A woman has revealed the difficult decision to return her adopted toddler to social workers... and the reason behind it will break your heart.
Despite not finding Mr Right, UK woman Claire Patterson wanted a baby so she adopted a little 18-month-old boy on her own.
‘He was sitting down and then suddenly he smiled and that was it,’ Claire said about seeing the boy for the first time on video back in 2011.
‘I didn’t want any child with a disability as I was a single adopter and I couldn’t facilitate that.’
‘It said in his child performance report that he was a healthy, babbling baby boy and I was thrilled when I was told I could collect him.’
The professional photographer, now 40, knew her child had some mild developmental delays but she became increasingly concerned that he wasn't able to do simple things such as roll over, talk or crawl.
But Claire persevered and eventually taught the youngster to walk and say 'mummy.'
However, her son began having up to 36 seizures a day and tests later revealed he had previously undiagnosed brain damage.
‘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 said.
Unable to cope with the care her son required, she had no choice but to give the boy back to social workers.
‘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.’
Claire had to go to court and won a 'no fault' ruling to ensure what happened wouldn't affect her future adoption attempts and has now set up website Adoption Disruption UK to provide support for others who go through adoption breakdowns.
Claire said the little boy now has 24-hour care from four people in a home environment and plans to adopt another child in six months' time.