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Thinking of Adoption

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Hi everyone,


I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I have a habit of typing whole dissertations!


We are a family of four. Two BC, boys, ages 1 and 3. We have always wanted a big family of 4-6 children and were hoping to adopt. At the minute all we are doing is research. We’d hoped to have all of our children with close age gaps for many reasons. We both have big families either side all with close sibling age gaps that have worked really well. We have a wonderful home/family and extended supportive family and we are now discussing extending that family. I’m aware that the process can be costly and time consuming so I know it would be at least a few years before we might be approved and matched.


However, I’m sensing quite a bit of negativity with regard to close age gaps of BC and AD. I’ve also read that most AC come with an abundance of additional needs. This surely can’t be the case with all children? I would love to hear some positive stories.


X


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Pages

AC*


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There are lots of posts about age gaps, birth/adopted children so I won’t repeat everything. Have a search for previous posts.


In short, general consensus is bigger age gap the better. However I have three adopted kids with only a 4 year age gap between eldest and youngest. The age hasn’t been a huge difficulty. The issues they’ve presented with since placement are harder to manage.


Do all adopted children come with additional needs? I guess that depends on how you define it. They’ve all lost a birth parent, usually one or more foster carer so all will have suffered a degree of trauma and loss. That’s inescapable.


That’s not necessarily the only issue though. The majority of children coming through the system will come from birth families with long histories - drug and alcohol addiction, genetic issues, mental illness, a background of chaos, dysfunctional behaviour, neglect, abuse etc - often generational.


There are degrees of difficulties of course. Some children will be easier than others. Some will be more resilient than others but it is an entirely different parenting experience.


Your birth children presumably are securely attached. You know their genetics. You know about your pregnancy. You know you kept healthy. I’m assuming here ... that’s unlikely to be the case with an adopted child. Even an infant. A lot of harm is caused to a child in utero.


I certainly have no regrets but two out of three easy to place Babies are now statemented, diagnoses ASD and in special ed. It’s not been how I imagined but there’s nothing wrong with Holland! Just not Italy!


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Ps - you mention expensive? Does that mean you’re considering international adoption? You don’t pay for domestic adoption


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Pps - when you say you’d love to hear some positive stories, how do you judge/quantify positive vs not a positive? What does positive look like to you? What would negative look like?


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Thank you for your reply. It’s a lot to think about. We are spending this next year doing our research before we take the big step so I’m grateful for all first hand exp stories.


This will be a big step for our family and we need to ensure that the child we adopt is the right one for us and that we are the right family for them. I hear horror stories of adoptive parents not being fully aware of the child’s background and what should be a happy joyous occasion turning into a scene from the exorcist.


With regard to the process being costly. I assume that adoption comes with a huge legal bill. Solicitors/advisors etc... whatever professionals need to be involved. I’ve heard it rakes up thousands x


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Positive story would be somewhere along the lines of...This was a good decision and everyone involved is happy and has benefitted in some way.


Negative story would be full of heartbreak, guilt and regret x


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Usually when people ask on here for 'positive stories' they actually mean 'I want to hear from people who haven't had many/any problems'. They do exist, but I havent met many and those I have actually have had problems but dont/wont interpret them as such.

Most adopted children will have some degree of special need. That might be around education, health (physical or mental health, with mental health issues being more challenging in many ways) and behaviour - another biggie. So its not about saying 'We have young BC we want a child with no problems' cos no one without a crystal ball can guarantee you that and the likelihood is you will get exactly what you said you couldnt manage - Donatella got 2 with Autism!

These are not children who have been nurtured from conception; many of their birth mothers will have abused substances with alcohol being fairly common (but you wont know cos they dont admit it to social care). They will be in stressful situations with abusive partners; this floods baby's developing brain with stress hormones which means the baby can be quite literally born with a short fuse for stress.

Honestly if you want more kids and can have them, do that.

Im an adopter with 3 x BS - 28, 24, 20 and AS of 12 who has been with me from 5 weeks old. Big age gap - absolutely; at least 4/5 years. These children will be NOTHING like your birth kids.

Also anticipate that you may well be supporting adopted kids (and by extension their kids) well into adulthood.


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There are no costs other than your medical if you adopt domestically. It only costs thousands if you adopting internationally.


