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Possibly found adopted daughter what next.(41 Posts)
Hi my daughter was taken into care under the age of one and adopted 14 months later. I did not agree and fought it all the way. The thing is i have never given up hope of seeing her again one day and I think I have found her or the location she is in and the school she goes to. The problem is she is only 13 so have another 5 years before the adoption service will tell her I want to be part of her life. Is there anything I can do before hand if I think I know where she? Thanks in advance
Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do as she is still a minor
I'm a birth parent and please believe me that I understand the anguish, and the compulsion to search.
I really think you have to play the long game here and back off. Not only to reintroductions go badly if forced by the birth parent, but you really damage your chances of a future relationship with your daughter if you push this.
Do you have contact, indirectly? If not, or if it has been unsatisfactory or you couldn't keep it up in the intervening years, then that can be addressed by afteradoption on your behalf, and might make a significant difference to you, and I would have thought that your daughter would become more likely to reinstate contact when the time comes.
I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but when you look back at the end of your life, you could look back on spending some of your daughter's adulthood with her, in her life. Searching for her too soon and doing anything to undermine the adoption won't lead to that feeling.
boo I am an adoptive parent and have nothing to add to the wise words from the others. I am so sorry for your situation and hope for the very best outcome for you and all involved.
Thank you for your messages
I have letter box contact once a year which to me is rubbish
I would not want to push anything on her and destroy any chances I may have with her in the future, but it broke my heart loosing her and there is not a day that goes past since she was taken I do not think about her. Now if this is her which I believe it is she is only around 20 miles away from me which is making it even worse.
The others are right, if you try to make direct contact with her now, by stalking her , turning up outside the school, using Facebook etc, you will cause a lot of trouble for yourself and serious upset to your biological daughter . At worst you could end up with police involvement and her never wanting anything to do with you.
I realise it's hard because you still feel like she is yours. But I'm sure you understand that legally and emotionally this isn't the case, and she has all the same rights as another child to be protected against unwanted adult attentions . So please, I urge you, do not act on any plans you may have to do anything yourself and not through the proper channels.
Have you asked SS to leave letters and photographs on her file from you? They can do this now and she can read them when she is older If she wants to .
When she is an adult, SS can let her know that they have letters from you and /or that you wish to meet her. However, you need to be prepared for the possibility that she may not wish contact. Most adopted teenagers are just like every other teenager -they are focused on their friends, Boyfriend or girls friend, school, sports, hobbies, their appearance, clothes, their future careers etc . And not on things that happened a lifetime ago that can seem irrelevant .
I'm sorry, I know this is hard to hear, but it woudl be unkind to get your hopes up that you will meet her again in a few years. Of the adopted adults who search, most do not do so until their 20s or 30s.
Have you considered going for counselling? It can really help to talk these things over with an adoption cousellor.its obviously on your mind a lot right now, as you have been searching .
Sorry I didn't see you post where you say you already have letterbox contact. In that case, if your biological daughter wanted to have direct contact with you, she could ask SS for this now ( assuming her parents agreed of course ). So it's very likely that she doesn't want it right now .
Hi I would never dream of turning up at her school or even trying to make direct contact with her that would have to be her choice and her choice only.
If I spoke to ss or the adoption team explaining that I believe I have found her do you think they would up my letter box contact if that is possible?
Counselling did not work for me This is not something new she is on my mind everyday its only by chance I think I have I have found her
I was also under the impression that even if she did want to contact myself or her father before she was 18 ss would not give her any information about us?
Just wanted to add from a professional perspective as I work in post adoption support. I would absolutely heed against making an approach at this stage. We find that it's much more likely to end in tears for all concerned when people take matters into their own hands.
Re letterbox contact - perhaps you could approach the LA concerned about reviewing it if you would like it more frequently? You do have the right to do this, although it will be up to the adoptive parents to agree to it, hopefully they would discuss with your birth child before making a decision. I would also suggest that you write a letter to go on file for her, as if she does decide she wants direct contact when she is older, it's likely that she will access her adoption file first, and something that outlines your thoughts and feelings honestly about why things happened as they did back then, and how you feel about contact now, is likely to be helpful. You can be supported to do this by referring yourself for support to whoever provides adoption support in your area, it's usually an independent agency and not social services/the adoption team.
However tempting it is to pursue this at this time, for the sake of your daughter and for any future relationship you may have, please don't. Thirteen is an incredibly sensitive age and we find that for adopted people especially, adolescence is tricky and tends to be a time when their adoption can throw up lots of complex emotions/issues. The likelihood is that she won't be mature enough/ready for this. You would really risk causing her a lot of upset and distress, and the fallout would be detrimental for you both - you would probably lose letterbox contact, leaving you with nothing, and everyone would be much more wary about promoting contact once she is older. It's very unlikely that this would have a happy ending, quite the opposite, you would probably end up in a much worse position than you are now.
