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Specific Research Figures on Birth Children / FTA / Age Related

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Hi Guys, me again.


further to my post yesterday, i've been looking at more research and thinking more.


I'm not trying to get any mathematical guarantees here, but just want to make sure the numbers and facts I do use to consider my families future are relevant to my situation and the routes we are considering.


I'm reading the Beyond Adoption report on disruption and as detailed as it is, it doesn't cover much about birth children as the main focus for that report is obviously disruption across the board.


Is there any more detailed research people know about on the effects / happiness of birth children, that also considers / compares age at time of adoption for Birth child and adopted child?


Or really any other research / papers / surveys that breaks down the success of adoption based within that younger age group of under 4?


Cheers in advance


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11 users have supported this.

Not that I know of but mine were all under a year old at placement. Child no one was 3 when child no two was placed. When child number three was placed, my elder two were just 5 and 2. They're now 15, 12 and 11 - and the family is intact.


Honestly? I'm not sure any facts and figures are going to give you the comfort you're seeking. You could choose the perfect, healthy, no issues on paper child but the reality with a young child/baby is that it's meaningless.


You have to think about where these children come from. Families with more often than not quite a history. There are very good reasons for them to be taken into care and all the research in the world won't mean anything if it's your child who ends up with a diagnosis or issues that you might or might not struggle with.


If you're looking for more certainty then you might be better looking for a child with a known disability as support may be easier to find or you wait until your child is older, better able to cope with what life throws at you and in which case you could think about taking an older child whose needs are documented.


I understand your need to protect your birth child but in reality it really is a lottery. I have one child who is pretty straightforward and two who aren't. The one who's straightforward and one of the more complex ones are siblings. So, as I say, even a shared history doesn't necesssarily mean anything!!


But despite all of this, we lead a pretty regular life. Mine can cope with nice things, holidays, birthdays, Christmas etc. It hasn't always been the case but it's where we are now. Yes, we have one in special ed and another who, hopefully, will end up there but so what?


This is our normal. Might not be someone else's, but it's ours and, actually, we're in a pretty good place.


Adoption isn't for everyone. It's not how I imagined my parenting experience would be and it's quite different to parenting a birth child.


I know people with both birth and adopted children and it's not always easy. It's a big ask for your birth child!


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18 users have supported this.

I wish I could point you to some relevant research, but I don't know of any. Research into adoption is pretty limited, research into adoption disruption is even more limited, and research into the affect of adoption on birth children is such a niche field that I don't think it exists! You are left with anecdotal evidence, and that's a mixed bag.


I have two birth children, who were aged 9 and 6 when we adopted Twirl, a 'healthy baby, meeting all milestones, with no known issues' aged 15 months. When we adopted again, Galaxy, a 'healthy meeting all milestones toddler' of 2 1/2, our BC were 17 and 14, Twirl was 9.


Twirl has attachment difficulties, ADHD and is in the process of being assessed for ARND, which is part of the Foetal Alcohol Spectrum. We didn't get any diagnoses until she was 11. She coped well in infant school, and while always demanding at home, things didn't really unravel for her until she was going through the later years of primary school - from the age of 8 or so. Galaxy doesn't appear to have Twirl's issues, but it's still early days, she's only 6. She definitely has some attachment quirks, but her behaviours display as anxious rather than angry, and her executive function is better than her older sister's already. If Galaxy were my only child I would probably not be on these boards, I would be unworried somewhere, enjoying her. She's delightful! Like others have said, taking on a young child is a leap into the dark.


Here are some thoughts about impact on BC, for what it's worth:

1. Age gap is important. Minstrel, our youngest BS has struggled the most. Losing his role as baby, definitely losing out on attention. Struggling to cope with the embarrassment of having a sister with issues. I hate to think what this would have been like if the age gap were even smaller than five years. It was hard enough as it was. It is still hard. But because he's older, always at a different stage of life & experience, it has been possible to carve out times which have been just for him, or all about him, without Twirl feeling too rejected. We have had to work hard to keep our relationship with him on an even keel, including taking him to a psychologist earlier this year, when things were particularly bad at home. I think he has experienced some secondary trauma. But I also think he has all the tools to deal with it well in the long run. What kind of age gap are you considering? The bigger the better, in my opinion.