You have to get a realistic perception of what adoption might mean for you. Yes there are adopters who have had the most dreadful experiences. No one would deny that. But many of us bumble along, we have our ups and downs, sometimes its harder than others.


Positive stories as opposed to negative comes up all the time. I think I have a positive story. My son is doing great. He is happy, enjoys life, has friends. He is doing really well at school, for him. He won't be going to university but he will get a handful of GSCEs which will get him to college and into employment. But he still has autism, a learning difficulty, sensory issues. A lot of grief and anger. Some challenging behaviour. But he is a battler, after a knockback he picks himself up and carries on, and keeps smiling.


Thats what I call positive. Its all about your perspective.

Having just seen your last post


Heartbreak - loads of it Getting a nice new family doesnt take away their past. It grieves me that I can't take away his pain.

Guilt - I wish I could give up work and be a full time mum, he doesnt get enough time with me, I'm too frazzled to be the mum I want to be

Regrets - not one. He is my son.


Adoption is a complex creature. Its not as black and white as saying Its all great, or its a total disaster. I think most of us occupy the various shades of grey in between


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I’m not sure you’ll find many stories full of heartbreak and regret etc. But then I’m not sure it’s as black and white as you describe. We’ve had heartbreak, we’ve had some really difficult times. We’ve had years of involvement with a multitude of professionals - still involved 13 years in. Has it always been happy? Well no. But then I’m not sure any parenting experience is 100% happy. There are always ups and down in relationships especially as children get older. I have two teens and a pre teen. The mere fact that they’re teenagers means life is not always joyful! Personally I think we have all benefitted - I think my kids would say so too. But that doesn’t negate their trauma, their losses, their disabilities which are balanced by their abilities, their resilience, their strength ...


I don’t think it’ll be one or the other. Not often it’s a mix of all the things you mention!


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I grew up with children in and out of care. They were my friends as a child. So I have an element of understanding from that side. I’ve witnessed first hand what some children can go through.


As an adult I’ve worked with children in care too. Some with severe needs and others not so. I still do.


I know that their background will not be full of sunshine and roses. I know the vast majority are not neutered in the womb. But there must be some cases, somewhere in the world where the child has not come from severe abuse x


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Nurtured*


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depends what you mean by abuse. My son was not physically harmed or abused. But he was severely neglected.


Children don't end up in care for no reason.


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But that’s not what I’m saying. My kids were removed at birth or shortly after. That removal alone is a traumatic event. They’ve lost their birth mother. They’ll then go into foster care. Then they move on so that feeling of grief and loss is compounded. It’s not just about physical or sexual abuse. It’s more complex than that. Lots of bms abuser alcohol. You probably won’t know because they’re unlikely to admit it. That means that that child may be affected by fas/fasd to a degree. But even then it’s not that simple because you’d then need to consider why that bm was self medicating? What was underlying?


My three didn’t come from severe abuse however they have still been impacted by their birth parents’ lifestyles, issues, difficulties.


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Thank you so much for your replies, they are much appreciated. I know some families who have all BC and the whole family is pretty darn unhappy. So I suppose it depends on the type of people involved. You as human beings and the children involved. I’m quite a positive and focused person on the whole x


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As are all of us here I’d say!


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Yes that makes sense x


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I think it depends upon your expectations and the level of risk you are prepared to accept. I was a single, older adopter and went into adoption as much wanting to make a difference to a child who might otherwise not be adopted as to satisfy my need to be a mother. I was matched with a child with severe behavioural problems and it has been tough. I now work for a third of my pre-adoption salary and life continues to be a battle. However, I have no regrets and my daughter has come a long way - she would be a very different person today if she had grown up in foster care, however good the foster carers. That's a positive story. I'm sure there are adopters out there who would say they have had few problems, but it's a gamble. The odds are stacked against you, and whilst you can try to minimise the risk, it's unlikely you will have a problem free child. Only you can decide what level of difficulty you are willing to accept, and whether the risk is worth taking.


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Lots of good advice above. Adopting our two messed up kids is the best thing we ever did, it really is. On reading your posts, I feel that you do understand the issues but are hoping that somehow there might be a way to not have to deal with them. I think we probably all hoped that! Sadly, I don't think that there are any adoptees anywhere who unaffected by the processes that led them to be adopted - abuse (of whatever form) is just one factor among so many, as I'm sure you know. My two kids from the same family have reacted to their physical and emotional abuse/neglect/witnessing domestic violence in opposite ways - one is as compliant as they come and the other is very oppositional.


