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Grandparent to Adopted Grandchildren

(11 Posts)
Wallygrom Sat 03-Aug-13 08:41:55

As a grandmother to an adopted gorgeous 6 year old, who has 'issues', I am aware of the problems and lack of understanding by non-adopters, particularly surrounding attachment issues in forming relationships and trust. I found this fabulous website that is run by two adopters which highlights some of the issues they experience as parents but also links in with family life, focusing not only on the bad points of adoption but the good. Memory box is a really useful place to discover fabulous memories, and there are lots of opportunities on the site to blog about your own experiences - whether its publicly or anonymously. Lots of useful information can be found with links through to other sites and resources. It has taught me a lot - you might be interested in having a look and 'meeting up' with other adoptive grandparents over the forum of social media. Take a look!

Have you experienced any issues as a grandparent to an adopted child?

sunseeker Sat 03-Aug-13 08:54:40

When my brother in law and his wife decided to adopt two babies lots of people were telling them not to as the children could turn out to have lots of problems. My DH and I did all we could to support them in their decision and the children have now grown into lovely, well adjusted and caring adults.

henetha Sat 03-Aug-13 10:31:57

I have four grandchildren, two of whom are adopted. They have been an important part of our family for over ten years now. One of them is Aspergers. This adoption has been hugely sucessful and we all love them very much.
As an adopted child myself, I was determined to show no difference in my affections between them and my natural grandchildren. The aim has been, not to make these childen extra special, but to make them feel exactly as much loved and wanted as the other two, no more, no less.
There have been some problems, of course, particularly in the early days,
but these are largely resolved now.

Wallygrom Sat 03-Aug-13 11:28:25

These are really nice comments to hear and certainly from my point of view, nice to know there is light at the end of what at the moment is quite a large tunnel for my daughter dealing with the issues that he has. The relationship with my grandson is exactly the same as my natural birth grandchildren and I love them all dearly. My daughter and son in law are loving parents and doing what they can to help their son overcome the issues that he has - much of this has evolved through failure of the social workers that were involved with him at birth up to when he was a year old when he was placed with my daughter but things are getting better slowly and he is beginning to trust them more and more and to open up about his feelings. I guess like all kids there will be moments of trauma and tension perhaps particularly once he gets into teen years, but hey that's the same with all children I think my own included.

Were your families met with negativity towards their adoptive children from others? I know my daughter has experienced it a bit and so refrains now from telling some people until she is sure they wont react adversely......

whenim64 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:37:54

I know of a 12 year old boy who has met rejection several times since being placed for adoption at birth. He had a happy foster placement for a few years, then all the good work was undone with another rejection when he moved to be adopted. Thank goodness the social workers kept trying. He turned up to tell his foster mum he was living nearby recently, friend in tow. Settled at last smile

Iam64 Sat 03-Aug-13 18:46:07

When - good point. I have similar experiences. I think we often expect an awful lot of adoptive parents, and in the past haven't offered the long term support that is needed. I placed an 8 year old boy, multiple placements with a wonderful foster carer. 2 years later, she applied to adopt and my team manager told me to encourage her -one off the books attitude. This was in the 80's and things have improved a lot since then. The 8 year old in a father in his 20's, stayed in placement, cahms involvement, and all is well. As a young social worker, I felt helpless in the face of a manager, with whom I argued a lot about this boy's difficulties and the fact it was clear continued support would be needed, thankfully cahms were great. Adoption is the best thing for so many children and I have had involvement in a number of so called difficult to place children, who without the commitment of adoption would really have struggled. I do agree with When though, adoption isn't for every child and some, like the one she mentioned, do better in long term foster care. What a complex area this is.

Wallygrom Mon 05-Aug-13 17:50:27

lam64 - it is a very complex area and certainly the long term support is needed, in not all but many cases but due to finding cuts etc, isn't always there or deemed appropriate. CAHMS have also been great but discharged as they say there is nothing more they can do to where to go now? Social services don't have the answers but clearly further help is needed. I personally also feel that because of red tape, a number of badly unforgivable errors have been made in my grandsons case and whilst there is no going back and changing it, very little is being done to support the family or indeed the child following it....they have backed off and basically said 'get on with it'.........but of course will be the first involved if there are any problems! sooo frustrating! My daughter will not, no matter what reject him - but like many other adoptive parents, need support. which is why we were so pleased to find TheAdoptiveSocial website which is geared towards support over social media - better than nothing and a fantastic way to support each other and vent!! lol

nanaej Mon 05-Aug-13 18:22:20

A completely different perspective but important I think.

Two little boys at my school were adopted. We had been the safest and most stable place for these children and we had developed warm relationships with these troubled pair. We were delighted when we heard they were being adopted and contributed to the memory book/box. The new parents came to school and met the teachers and me, the head. Three weeks later the boy went to their new home. We heard nothing more.

We had invested a lot into the children and cared very much about how their future turned out. We felt sad we were not able to find out how they were. I often think about them. The elder boy will be in his early teens now.

Wallygrom Tue 06-Aug-13 08:24:20

Thats such a shame nanaej as continuity of support in a stable environment is much needed with troubled children and it sounds like a lot of effort was put in to provide this. Unfortunately some schools are less understanding and co-operative in regard to adopted children (my grandsons included) that the experience actually generally causes more grief than support - indeed my daughter is considering changing schools or considering home tuition such has been her experience. Its been very much a case of his IEP has been written to suit the teaching style for the class and not meeting his needs as an individual :-(

nanaej Tue 06-Aug-13 09:08:53

We knew they would be leaving as their 'forever family' was from another area but we would have liked an occasional update. Also the boys had formed close relationships with a particular teaching assistant who ran a nurture group. I think they would have benefited from continued, but decreasing, communication with her at least. I hope they did not feel that we had just 'dropped' them!
Sound like the IEP for your grandsons is being prepared the wrong way round..supposed to be meeting their needs! hope it gets sorted to help him progress.

Ariadne Tue 06-Aug-13 09:13:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.