2. Personality is even more important. Our oldest BS, Mars, is one of those people for whom everything just runs off his back, no worries, incredibly resilient, very caring, he has been an amazing big brother. Adoption has enriched his life experience, and he would argue with us if we claimed he had suffered ill effects. Is this because for him the age gap was 8 years, or because he never lost his place as the oldest, or because his personality is as it is? I suspect the personality is the biggest influencing factor. Minstrel however is the polar opposite of his brother, less resilience, more negative personality, less tolerance. As time goes by he struggles more and more with the impact of living with his adopted sisters, and also with seeing the impact they have on us. Even with Galaxy's minor issues - and a 12 year age gap - he can get annoyed. What is your BC personality like? How do they cope with change / difficulty / stress? It will matter.


I hope that is helpful


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2Be the first user to support this

Thanks both. My daughter is just three, she's, and I'm not a deluded father, very intelligent, perceptive and affectionate. To be honest I'm having a bit of a wobble, because we both have been very confident that we are able to with issues that arise, but reading on here about secondary trauma to other children is very concerning. I can accept the gamble that this could be a very vey tough ride for me and my wife, but not comfortable with gambling with daughters happiness. It seems selfish. Then the pragmatic side is telling me this is a forum, and the main reason I've gone to forums in the past has been about my rescue dogs when I first had them and had some issues, when I got the issues sorted I stopped going on them. Do you think the same is true on here, people come here with issues for advice so by the vey nature of that you get view that is weighed th the negative aspects? Hope that doesn't sound rude, insensitive or naive.


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11 users have supported this.

I rarely post about my own children here now - not because all their issues have gone away but because I have other places to find support. I know a lot of adopters both personally and cyberly. No-one from the one fb page I use posts here. Very few from the other fb page post here. Their issues haven't gone away - but they've gone elsewhere.


If I were in your place, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't do it. Not with such a young child. I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear but really I'd wait until your child is quite a lot older.


Sorry


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Thanks donatella


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After going through a terrible crisis that led to us placing our adopted daughter back into care age 16( she came to us at 6) if I had to choose whether I'd do the same again with birth children I'd say a definite no.


Whilst I am to terms with the rejection, lying, stealing, manipulation against me the regret and pain that my birth children were not protected from that is immense and I can't imagine it fading. It is now 4 years since she went into care. Daughter had no diagnosis when she came to us and never got one. The types of lying we were experiencing are the sort that make your blood run cold because if she were believed I could imagine SS would have tried to take all our kids into care.


We did see improvements at times where her relationship with us and her siblings seemed to improve. However I think there was a part of her that really didn't want them to be around and I think in some ways they were more perceptive than me about the damage she caused within her interpersonal relationships. As I'm typing this I'm aware that it's coming across as if I'm scapegoating daughter. I really don't mean to do that. If SS had been much more honest with us, if she had had some appropriate therapy before placement, if SS had poured money into the situation and cared even one jot about all the family members maybe we would not have come to this.


I have an incredibly strong suspicion that if we had known all SS knew about our daughter, her background and family history we would not have put ourselves in the way of what was essentially a ticking time bomb . From daughters side I think " forever family" was not the loving,healing, accepting, nurturing concept that we tried so hard to be for her. Because of her experience before us she couldn't receive love, her rational processes were so skewed. At times she really opened up and although I might sound hard here I had so much empathy for her, made so many allowances, put on my positivity, eye contact with her, hugs, one to one time. I gave it my all.


I'm left with the regret that in giving my all to her my birth kids were missing out and took more of a backseat. And giving my all to daughter hasn't healed her. At best it contained her and stopped her spiralling out of control earlier. I've had a lot of time for reflection now. I still love her. I want the best for her. Maybe the best would have been some sort of high quality, therapeutic children's home ( if they even exist) where she could have been treated in line with her emotional age which I believe was far lower than her chronological age. Hopefully in that setting there would be more protection for those caring for her than we experienced as a family.


It's very telling that after her lies had nearly torn us apart SS had the nerve to ask me to initiate contact so daughter knew she had a family who loved her. They had blamed us as parents when she spiralled out of control. They disregarded our views whilst taking everything daughter said as gospel. When she started spiralling out of control for them they turned to us for help without any reference to the trauma she had inflicted on us. We were just there to make their job easier.


Whilst I can understand the abuse we experienced from daughter, the appalling treatment adopters can experience from SS really does take the biscuit.


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9 users have supported this.

Sorry meant to say if I adopted with birth children I'd wait till the birth children had left home


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5 users have supported this.

