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Birth Parents - do you get a letter from them?

(27 Posts)
Hels20 Thu 30-Oct-14 20:10:12

Just that really. I would be interested to hear whether people do get letters.

We had to send a letter to BPs last month - which we did - and I was really expecting to get something back. I know Social Services can be slow to send things on but I checked in a few days ago and they had had nothing in. We are meant to exchange letters in September.

I know BPs may find it hard but for some reason, it has upset me. Our meeting with BM went well - and she was adamant she would write to us as she realised how important it was for our son.

Did anyone else feel let down by BPs if they didn't get a letter or is it me being over sensitive? I just want my DS to grow up knowing his BPs loved him and yet their actions don't really show it...and I would have thought a short letter to us/him would be one action.

I know I am being hard on BPs - I know it must be difficult to write a letter - but I feel somewhat let down for my son.

odyssey2001 Thu 30-Oct-14 23:16:30

I feel desperately sad for my son that his birth family don't care enough to get themselves together for an hour or so once a year to write a few sentences. It can be easily explained due to their lifestyle but it still hurts.

kmarie100 Fri 31-Oct-14 10:01:57

I was in the same position earlier in the year. I too had the same kind of feelings. However the letters did eventually come. When the first letter came I shed a few tears, I think I was so relieved that they had finally replied. Unfortunately both birth parents haven't kept up with the letters and we've had missing birthday cards too which I actually felt quite angry about. I suppose in time I will get used to it all and will learn to cope better. Fingers crossed you get your reply soon. I actually started a thread about this but not sure how to attach a link it was
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/adoptions/a2077281-letterbox-feelings

KristinaM Fri 31-Oct-14 16:53:47

I've never had a reply for any of mine and I don't know many other adopters who have TBH

We did get lots of cards the first year, all totally unsuitable eg To a beautiful Daughter cards, signed " lots of love from mummy " , with notes inside such as " can't wait until we see you again /until we get you back /until you are 16 / your grandma is very old and frail and she might not live to see you again /your sister cries for you every night " .

Once SS pointed out that these were not acceptable -nothing. Ever.

gymmommy Fri 31-Oct-14 18:13:59

Same here. Nothing except one inappropriate one which we kept incase we received nothing else. And yes it makes me angry considering how much thought and effort goes into our letters. But then I have been told BM appreciates them. Great if that is the case send something, anything in return. If BF don't want to stick by the name rules etc, send something to be kept on file! What will DC think when we wrote religiously and no one ever replied. On the other hand I keep a copy of everything just so DC can see we tried.

Lilka Fri 31-Oct-14 18:40:38

I got replies from DD2's mum
Replies from her siblings varied a great deal, weren't always appropriate, and dropped off a lot over the years

Devora Fri 31-Oct-14 20:22:00

dd2 has now been with us for over four years. We have never had a letter from the birth family (two letterbox agreements in place). I still send mine every year but it does feel like a bit of a pointless exercise. The letterbox co-ordinator told us that this is typical: she has filing drawers full of letters from adoptive parents, and almost nothing back the other way. I think we all understand why, but it does make us hurt for our children.

Hels20 Sat 01-Nov-14 06:38:55

Thanks everyone and thanks KMarie for linking to the earlier thread. I hadn't seen it.

I just felt really hopeful after BM meeting - and I liked BM.

Hey ho

excitedmtb Sat 01-Nov-14 11:06:58

We wrote a letter which was to be received by multiple members of extended family who had demanded to be added to this list for contact. Many months later, zero contact received. Putting aside my own feelings, I think it would have been good for our LO to receive some sort of note.....and LO has asked if they will reply. I will continue to write the letters at the time expected, but wont be getting LO involved if we receive nothing back this year. I too am feeling disappointed.

KristinaM Sat 01-Nov-14 12:10:45

Sometimes I think that contact is seen as some sort of consolation prize for the birth family, or even a way of SS exercising control even aftre the AO is granted. When in fact it's supposed to be about the childs best interest

It's hard to see how the children benefit from the parents agonising over a twice yearly letter for 16 years and the child gets nothing back . It just communicates that the birth family don't care enough even to send a card or write a few paragraphs.

I know it's hard for the birth family, but it's hard for everyone. I know people have chaotic lives and perhaps literacy problem, but even still.....

Angelwings11 Sat 01-Nov-14 13:18:15

We have only written a few Letters, as DD has only been with us for just over two years now. We have had nothing back from BM. I agree with you KristinaM, that this is about the child and when they do not get replies it is another form of rejection. Our letterbox will be up for review next year and we have already said that we won't continue unless it is a two way thing.

Kewcumber Sat 01-Nov-14 16:04:16

we won't continue unless it is a two way thing

I agree (not that its relevant to us).

There are birth parents on here who find writing that letter every bit as draining and difficult as the adoptive parents do - but they (like we) do it because it really is n the best interests of the child.

If there is no response at all I fail to see how that in in the interest of the child and I certainly wouldn't be doing it in those circumstances.

Hels - do you have a review date? If not I would consider adding a note separately saying you will do letters for two more years and if there isn;t a reply that can at some stage be shown to your DS then you will end contact.

But then I'm a grumpy hard ass.

Haffdonga Sat 01-Nov-14 17:30:31

I imagine for the BPs it's probably even more difficult than for APs to frame a suitable reply, because they don't have a topic of common interest to share info about (your dc), plus they may feel that their lives aren't in a state they are comfortable to be open about.

Does asking the BPs fairly specific questions alongside your news encourage more replies ever?

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 04-Nov-14 15:07:24

We are lucky. We get 2 letters per year from BM in response to ours.