As an adoptive parent who keeps in contact with a fair amount of other parents, I know of no adopted kids without some form of 'additional need' in the very broadest sense, and yes they do vary, but whatever is written about them, you will never know the true extent of it until that child is part of your family and/or at school. Adoption is taking a chance on a child - one who has been matched with you based on their needs, not so much yours and rightly so.


Even if you were matched with a relinquished baby who miraculously has no in-utero issues - it's not simple. I know an adopted teen who was placed as a baby - she has been through a whole heap of difficulties and caused her family heartache. When I think of the adult adoptees I know who were relinquished as babies, they also have multiple issues that they have not been able to throw off - about loss, lack of self esteem, separation anxiety, the need to know where they came from - and again often incredibly rebellious as teenagers.


I would echo the sentiment that if you could have more kids of your own, do that. if you can't, you really need to get your head around what having a child with additional needs (however mild or serious) might mean, whether emotional, social, behavioural, educational or physical, or a combination of them all. As you go through the application process, good social workers will make you aware and discuss what you can deal with (but there are no guarantees). You also need to think very seriously about what having a child with additional needs will mean to your birth children - an adopted child will be much more needy. Having said that, if I had my time over, I wouldn't change a thing, because they are so amazing, even with their additional needs that they are worth every bit of emotional heartache I went through (and still go through) to have them in our lives.


best of luck, whatever you decide! xx


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Hello. I have 2 AC who are now young adults and have a BC who is now 10. for a start, you are looking at it the right way round. Have bc before, ideally many years before AC is a better path to follow.


There aren’t massive legal fees etc because on the whole the placing local authority meet those costs. Costs like time off for training, assessments, medicals, sitting for your other kids aren’t generally met.


I have to agree with the others about the gamble modern adoption is. These are the only children in society that legally cannot return home. So yes they’ll have some issues. Some kids have massive problems from the get go. Some are ok in early childhood and just cannot cope into adolescence at all. Others bumble along with a few things going on.


I know you can saw bc can have troubles. Yes they can. I think I read somewhere the chance of your bc having issues were 2% roughly but the chances of you having a child with extra needs who is adopted was massive. So it’s not ‘even odds’ at all


I would like to possibly suggest that adoption issues will impact your existing children. It may cause them to get mh issues and absorb the trauma from their adopted sibling. As well adjusted kids from a stable family they might well be resilient to this but it will effect them. I carry some guilt around this with my bc being impacted by the trauma of living with her brother and sister,

But. It has made her much more understanding, less judgemental and a really rounded child in ways I don’t see in her peers.


The families that I’ve seen ‘do adoption best’ are ones where there’s often a large family, with plenty of support as there is less intimate connection required of the child and everyone has a set of roles to perform. Getting ready for school etc does need a process and there’s often at least one parent full time at home. Those are my observations I guess, but I think there’s sense behind them.


Good luck whatever you decide


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** should have been 20% not 2!


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I would seriously advise you to focus on your BC for the next 5 or 6 years. They are still very young and are in the relatively easy stage of their lives when life focuses around home and parents. You have no idea yet how things will pan out for them when they start school.

Giving them a decent focus of several years of your time and energy will give them a secure base and build resilience. Come back to rethink adoption when they are established for a few years in school.

Id still recommend having more birth kids if you can to be honest. My youngest was breastfed, co-slept with birth mum, was well provided for by her, though she wasnt the warmest of mothers, but I suspect he has inherited his social communication issues from his birth dad who had a lot of quirks which progressed to some worrying (criminal) behaviour. Our AS is not socially or emotionally competent in many ways so we have opted to pay to send him to a small, non-selective high school rather than our very excellent local enormous high school with 11 class intake. This costs us £11K a year do its an added cost to factor in for us. He's very different from my BC and has needed careful, active management. He has elements of secure attachment but can still be avoidant. I would put him in the mild category for issues, but it certainly doesnt stop him throwing epic tantrums which involve kicking and throwing stuff. He is also not averse to calling me and others very descriptive names involving F and C words. He was and remains adorable and is easy to love but he's nothing like my pretty easy-going BC and at nearly 13 I still have to consider how anything we do will cause him to react.