We have 2 adopted children. The younger one is a joy. Straightforward and doing well. The older child (placed at under 2) is very complex. On an improving trajectory but everything has to revolve around him. His behaviour (violence, opposition, control, lying, stealing, vandalism) and the relentlessness of it has driven us close to disruption. But things are now improving. We have had to pour huge amounts into turning the situation around. DH has gone part time, I now work only 1 day a week in term time (having had an exciting and successful career) and we have had to identify (and for the first year pay for) the right therapy (social services and CAHMS were suggesting a treatment plan that would have made things worse.


So. I would really struggle to recommend adoption. Particularly to someone with a birth child. Having said that, if we do manage to turn things around for our son, that will be an amazing thing.


But you are right. Adopters with straight forward adoptions don't tend to post here. (According to the report you refer to on adoption disruption, that's 30% of adopters.)


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8 users have supported this.

Thanks guys you sound like amazing parents.


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I think you have a point about this people only posing on this site when things are tough. Without rehashing old history, this forum was a very different place and it did feel like more of a community and people stayed around, there used to be a lot of fun/general life type boards ( maybe they are still there in the members area?) so you might post about a problem with your child and they go off to the cooking/gardening/jokes etc etc boards. Like Donatella I am a member of other forums where its not all about adoption, although that's what brings us together.


I'm a single adopter with one son, no birth children so can't offer any advice there. There are adopters like nancy who have had a very bad time and not been supported as they should have been. But many of us do bumble along, with lots of ups and downs. My son is 12, he has ASD, a learning difficulty, probably sensory processing disorder. His behaviour can be very challenging. We are having life story work and family therapy. Sometimes its hard, very hard, I have little social life, put on a lot of weight, my career is down the pan. The house is a tip. I'm very tired and somewhat stressed at the moment,


But


I do work part time. I'm in the civil service, I have a reasonable job, I use my non working days to recharge - go to the gym and we have an allotment. I have an ASD mums group and we meet up for tea and bacon sarnies. Keeps me sane.

As for him. He goes to mainstream school. He has a good friendship group and is well liked. His teachers love him as he is willing to learn and always willing to help and volunteer for anything. He plays in the basketball team and is in the footie club. Outside school he is a keen Scout and goes to all the camps. The leaders think he is great for the same reasons his teachers do.

He is a bit of a party animal, loves theatre, music and will even indulge his old mum bumbling around the odd museum. Over Christmas we are seeing two pantos and a play, we are going to London for the weekend to see the lights at Kew, and to see rugby matches.

Labels like ASD are useful to have, they get you access to support, you can learn how to manage behaviours ( all the above activity takes months of meticulous planning so he knows exactly what's going to happen). But at the end of the day, they are just catch all labels for a whole host of things. And you can have a great life with children with these conditions.


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We have BC who were 16, 12 & 7.5 when our now AS was placed as an almost 5-week old foster child. He had been breastfed by birth mum and co-slept with her up to point of placement. He came with a suitcase full of clean, fresh, ironed clothes - any FC will tell you this is very unusual. There was no history of him having suffered any abuse or neglect. He had been an unplanned baby in a relationship which disintegrated almost at conception. She had a degree of PND and wasn't bonding with him. A sudden set of events led to him being taken into care and placed with us. BM was a bright, articulate young woman who had had a carp upbringing with her mother and clearly had some of her own attachment issues. I have no reason to suspect alcohol abuse in pregnancy, but continued social drinking wouldn't surprise me as she worked as a barmaid.

So our AS is about as close to one of the historic adopted babes of the past or an F2A baby today. What DIDNT work for him was masses of contact, aimed at getting BM to bond with him (daily M-F for 2 hours either with BM or BF and his mother). BM didn't bond with him. Then at 3 months old he was diagnosed with a juvenile cancer, this gave BM MORE reason to keep him at arms length. SS continued to push contact for 18 months, right through his treatment. Ultimately she confessed that she just didn't want to be his mother and absented herself. BF was deemed not to be a suitable alternative (I remain convinced he had an undiagnosed LD and he copiously self medicated).

We agreed to adopt him as he hit 2 and had got very little interest from prospective adopters inspite of a couple of national adverts. He was on his way to being cured, but it wasn't certain at that stage.

