Welcome to the parents discussion board and thank you very much for your post. My name is Suzie, Family Rights Group’s online adviser. I am really sorry that we were not been able to respond to you before now due to the current high volume of posts we are receiving.
I am very sorry to hear of all the difficulties that you have experienced in your life including being in foster care, the loss of your mum, suffering domestic violence from your ex-partner and your baby daughter being adopted.
You would very much like to have another baby and to have the chance to be a mother again. Recently, when there was a possibility that you might be pregnant you were automatically referred to children’s services; this was understandably very distressing for you and you are querying how/why this happened.
As it turned out you were not pregnant and you are now very responsibly trying to find out what steps you could take now to give you the best chance of being able to care for your own child in the future. This shows your maturity and willingness to try to overcome problems you have had to cope with in the past.
Some mothers whose children have been adopted do go on to have another baby that they can keep – this can happen if their situation is different (and improved), their past difficulties have been dealt with, there are no serious risks to the child and they have more/better support. Where their circumstances are not changed or there are new significant risks though then they may not be successful.
The most important thing for now is probably to take care of yourself and access support to help with any difficulties you may have. It might be a good idea to look at the judgement in your daughter’s case to see what the main concerns were and whether there were any recommendations for you e.g. counselling and to make sure that you try to address them and can demonstrate this.
I wanted to let you know that you should be able to get post adoption support (as a birth parent whose child was adopted). If you haven’t been offered this before or haven’t been able to take this up now might be a good idea to follow it up. You can ask for post-adoption counselling and information from children’s services or, if you prefer, you can get in touch with an independent organisation such as the Post Adoption Centre
, the Natural Parents Network (NPN)
and the Consortium of Adoption Support Agencies
When a mother whose child has been adopted is expecting another child it is likely that children’s services would do a pre-birth assessment; I think this is why the GP referred you to children’s services when you thought that you might be pregnant. Here is some information from our young parents’ website
that might help you know what to expect.
would look at what has happened in the past but would also need to assess the current situation and to see what is different now. Here is an advice sheet
which explains more about assessments.
I am sorry that you have such limited family support but if you have a network of friends or community support that could be help too.
As a survivor of domestic violence, I don’t know if you have already had some support around this or had a chance to take part in a specialist programme such as the Freedom Programme. This might be something to look into to help you with relationships; it would also be a way of demonstrating to children’s services, if need be, that you have learned more about domestic violence and how to keep safe. As Whale468 advises, being in an abusive relationship will always raise concerns during pregnancy or when a child is born so having a good supportive partner who does not pose a risk would be a protective factor.
In some parts of the country there are services for mothers whose children are in care or are adopted to help them address any difficulties that affected their ability to care for their child and to try to prevent a further child being removed from them. Pause
operates in a number of locations and there used to be a programme called Breaking the Cycle. An adoption support agency (as suggested above) might be able to help you find some local support.
If you do become pregnant it will be important to:
• stay in regular touch with health professionals to make sure you get the ante-natal care that you and your baby need;
• work with the social worker to make a safe plan for your child for when they are born.
• You can also see a solicitor. They can advise you and help you discuss plans with the social worker, even before your baby is born.
Here are some links to support services for young parents/parents to be
that you might find helpful.
I hope this helps. Other parents may be able to share their advice or experience too.
With best wishes