Why I’m Writing This Blog

cropped-anon_photo1.jpgI am currently in the process of adopting my own son.

Why, might you ask? We weren’t separated at his birth and serendipitously reconnected in the style of a TV family drama if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s far more confusing that that. Because of current Irish law, in order for my husband to become the legal father of my child, we both have to adopt our son. I will no longer be his birth mother, but his adoptive mother.

You read that last sentence right. I will be the adoptive mother to the child that I gave birth to.

If you find that difficult to get your head around, brace yourself. It’s the tip of the iceberg in the murky territory that you must delve into when deviating from the traditional family unit in 21st century Ireland.

I am writing this because I need to. Because there is so little information online and in the public domain on what I am currently going through. Because Irish society doesn’t feel the need to set up support groups for parents who are undergoing the arduous and heart wrenching process that is step parent adoption. Because no one discusses the complicated situations that more and more families find themselves in as we modernize but our laws fail to keep up. Because if I don’t, I will turn my anger of the situation in on myself and that won’t be good for anyone. Least of all my beautiful son, who is blissfully unaware of the lengths we are going to in order to ensure his safety.

So, here goes.

My husband is not the “birth father” of my child. But he is his father in the truest sense. He was there when I first realised our baby’s existence, when those two pink lines appeared. He was there when we found out we were having a son. He was at the birth and the first person to lay eyes on him. He was there during every sleepless night, every nappy change, every cold, cough and tooth, his first words, his first movements, his first everything. He has provided my son with a loving home. He has been the most amazing and devoted parent from day one. But because they are not biologically connected, they have no legal relationship. He is not, nor can ever be, my son’s legal guardian. He cannot apply for guardianship or custody. I am his sole guardian.

The biological father does not know my child’s name. He has not contacted me in over three years. He did not want to know this child and has not changed his mind since. But at any point, until my son reaches his eighteenth birthday, he can apply for access or guardianship. And from what we’re told, he has a better chance of getting it than we thought possible. We have never heard a word or seen a cent from him in respect to our son. But because of his biological link, he has the potential to gain rights. Rights that my husband does not have. Rights that we have to jumps through hoops to obtain.

I want to tell our story for us, but also for those who are also going through this bizarre and invasive process. Because if we don’t start discussing the implications our law has on us as citizen and demanding better treatment, we will continue to be subject to unfair and outdated legislation that usually serves men over women.

I am going to maintain anonymity while writing this blog. It is not because I am ashamed, but because this is the beginning of my son’s life story and it is largely his to tell. I want him to be proud of who he is but I also want him to have ownership over his origins and be able to to tell the world himself who he is and where he came from. If you know me personally and have realized that it is me writing, please, for my son’s sake, respect our privacy.

I would be delighted if you would like to leave feedback, ask questions, or share your own experience in the comments section.

I will continue updating the blog as we wade through the process. Wish us luck.

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9 thoughts on “Why I’m Writing This Blog

  1. Pip says:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way but the term birth mother ( / father / parent etc) makes me cringe and it’s on of those horrible terms invented by the American adoption industry. A mother is a mother is a mother.
    That to one side I think it is crazy that when a step parent adopts a child or children both parents have to adopt the child or children. It is also sad that your son’s father has nothing to do with him. However your husband is a good example of what is a real father is. Hope all goes well though and the adoption goes through smoothly.

    • adoptingmyownson says:

      Not at all, thanks for reading! I think that different terms suit different families and their circumstances, and we find the terms that I’ve written with helped us describe our situation best. Thanks for commenting!

  2. intheprocess says:

    Hi. First of all I would like to thank you for starting that blog. I was looking for any information on step-parent adoption and simply could not find it. Me and my husband are in the process at the moment too. Would love to hear more of your story and hopefully you as well as me will see a happy ending to it. I agree with you, the process is heartbreaking and it just seems to never end (we had to get foreigner clarence also, I am of foreigner nationality). The two of us are at the stage were we are called for meeting one on one (my husband’s will be on Monday and mine the following Monday). After that our case worker is going to come for a home visit and have her time with our daughter (on her own I might add, we are not allowed to be in the room at the time since she is over 7). Looking forward to your next post. Good look 🙂

    • adoptingmyownson says:

      Hello, thank you so much for your kind words and for reading the blog. It is so lovely to hear from others who are also undertaking this process. Information is sorely lacking, which is so unhelpful for families who just want what is best for their child. I hope the interviews go well, and I hope your daughter doesn’t find the meeting too strange. Best of luck x

  3. Julie O'Donnell says:

    My daughter had the same issue and it hurt her so much to think of giving up her son for a nano-second. But the English law changed (I believe) and she didn’t have to give him up – but it was a tortuous process for her husband to adopt his step-son. And there was NO information to give to the 3 year old, yet the court insisted on her proving that she had told her son all the details. So as a writer in other genres I set to, to write the story of his step-adoption – for him. It worked and he was able to tell the judge about it. Hopefully it will be published as a book for the young children in such a situation. Their family unit is joyful and joyous.

  4. heavyheart says:

    I have just started this process, i am as far as waiting on a date for the meeting, I must be very naive as i thought it would be straight forward (enough) ! I feel very daunted after reading and researching other peoples stories. The very thought alone that i have to, in theory give up my son to become his adoptive mother lays heavy on my heart, and to be honest find it very confusing! Is there anything my husband and I could be organising before we start ie garda clearance and such? I would be very grateful for any help or advice you could offer? I hope u are near the end of what reads like a very frustrating experience. Thanks..

    • adoptingmyownson says:

      Hi there! I’m sorry to hear how you’re feeling, it is quite a daunting experience. The reassurance of legally securing your child’s place will be worth it though, if you choose to go ahead with it! Sadly they have to sort out the Garda clearance, but you have the right to ask to have your case transferred to an independent adoption agency(such as PACT), as their waiting lists might be shorter. Best of luck!

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