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Has any adoptive parent taken on a relinquished baby at birth then had to hand them back to birth parents?

20 replies

oinker · 26/03/2010 17:00

What if we are given the chance to have a relinquished baby. The birth parents get a six week cooling off period. They could change their mind. Then what? How have you dealt with it? Has it happened to you? Not sure if I could but I would love a new born. Mind you I would love any child which I could call my own.

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KristinaM · 26/03/2010 19:24

I dont know the law in your country, but i would be surprised if its only 6 weeks. AFAIK a relinquishing birth parent has the right to change their mind any time until you go to court, which woudl be months.Until that point they still have parental rights and its a voluntary placement.

i think you would require to facilitate visits with the birth family during that period, if they wished it

I know a family this happened to - they had to give the baby back with just a few hours notice as the birth mother changed her mind. they were devastated of course

they later adopted other children

StewieGriffinsMom · 26/03/2010 19:28

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FabIsGettingThere · 26/03/2010 19:31

My mother changed her mind the day before my adoption was going to be signed off.

Kewcumber · 26/03/2010 19:38

if you are in teh UK the 6 week rule is just that the brith mother cannot give infomred consent prior to 6 weeks after birth. Consent is only valid after 6 week post birth. But as Kritina says BP's can change their mind at any time though not 100% certian that they would get child back depending on circumstances of relinquishment.

Unusual in Uk to get a baby that young as they are normally fostered at that age but with concurrent planning (foster v young babies with view to adopt) about 15% of babies go back to birth family. Not sure if that statistic is up to date though.

jasper · 26/03/2010 19:51

yes. Friends adopted a boy and a girl. The boy went back to his birth mother (a lawyer!!!) after a year.
They were devestated

oinker · 26/03/2010 22:11

Thanks. This is what I needed to hear. We would be fostering with a view to adopt. As at this stage we would hopefullly be approved adopters. I am glad input this out there. Social workers make it sound straight forward but having read these posts I think it could be complicated. Thanks fir your honesty.

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Silver1 · 26/03/2010 22:29

Concurrency care is becoming more common here in the UK, I thought I had read somewhere a figure much lower than Kewcumber's but I can't find it now. That said, I suspect that a high proportion of returning children are going back to families where a major turn around in lifestyle has occurred, rather than where a long term decision to relinquish has been made.
Two couples on my prep course have adopted relinquished babies, and although they were fostered first 5 months and 7 months, BMs didn't waiver.

The adoption process is an emotional roller coaster.

caramelcream · 27/03/2010 00:06

This happened to us, but it was an odd circumstance, and in the US. We had our daughter for 6 months when the BM took her back, but the BM had still not signed the relinquishment papers (which can be done 48 hours after the birth rather than 6 weeks where we were - thank God! 6 weeks is such a long time to wonder).
If she had signed them, then for the next 6 months until finalization, she could only get the baby back if we were abusive or she could prove she had been blackmailed or bribed into relinquishment.
The adoption laws and proceedure obviously don't apply here, but what I will say is, though losing our daughter was the most devestating thing that has ever happened to me, I would not give up the 6 months we had with her for anything. Even those 6 months changed our lives for good, and our perspective. She did so much good in 6 months and I am so thankful we had that time with her.
Four years after losing her (and a horrific legal battle, etc.), her BM contacted us, sent us photos and we heard how she was and things she would say and do. It was so healing and wonderful to know these things and see photos of her!
I feel like I get a glimpse of how a BM feels who is getting photos and letters about her birthchild from the adoptive parents, and this is very valuable to me.
We now have two amazing adopted children and hope to start our third adoption soon.

CheerfulYank · 27/03/2010 00:19

A friend of mine had this happen to her brother, sort of. They went and met the baby and bathed him. I think they went as far as to take him back to the hotel (the law in our state says that you can't leave th area for I think a week or so) and the mother reclaimed him the next day.

They adopted recently and the mother signed off, they went to court, and the little boy was legally and totally theirs in 10 days. She can't take him back now at all. I think it depends on your area though; we're in the US and laws very by state.

CheerfulYank · 27/03/2010 00:20

vary, excuse me.

caramelcream · 27/03/2010 22:42

Yes, they do vary by state. In our state, the laws are known for being very friendly to the adoptive parents, and people come from all over to adopt there for that reason. However, even there you still have to wait that 48 hours, wondering if the BM will change her mind or not. It is very hard, and to have to wait 6 months wondering if the BM will change her mind is torture.

caramelcream · 27/03/2010 22:43

sorry, six weeks.

maryz · 27/03/2010 23:00

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maryz · 27/03/2010 23:18

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Kewcumber · 28/03/2010 10:20

my experience really not relevant but I'll share anyway because you know I just can't resist

In kazakhstan relinquished children must be on the "register" for 3 months before being legally freed for adoption for domestic adopters, then after being on the domestic register for 3 months they are available for intercountry adoption.

Then after the adoption hearing there is a two week appeal period when anyone linked to the case (birth or adoptive families or prosecutor acting on behalf of the child). Then its final, no going back.

UNtil the end of the appeal period you can visit your child daily (we did twice a day for two hours a time) but cannot take sutody.

Its seems to me to be a good balance of best for the child and fairness to both sets of parents.

Kewcumber · 28/03/2010 10:21

sutody = custody !!!

oinker · 31/03/2010 09:37

Thanks for the messages. I am doing some research on this and have been finding so many mixed messages. Will just have to do what feels right.

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cantcarryon · 31/03/2010 09:50

This happened to my BIL and SIL.

They initially adopted a 3 month old girl who was in temp foster care from birth - teenage mother who was certain did not want baby. She never changed her mind and adoption went through after about a year but she could have changed her mind at any point until adoption finalised.

They later fostered another little girl from birth with a view to adoption. Adoption was in final stages when the birth father decided he wanted her.He was not named by mother at first and never showed any interest in the girl until this point. She was duly handed over to the purported father with a week's notice, and no checks were made to prove he was the father. The little girl was nearly 3 by this time. BIL and SIL were heartbroken - will never get over it.

So just be careful, ask questions about the birth parents circumstances and ask lots of questions about when an adoption can be finalised.

oinker · 03/04/2010 11:11

Thanks for the warning. I am still n ot sure what we will do. I will just melt if they offer me a new born and just grab at it with my both hands. No thought will go into it. My heart will just melt and take over....

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1Littleboy1Bigboy · 18/04/2010 09:31

cantcarryon - that us absolutely terrible. Your poor poor BIL and SIL. I just think of that child wondering who that man is. Have they ever heard how she is?

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