Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Birth family knowing details about adopters(9 Posts)
Really unsure on what to do for the best here. Very traumatised by the whole thing.
A member of our family has had her child taken from her, and has been placed with an adoptive family. I don't want to give any identifying detail for obvious reasons.
I went with the birth mother to meet the adoptive parents, who were lovely. The BM feels that they are lovely, and - if her child has to be adopted, she feels they will provide a happy family to grow up in.
My issue is that, when we went to sign in at the meeting, the birth parents had signed their full names in the register and I saw them. I think I am the only person who spotted this - BM wasn't in any state to notice anything and I signed her out deliberately. I googled after the meeting (I know I shouldn't have, but I was quite shocked I knew this so easily, and tbh traumatised by the whole thing), and in less than a couple of minutes had their home address.
It is months since this happened, and I will not do anything with the information. I do not want to do anything that will affect the adoption being finalised, and there are very compelling reasons that mean I will never ever share this with BM or any other family member.
But, I feel I need to say to the social services, please please change your system so this can't happen again. If BM had seen this she would stalk the family. If it happens in other cases it could put children at risk or stop the adoption going through. I am sure that if adoptive family knew they would be deeply unhappy.
So I'm torn. Do I say anything or not? Anonymously? Do I wait until we've had confirmation that the adoption has been officially granted? As an adopter would it mean that you called a halt to the adoption if you knew this? WSID?
I wouldn't say anything at all. It could jeopardise everything and make the situation 100times worse. I personally think in this situation I would be deleting internet history and everything. And just forget that you saw it. However I'm saying this in the view that the adoptive family doesn't want the birth family to have any sort of information and once that information is 'leaked' it can make them change their mind immediately and call a end to it all. You've also got to remember that the adoptive family doesn't know you or your actual relationship with the BM so you could easier tell her or stalk them your self. Hopefully some adoptive parents will be along soon to give you better advice.
If you are genuinely never going to tell birth parents and not search any further than you have, I would not say anything. I'm an adopter, I presume social services would then tell me and while I wouldn't have pulled out, the stress I'd be under would be so great it would be awful and that in itself could impact on how well those important first few months go. If there is no risk to them, don't say anything.
This was something SS did not consider when we did a meeting, I would happily have signed my own name if it weren't for my more paranoid DH who said put a fake one. The second time we did it for the other BP we asked our SW, who then said "that's a good point" and signed us in as her name plus 2.
The only thing I would do, if you want to change their practices, is send a letter anonymously to the office. I'd explain that in the last year you witnessed this situation happen and feel their practices should change, that as you were not the birth parent, but a support for them, there is no risk posed to the child in question but this could not be the case next time and you wanted to make them aware. of this child protection issue.
SS didn't consider this with my meeting with DD's BM either...
I agree with TeamAcorn - contacting SS anonymously to let them know about the breach in protocol might help you to move on and forget about it, but what a horrible position to be in
Agree also with Team Acorn but would go further and say please send a letter in annoymously. This is so worrying. And such an easy fix.
Absolutely agree with the anonymous letter.
Can I say, as an adopter, a great big thank you to you. I have a huge amount of respect for you. It is clear this is causing you grief but you are doing a really important thing by challenging a flawed system and you clearly have everyone's best interests at heart.
So sorry that you have been put in this situ. I previously worked as an adoption sw and always warned my adopters to sign in with their first names only (which they generally used with the birth parents - in one case it was fake first names as there was a particular confidentiality risk). But I know myself adoption is a massive area of knowledge/expertise and as a new sw coming in to it it is so hard to think of and remember everything. It's not right but I'm sure it happens regularly.
On the other hand in my experience it was a key part of assessment / preparation that adopters thought about what they would do if birth parent randomly arrived on the doorstep. Sadly in these days of social media etc it is all too easy to find people and we need to prepare our adopters for the fact that they may be found. At the end of the day adopters know that their child does have another family and it is not beyond all possibility that they will come into contact sooner or later.
Thanks all for your messages. I genuinely won't do anything with the information. We have given the adopters all our information in case they ever want to get in touch with extended birth family, but that's now their call.
I think an anonymous letter is the way forward. I really don't want to do anything to make the adopters uncomfortable - I'm sure they would proceed as they've been together now for a few months, but I would hate to think of them worrying needlessly.
I was really shocked. We had been told in advance what we could and couldn't ask, and we'd been given first names only (obviously). They took the security in the meeting very seriously, so it was flabbergasting to see this. They had signed in with their SW who seemed to be quite an experienced SW, so I was surprised she hadn't said anything to safeguard them.
What do you think about something like this?
Dear Social Services
I just wanted to make you aware of a procedural breach of confidentiality with regard to birth family and adoptive family meetings. I was party to one of these meetings at your offices and was shocked to see that the adopting family had signed in with their full names, together with their social worker. The birth family signed in after them and it would have been very easy for them to note the family's surname. I would urge you to ensure that adoptive families, their social workers and your front desk staff are all reminded of the necessity of protecting the adoptive family's identity at all times, and there is either a separate sign in book for adoptive families or they are told to sign in with their first names only at all meetings.
Thank you for your help in ensuring this does not happen again.
A perfect letter Anon
And thanks for doing this. As an adoptive parent I would be so pleased someone had the foresight to do this.
Join the discussion
Please login first.