Mother Returns Toddler She Adopted
Claire Patterson was focussed on her photography career until her mid 30s. She was financially stable, and ready to start her own family. Without having a partner she decided to adopt and sailed through the process. She was shown a video of a little boy who melted her heart, "he was sitting down and then suddenly he smiled and that was it" she told the Daily Mail.
Claire had been told that her child had some mild development set backs, but other than that he was a healthy baby boy and she was thrilled.
"I didn’t want any child with a disability as I was a single adopter and I couldn’t facilitate that," she revealed.
When Claire finally met her son and took him home she was concerned about the shape of his head, "it was very flat at the back, but even then, I didn't know what was to come."
From there on, it became apparent that her son couldn't do anything you would expect from a child at that age. He couldn't roll over, talk or crawl, he had very poor muscle tone.
Claire attempted everything to help him develop, taking him to a speech therapist and encouraging him constantly. He eventually was able to walk and manage the word "mummy".
However, one day whilst in the car with her son she noticed he was jolting, "he was having a seizure, it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life."
From then on he was in and out of the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
"He had neurological damage, or brain damage, and had been born that way," Claire said.
"He was having 36 seizures a day and his epilepsy was a symptom of something much bigger. He didn’t know who I was."
"He had breathing difficulties and once was in a coma. At one point it was thought he might even die."
"It was very, very stressful and I had reached the end of my physical and mental strength."
Claire then made the very difficult decision to give her son back to social workers and give up her responsibility as a parent.
"It was a heartbreaking decision, I loved him," she said. "It’s certainly not something I took lightly at all, but I had nothing more to give and had to hand him back."
Social workers agreed that Claire could no longer care for him, but a 'legal care order' was needed for a child to be handed back, which implies the parent was at a fault.
Claire took the ruling to court and won, ensuring there would be no negative reflection on her, crucial if she wanted to adopt again.
"I had to give him back through no fault of my own and I wanted a record of that" she said.
Claire has since launched a website called 'Adoption Disruption UK' to provide support for others where adoption breaks down.
"Sometimes it just doesn't work out and parents have no choice but to return their children, whether they are babies or teenagers," Claire said.
Claire has revealed that the little boy is now living in a home environment with four people providing around the clock care.
Claire is now hoping to adopt again, "I'm hoping to have a child between three and six years old."
Source: Daily Mail, Claire Patterson