He's in year 7 now, first year of high school. He was a smiley, happy, adorable baby and young child - utterly delightful (apart from a few months post treatment which were hard work). He has a mild social communication disorder, is dyspraxic and really struggled with his literacy in infants and early juniors. School were supportive, gave support, kept me in the loop and he smashed his SATS achieving expected levels in literacy and high scores in maths. However he really struggles with friendships and pro-social behaviours. He had no real male friends at primary school, he had a few girl-friends who have always 'mothered' him, almost like older sisters, they are tolerant and kind. He struggles with the negative feelings friendship issues provoke.

I (and my husband, but mostly me 85-90%) have consciously parented him in a very attentive way, and until he was about 7 if we were in the same place I would almost always be with him. He has been managed carefully, in a way I wouldn't have dreamt of doing with my BS. He is very, very, VERY different from my BS. He still has occasional tantrums at 11. He will kick, hit out, swears like nothing you have ever heard, screams, trashes his room, calls all of us abusive names, is completely reactive and needs a lot of help in managing his emotions. With one of my BC is they did something daft like leave a drink on the floor and then knocked it over, I could show my irritation and say 'Jimmy! Look what's happened cos you've left your drink on the floor! They would say sorry etc and once it was cleaned up, it would be forgotten. With AS if I did the same he would dissolve into a pool of Sanger and shame, he would cry, throw sofa cushions around etc. before eventually calming down and apologising.

Adoption WILL impact on your DD, maybe not at first cos baby and toddler behaviour in AC often looks similar to how all toddlers behave, but, here's the rub, in the way your DD grows out of it, matures socially and emotionally, you are highly likely to realise that your AC doesn't. You are still managing outbursts at 5, 6, 7 and older, and while you can work with some behaviours to minimise them, some actually become more entrenched with age. If you're not careful your ability to function as a family can feel like it's directed by your AC in terms of what you do together. Our AS has needed so much more consideration in our family decisions than any of our BC who really just were like most BC along for the ride in their parents lives. We always have to think stuff through because of how it may negatively impact him.

My BC are grown up, they don't relish the rants and tants from AS, but they're able to walk away, and ASs kick offs are short and fairly infrequent (partly because he has a very structured and predictable daily life and routines - an example of that high level of consideration). He doesn't like change, even things like going on holiday, but we are able to continue to push him with things like that because his issues are mild, and I refuse to stop doing things we enjoy cos he wants to do nothing. He complains, but ultimately I know he gets something from it when he's prepared to let himself.

He's 95% an absolutely gorgeous, funny, cute to the point of adorable, child, and I've always adored him, which makes putting up with the carp easier. I am also confident in his love of us, me in particular, he comes to me, wants me, first and always - Dad bless him gets a much more raw deal!

Personally I would NOT consider adopting with a BC as young as yours. Age gaps give some insulation against the challenging stuff that your DD will be party to. My kids could always walk away, but even now my AC and youngest BS tolerate each other rather than anything else.


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12 users have supported this.

Hi, research wise there's an older piece called the 'costs and implications of non infant adoptions'

I'm a parent of 2 AC and 1 BC we adopted then later on had a baby. 3 yrs old is the natural age I'd think to looking at expanding a family but adoption is really different. Midge is right. Big age gaps help in adoption. It's such a lovely idea but the reality of adoption these days is that kids suffer early trauma and then it impacts those around them. I think you have to accept that is what's likely to be the case in any modernadoptive family.


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12 users have supported this.

For those who have struggled how big and committed were your support networks? I'm just wondering if that helps with the demands and the impact on birth children, we are very fortunate to have both sets of parents, two sisters and all lots of very long term friends as well as a handful of friends who have adopted - SS focus a lot on support networks - in reality do you think they make a tangible difference - also interested in any books or research on the bets ways to prevent secondary trauma.


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16 users have supported this.

For those who have struggled how big and committed were your support networks? I'm just wondering if that helps with the demands and the impact on birth children, we are very fortunate to have both sets of parents, two sisters and all lots of very long term friends as well as a handful of friends who have adopted - SS focus a lot on support networks - in reality do you think they make a tangible difference - also interested in any books or research on the bets ways to prevent secondary trauma.


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6 users have supported this.

We felt we had a pretty good support network. If the support network had lived with us they would have been able to see what family life was like. We had people who really wanted to help, but the girl they saw was so different to what we were experiencing at home that it's very difficult for people to understand.