There's a great deal of potential for real harm to be done to your BC's psyches living with a traumatised child, put them first, there are dozens of adopters competing for young children so you are unlikely to be leaving a child without a family if you dont adopt now.


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Our adoption story is positive. I have a bc age 11 and an ac age 3. Years ago when hubby and I first got together we saw a child advertised for adoption and decided that we would adopt one day. When the time was right that's what we did and we don't regret it for a second.

With regards to the additional needs/problems, I kinda agree with the others. In the past, children were generally available for adoption because they were relinquished. Nowadays, this is rare and children are removed and their genetics, pregnancy and early life make such a difference. I don't think this should be seen as a negative. It's the reality of modern day adoption and as long as you go into it with your eyes open then I think it's a lovely thing to do.

What you said about knowing families with bc having extra needs is true. Lots of families I know have not had the perfect child they expected. I'm pretty sure if any of us had to disclose a comprehensive list of our medical history/genetics/behaviours it wouldn't make for a good profile. E.g my bc has epilepsy. it was (until recently) totally uncontrolled and she was facing brain surgery. My niece has severe asthma and is hospitalised regularly. 2 out of 3 of my neighbours children have autism. These kids are amazing but fairly sure they wouldn't appeal to adopters if their difficulties were laid out for everyone to see. The main difference that I personally see is that bc are usually wanted and have had a good level of prenatal care. They are not separated from their mother. They don't experience abuse and neglect (hopefully).

Lots to think about but if you're aware of the difficulties you may experience and still want to proceed I would say go for it xx


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Thank you so much for all of your replies. I don’t want any more BC. Firstly because we have always wanted to adopt at some point and secondly because of the impact it has on my body. I won’t go in to the horrific details. Let’s just say pregnancy and childbirth doesn’t agree with me. My second born almost didn’t make it. They weren’t sure why but it was very scary.


I personally have no fears of taking on a child with additional needs. Its my BC I now need to think about. So yes, minimul upset is ideal. I do see that it is a gamble though. The good thing is that we have a very big support network of uncles, aunties, grandparents etc... that are actively involved so that will help.


How long was the wait from start to match? I have in my head that once we start in a years time it’ll be at least three years from there so my youngest would be almost 51/2. He’s almost 18months x


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Suggest you read the thread below yours by Raven2.


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I shall take a look now. Still figuring out how to work through this forum x


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I shall take a look now. Still figuring out how to work through this forum x


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My two were removed at a very young age - one at 2mths the other at birth - the first one had received a non-accidental head injury from which she nearly died so this has obvious impacts in terms of acquired brain injury and trauma - the trauma when non-verbal is felt in the body and has an impact on how other things are learned from that point. The second child - though removed from BPs had a very poor level of FC and was passed around many different people as well as being left in his cot for long periods (FM was part of a large family - he was also looked after by neighbours from time to time and had a child minder 3 days a week - she did sewing from home and generally was a respite carer not for children permanently removed) In addition they both have inherited difficulties - learning disabilities of various sorts and were affected by DV in utero. A book you might like to read is the Primal Wound - it used to irritate me as these are people who were relinquished at birth and it looks at the effect this had on them - it irritated me because for my children (and most children adopted these days) there is so much more - but it does illustrate that even without all the other stuff there are long term effects. There are many books you can read to give you some idea - Sally Donovan has written two books about her experiences - can't remember the titles but should be easy to find - which are a good introduction and many other books about therapeutic parenting etc - as you are taking a long term view - just read these forums from time to time - look at posted today - you can also search by poster or by subject using the facility at the top of the page. Good luck with your journey.


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Sally Donovan books:


“The Unofficial Guide To Adoptive Parenting”


“No Matter What”


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Thank you. That sounds an interesting book to read. I’ve read around thirty books so far on childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, children in care etc... Some factual texts, many based on truth. The more knowledge I have the better. Although I know nothing will fully prepare us for what may come.


