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Letterbox contact question

(8 Posts)
Tishtash2teeth Wed 20-Mar-13 17:41:38

Was looking for a bit of advice with regards to our letterbox arrangements. Our little one has been home 4 months now so they are finalising contact arrangements. With BP's we told SW we wanted to be addressed as little ones parents, but that have asked that we be addressed by our first names, which is ok. I also said I wanted BP's addressed by first names and they have said that when little one is old enough to start writing letters himself they will sign off with mummy (first name) and daddy (first name).

My little one has no verbal memory of them and I just don't feel comfortable with them being addressed as mummy and daddy. We're his mummy and daddy. Can anyone give me advice? What do bp of your children sign off as? How do I explain to SW why we don't want this? Feel a bit tearful about this decision - not really sure why, but I do sad

Tishtash2teeth Wed 20-Mar-13 17:47:28

Just wanted to add that the names mummy and daddy seem sacred to us. I know he has a past and birth parents and I don't want to wipe that out, I just don't feel right about this if that makes sense

Lilka Wed 20-Mar-13 18:17:25

They shouldn't sign off as mummy as daddy unless that's what little one knows them as. Since he is so young and only knows you as mummy it wouldn't be appropriate for her to sign off mummy.

You do need to make it clear if you are sorting out the contact arrangements now. It might save some complaints and confusion later on, and it wouldn't be very fair on birth mum if she was led to believe it was fine to sign mummy now, and then told later that it wasn't true after all.

Be polite but very clear with the social worker that because you will refer to them as 'X and Y' (or birth mum/dad or whatever else you're planning to use) when talking to little one, little one would be confused by letters signed mummy and daddy. He will only know you as that, and they won't be mummy and daddy simple as that. Therefore tell her that you won't be able to accept any letters signed in this way and will send them back to social services and ask for a rewritten letter if they appear. Say you are comfortable with first names only.

And also I would point out that many older children do not write any letters themselves anyway. Whilst tehy are made aware of letters it is IME realtively unusual for the children to write them themselves. In all likelihood, even when little one is a teenager, it will be you writing letters not him, even if he actuvely telling you what he would and would not like putting in the letters. His birth parents should also be told this so as not to get their hopes up of letters directly from him.

Minky66 Thu 21-Mar-13 11:55:10

Hi, I have been writing letterbox contact for over ten years now. I write contact letters to BM from me, they are not from the children.

My children refer to BM by her christian name, I am mummy. BM signs herself off by her christian name as anything else is too confusing for my children at present, this is compounded by the fact that both have SN and were removed shortly after birth, so have only ever called one person mummy and that is me.

My letterbox contact is an informal agreement and I will do what benefits my children whilst also trying to minimise any upset and distress, they have already experienced enough trauma and loss as it is, which was beyond my control and happened before I was lucky enough to become their mum. This is however one area that I can be responsible for.

For quite a few years it felt like I had 3 children, that I had to consider because I was feeling sad for her at some level and how her life is and feeling sad that she did not have the opportunities like I had etc, but in the end I had to stop and think what is best for my children only, I could not carry on feeling responsible for her feelings (I still do feel it a bit though, if I am honest, whatever her actions were that caused my childrens complex difficulties)

My children know all about their BM, I want them to know it is their right, I am able to also tell them about when I met her and what she likes and what she was like, and also what she is up to and how she is according to her contact letters and have done from an early age, I have made sure of it.

Stick to your guns, your feelings are valid and do not apologise for them. It will save you a lot of heartache and frustration for future contacts. Good luck and I hope you are ok, it is very upsetting.

Kewcumber Fri 22-Mar-13 13:34:17

We too refer to BM by her first name (but no letter box contact) DS would have been very distressed at certain points in his life if another "mummy" was suggested. He understands who she is but isn;t really ready to acknowledge her in any was as "mummy". At 7 he will now quite dispassionately talk about his "first mum" as a label but doesn't really personalise it (IYSWIM).

Do what you think is right for your child and you. You too are entitled to be considered, not just your DC and her BM.

TeenAndTween Fri 22-Mar-13 14:08:18

I agree with everyone else.

We initially used Mummy XXX as AD1 was school age when she came to us. We used it interchangably with just XXX for a while and then dropped it. Initially letters came from Mummy XXX but again after a while we asked for it to be dropped as AD2 was getting to the point where she could read.

In your situation with young ones I would avoid the confusion and just use first name.

My eldest writes letters, though they are quite short. We have always encouraged youngest to draw a picture, but the main contact is from us, the parents. I don't think it is meaningful for youngest to write, she had no relationship with BM.

Other things you need to consider are timing of contact. We avoid: birthdays, Xmas, moving in date, and exam season. We do receive Xmas and B-Day cards but they come with contact letters and we put them aside for when they are needed.


julisween Tue 26-Mar-13 17:32:35

we've had our little one 6 months now and I ask the SW today if the BP can sign the letterbox contact letters with their first names instead of Mummy and Daddy as I think it would be hard on my little one when she only knows us as her Mummy and Daddy and she has never lived with BP and also I would find it hard seeing them sign it Mummy and Daddy. The SW said they've never ask any BP to sign it with their first names and they are little ones Mummy and Daddy. Our SW said she'll ask another Sw about it but it is very unlikely. I feel a bit saddened about it all.


Lilka Tue 26-Mar-13 20:19:38

juliswen - That's ridiculous, and it's not up to social services either. If they come back and say no now, then wait till the adoption order is made then tell them firmly it's first names or you will send the letters back to be rewritten/held on file. You appear to have an unusual LA I have to say, most LA's do the exact opposite and encourage first names or ban 'mummy and daddy' except in special circumstances.

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