Even when I had lived with daughter for nearly 10 years I would be filled with doubt over whether she was lying or not. At one stage a youth worker we knew spent time with our birth son one to one so he could talk through his feelings if he needed to. I had friends who I regularly vented to. I read a lot of books, we got occasional breaks as a couple. We tried to give one to one time with the birthkids when we could.


I suppose we hung in there for a long time but we were basically living a life far removed from our peers in order to try and contain daughter and lessen her negative effects on the family.


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1Be the first user to support this

Hmmm. Yes. Support networks. Mine disappeared pretty much to be replaced by others who do get it. My mother is a widow as is mil. Mil lives hours away and is in her 80s. My mother approaching her 80s and not as mobile as she was. Friends kind of disappeared when it became apparent that middly, particularly, wasn't quite like their little darlings.


Can't remember the last time anyone babysat for ours - some years ago. We've just had to learn to do things differently, ie where we go, the kids go. Easier now as they're getting older abs can mostly be quite civilised.


Schools can be a good support when they understand. We're lucky now in that the younger two are in great schools. Our eldest also doing fine. On the other hand, when they don't get it, they can make your life and your child's life utterly miserable.


I think I have a pretty good network of support now - mostly cyberly but we do meet ups as well. The best support comes from others parents with children just like mine.


Secondary trauma? Not had that. Wine and chocolate help!


I'd recommend doing some reading. Sally Donovan is adoptive parent and her books are informative and easy to read. I'm currently reading Sarah Naish's But he looks so Normal ...... Funny, realistic and tells it as it is!


Loads more books but they're easy to digest.


Look out also for Dan Hughes, Bruce Perry, Bryan Post, Holly van Gulden, Helen Oakwater, Margot Sunderland- for starters.


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8 users have supported this.

Justpounds, you're right that support networks can be a great help with the BC. Family have been great with us, and as the BC get older, they develop their own support networks of friends, teachers, youth workers / pastors etc, which are also really valuable. Support networks might be harder to build for our AC, but it's easier with BC, as often their relationship skills and understanding of boundaries etc are so much better. These are a great support, especially for respite and time out of the madness for the BC.


But at the same time, nothing really substitutes for time with mum and dad, and none of those support networks will ever really 'get it' when it comes to the stuff our BC see going on in the house, and the way our BC will watch their parents being treated. They still have to process this themselves, with our help. And that can get complicated, especially when they feel hard done by, because the rules have to be different for the AC, and the style of parenting has to be adapted in ways which they think are completely unfair. Eg AD does something or says something which BS knows would result in lifelong hard labour (haha) if he tried it... but it either gets ignored or she gets a therapeutic response like 'I can see you're really angry this morning. I wonder if..." So he stomps off upstairs saying 'You're such dead parents!' Don't underestimate how hard it can be for parent and BC in this context! That's another reason why a big age gap works better, because it's easier if the BC is old enough to be able to see rationally why this is necessary, instead of just living in the injustice of the moment, which a sibling who is only a couple of years older might do.


It also works the other way - when boundaries are much tighter around an AC for safety reasons, or because you know they won't cope with an experience, if the BS is much older the AC is more likely to accept that the BC are allowed to do things forbidden to them, without a riot. Eg: 'of course he's allowed to go to town with his friends' / to a gig in nearby city' because he's 18 and you're only 12. This would be harder to manage with a smaller age gap.


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21 users have supported this.

I have a funny story of the sort of things our children do to our support network. My friends would look after my two while I went to the teatre with another friend for my birthday. We arrived there at 1800 and would be back at 2300 to drive home. My youngest would go to bed there at 2030 to get a few hours sleep.

Not a problem in the world, exept that he pied in the basket where they stored their shoes, we discovered that when my friend got his shoes to walk us to the car.

Some people will not be able to deal with that, my friends were alright, they have three foster kids......

For me this is the normal, never a dull moment.....Now his bedroom smells like the toilet in a train station, I know he has been pieing in his bed, toys, the floor, who knows where. I am just writing this post as I really do not have the energy to sort it out straight now Wink


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19 users have supported this.

Well put chocoholic. I felt like I was parenting two different sets of children under one roof. It's very very hard.


Our birthkids were sick of what they perceived as total lack of respect towards us by adopted daughter. One of our children took to spending as much time out with her friends to avoid the clashes with adopted daughter. She would never invite friends round as she would have been embarrassed by my parenting methods which treated adopted daughter as being at a much younger emotional age. Probably adopted daughter resented the freedom birth daughter had but despite a 6 year age gap birth daughter was far more mature and responsible than her years. Both daughters would say they hated each other and were best kept well apart.


