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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:04 am 
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I'm New!

Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:30 pm
Posts: 23
Your Adoption Connection: New to adoption.
We have been matched with almost one-year old twins (one with down syndrome, one with developmental delays). We found out both birth parents have schizophrenia. Our research shows that there is a 36% chance that one of the twins will have the same illness.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? What is your experience?

Thanks!
Tara


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:47 pm 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:23 am
Posts: 5347
Location: Farm fields of Illinois
Your Adoption Connection: International, foster and private adoption.
Scarey territory for some......but there's at least some evidence while a person might have the genetic composition for schizophrenia, there still have to be triggers in their environment to set it into motion. We could have submitted our profile for a baby to be born (like in one week) in Michigan. We came very close to doing this and the baby---more than likely---would have been ours. (Bm liked our initial stuff.) But, having lots of other children, we didn't proceed with this one (and the fact we'd have had to stay in MI for such a long time until bm could appear in front of a judge, THEN, ICPC stuff too.)

Yes, there is significant risk; but there's also this: Not so long ago, no one knew what generated schizophrenia...and Heaven knows that most of us have no clue about our FULL genetic make-up and family lineage. It's still a roll of the dice, KWIM? If you're solid in this match, let the dice roll as they will.........you'll be prepared either way and in the meantime, do your best by these babies regardless of what happens!

Good luck!

Sincerely,

Linny

_________________
There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault

Adoption Specialist for
Adopt America Network


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Honorary Member

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:18 am
Posts: 606
Your Adoption Connection: Matched family
One of our LO's parents reportedly has "schizophrenia" though the symptoms don't really match up with the diagnosis, so we were pretty skeptical of the diagnosis. We spoke with an adoption medicine specialist and were very reassured with one schizophrenic parent. The supposed risk is 10% for one affected parent... BUT what really made me feel better is that the doc said that in the US with birthparents most of the time one is unknown or not much is known. In those cases you pretty much have to assume the worst with respect to mental illness. So he would say that baseline he'd make the assumption that most adoptees have a 10% risk. So our daughter really didn't have any risk above baseline.

With both parents and the increased risk that raises, the calculus may be different for you. On one hand you could say that the parents were functional enough to conceive and carry babies, which may make the risk slightly lower than average for 2 schizophrenic parents (less severe disease)... but then again one could say that with the other challenges these babies face, one more thing could just put it all over the top into "don't want to deal with this possibility" territory. I can't imagine having to deal with schizophrenia in a DS child, so I guess that would be a deal breaker for me... but I can see some being ok with it.

I hope I'm making sense and am not being offensive. I just thought long and hard about this before we accepted our match :)

_________________
5/10: daughter born
6/11: decided to complete our family through adoption
7/11: homestudy and paperwork complete
8/11: profile complete
10/11: approved
12/11: matched with a girl!
2/21/12: precious girl born
2/22/12: she's officially ours!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:19 am 
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I'm New!

Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:30 pm
Posts: 23
Your Adoption Connection: New to adoption.
Thank you both for your responses.

My husband is feeling very uncomfortable going forward with the adoption. From his research the odds are very high that one or both girls will get the illness. Dealing with a child with DS and schizophrenia would be very difficult.

As far as the parents functionality, the bf is in jail and the bm is homeless and does not have custody of her other children (which are many).

We will talk about it a little more but if my husband continues to feel so uncomfortable we will not proceed. We just had to turn down another opportunity after receiving the child's medical information and finding out he was total-care, wheelchair dependent for life (our home is not accessible) and g-tube dependent. His profile did not indicate any of those issues and it was more care than we prepared for.

I hope it doesn't sound like we are looking for the perfect adoption. We would like to adopt a child with special needs but we know our limitations and need to be true to that.

Oh, this is so stressful and my heart is hurting.

Thanks for all of your thoughts, very appreciative.
Tara


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:29 am 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:23 am
Posts: 5347
Location: Farm fields of Illinois
Your Adoption Connection: International, foster and private adoption.
Quote:
I hope it doesn't sound like we are looking for the perfect adoption. We would like to adopt a child with special needs but we know our limitations and need to be true to that.


Oh my no! It doesn't sound like you're looking for the perfect child at all! It DOES sound like you're being wise and thoughtful----not just for what you feel you can handle, but what child would be best served in your home! Being the mom to some special needs children, I'd tell you there are several conditions our family wouldn't have even considered reading more about---because we knew straight out we couldn't---or even wouldn't want to deal with those!

Nooooo, you're being wise and caring. Don't think of yourselves otherwise!

Most Sincerely,

Linny

_________________
There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault

Adoption Specialist for
Adopt America Network


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:27 am 
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Honorary Member

Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:18 am
Posts: 606
Your Adoption Connection: Matched family
I agree with Linny. You are doing your due-diligence and doing what's right for your family instead of reacting on emotion... and that should be applauded!

_________________
5/10: daughter born
6/11: decided to complete our family through adoption
7/11: homestudy and paperwork complete
8/11: profile complete
10/11: approved
12/11: matched with a girl!
2/21/12: precious girl born
2/22/12: she's officially ours!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Honorary Member

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:47 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Wisconsin
Your Adoption Connection: DS adopted in 2007, hoping to adopt again!
Never fear, you won't be judged here. It is good that you and DH are able to discuss your limits and vision for your family. We all take the bumps as they come, but that doesn't mean you can't plan the path you hope to take!

My DH is also very sensitive to mental illness. He has a fear of becoming mentall ill and not being "in control" and this extended to our adoption journey as well. We talked with our doctors about what is most likely to be genetically passed forward and made our limits based on that knowledge. Nothing is ever for sure with health, but taking the time to talk about your limits when considering a match is being kind and responsibe.

_________________
June 2006- Started adoption process
April 2007- DS was born- Never knew so much love!
December 2007- DS adoption finalized

Two failed placements and a lot of ups and downs in our second adoption journey.
January 2012- DS was born- A completely wonderful surprise!
July- DS adoption finalized


Always remember there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name...


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:33 pm 
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I'm New!

Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:30 pm
Posts: 23
Your Adoption Connection: New to adoption.
Thank you all for your support.

Unfortunately, at first, we made an emotional decision but agreeing too quickly to have our home study submitted for the twins. The are truly beautiful children. We were chosen within a day so everything went much faster than we have experienced so far and the next thing we knew we were talking about ICPC and when to visit, etc. I started only thinking about how our life would change and how to make it work, my DH starting doing the practical thinking (we compliment each other that way) and doing research on schizophrenia and spoke to our pediatrician who told us to prepare for the worst. The combination of my DH's research, the pediatrician's discussion and my DH's gut feeling, we decided not to move forward with this adoption.

Our caseworker was a little put out with us because it caught her by surprise. We called the twins' caseworker and explained our feelings, etc. and she was very understanding and is moving on to find the right family for the twins.

I feel better now that we made the decision but I can tell you I was so stressed out and distraught about a second adoption that we decided not to proceed with that I have been feeling ill. Stress has taken a toll on my body so I'll need a few days to recoup. :) But I feel comfortable knowing we made the right decision with God's guidance. Praise the Lord!

Tara


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