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Honest post about adopting siblings. The impact on them, us and our birth child (sorry, not a happy post)

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Pinkandbluewish October 7, 2019 11:36


Thank you for your reply and sorry to hear about your issues with you AD. So her struggles are do to with genetics rather than being adopted. I completely see your point about genetics. This scares me when I think of our home now full of love and happiness. I can honestly say I can not see myself given up on this dream but after reading many stories I can see me being more careful. Did you know anything about your ad bp?

Would love to hear more from you and anyone else that can share their knowledge and experience.


Edited 17/02/2021
windfalls October 7, 2019 13:59

Hi Pinkandbluewish,

Sorry had to pop the supermarket!!! I had some information about our ad's birth mum - she was a drug addict and my ad was born addicted to crack cocaine so we were expecting some problems. I did all the research and found that drink was more damaging than drugs and as we had no information that birth mum drank and so thought our problems would be limited so to speak. I have since learned that drug addicts do tend to miss use drink and so i am sure this also plays apart in our ad's problems. However, what i never considered at the time was WHY birth mum did drugs and why her life was so chaotic and so never considered genetic factors. it was our ad's adhd doctor who first pointed out that my ad's birth mum probably also had adhd and that was why she made the life choices that she did. in fact i have since learned that all of our ad's problems are probably genetic based - learned this through reading up on the issues. there was no information in our ad's reports at the time of adoption which pointed to any genetic factors in the birth family. Our ad has four older half siblings and we were refused access to any of their medical files - it was only when we received our ad's life story book which mentioned that one of her older half sibs was "highly excitable" that we realised that this probably also meant that that child also had ADHD. So you do need to do some reading between the lines. We have no information on our ad's birth dad - birth mum refused to say who it was and so my ad's problems could be inherited from there.

I am afraid that adoption is a complete lottery - i thought that any problems we would face would be on the minor end of the scale and would be due to the drugs. However, all of her problems seem to be genetic and not due entirely, if at all, to the drug use.

We also have attachment issues with our ad - she is now 12years old and obviously knows that she is adopted and this in itself leads to problems with feelings of rejection. self worth and identity - i think every adopted child will have these issues and so at the very least you will have these to deal with.

I do not know how old your birth son's are but if you are set on doing this then i would say to have a big an age gap as possible between the youngest birth son and the adopted child - the bigger the better. in fact i would say at least 7 years plus if not more. That way your birth sons will be more independent and less reliant on you and this is important as your ad will take up virtually all of your time not just as a toddler but as they also get older. My oldest bs is 6 years older than my ad and he is able to take himself off to his friends and get away from my ad when things get bad and so her behaviour impacts less on him (although exam time was particularly tough for him - trying to revise whilst my ad was having massive meltdowns). my youngest bs is younger than my ad and that relationship is really tough - especially as my ad acts younger than he does and he is really impacted by her behaviour.

So if i were you i would put this idea on the back burner for quite a while - let your birth sons have a happy and carefree childhood and when they are in their teens come back and revisit this then.

sorry if this post seems negative - i don't mean it to be, but please don't go into this thinking or hoping that it will all be alright - that is what i did and to be honest it is a decision i very often regret even though i love my ad and have fought many battles to get her the care she needs - it has been at a huge cost to us as a family.

best wishesxx

Edited 17/02/2021
Pinkandbluewish October 7, 2019 14:09

Thank you Windfalls. I've learned so much already from what I've read this past week. I will take my time, make no rushed decision and if its not Right (being over specific and picky, we will not go ahead.) My husband and I have already said no alcohol or drug use, no mental health issues and no time spent in the birth home. Which might possibly mean no go. We are over the top picky because of our already content family. So it may never be but we will look into it.

I appreciate you messaging me so much.

Take care xxx

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia October 7, 2019 15:42

Another thing to consider is FC experience. My son was taken into care at a few days old and had 2 FCs - both very different - one an elderly English couple and one a large Asian family (suitable because of his mixed ethnicity) - the Asian family were not used to long term placements and because mum worked as a seamstress from home he spent a lot of time alone in his cot or looked after by a variety of extended family members and neighbours. We were his 4th family and he was only 14mths old. In addition in-utero experience can be significant - for him there was domestic violence plus a high level of stress as they were going through care proceedings for my daughter / his sister and poor diet etc. This is in addition to the genetic heritage which includes (I’m sure) ADHD as well as mental health problems. A lot of this was unknown - BD who I’m sure probably has ADHD was violent and volatile but no diagnosis - BM suffered from depression - a very vague diagnosis as it’s often given when someone is just going through a difficult time (which is what we assumed) but can be a serious clinical condition - and had a diagnosed personality disorder - again our research at the time led us to believe there were no genetic implications but now the thinking is different on this and it’s considered to have a hereditary component too and our AD now has a suspected personality disorder, suffers from depression and has severe ADHD as well as a variety of other diagnoses.

its all very complex as there’s usually an interplay between genetic susceptibility, experiences such as drug or alcohol use, trauma and attachment experiences. It can take a long time to unravel and much is unknown at the time children are placed. BPs very rarely have an actual diagnosis and much is unknown about the children’s actual everyday experience. So although you can be careful and restrict a lot of known things there remains a huge amount that is always unknown and it is always a gamble.

Edited 17/02/2021
Pinkandbluewish October 7, 2019 17:04

Thank you. Lots and lots to think about.

Edited 17/02/2021
Munick & Vanclei February 5, 2020 16:11


Lots of love!!! Thanks for sharing your experience with us, do not feel guilty in any way as you are just being a human being... Your post just confirmed my suspicious about adopting siblings.........I first showed interest in two boys, but after a period of reflection, I realised that my birth daughter could struggle with her siblings. For our lucky, we weren't' the chosen ones.

Take care

Edited 17/02/2021
Squidge May 6, 2020 20:52

Thank you so much for your honesty Mrs Fluffy Cat.

You are truly amazing in what you are doing and continue to do for your Children.

Hubby and i are considering siblings but this was based on first hand experience of friends who adopted siblings when they were 3 - they are now 8 and are absolutely adorable, well adjusted kids who are thriving on the love and security the are receiving.

However you have opened our eyes to the fact that our friends situation is indeed very unusual:

1. the siblings are twins.

2. The mother voluntarily gave up the twins (a joint decision she made with her own mother) due to mental health issues. Therefore there was little or no apparent trauma to the twins in terms of neglect, drug or alcohol misuse etc.

We now realise that neither of the above scenario 1 or 2 is likely to be the norm and that the situation you describe is the more likely reality.

After reading your post i spoke to a Foster carer friend of mine who years ago had fostered siblings (4 year difference) on a long term basis. I recall that there was some issue that led to the LA eventually splitting the siblings up temporarily and that the remaining sibling had positively blossomed and thrived after her older brother had been placed elsewhere. I witnessed this first hand as i spent a lot of time with the family.

I didn't really understand what i had witnessed until reading your post and my friend made a similar assessment to your own in terms of the challenges of our adopting siblings.

Hubby and i will most certainly look deeper into this as i think we had on rose tinted glasses based on our own limited experiences. This is why forums like this are so valuable in getting first hand accounts from those who have walked the walk....

Thank you once again for sharing your truth as lovingly and openly as you did x

Edited 17/02/2021
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