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14 users have supported this.

About the posting on here when things get tough - I have never actually posted for advice - but I have been reading the boards for many years and have picked up a lot of advice over the years that way - and sometimes just reading others posts has just added a different perspective on things I had not even considered as an issue or as having a significant effect when in retrospect they have. I've only started posting recently - on others posts - but it doesn't mean there were no issues over the years or aren't any now just because I didn't post asking advice - so although you may say that those who post are the ones with most issues I would not assume that is so. Some times the issues are just so hard to post about too. As for birth children - mine were much older in their teens and the ACs were toddlers - but it still had a significant impact on my younger BD who was 14 when we adopted and has affected the time I could spend with her as she was growing up. Having said that I would do it again and I believe they have all learned many positive things as well as having difficult times - difficult is not necessarily wrong (but our experiences have been much less devastating than many of the others such as Nancy and Pear Tree)


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13 users have supported this.

Hi, good support here with my parents mostly, family in general close by. Most of our friends changed after adoption but also we have solid cyber support here and via Facebook groups. Many families do end up isolated because of the child's needs and behaviours. My parents helped by having our AC for tea weekly, now pip is older they have her one afternoon after school. This has been a good help

Secondary trauma, the author you need is Kate Cairns. 'Attachment trauma and resilience' I've read but I know there are others.


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17 users have supported this.

I waited until my BC was older - 15 - but my placement still went horribly wrong. My lo should not have been placed anywhere with other children which we only found out once she'd moved in. To cut a long story short the placement disrupted, my BC was then diagnosed as suffering from PTSD which included having panic attacks and suicidal episodes, and I ended up on antidepressants. I have a large support group who tried to help but they couldn't really. I had spent years reading everything I could relating to adoption and was so prepared for it; my BC also knew why my lo was behaving as she did but still couldn't cope with it.

I'm obviously not saying this will happen to you but unfortunately there are no guarantees.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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7 users have supported this.

My two are now 18 and 13. They are both adopted , so neither is a birth child, but our older child had very few problems or issues and he wanted a younger brother. We also wanted a second child so we adopted again, and the situation that developed, and it's effect on the eldest, turned out to be very similar to that of many birth children mentioned here.

Younger child ( placed at nearly seven when eldest was 12, was one of those children who would probably have been better placed seperately. He was intensely jealous of ds1 and still struggles with this to a lesser degree. It was only the huge tolerance level and understanding by the older one ( and his much bigger physical size and ability to cope with physical aggression) that got us through the earlier years of ds2 's placement. And as folks have said, the age difference enabled us to explain different approaches ( which were actually because of different needs) partly as age related ( which was also true) But those years took their toll on his stress levels especially at exam time.

Some folks do get away with adopting a young child while having a birth child who is also still young, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will be friends, anymore than birth siblings might be. The difficulty for birth children has been mentioned, but I can't help thinking that it must also be very difficult for a younger adopted child trying to follow closely behind a non adopted birth child in age related achievements , into school, etc, especially if they struggle with social, emotional or behavioural issues( which many do ) and are following a higher ( even just normal level) achieving birth child. A big age gap takes that pressure off.

My. two tolerate each other mostly now , but are like chalk and cheese in their outlook on life and even now it occasionally flares up. Very different personalities. But then I am by different from my own birth sister in personality. We get on ok now as adults but are not close. No guarantees whether genetically related or not, but some of my kids adoption related issues definitely exacerbated things in terms of their relationship with each other. . I doubt if it would have worked if my two had been much younger,


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Where are the people who adopted a baby while having a birth child under 5? So far nobody in those circumstances has replied yet.

Maybe that in itself says something?


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16 users have supported this.

Good point Pluto, anybody out there fit that category and have time to post ?


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12 users have supported this.

Hi! Yes, I'm a parent to four children, 2 Bc and 2 AC and they're all under 7.

I posted 9 months ago about this very issue, and you can find the post on page 2 of the board.

Too busy to fight back, salt dough decorations in the making here and school run soon. always plenty of people who do not have AC and BC wth tight age gaps to reply for me, though I always think they're experiences are interesting and great they add to discussion. As is often the response to my few posts, I can't possibly know as my children are too young.

All going well for us still at present.


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15 users have supported this.

