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direct versus indirect contact

(3 Posts)
thefamilyvonstrop Sun 18-Oct-15 18:34:13

I'm hoping you wise minds can help or point me in the right direction.
I have recently completed our annual letterbox contact with birth family and so have been thinking about them more than normal. I wondered why there aren't more "open" adoptions in the UK. Don't get me wrong - I understand where safety and security are a risk, it can't be attempted. But in the case of children born to loving but incapable parents, is there research that leads the UK system away from more direct forms of contact in favour of letterbox. I guess I started to think about our own circumstances - birth family are dysfunctional / addictions/ unable to prioritise the child's needs over their own lifestyle and needs but aren't dangerous. In the US, I'm guessing our adoption would be an open one with minimal but regular direct contact.
Is there any research that covers the merits of both systems? While I personally would struggle with direct contact, would it help my son to see for himself from an early start who his birth family are and their strengths and limitations - to have some form of relationship so he isn't troubled by contact fears / wants in his adolescence.
I also wanted to understand the facts more so I can explain to my son why contact is decided as it is should he ever challenge us. I spoke to a sw about this but there answer was about "the current research / thinking" but wasn't able to be more specific than that which I found disappointing.

researchbookworm Sun 18-Oct-15 21:53:28

The university of East Anglia have done a long study into different sorts of contact and the strengths/weaknesses of each. You can see it here:
There are three sections covering different time periods of the study so you can see how things went over a 15 year period. It made me wish we had direct contact- similar situation to yourself- but we too have letter box.

Happy reading :-)

thefamilyvonstrop Sun 18-Oct-15 22:28:31

Thanks so much research - just started reading and there are some really interesting things in there.

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