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Letterbox - from a birth mum(6 Posts)
The LA the placed my birth son with his forever family are very busy at the moment and as such ive had no guidance on letter box which I'm due to send next month.
Any pointers on what's ok and what isn't?
I would write two - one that you send to the LA and one that you don't.
My son's BM wrote a v emotional letter (going on about how much she missed him, loved him, 'till they meet again) and the SWs came down hard on her - I had to fight to be given a copy. And I understood why she wrote it and I understood why the SWs were reluctant to pass it on. So if you find yourself writing that sort of letter - maybe write it but don't send it. And if you meet your child again - then maybe when he is an adult you can show it. (The SWs were nervous about me having it in the house which I thought was an over reaction.)
So pointers. In my LA, it is meant to be written to the adoptive parents, not the child (although I am not offended if it is written to the child, some SWs (like mine!) don't like it being written to the child).
Try and say what you have been doing. It's hard - but maybe you have redecorated your home? Or got a dog? Or taken up a new hobby? Or how your job is going
- if you have a job?Something "soft" to let your child and adoptive parents know that you are getting on with your life, however painful it might all be for you. Perhaps a new cousin has been born. Perhaps you managed to take a holiday.
Or if you can - maybe a memory you have of your own childhood at a similar age? (Perhaps you liked going to the seaside at your son's age and collecting shells? Or perhaps you liked painting?) I know it sounds innocuous and trivial - but I know so little about my son's birth family and I would love him to know more.
Personally, I think it is fine to say you think of him, and love him - but keep it short. Don't let it be a whole letter about how you miss him as the SWs will likely ask you to re-write. He wants to know you are ok - as do the adoptive parents.
I find it so sad thinking about the birth family and would love to share something positive about birth family with my son - rather than a whole letter about how he is missed and how she regrets it every single day. I understand that my DS's birth mum has regrets but DS doesn't understand that and I expect won't for several years.
The letters are a bit superficial but they are so important. I finally got one 3 months after I was meant to and I was very happy to get it. It will be hard writing it but don't give up on it. Write something. Even if only a paragraph.
I'm not sure what my advice is worth: I've never had pointers myself, I write a letter every year and have never had feedback from the birth parents or the social workers - so I may be doing it horrendously wrong!
But I think Hels's advice is excellent. I expect you've had advice on how to sign yourself off? If not, I suggest just putting your name.
As Hels suggests, I think it's trying to find a balance between writing fairly positive letters (so your chid won't get upset and worried about you) but also sounding real. Nice if you can acknowledge the adoptive parents (just something like, "I hope your mum and dad are well; give them my best wishes") as I think that would bring relief to many children. Nice too if you can give some details about your life so that your personality can come across.
As for dont's - I wouldn't talk about a reunion; I wouldn't talk about your loss (though fine to say things like, 'I think about you often and hope you're really well' or 'You're always in my heart and I'll look forward to writing to you again'.
We wrote ours before birth family (though not had letter back). We were told it was standard practice for us to go first to give birth family a chance to respond. We asked questions about what we'd like to know. So if you have had a letter you could work from that.
What we would have liked was an acknowledgment of the child's progress and also to hear about what they want to know for next time.
If you haven't already had a letter it is hard.
The questions we asked the birth family were:
1. What were you like at their age?
2. What things did you enjoy at school?
3. We asked for a memory and picture from the time child was with birth mum.
4. We asked if there was anything they'd like to know.
If you haven had a letter you could also ask if there is anything the adoptive family would like to know.
One of questions our son asks is are birth family ok, so something positive about you life now would be good as the child is likely thinking about you (depending on age obviously).
Basically along the same lines as Hels20.
It is hard and I hope you do get some support with it x
Does anyone know if it's ok to send Christmas/birthday cards? Obviously anything too much over the top probably isn't okay but a 'happy 2nd birthday to a special boy' might be nice for him to have in future?
Thanks for all the advice so far.
We were told that birth families can send cards but they must not be son/daughter or from mum/dad. Happy birthday to a special boy sounds great.
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