I have a question. Slightly off topic. I’m not sure how to word this so I’ll cut to the chase and put it bluntly. Apologies in advance if this comes across wrong. Are children who are adopted overseas as damaged as ours in the UK? This may sound very ignorant of me. However, I imagine many children are born in some countries unwanted for various reasons. Taking China for example, many moons ago they saw hundreds of children in care due to over population rather than drug abuse etc... x


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The problem with overseas is that there is often very little information - both general (on care post birth) and specific to the family background. I have no experience myself but many on here do so will probably reply later - Pluto for example. There may well be the same issues but there may be even less known about the background.


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I guess it depends where and how. For children who come from orphanages, then I’d hazard a guess that they’re equally likely to have some/many issues. Maybe it’s different in the US, for instance, when babies are placed direct and adopters choose their birth mum.


But ultimately any child who’s removed from its birth mum will have suffered a great loss. You have birth children - do you think they wouldn’t have suffered had they been removed from you?


It’s good that you’re asking questions - maybe reflect back to your children and think about their needs at various ages and the consequences for them of being taken from everything they know and placed to live with total strangers where everything is different - sounds, smells, routines, people etc. Babies/toddlers can’t express themselves verbally so often their behaviour is their language. They may not have explicit memories of their life pre placement but that’s not to say that those memories aren’t there - the body keeps score and sensory triggers - a piece of music, a particular aroma, a police or ambulance siren, the way someone looks etc - can jog those implicit memories and retraumatise a child.


No guarantees one way or another. Adoption is a gamble - a leap in the dark - and you’re likely to spend a lot of time interpreting behaviours to understand what’s triggering them.


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Yes I get that. In the same breath I could have a BC with an abundance of issues. Maybe even more severe. I just want to get a feel for all of your first had experiences. What affect it’s had on your BC etc... That said, from the moment our AC steps through the front door I know they will be our own. We won’t see them any other way. All of our children will be equal. You never know, our BC could turn out to be more challenging. I was an extremely challenging teenager from a nuclear family. Living with BP. Turned out to be HFASD and ADD. I didn’t know until I became an adult. Now nobody would notice x


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Your points above are exactly why I would urge you to wait a few years and enjoy the children you have before bringing traumatised children into the mix - they may not thank you for adopting; they may tell you their lives would have been happier/easier if you hadnt.

I understand that BC can come with issues, but I think the point is that it ISNT the same, and it wont be the same. And although you say about they will be yours from the moment they walk in the door, there will be days when you may wish they werent. Many new adopters on these boards have struggled terribly to bond with and learn to love their kids. Most get there with a couple of years but a few do not and return their kids to care.

Even how you parent your BC and AC will be different, my kids tell me I let AS get away with too much, there is often a commentary on what I should be doing differently. My kids are grown up and will have a conversation about it, ultimately it doesnt affect them that much, their concern is how AS may be treating me. Yours if they are too close in age may react in a more negative way.


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Yes that makes sense. I agree that they may act in a more negative way due to age. So my next question: what is the best age? If my BC were older they’d be hitting their terrible teens which is a difficult time for all children. Exams coming up, puberty etc... Suppose their understanding would be greater which is a positive x


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I recommend reading "Building the bonds of attachment" in case you haven't yet.


From what I have heard, overseas adoption is similar. Children don't end up in care or in an orphanage, if everything is fine at home. Outcomes go like this: orphanages -> FC -> adoption -> BF. Have a look at creatingafamily.org. You will find heaps of information on US and international adoption there and have a listen to their excellent adoption related podcasts.


On EdX.org you will find an archived course on Developmental Psychology with a section on attachment. It is informative and briefly mentions orphanages. It is free.


You can find many discussions on age in the forum. You will have to choose between higher age and more knowledge about the child and his or her needs and a younger child, often less trauma, but much more insecurity about the child.


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Fantastic, thank you for the information. I shall take a look x


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Attachment is a biggie. While you no doubt commit to the child as completely as a birth child, as do most of us, the child will not necessarily feel the same way, even though they know that is how you feel. And that disconnection , while not grounded in reality of how you feel for them, affects the way they look at life, decisions and actions they take, sometimes self destructively. And it affects how well one is able to parent them.

Do want you think right. Large families living near to cousins, etc may be helpful, provided you and your relations kids can cope with each other. Some folks on these forums have found relatives and planned support has disappeared once the children's difficulties became evident even though they never imagined their relatives would be like that.

