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Come and talk to me about boxes (but only if you want to!)(13 Posts)
Hello, as the big day gets ever closer I need to ask a few questions..... box orientated!
Confidential information storage
1) Where do you store your child's confidential information? A locked box? A drawer or cupboard?
2) Does it need to be locked?
3) What factors could make it more or less appealing to others wanting to see it, that it is locked or hidden away or in plain sight?
4) Who is it being protected from (your child's eyes or others or both!!!)?
A) What is your child's memory box like (how big etc)?
B) What is in your child's memory box?
C) Where do you store your child's memory box?
D) How often do they see their memory box, or ask for it etc?
I thank you!
Exciting times now. In answer to your questions.
DD's confidential info is in a shelving unit in our lounge (high shelf!). It is in a normal box file along with things like her nursery progress books. No one apart from us would notice it. We have kept every letter/document associated with the process. It is just there for when the time is right to show her.
As for memory box, we have several!! The one that our FC put together for her is in her wardrobe but again higher shelf (contains first sleep suit, booties, tickets of days away). She isn't old enough to look at it by herself. However the photo album from FC is on a low shelf and available for her to look at at any time.
Confidential information storage
Our children's confidential info stuff is on a high shelf in our study / spare room. It is in large A4 lever arch files, plus A4 envelopes. It isn't locked. It is in a room that is sort of out-of-bounds to the children (unless getting something off the printer), but in essence we don't keep it hidden from them. Their life story books are stored nearby (DD1 wanted hers out of the way so friends wouldn't pry). If we had prying children we would have it locked away. We don't have prying friends or family.
We do have important docs like adoption certificate in our (unlocked) filing cabinet.
Both children have a memory box that came with them from Foster Care. A small cardboard box, about the size of a 12-bottle-wine box, maybe a bit bigger. They are in a cupboard in their bedrooms. Only looked at very occasionally (maybe once per year?). FC provided a list of what everything was and why it was special (definitely needed!). DD2 can't reach hers by herself yet so needs to ask to get it. They have special toys from BPs in there and I can't quite think what else.
We also have a larger plastic storage box (like you might store a large amount of lego in) for each child where we keep special things from their time with us. e.g. Particularly good artwork, a few school oox, toys they were very attached to, like you might keep for any child, adopted or not.
Confidential information: is just kept filed with all my other paperwork, on a shelf in the sitting room. I realise as the girls get older I will need to review all this - it's not just the adoption information, but various stuff, that soon will need to be kept somewhere more secure (for example, the diaries I wrote from age 12, which are all kept on a high shelf in the sitting room, which I do NOT want my kids reading!)
This thread is a reminder to me that I need to address this now, BEFORE it becomes an issue. I was horrified when I was sorting out some papers last year and found all the old information on the children we were potential links with, complete with photos and identifying information. Of course I should have destroyed them at the time, but we were so caught up with the busyness of adopting dd2 that I somehow forgot to. It would have been beyond awful if dd2 had found them.
Memory box: each of my kids has a large wooden box with their names on, gifts from a close friend. dd2 has in hers presents from birth family (a teddy, some clothes etc) and presents from fc family. There is a combination lock that only I have the number of - but I will share it with dd2 as soon as she is old enough to want it. Her box is in her room, and she will be able to access it whenever she wants.
I do have her later life letter and lifestory elsewhere, again with my papers. They're more easily accessible there when she asks to see them, which she does occasionally.
I keep DS's info in a box under my bed - but he is not 3 yet and he is quite a way from having friends over to play.
I am not sure I want him to have the info in his bedroom (locked or not) until he is at least 8 or 9 - I wouldn't want him to have a friend over and for the friend to be curious and somehow get DS to share it with the friend - but I think by 8 or 9 DS would be savvy enough to keep it confidential. But maybe I will change my mind.
But I think DS is quite a way off from asking about his birth family (we don't have the life story book yet) and I am not sure he properly understands about adoption. He hasn't asked any questions yet and if I try and talk about his life with FC, he seems to change the subject.
But in answer to your question - I will be keeping it under a lock and key in my bedroom out of his reach but where he knows it is - to protect it from other prying eyes (like my nieces and nephews) - and when he is about 8, will move it into his room - but only if I feel reasonably confident he understands it is sensitive and confidential and not really to be shared with friends. (I think even at 8, some friendships can be a bit fleeting - and I would not want a nosey friend to look at it and then share what they had seen with the class...)
His memory box is in the top of our wardrobe, he knows it is there and can ask for it any time he wants, he's looked through it roughly 4 times in the last 6 month. We're currently working through his life story book, very slowly, that is just in our kitchen at the moment whilst we work on it, however I think this will be kept in his bedroom once it is made/readily available whenever he wants to look through it.
Other documentation/reports "our stuff" if you like, is just in a separate box under our bed at the moment, we will likely move all of this once DS is able to fully read however!
I hope that helps
All the confidential information is to protect the child and birth family. It needs of course to be kept securely. I would be deeply upset as a birth mum that my name or other details had been shared with anyone other than the adopters and of course our child who it is meant for. Cousins nieces nephews etc I feel do not need to know my name etc
Always good to have your perspective, Miracle. But actually my parents and my best friend (who also is his guardian) knows DS's birth parents first name - in case he mentions them to them (outside me and DH, he spends the most time with them).
But I agree - it needs to be kept to a select group.
I have DS's life story book in my room to look at whenever he wants to, although he never asks nowadays. DD2 has hers in her room, and has done for years now. We've had discussions about privacy, although she has shown her life story book to a couple of other people. She has a friend who lives quite near us, who was in LTFC and also had a life book, they showed each other their books. I think that actually helped DD2, she was very excited to see that another child was like her, although I was concerned for the obvious reasons. But there never was a problem arising from that.
The paperwork, and original birth certificates, are in a locked box in my bedroom, although they kids can see it once they're old enough. DD2 hasn't yet asked to see any of it.
DS's memory box is in my room, again he no longer asks to see it which I understand because it's got all the old letters and birthday cards from his birth mum in it. DD2's box is in her wardrobe.
Oh and she has another photo album of post adoption contact visit photos on her shelf which she will show to pretty much anyone nowadays if the subject comes up.
That's about it for the confidential information that's on paper
Lots of people know DD2's birth mum's name, she used to call her 'mummy x' a lot, and she liked to tell people she was adopted and so she had mummy x and new mummy Lilka
I was more concerned as to full name date of birth area I lived etc
Confidential info is with our other sensitive papers for now
Memory box on the floor in our room (DD only wants to look in it about once every six months, but we want her to have free access if she wants )
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