Try to focus on the positive. You have some contact with her and can ask for more (some adopters refuse to engage in letterbox at all, leaving birth parents knowing absolutely nothing). Also, your daughter may be curious about contact (girls/women seem more curious about birth family and seem to tend to explore contact sooner than boys/men - purely anecdotal) and so there is a small chance that in the next few years she may want to know more about you and if her adoptive parents are supportive then this can lead to more contact, with involvement from adoption professionals for all parties. And if not, when she is 18 you will be entitled to ask for an intermediary service whereby contact can be made with her on your behalf to see whether she is ready for it. Even when she is 18 you should use this approach, whether you know where she is or not.
Please sit tight and do this properly when the time comes OP. I am sure it will be better for you, and most importantly, better for your daughter. I am sure that her welfare is your main concern. It's a waiting game and must be so vey tough for you, but remember, we are adults much longer than we are children, and hopefully you will have many years ahead to be able to get to know each other slowly and appropriately.
All the best x
SS will not give out your contact details, no. but if she wanted contact now ( and her parents agree ) , they would contact you and act as an intermediary to arrange things . The fact that this hasn't happened indicates that it's not something your biological daughter wants right now.
You can of course ask SS if they will contact the adoptive parents and ask if they are willing to have more frequent letterbox contact. But it's up to them and their daughter. They won't be pressurised by the fact that you have tracked her down -if anything, they will be very concerned that you are trying to use this as some sort of implied threat against them and their child.
You sound very distressed and I'd urge you to try counselling again. I have lost two children under different circumstances so I am very sympathetic. But the fact that she is on your mind every day after 13 years indicates that you need some help NOW to manage your feelings about your loss.
Boo, we x posted.
If you tell SS you think you know where she is then they would share this with adopters. To be honest I am not sure that would make adopters keen on more contact, could have opposite affect... APs on here may be able to help with that. But you can ask for more contact without any reason other than it may be what your birth child would like and you would certainly like more contact. It's always worth an ask.
As I said above, sometimes teens do request contact with birth family before 18. What happens depends on them and their adoptive parents. Adopters would need to refer to SS. It is fairly rare but it does happen. It doesn't work the other way though, birth parents can't do anything until the child is 18.
You sound like you are really trying to do the right thing. It cannot be easy to separate your heart from your head in this situation. Relived to hear you are not thinking of doing anything drastic. You are doing what is best.
Hope this has helped.
Thank you both
I did not know that I could ask for letter box contact to be increased if I had have been told this years ago it might well of helped me a bit more. When I asked if it could be more I was told no its this or nothing.
When I mentioned to Ss years ago for instance I said "worst case, she finds out she is adopted and wants some more formal contact with myself or her father, even to the point of running away, I was told never in a million years will you have anything to do with her until she is over 18"
But as you have both said things can be done before hand if she wanted it and her adopted parents allowed this.
I think I have been over stressing myself all these years thinking the worst and only knowing a tiny bit of information each year makes it worse, and that can only be down to the manager of the Ss department telling me the above information.
I do not think counselling will work to be honest but will give that another try
Its very lucky I believe I have found this information out now as it was only a few months ago I was thinking of moving within the area for a new job and my son would of been starting the same school as her I can not even begin to think what that would of been like
Thank you all
I am a birth parent. Firstly do you have any contact letters with her? If not why not. Speak to the local authority if you don't as to why you don't get any contact.
I get two letters a year and this agreement I have been told is very flexible if it goes well and my ds asks for more or I can ask for more in time. I was going to do 4 letters and then ask for an increase in letters
I get letter box once a year from the adoptive parents.
I never knew until now that I could of asked for it to be increased if I had of known I would of done this years ago
Fingers crossed you get more
Nothing really to add to the good advice above, boo, though I do want to really stress how important it is NOT to use the fact that you know where she is to try to get increased letterbox. In fact, I wouldn't say anything about that at all. As an adoptive parent, it would make me feel very vulnerable and out of control. And it could come over as a threat.
By all means ask for increased letterbox. There's no knowing what the response would be - entirely personally, I would be very happy if my dd's birth parents asked for increased indirect contact.
Thank you Devora I will contact the adoption team tomorrow
First of all, I am sorry you are in this position and I know it must be extremely painful and difficult.
