Helen’s Fostering Blog
When Mum has another baby
Beth and Harry have 3 brothers and 1 sister. The two eldest are also in foster care, but in separate placements and their youngest brother was adopted, whilst one of their brothers still lives with his Dad.
Beth and Harry are full siblings and only ever lived with their youngest half brother. We have contact with all of them except for the brother who lives with his Dad. Recently their Mum gave birth to her fourth child with a new partner and the hope is this baby will remain with Mum.
When we were informed last year that Mum was pregnant again and that the hope was, she would be able to keep this baby. We and everyone else had many concerns as to how this news would affect both Beth and Harry.
Would they feel it was unfair that this new baby would be able to live with Mum whilst they couldn’t? Would they worry that they too would have to return home to live with Mum? Would they be concerned about the baby staying with Mum?
The time came for the children to be told about their Mum’s pregnancy, there was a few discussions that went back and fourth as to who was best to tell them, should it be us, their Social Worker or their Mum.
Whoever told them my gut feeling was that they would be pleased they would be getting a new brother or sister as they love their siblings dearly. Their Social Worker decided that she would supervise the contact when they were told, and Mum asked if I could be present also.
I have developed a good relationship with Beth and Harry’s Mum and was pleased we were all going to be together when they were told. As expected both Harry and Beth were pleased about their Mum’s pregnancy and she had given them a framed scanned photo, which Beth proudly took to school the very next day.
I did notice a few changes in behaviour but nothing that I was overly worried about.
Over the months that followed we spoke openly about the pending arrival of the new baby and at no point did they ask any of the questions we were expecting them to. The only thing they appeared to asked questions about was who was the babies’ father and why couldn’t they meet this person. It was totally understandable, they still worried about their Mum previous boyfriend who had not been a particularly nice person.
At our LAC Review I asked if it was possible for the children to both be able to visit Mum at the hospital when she had the baby.
From my point of view it was important for Beth and Harry to be as much part of this special occasion as possible. We knew that once the baby had arrived, he would be brought along to their future contact so they were going to spend time with him anyway.
There were a few different opinions on them visiting the hospital and at first the request was refused, thankfully Beth and Harry’s Social Worker agreed with us and asked again, this time they said yes.
It was totally the right decision; the children met their new baby brother yesterday and it was a special occasion for them all to be part of. This was also an opportunity for them to meet their Mum’s new partner and the baby’s father.
He was really lovely with Beth and Harry and in all honesty it couldn’t have gone better.
I think each situation has to be assessed on its own merits, but a lot of the time, really all these children want is to be as much a part of their family as is possible.
I took some lovely photos for them to keep and I am confident they will grow to love and have a bond with their new baby brother.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer