are going to build as a family. Cross the bridges when you come to them.

SingleDad124 · 07/06/2018 10:40

I was adopted and I am really happy for the experience, you are definitely not just a babysitter and you shouldn't feel that way. Smile

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.