We had close friends with other adoptive kids lined up as " cousins" One lot were great and have helped each other over the years, but the other set, we had to step back from, as our youngest couldn't handle the " full on effect of two kids with asd and autism who wouldn't give him space mentally or physically, and pressed all his panic buttons in a short space of time. We miss them and for various reasons we know they could do with more support from us, but we are limited by our own child's tolerance of their kids. My own sisters kids get on fine now with my eldest ( same approx age) but he had to stick up for himself when they were younger ( close knit twins) . A different child might have felt bad about things.

Best Wishes

Pingu


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Yes attachment is a big one. I’m not overly concerned about that as a parent. I’m not looking for love in return. I’m not the sort of person who desperately needs it and if AC presented attachment problems I don’t think I’d be too phased by it. My firstborn doesn’t really show love, prefers to play alone, doesn’t need affection, lacks empathy etc... while my second born is very affectionate, smiley, loving etc... I know attachment disorder runs far deeper but it isn’t something I worry about if that makes sense. As a parent I just give 110% in all areas. I want my children to have happy fulfilled lives. To look back and say wow I had a pretty darn good childhood. I want to set them up for a greater future. Give them what they need to well rounded and decent human beings who love life. I know there will be many obstacles, many ups and downs but I hope the positives will outweigh the negatives. I know I’ll never be able to take away their past and the damage will be deeply embedded. However, I hope that I’ll be able to guide them and help them to manage their feelings and behaviour for the better x


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Attachment isn’t just about being loved in return. It can mean being actively rejected, never being trusted, never being allowed to parent. Everyone had their own attachment style but I have to say I’d find it really hard if I didn’t get something in return from my children. Plus of course there’s no concrete support available for a child with attachment difficulties or an attachment disorder. It’s not necessarily something that can be fixed with love and guidance.


Personally I’d far rather parent my three, even though two have various diagnoses which I initially said no to. Autism is pretty well understood, tolerated, and there’s support available educationally. Not so for a child with attachment difficulties as - in my experience - it’ll be assumed that they’ll just get over it in time and/or you’re doing something wrong as a parent.


It’s not simply about you getting something or nothing back from a child. It will impact on all your family, your children included.


https://www.adoptionuk.org/sites/default/files/Understanding-Attachment-...


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Good point. Taking note. Surprised me that there isn’t the support you need for attachment disorders, I’d have thought that was key. Learning so much more already. Thank you x


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My own experience is that the lack of attachment can come out in anger and extreme behaviour against those attempting to care for the child. Not every adopted child is affected this way but many have some level of disconnection. It happens when the adoptive parent tries to look after the child, guide them, ask them to do everyday things that it's impossible not to because daily life has to go on. I think it's sometimes at least partly rooted in a gut level lack need to protect themselves as they weren't kept safe when younger. Some are diagnosed with something called PDA ( Pathalogical demand avoidance) They react in an extreme way to being asked to do anything. Sometimes this can be helped by Therapeutic parenting approach but in affected children it is impossible to avoid completely, and some don't respond any better regardless of how they are approached. There are things I simply don't ask my youngest, ways that I don't parent, and demands I don't make. But it still catches me unaware on occasions, in what I thought were perfectly ordinary conversations. Things that are perfectly normal with birth children, His previous trauma means his reptilian brain kicks in and automatically responds with threat or aggression. He often doesn't actually remember these reactions afterwards. But at the time they are scary.Fortunately nowadays they are largely verbal but physical aggression used to be a nightmare when he was younger.

Attachment gets mentioned sometimes by social workers or CAHMs, but SW are often just thinking of the emotional affection between carers and child and this is not the same thing.


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I do know quite a bit about attachment disorders. My ac both have them. My most severely effected child has a disorganised attachment. To her everyone’s the same. She doesn’t have any empathy at all because no one else’s experience makes any odds. Blossom is very loved but she cannot manage family life. My son is really different despite having an attachment disorder. He has an avoidant- insecure attachment style. He does find it incredibly difficult to attach but he has been able to make attachments. He is extremely charming and compliant. He believes he’s not worthy of anything good so heads for the ***t end of the stick. Partridge is 22 now. He’s chosen to come home for a night before Christmas. This is great. He hasn’t managed to make a list because inside he’s a bit unsure he’s going to get any presents on it- but importantly he believes he’s going to get SOMETHING

This is big big progress.