I think that is the sort of post that the OP is looking for - all opinions are valid - I don't know of any research and it may not help anyway - I think the thing is to research as much as possible about adoption in general and keep an open mind about what might fit with your family. I can't remember whether you have adopted and are considering birth children or the other way round - but children close together pose their own issues as well as any adoption issues in the mix. I think you can only go ahead with what is right for you at the time taking all the right precautions you can, being aware of all the possible issues and proactive as anything crops up. It looks like you are thinking it through carefully. Good luck with your decision


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7 users have supported this.

Hi yes - bs was two when we adopted brother who was one. No regrets. Do what you think is right for you - good luck in whatever you decide!


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We adopted when Bc was 3, then again when he was 5 and again when he was 6. All going well here.


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15 users have supported this.

Thanks all thats great to hear, we've been through our "wobble" and go to panel on the 9th January - all very excited and looking forward to growing our family - we are moving ahead with foster to Adopt, but also on the adoption route also with ages restrcited to under 1 dude to BC being 3, obviously as time goes on this age range will increase.


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11 users have supported this.

Hi I rarely come onto this great support network.


We adopted 5 years ago, when our AC was just over one and our BS was eight! He's fourteen now and littley six. To be honest we haven't had any issues, think probably just luck. I remember carefully reading different profiles and the first child we were matched with, didn't happen as the child's social worker chose another family! So so glad or else we wouldn't have had our beautiful boy. I was guided by my social worker who was excellent and I was reluctant for a child whose BM didn't use drugs or alcohol whilst pregnant. He had gone to a brilliant foster carer from three or four days old who is in our lives now. Despite the fact littley is adopted and our elder bs is 8 years older, there are little arguments. Our As gets upset as our older son doesn't always want to play with him, but hopeful this will get better as littley gets older as this year they have been doing a bit more. They have never fought or had massive arguments between them. Just normal stuff. He knows he's adopted but not much interest at the moment. He feels a connection to foster carer and recently asked after her. We were asked to adopt his half sister a couple of years ago and said no, it's something I regret but made this decision due to our ages and my other half really didn't want to. We had an issue this year at school as littley told a fib and the head went over the top with her punishment!! We had issues at the same school with my birth son with the lack of support as he has a disability and I ended up fighting for a statement of educational needs!!

I feel like I've been through the mill with miscarriages, fertility and the adoption process and my birth sons learning needs. But so far things are good with littley and he is very cuddly. He hasn't any educational needs and he enjoys all sports. Has male friends at school, but we've also had a lot of girls come back for play dates. Think we have just been lucky but we did research, think what suited our family and what we couldn't cope with.


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16 users have supported this.

Hi Justpounds


Haven't had time to read every single word of the replies but here is our experience/opinion.


No research I am aware of specifically about birth children.


Our experience (which I have posted about many times) 3 BCs one AS ages 19, 16, 9 and 4 at placement.


Personally I would never advise anyone with one birth child to adopt (unless birth child was grown up or nearly so and even then that BC may well have issues with adopted sib once parents are dead and buried.


SWs are aware of the risks of disruption where there are birth children in the family. But as I say, not aware of any research. I assume its just anecdotal evidence/common sense that makes them wary.


I often say that we have no regrets, but on the other hand if we had known what we were letting ourselves in for, perhaps that would have given us pause. Our youngest BD has really suffered, not just personally but seeing us suffer and also being worried about our safety when she is not there.


Our son's behaviour has been impulsive and dangerous at times. This year he started on medication for severe ADHD and it has changed all our lives. He can now think before he does things.


He is only 11 but who knows what adolescence will bring? DD will probably go to uni so off on her own adventures. But will she want to come home much?


Having said al that, compared to many families I think we are doing pretty well! They get on well a lot of the time. There is genuine affection between them. But it has been extremely difficult for BD.


At one point we really thought it was too dangerous to have him at home and were looking at possibilty of residential school (hoping to avoid disruption). The medication has changed all that. But what if he starts refusing to take it? Or it stops working?


The other thing to mention is that we said we would not consider a child with special needs as we thought we would not have the time and resources, given that we alrready had 3 children.


Turns out our son has a very low IQ and now has several diagnoses. He will not be able to live independently. So not what we signed up for. But we love him Smile He actuallly has a sunny disposition and can be affectionate and thoughtful.


The adults choose but the birth children have no choice. They are consulted of course but frankly neither adult nor birth child knows what its really going to be like. Adoption is a giant leap in the dark.


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