Post # 1
Without going into all of the details:
My sister recently found out she was pregnant with her boyfriend of 2 months. Within two weeks of finding out she was pregnant, she left him, moved across the state, and has been talking about possibly giving her child up for adoption.
When I found out that she was considering this option, I immediately thought about the possibility of adopting and giving the child a stable and loving home with my Fiance and I (we will have been married 4 months by the time she delivers the baby, and together for over 7 years).
My Fiance are not planning on having any biological children of our own and plan to adopt in the future. However, although this is much sooner than we anticipated, both of us are completely on board for taking the steps necessary to adopt her child if my sister decides that it’s what she wants.
My question is this: Have you, or do you know anyone that has, adopted a child from a family member?
Post # 3
I had a teacher in high school who talked about how her sister had a baby out of wedlock as a teenager (I think this was in the 60’s) so she went to a “retreat”, had her baby, and her mother raised it as her own (grandmother raising grandchild as her own.) The baby didn’t find out until years later! They did not know their “sister” was actually “Mom.”
Although times have certainly changed, my teacher implied it was good for everyone- Grandma had wanted more children, Mom got to grow up some more while seeing her baby grow up and be involved, and the baby had a stable home. It worked out for everyone in this case, at least it was implied so by my teacher. I think if you can offer the baby a stable home, it sounds like a good idea. However, that is probably an over-simplified response! This is obviously an important, and likely delicate situation. Sending best wishes to you and your family.
Post # 4
A coworker of mine has raised his neice as his daughter since she was a toddler. She’s 16 now and calls him dad, knows she was “adopted” but her mom was not in a good place to be a mom at the time. Says it’s the best thing he’s ever done. He’s since had 2 kids of his own as well … 🙂
Good luck! Keep us posted!
Post # 5
I think it’s a wonderful idea.
Post # 6
My dad was adopted and there were always family rummors that it was form a certain fmaily member that had stayed with my Grandparents for a period of time (similar to the PP). His family refused to tell him the truth though and I know it has always bothered him.
I think this would be great for the baby to have a great home, but there would be so many huge changes as the child grow up. Would the child know “aunt” is bio mom, would your sister be able to take seeing the baby call someone else “mom and dad’.
This is such a big decision for all of you. Good luck!
Post # 7
I love this idea. It would reduce adoption costs and wait time for you as well. I’ve known couples to pay up to 30k for an adoption. And you’ll be related to your neice/daughter.
Post # 8
I think it can be a wonderful thing IF all things line up correctly. Is your sister unable to care for a child or is she just making a rash decision out of fear? That would be my concern really. It is one thing to be unstable and live the type of lifestyle that isn’t good for a child and it is another to get pregnant unplanned and have to be a single Mom. If the whole being alone and possibly broke is the only thing really stopping her from raising the child I would be worried about how she will feel later down the road.
With guidance and counseling for all parties it could be a wonderful way to grow your family 🙂
Post # 9
@Pearberry: Thanks for sharing that story! I have a feeling adopting family member’s children is more common than people think, but I don’t know anyone IRL that has had any experience with it. And you’re right, aside from the stable home, there are so many things to consider as far as what this child will need. I am certain we can provide everything for the little one, not to mention giving my sister an opportunity to still have a relationship with her baby if it’s what she wants. Thank you also for the well wishes. 🙂
@StaceyA: That’s so sweet, what a wonderful story. I casually mentioned the idea to my sister last night on the phone (which was the best way possible, I promise), letting her know that it’s completely her decision, and also to know that Fiance and I are willing to talk to her more about it if it’s something she’d like consider doing. Nothing definite. However, she knows now that there is an option, and we ended the phone call with “I’ll really think about it, it sounds like it might be a good option.” So, I’ll definitely keep you posted!
@Rouquine: 🙂 Thanks.
@ieatunicorns: Yes, there are so many things to make decisions on. It’s a little daunting, but I’m sure we could all come to a conclusion before the baby comes. I was thinking about a scenero similar to your dad’s happening and it’s terrifying. If anything at all is certain, it will be that the child will always know that it’s loved and we will always be honest with him/her. I’m not exactly sure what that means about the topic of their aunt being their mom, but I’m sure we can figure something out!
@PinkMagnolia: I thought about this too. Adoption is crazy expensive.