I wouldn't say anything to social serives. I just don't think it would be helpful or change anything. Social services would probably tell the adoptive parents, and they would most likely be very worried in case you do turn up at her school etc, and if you're not planning on turning up at her school or contacting her, then they'd be worrying needlessly. Your daughter wouldn't find out about it, and it wouldn't make it more likely for you to get more letters.
You can ask for letterbox to be increased, but the decision needs to be made based on what your daughter wants and needs at this point in her life. If she and her parents have been fine with once a year to this point, and she isn't asking for any more letters, then it wouldn't be raised.
I've known a few adoptees get in contact with their birth mum's, and in my experience that generally the later they waited, the better their relationship with their birth mum is now. The adoptees who were only early-mid teens, it hasn't ended or isn't going very well for any of them, because they weren't mature enough to deal with their reunion and all the difficult emotions it threw up. As difficult as waiting is, in the long term, by waiting you are more likely to end up with a better relationship with your daughter (if she does choose to meet you once she is 18).
I think counselling could be very worth a try
I wish you all the best
Good luck OP with getting letterbox reviewed. Using letterbox to build a positive relationship with adopters can be really helpful in my experience. I do a lot of work with BPs in relation to this. I hope you will ask your SS for access to your local adoption support service as they can often provide a non judge mental space to talk and will absolutely understand your position as a birth parent; might be more helpful than more generic counselling.
Letterbox takes many forms and I'm not sure how you do yours, but a letter in your next exchange to the parents to try to work on building rapport may help - some find BPs threatening, some are as poorly informed (not their fault) and badly supported post-adoption as the birth parents. So if you are able to be supportive about the adoption and their role as parents, that could help reassure and build bridges. You sound like you place your daughters needs before your own and knowing that will make you less scary to them when the issue of direct contact comes round in the future. It is also worth asking them in your letter if there is any info anout you/DDs early life that would be helpful for them and DD. She may be asking questions that they don't have the answers too, but again, they may not know that you would be happy to sndwer qu's (if you are). Identity is a big deal for many adopted young people. It sounds like this letterbox situation exists but by being a bit more proactive it could be more beneficial for all. But remember, they may be perfectly happy with current arrangements, so no guarantees.
At least you will know that you are continuing to do all you can in your role as birth mum.
Take care x
Thank you both
I remember from my last counselling that if I shared any information that they thought was a potential risk they would inform Ss so should I keep that I believe I have found her to myself also in this?
If given how I was treated post-adoption I really do not hold out much hope that her adopters were going to be very well informed around things, but then again I think it was the social worker that done a lot of the work with them and not the manager who I always ended up with.
I have nothing against the adopters or as there role as my little girls parents the only problem I have ever had was and is against the department, but I will put a covering letter into them stating should they need to know further information then I am more than willing to do anything I can to help.
My letters are sent via the adoption department of Ss once a year in March and vise verse.
I think if you access post adoption support and discuss the fact you think you may know where your daughter goes to school etc then yes, the worker would share that with SS. It would be interesting to know how you think you have identified her as presumably you don't know her surname. Do you get photos with letterbox?
It sounds like you will have recently had an exchange via letterbox so I suggest you contact SS and ask them to approach adopters to see if they will think about making it twice a year. You could offer to write a letter to them to explain your motivation and to reassure them that you are not looking to cause upset or disrupt things. They will also want to know that you are committed to being consistent with it. If you have always stuck to the agreement and written every year they should have no reason to think you wouldn't be able to stick to a more frequent exchange. If you have struggled to be consistent in the past you will need to be able to explain why and what has now changed.
Hope it all goes ok.
Hi no I do not get any form of photos and did not have any information of there surname before now.
I do not really want to go into to much detail as to how I think I have found her as other posters have stated it might upset my daughter and adopters if they knew and can not say if the adopters use this site or not.
But I have always suspected that she was within the area I think she is in now, due to something being mentioned on the adoption paperwork years ago, not sure if I was suppose to of seen it or not as it was the social workers copy I was reading well I was suppose to only be reading one page of it but flicked through loads. It was just by pure chance I came across her name and further digging by me has resulted in bits of the puzzle all seeming to link up.
But I have spoken to the adoption place this morning and they are going to put in a request for more frequent letterbox contact.
Thank you all
I hope that you do get more letterbox contact. I myself will be asking for more after a few letters. He will be approaching 5 and a half when I do so my reasoning is that a)he's started school so the letters give his parent's chance to ask questions that he may have once he starts school b) he's growing and changing a lot in a short time by this point c) I have stuck to the contact agreement so far d) I have done nothing to make the parents or him unsettled
Bear in mind though that she may not know she's adopted or about the letterbox contact.
One of my foster children has an adopted sibling who doesn't know he's adopted and the parents write a couple of sentences about him once a year.
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