We were also writing to another relative, but after 6 years of no response we sent a final letter saying unless we heard from them we would no longer be writing. We made this decision in conjunction with our eldest DD. Letterbox was meant to be in the interest of the children, and writing to this relative but getting no response was not in their interest anymore.

BookFairy Tue 04-Nov-14 19:16:23

I used to work with Care Leavers, several of whom had failed adoptions and went back into the system. It was discovered that the letterbox contact had been a disorganised mess.

I would keep writing and keep nagging SS to check for replies.

Hels20 Wed 05-Nov-14 07:22:56

Thanks everyone and thanks BookFairy. Maybe it is just huge disorganisation. I'll update if I hear back from them (I was never hopeful about BF but I was about BM).

excitedmtb Wed 05-Nov-14 16:51:21

Finally we have had something back....seems like I spoke too soon in my post above. But it is many months later than it should be so don't give up yet Hels20

(although I am pleased to get something for LO I do have some issues. far too many references to BM as the parent etc....and some of the content I am sure will cause confusion and possibly upset. I think I need to see our LA guidelines on this).

KristinaM Wed 05-Nov-14 23:47:03

Glad you Got something at last

Italiangreyhound Fri 07-Nov-14 01:34:43

I'm not sure whether to post this or not and I am a total newbie, so please feel free to ignore me, but I really quite liked writing the first letter to birth parents! Am I just weird or inexperienced?

Of course I hope we get a reply but even if we don't I hope I will keep writing. One day ds may ask me what I did in relation to this and I can show him the letters. He is too young to be involved at this stage.

I know I am inexperienced but I can (apologies) totally see why some birth parents would not write. I am not sure if it is chaotic lifestyles, or lack of literacy, or lack of anything to say (some people may not have much 'news' to pass on) and I wonder if there might be a sense of failure, and this is just too big to touch, it is easier to pretend it did not happen or whatever?

As I say, I am very new to all this and I am now worrying that I did not find it hard to write to them! We are lucky birth mum was not a terrible person but she let ds down, and I can't quite imagine how she has ordered all that has happened in her mind. Maybe writing for some if just too much, I'm not sure it means they do not care, and I would not want ds to pick up from me any idea that a lack of letters meant a lack of love.

Anyway, I realise what I am saying may sound like hogwash and I might be back in a years time complaining about letterbox! So do feel free to ignore me. blush

PS excitedmtb glad you got something. Hels20 hope you do too, and all of us waiting.

redfishbluefish Fri 07-Nov-14 10:05:47

We are new to this, have just written one time so far. No response and at the moment apparently no interest by BP in signing the agreement (arrangements were made by oral agreement, then the written agreement was refused, full stop). Not sure what we will do next year if nothing changes.

excitedmtb Fri 07-Nov-14 20:37:57

Thank you kristina and Italian - we haven't read it with LO yet but are planning to do so over the weekend.

Hels20 Fri 07-Nov-14 21:12:13

Thanks for updating excited. You have given me hope.

I do agree, Italian, that it can be hard for a BP to write when they don't feel like they have any news. But it doesn't have to be long - I just would like something that shows that they do love him (I know they do but I want him to know that too.)

Italiangreyhound Sat 08-Nov-14 02:00:28

Of course Hels it's totally understandable.

I just wonder if the enormity of the loss can be a bit paralysing. I cannot imagine it. I cannot imagine how I would react. I hope I would 'do all the right things' but I am not sure what I would do.

I guess I wanted to convey that I wonder if it is more than lack of news or chaotic lifestyle, more like how people avoid someone after there has been a death, because they just do not know what to say.

Anyway, I guess it is all so new for me and I am wondering why I am not yet finding it hard and wondering if I am missing something!

Hels, I really hope you will get a letter soon.

Pixieauntbilly Sun 09-Nov-14 15:42:49

My youngest sister finds it really hard to do nothing but acknowledge the letter/pictures etc as the restrictions on what she is allowed to send back are so draconian. She has never had other children, she fears to have a relations ship. She has no news that is not work related. She adds a few lines from our family. Thinking of losing her daughter is so painful to her that she she cries herself to sleep for weeks after she gets her letters back telling her about everything she is missing. She has a box to keep them and like we have read photocopies them as the originals are often unreadable. There are often two sides to these stories and coming here periodically it seems not many of you realise the pain the birth mother/parents/family are left with. She doesn't even know what her daughter looks like as photos are not exchanged. The social workers who are supposed to support her are so mean and horrible and rather than support her just criticise her. So short and sweet they have to be. She never expects to see her daughter as the lies told about what happened will make sure of that. Each year we hope she is less distraught, but each year it seems to get worse. So if you only get short letters try to thing why that might be. You have so much more to tell them than they have to tell you. Especially if for them their world stands still after the loss of their child and they have nothing to offer apart from the news that they still love the child they gave birth to.

Hels20 Sun 09-Nov-14 15:59:50

Pixie - thanks for sharing the other side. I know there are 2 sides and I don't expect a long letter. I am thinking of my son - her son, too - and I just wonder how he will view the lack of communication in years to come. But hopefully DS's BM will come through.

I know BM is clinging onto the hope that DS will get in contact when he is older. But I struggle with why he will when, his BM couldn't get Her act together when she had plenty of chances, and then never writes to him. I know that must sound harsh - but I am not asking for an essay - a short para will do.

Every child has a different story. If I was a BM I would be hoping my son would get in contact when older - I can't help thinking that writing - which is the only contact often that is allowed - would help that become a reality.

Anyway - it seems that BMs who do write are in the minority. And I applaud those who do. A short paragraph will do.

Sorry Pixie if my post riled you. I am upset about it for some reason and I thank you for putting the other side.

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