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Prospective adopter - strained relationship with in laws

15 replies

Jia89 · 20/02/2020 19:08

Hi everyone.

We are expecting our initial home visit soon and I'm a little worried about how much detail to go into when asked about our family. My DH has had a bit of a rocky relationship with his father throughout his childhood and adulthood and he is a very difficult character to get on with. I don't really see him much, but DH does keep things amicable. - his parents are both still together and we do have a good relationship with his mum.

Will SW want to speak to/meet/seek references from all 4 prospective grandparents? Will we need to go into details about the strained relationship or can we just say that we aren't close? I don't want it to go against us that our potential child may not see his granddad that often. As an aside, I am super close to my parents.

I wonder how much involvement our extended families will have in the entire process from the SW side of things?

OP posts:
Hotwaterbottlelove · 20/02/2020 20:34

I haven't started the process myself but from what others have advised me, they will want to explore the details of why and how it impacts you etc. Perhaps not all during the official visit but over the course of the process. As I understand it, being frank and totally open about all things good and bad is the only way to do it.

Ted27 · 20/02/2020 20:38

You will need to provide references but you choose who to put forward but you will need to explore your childhood experiences and relationships in your home study.
When I was being assessed I hadnt seen my father for about 20 years, apart from a couple of unavoidable family events. I made it clear that he would not be playing any part in my new family, but that I had a good relationship with my step dad. He then died in the middle of matching and we had to 'reflect' on why I didnt go to the funeral.
You wont be able to avoid the issue but its not a deal breaker either. Your DH will need to show he has dealt with any issues arising from his childhood relationships.
Be honest and you should be Ok, good luck

Jia89 · 21/02/2020 03:10

@Ted27 and @Hotwaterbottlelove thanks so much for your replies.

I know honesty is always the best policy with these things so it’s good to know it shouldn’t be a deal breaker!

As with anything else that isn’t ‘ideal ‘, as long as we can explain how we have overcome any difficulties, I’m hoping we can talk about things in a positive light instead.

Ted, thank you for confirming about those references. I was fully prepared to talk candidly about the situation but was worried they would want to speak to all the grandparents or have them involved in the process more than just us talking about him, so that’s a relief!

I think we will start to think about how we can mention the situation in a diplomatic way and so that we can talk about the positives instead of what we’ve learnt along the way.

OP posts:
Jannt86 · 21/02/2020 08:12

I wouldn't worry. They know that you can't control otjer people and are not expecting you to be the Waltons. They just want to know that you have a support network and can reflect on any negative experiences. We had a situation with my in laws whilst we were in placement with our daughter. I won't go into what exactly happened but in a nutshell through no fault of our own their actions meant that serious concerns had to be raised about our LO and we spent months being terrified she was going to be removed. Needless to say we were (and kindof still are) barely on speaking terms with them. SS totally understood our anger and frustration and there was never any question that being angry at them was unreasonable. You can't choose your family and they know this. As long as you have the right skills and resources that is all they will care about. Good luck xx

user1479136681 · 21/02/2020 13:09

My wife had a strained relationship with her parents when she was younger but has since mended and made up. Her mum did a reference and said she'd do things differently if she could go back in time and do it again and it ended up being a big strength for us, they said it's evidence of my wife's emotional intelligence and ability to put others first etc. They did ask about it at panel but not too extensively. I think you will be fine, no one has the perfect family. Just be honest and think about how you have tackled challenges together as a team and as individuals.

Mynamenotaccepted · 22/02/2020 13:00

Couldn't read this and run, DH had an idyllic childhood me on the other hand was dumped on Paddington Station when I was 5, by a lovely woman who was my mother 🤔I then lived with my dad who married a woman who did not like me. I left home at the first opportunity and did paediatric nursing.
When speaking to SW I was totally honest even to the point of telling them I loathed my vile stepmother.They were fine about it and made some very kind comments.
Just be upfront and honest my experiences made me strong
Good luck x

Italiangreyhound · 23/02/2020 13:12

Jia89 you've had lots of good advice here and hopefully it has put your mind at rest.

It might just be worth thinking about once your child is home what the situation will be with your husband's dad.

For example will you visit them as a family, and will they visit you etc. Will you meet for days out etc. Just for your own peace of mind. If you see your husband's dad as a negative influence on family life you will be able to control how much contact he has with your new child.


Italiangreyhound · 23/02/2020 13:13

Mynamenotaccepted I'm so sorry about your experiences. Thanks

Mynamenotaccepted · 23/02/2020 18:58

Italiangreyhound Thankyou but fortunately it has made me very strong for our AC's (BTW I am 2old2beamum )

Italiangreyhound · 24/02/2020 03:11

Mynamenotaccepted you've brought amazing things out of your sad experiences and that is to be applauded loudly, you are an amazing person. Thanks

newyearsresolution2010 · 24/02/2020 12:01

I think it will depend on the SW you get.
Ours wanted to meet, face to face, mine and my OH's parents (OH's parents live 4 hours away and had to come down for the meeting!). They did telephone references with his siblings (as they were too far away to meet) and even sent a letter to my sister asking her to call them (I hadn't spoken to her in 8 years). My sister didn't respond, which I expected, and they were fine with that, but they had to show they're tried.

We have recently started the process again for a half-sibling to our son, and our 'new' SW has already said things are a problem that weren't 2 years ago!? She's said the width of the spindles in our staircase are too wide, which our original SW didn't have any issues wasn't ever mentioned..... So like I said, it depends who you get. You may get one who is flexible, sees the bigger picture and uses common-sense, but you might get one who does things 'by the book'!

Jia89 · 24/02/2020 12:16

Thanks everyone for your messages and sharing your experiences. I certainly do feel better! DH keeps telling me that everything is fine and that we can't be expected to be the "perfect" family etc etc, but I'm sure you all know you just can't help worrying that every little thing will run against you.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease :)

@newyearsresolution2010 goodness me, that is thorough! Good luck with your upcoming journey.

OP posts:
Fanciedachange1 · 10/03/2020 15:31

I’m a bit worried after reading this :( adoption is something We’re heavily considering for the future.

My parents happily married, all fine on that front. MIL and step FIL absolutely fine.

FIL otoh has a criminal past that obviously would be a negative. However he lives abroad and DH only has occasional contact via telephone.

I would be crushed if his choices in life were to impact ours.

Ted27 · 10/03/2020 15:55

Your DH is not his dad, they have minimal contact and he is abroad. Lots of people have 'interesting' families. As always, be honest and you should be ok

Nabila81 · 23/04/2020 18:40

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