Gransnet forums


Lossof an adoptive child

(50 Posts)
Susieq62 Thu 17-Oct-19 15:09:55

Today is a very sad day for our family as the little boy who was being placed for adoption with our daughter has to return to his foster parents. He has much more complex mental health needs than anyone could imagine and, as a single parent my daughter could not cope with his violence, manipulation, controlling, lack of empathy etc. We are all devastated as we hoped to give him the love and stability he so needed. It is doubly hard as my daughter is a single parent and my only child. She feels so guilty but she has done all she could to enable the child to thrive and develop.
Has anybody else had to deal with an expereince such as this please? Any advice/guidance would be much appreciated

Gonegirl Thu 17-Oct-19 15:26:18

Did your daughter not know how difficult is was going to be? I feel very sorry for the little boy who, on top of all his troubles, has now suffered rejection.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 17-Oct-19 15:37:40

How very sad for everyone. I am sure your daughter pushed herself above and beyond, desperate for this to work. I only know of a case, second hand, and the child needed professional help that a two parent family with a stay at home mum (ie a parent there 24/7) and an older sibling to model from, had eventually to give up. It broke them and I am not sure they have recovered. They loved the child very deeply, did lots of research, had professional help and could not overcome the childhood trauma suffered by the adoptee. Eventually the only answer was to let go and hope that somehow or other the necessary help would be accessed for the profoundly hurt/damaged child. It reminded me of being unable to care for a parent with severe vascular dementia - eventually, someone else had to take over. Your daughter will need lots of support and no criticism because this is an increasing problem when children have been damaged beyond what even deep love can overcome. I commend her for her efforts and honesty and wish her and the child the best for their futures.

Feelingmyage55 Thu 17-Oct-19 15:42:20

I also know first hand of another family struggling on - struggling because some problems are not initially apparent. Their local council and the school, along with a mental health charity are pulling out all the stops to help but it is tough. The entire extended family is admirably working as a team and hope that there will be a good outcome. Some problems have been partially overcome while others have manifested themselves with time and development.

Smileless2012 Thu 17-Oct-19 15:45:00

No advice or guidance to give but wanted to say how sorry I am for your DD and you, that despite your best efforts to give this poor child a loving and stable home, his/her problems were too great to overcome.


Luckygirl Thu 17-Oct-19 15:48:37

I have adopted nephews - many years ago. One in particular had serious problems and no support was received. I will not detail how things have panned out, but it is about as bad as it can be. The authorities helped not at all with dealing with such a very damaged, drug-addicted at birth boy.

I am sorry that this has not worked out for your DD, but she is wise and brave to acknowledge that she cannot cope with this and I salute her. One branch of my family has had their lives destroyed by soldiering on against all the odds.

Ginny42 Thu 17-Oct-19 16:01:41

This mother hasn't rejected her child. This child's needs are so great that she could not provide for all his needs and keep them both safe. It's an extremely difficult challenge to adopt a child and get things right even when the child doesn't have anger issues manifested in violence. A lot depends on the age of the child and the pre-placement experiences.

My adopted DGS has settled amazingly well considering he had alcoholic biological parents, a stay in a children's home, then a placement with poor foster parents and at the age of 3 had another move to his forever home. Whilst he has anxiety and very low self-esteem, he does not display violence. He does try to control and there are huge gaps in his emotional development. However, he has two parents working together in dealing with the issues. For a single mother it must be very hard to find their child has so many issues.

It is very sad for Suzieq62's DD, and the whole family. Warm wishes to you Suzieq and your DD. Support her and tell her that you love her. She will heal in time and perhaps in the future there will be another opportunity to have a child.

gallusquine Thu 17-Oct-19 16:02:31

I worked in Local Authority Children and Families Social Services for 30 years until I retired so I have been part of the process from the "other side".
I hope your daughter was given a full and frank assessment of this little boys immediate and projected needs, and that she got the ongoing support she needed.
Adoption is the most difficult area of Child Protection Work and also sometimes, and in some LA areas, the most under resourced and least research based area of practice.
My heart goes out to your daughter and the little boy both of whom will need time and input to recover from this experience.

Septimia Thu 17-Oct-19 16:03:16

It is very sad, but probably better for your daughter to admit now that his problems are more than she can deal with.

If she tried to carry on it could ruin her life (and yours) as well as doing the poor boy no good.

Hopefully he will eventually find a home with people who have appropriate experience.

But your daughter should be congratulated for at least trying to make a difference.

Sparklefizz Thu 17-Oct-19 16:34:49

GoneGirl Was yours a helpful comment? The poor daughter has tried her very best and must be devastated.

Did your daughter not know how difficult is was going to be? I feel very sorry for the little boy who, on top of all his troubles, has now suffered rejection.

Gonegirl Thu 17-Oct-19 16:37:04

It's what I feel Sparklefizz. I didn't know all comments had to be helpful.

My sympathies are entirely with the child.

Eglantine21 Thu 17-Oct-19 16:50:23

As an adoptee I’m somewhat conflicted here but I do want to comment on a couple of things that people have said.

First of all Gonegirl has a valid point. The person we should be most concerned about is the child. The OP and her daughter are feeling sad. The child is feeling much more than that.