@mixtapehearts: My sister is a very unstable person. I personally believe that she has a personality disorder close to sociopathy (though I’m no doctor) and has been treated for depression (but shows all of the symptoms of manic depression/bi-polar disorder). She’s a wild child. I’m sure she’s terrified about having a baby, but this baby wasn’t an accident, she planned it. I think she may be coming to a clear mind and realizing that she may not be stable enough to raise a child. Not to mention, she’d be a single mother, which I’m sure scares her as well. HOWEVER, I know that she will have a huge amount of guilt and regret later down the road, afterall she wanted to be a mother. There is a ton of fear of becoming a mother in the least opportune circumstances, but I’m hoping she’s starting to actually think about the baby in this instance, instead of herself. You’re right though, it’s a very slippery slope.
Post # 10
I’m the only biological child in my family. My brothers are all adopted. My oldest younger brother, who is 11 now, was adopted from a cousin when he was around 20 months. She was doing a lot of drugs and in a really bad place at the time with her two other sons having been adopted by their grandparents. I think it’s a wonderful option, but it can be a lot messier and a lot more difficult than adopting from a stranger. It’s not easy. Especially if your sister eventually decides that she wants “her” child back. There are legalities to that, of course, but that can really damage the relationship you have.
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
To answer your question: Yes, I know someone who has dealt with this.
A few questions that I recommend you and your Fiance talk about, and then you talk to your sister about:
1. Are you prepared for your sister to change her mind down the road? Knowing that you’re raising her kid might seem like a good thing now, but as she changes over the years, is she likely to want the child back?
2. Are you consider a “closed” or “open” adoption? Meaning, will the child know who it’s biological parents are, or will you keep that from them? Will you tell them they’re adopted at all?
3. What are the other memebers of your family feeling about this? Is this something they can support for both you & your Fiance as well as the child? Will they stick to your wishes regarding #2?
4. Are you prepared to deal with the potential strain on your current relationship if the “family drama” of this becomes something your Fiance doesn’t want to deal with?
To explain the situation I’m familiar with– a good friend of mine was in a similar spot as you. Her brother’s girlfriend got pregnant, and had no interest in keeping the kid, but didn’t want an abortion. My friend and her husband agreed to adopt the child, and decided not to tell the child who her birth parents were. When the child was 4, her bio-mom wanted her back. She had since cleaned up her life, and was ready to try being a parent. My friend took it hard, but wanted to let her be a part of the child’s life. Her husband did not. Eventually, the result was that the child was told who her mom was, but my friend and her husband kept legal custody, the mom was in her life steadily for a few months, but drifted in and out quite a bit after the child started school. When the child was about 11, my friends ended up getting a divorce, because the strain of the whole thing was more than they could take. My friend now has sole custody of the child, and struggles with the whole situation. She hates that it cost her a happy marriage, but she loves the girl unconditionally and can’t imagine her life without her.
Post # 12
I love the idea. I know a few people who have done this, for various reasons. I’m sure there are a lot of aspects to think about and decisions to make but it sounds like a fantastic idea.
Post # 13
@Vidya: I was thinking about that last night, if she wanted the child back down the road. Even with an open relationship between the child and her, I am afraid of this becoming an issue. Though, like you said, there are legalities to it. Did your parents or grandparents ever have to deal with something like that with your cousin?
Post # 14
I say go for it – but with family the urge to come back into the childs life may happen for the person who gave up the baby, unless facts are made clear right from the start
Post # 15
In some states they sign away rights within 24 hours and it is binding forever, in others is can linger for up to 6 months. I’d find out the legalities of this, it would put your and your husband in a bad place to have laws unfavorable to adoptive parents. Your sister seems like the type that may have a change of heart later down the road ykwim? I’m not sure where you live, but if you’d be open to posting the state and county you are in I’m sure I can dig some things up for you concerning that 🙂
Post # 16
@juliette.eliza: Aside from your list, there are SO many things to consider. I haven’t talked to any family members besides my sister and Fiance about it because there isn’t anything set in stone yet and there hasn’t been a decision made. I’m trying to keep a realistic outlook on this and know that 1.) It just might not happen; and 2.) There are worst case sceneros that can happen. I’m so sorry to hear about everything your friends have gone through, I can’t imagine how the child must feel as well. We’ll prepare the best we can, answer all of the questions that need to be answered as honestly as possible, and do what we can to provide the best life possible for the child.