Blossom was really violent and had massive rages some would last all day. I realise she had maybe more extreme attachment issues but there was no help for a very very long time.

With respect this is attachment disorder. They see everything through their insecure attachment Googgles.

Is not to do with love. If it were, all our kids would be fixed.


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I echo much of what pear tree has said. I have a son 14 with an avoidment attachment and a daughter 13 with a severe ambivalent attachment.


I feel I have neglected my son as my daughter's need a were so great. It is only now that we have had extensive therapy for my daughter I can concentrate on my son's needs. He has just been diagnosed with a learning disability.

Next month I give up work as I can not cope with work stress and meeting my children's needs

Both would have been better being only children. Sibling rivalry takes its toll.


We decided not to have fertility investigations/ treatment and go straight for adoption when birth children didn't happen for us. I don't regret that decision but we both agree that if we had a birth child knowing what we know now we would not have adopted another knowing the stress it has put on us. We could not out that stress on a birth child.


Things are just about ok knowing I am giving up work. We were told our 2 had no issues biŕth children would definitely suffered and adoption would have disrupted. I could not have put birth children though what our marriage has been through.


Saying that I am glad we have adopted we have made a difference in our children's lives.


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Thank you again for everyone who has shared. This is really helpful. Taking mental note of everything that has been said so far and still working my way through the forum x


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I'd describe our adoption journey this far as very positive. We are 2.5 years in and it's the best thing we've done. Little one was anxious when placed and followed me everywhere. He thrived on routine and staying close to us. He's gone from being a much younger child than his age to acting like his peers. He plays well with kids his age and those close in age to him......as long as I give them no attention. He wouldn't have coped with siblings who also needed my attention. We said no to a birth sibling of his for that reason. It's manageable in the context of our family unit but I'm not sure how we'd have managed with birth children close in age.


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Our son has severe attachment problems, trauma, anxiety, ODD and sensory processing disorder from neglect and trauma in infancy. He was placed at under 2, and described as ‘fine’ and ‘well attached’ to his FC. He wasn’t well attached. He had a bond.


His attachment problems lead to daily violence and extreme opposition - 6 years after placement and having used therapeutic parenting, over 2 years of therapy of different kinds. His behaviour has led to safeguarding issues for his younger sibling. We have tried everything.


He is probably at the extreme end of problems but was placed with ‘no concerns’ and roughly 1/3 of adopters are in a similar position to us (google the Selwyn report).


When SWs and others say to you ‘you need to be able to accept risk’, make sure you are really clear about what the risks are, for you, your marriage and your BCs.


It’s Christmas Day today and my son has been violent on three separate occasions. This is our normal.


Our daughter, placed at birth, no in utero damage, is starting therapy in January because of the violence she has witnessed and been on the receiving end of.


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Don't do it, at least until your children are secondary school age. Your birth children need your undivided attention now as they are so young, if you're unlucky you adopt a child with much more than you ever planned (and not clear at placement like arnd) and your birth children will suffer big time.


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I’m going to be totally honest with you and I’m coming from the perspective of someone who adopted a sibling pair and now having come out the other side. In your position, with two birth children, I would not adopt at all.


Adoption was the only way we were ever going to become parents.


Had we been fortunate enough to have had birth children, I would not jeopardise the well-being of my children and that of the family as a whole by introducing adopted children into what I presume is an already happy and settled family.


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Out of the 70,000 or so children in care in the UK (forgive me if my statistics are incorrect), they can’t all be bouncing off the walls and be a hinderence to my family. I feel guilty enough for having two of my own when there are so many in desperate need of a loving family of their own. Whatever will be will be. If we are supposed to adopt then I believe it will happen. If not, then it won’t. In the mean time I shall continue to gather as much information as possible from as many sources as I can. Thank you again for everyone’s input. An interesting read x


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Attachment problems are often not primarily about the child's relationship with you but with everyone else. I get on okayish with my younger daughter, who is now 18. She can be avoidant but we rub along fine. BUT she has a terrible time eg keeping friends. Fall out at school were a nightmare. Teachers seemed to take an instant dislike to her. She would act overly friendly to people which caused loads of problems too. It is relatively easy to deal with kids like this when they are young but not so easy from secondary onwards. Not all adopted children are eg violent - problems can come in many shapes and sizes xx


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