I know it’s hard to express what we really mean but I do think we should be careful. It’s awful to say of a child “he has problems too great to overcome” rather, as another poster has said, the OPs daughter “could not provide” for his needs. I do truly think that is where the emphasis should lie.

I also don’t think the daughter should be “congratulated for trying to make a difference”. Frankly the lives of damaged children are too fragile for “trying”. I hope the OPs daughter will think very, very hard about what she hopes to get from adoption and what she is sure she can offer.if she wants to continue on this road.

There Ive probably upset quite a lot of people now.

For what it’s worth, I think the OPs daughter has done the right thing in admitting she could not cope and she should not feel guilty about that. It could not have ended well for either of them. He is better off with his foster parents who know him and have strategies for meeting his needs.

newnanny Thu 17-Oct-19 17:16:05

A terribly sad situation for all. Adoption services must reveal all of a child's issues so potential adoptive parents can make a fair assessment of if they think they can truly meet all of a child's needs. I hope the child will go to a family that can be patient with them to help them deal with their issues so the child can be happy. Your dd may feel sad but will also feel relief now decision is made. We foster a child with huge emotional and behavioural issues and at times we feel stretched to the limit but the crucial difference is there are two of us so if one close to their limit they can have a day off and the other takes over. Also we have 2 adult sons living at home who are incredibly supportive and take foster child to cinema, trips to theme parks etc. so give us occasional time off ir as my dh says 1/2 a day off for good behaviour.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Oct-19 17:17:23

There sounds mistakes all round how could a small boy (presuming he is small) with severe mental health problems be adopted by a single woman I know there is no reason a single mum can’t bring up a child either their own or adopted (I brought up three) but if the little lad has complex needs then I would have thought it best to place him with two parents If he s been in foster care surely they would have known how severe his behaviour is or could it be that moving from the foster home to your daughters threw him completely
You don’t say his age how long he’d been in his previous home or how long your daughter had him for
I feel for you and your daughter but most of all this little lad who through this is probably now more damaged
Has he settled back with the foster carers ?
I hope there can be a happy ending for you all

Gonegirl Thu 17-Oct-19 17:19:53

Yes, I'm surprised a little boy with problems like that would be placed with a single woman.

Hithere Thu 17-Oct-19 17:52:38

It is heartbreaking for everybody involved.

sodapop Thu 17-Oct-19 18:14:26

I have to agree with all of the points made by Eglantine particularly the last paragraph.

Some authorities do not always give complete information about the children, I have known that to happen before.

Luckygirl Thu 17-Oct-19 19:06:20

Sometimes children as damaged as this find it very hard to be part of an intense single mother/child partnership - they do not have the emotional equipment to deal with it.

Clearly the child's needs are paramount; but staying in a situation where the adopting parent feels unable to cope (understandably) is not the best for him. It is sadly a fact that damaged children like this do very often suffer rejection throughout their lives - what they need above all are people who will love them whatever they do, like a natural parent, but sadly their behaviour often achieves the exact opposite result.

These poor children are a huge problem - I know what bad outcomes can result even when the adopting parents give their all for years and years.

What seems the most important thing to me is that the authorities placing these children are brutally honest with the prospective adopters about the nature of the child's problems and possible difficulties ahead; and that they stump up the cash for proper support.

Susieq62 Fri 18-Oct-19 04:27:32

The child did not display the mental health issues prior to being with my daughter who is an adoption social worker!
She us devastated! He left without a backward glance.
It is now thought he has RAD which is above PTSD.
Your thoughts are much appreciated

Susieq62 Fri 18-Oct-19 04:28:21

By the way, he was loved beyond doubt!

Oopsminty Fri 18-Oct-19 05:51:45

How long did she have him for?

BlueBelle Fri 18-Oct-19 07:01:30

oopsminty yes that was my question and how old is he ?

If the little chap showed no problems before he moved to your daughter and left without a backward glance did he play up to go back to his foster parents or did the unrooting just pushed him over the edge or did he just not relate to the new mum Again another leading question, had he been with the foster parents a long time ?
Being moved around and taken away from familiar surroundings at a young age IS enough to cause PTSD in a young child
Such a shame all round

annsixty Fri 18-Oct-19 07:29:22

My thoughts and sympathy go to all the people involved in this very sad situation.
All are losers.

EllanVannin Fri 18-Oct-19 07:45:25

There is the separation and attachment issues to deal with initially with adopted children, without the fact that there are MH issues to throw into the mix and to my mind this is a " two-man " job and not one which any single person can possibly take on if there's no experience involved.

A "damaged" child needs the help of a professional team and is a long process which a parent has to be prepared to face. It's a tough job but has its rewards, which I've witnessed in the past.

I hope the child goes on to have the life which will be best suited for his needs.

BradfordLass72 Fri 18-Oct-19 07:49:35

I used to foster children and you can give them all the love and attention they could possibly need or want and still there's that little core of distrust and distress inside, as a result of how they were abused previously.

Quite often they reject the very people who love them most because they don't think they're worthy of it.
Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Susieq62 Please give your daughter my love.

She did NOT reject him and to imply so is cruel and implies total inexperience in this matter.

She was courageous to take him in the first place but even braver to admit that he was rejecting her and the poor wee lad needed more expert care than she could safely give.

I think she's magnificent. flowers