Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 8 years ago

My partner feels guilty that he adopted...?

My partner adopted a child with his ex-wife a few years ago.

They adopted the child when he was three and their marriage broke down shortly after, which resulted in him leaving the home, whilst her new partner moved in. As far as i can tell he only lived with the child for a few months, four or six at most.

the child has just turned six recently.

My partner and i have been together just over a year.

We have the child at our house most weekends and after school once a week.

My partner tries to be the best parent he can, though he regularly has a sort of mini-breakdown, getting really emotional and crying, saying he feels crushed by the guilt of taking the child away from his foster parents, who had him from being four hours old, until he was adopted at three. They have two adult children of their own and foster young children. They had planned to adopt the child themselves, though they were told that they lived too close to the birth parents. They planned to move so they could keep him, but he was put up for adoption in the meantime and matched with my partner and his ex-wife. They took him, but their relationship broke down and they divorced shortly after. The child is now an only child, whereas before he has a few younger "brothers and sisters" and the grown-up children adored him and was surrounded with kids.

My partner says he feels selfish and guilty for adopting him and subjecting him to the life of a broken home as an only child, whereas before his foster parents loved him and he was surrounded with other children in a really friendly child-orientated home.

Since the divorce the child has had behavioural problems at school, though these are clearing up now. He's also developed into a really sickly, skinny boy, whereas he was a really chunky toddler / little boy. He is also unclear about what his relationship is with my partner, his ex, her partner and myself, though we always try to clarify this for him.

My partner is a great parent to him and the child seems happy at home, but my partner gets so upset and emotional about adopting him into this life. I try to reassure him as best i can, but i don't really know how to help him. He says he is trying to make the very best of a bad situation, but he feels so guilty for causing the situation in the first place.

Incidently, he was not responsible for the divorce.

Is it normal to feel guilty about adopting?

What can i say / do to help him?

We need to do the best for this child!

Thankyou in advance!

Sorry if this was long-winded, but i needed to get across the whole picture.

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Unfortunately it is a basic truth that adoption does not necessarily promise a better life, just a different one. Obviously the little guy is having trouble coping with the realities of his parents divorcing, particularly combined with losing his foster parents. Maybe your partner could book him into some counselling so that he can be helped with dealing with the issues?

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  • 8 years ago

    He's not feeling guilty about adopting as much as he's feeling guilty about messing up the life of a child. Most people who go through a divorce and have children will feel such guilt because they have created a disaster for the child. To know that the child could have had a much better life, a life he was settled into, before you messed it up, is something to feel guilty about.

    However... Even if he could go back to his former foster parents, that wouldn't fix the problems. He's gotten used to another home now and being dumped by another set of parents will make a worse mess of this child's life. Worse, he doesn't seem to have a stable home to offer the child at this time. He's involved a child in a mess where neither he nor his ex-wife seem to have solid, committed relationships, so the child is likely going to have more problems feeling he's in an unstable life. Hopefully the child is seeing a therapist. And if you really want to help your partner get over this, help him to see the need to get a solid, committed life, where the adults in the family all have clear legal relationships to the boy and each other.

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  • LiveA
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    You could send the foster family photos via email on holidays, just so they know the child is doing well, let them have some updates.

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  • 8 years ago

    Yes, it is normal, what has happened to this child is evil. Reaping benefits of the misery of others should make somebody feel guilty.

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  • 8 years ago

    I understand his feelings. I wish the best for you guys. Sorry that I have no better advice than to say hang in there.

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