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What would you do with these letters/photos?(9 Posts)
We brought lo home a not quite 2 weeks ago and on the last day the FC gave us some stuff that her birth parents had asked her to pass on. There was some jewellery that I plan to show her when she is older and also some cards and a photo. On the back of the photo they (uncle and aunt I think) have written saying that they love her etc and that "they would love to see her when she is older if that is what she wants". It reads like the sort of post box letter that would questioned and possibly not passed on due to potential guilt tripping.
I don't know what to do with it though. I would be uncomfortable showing her it even when she is 18 but would be equally uncomfortable disposing of it. What would everyone else do?
I'd keep it so you can decide later.
In the meantime if you want a sanitised version take a photo of the photo.
Adopter here too OP.
Don't make any decisions right now. Keep the stuff somewhere where you're not likely to keep coming across it and put it out of your mind until your LO is much older.
This is very early days in your life with your child. Concentrate on the here and now and put all your energy into building attachments. Your child needs all of your time and attention right now.
Adopting a child brings with it making decisions and judgements about disclosure over the years and dealing with dilemmas that many parents don't have to wrestle with.
Tell your child as s/he grows, bits and pieces of the background starting young but don't make a big issue out of it.
As your child grows older you will get a definite idea of how they tick and what they can handle. How they are dealing with their background. You will be much better placed in years to come to make a decision about this issue.
I used to fret like mad about these issues when our daughter was very young but found that, over time, some of these difficult decisions become much clearer. She's 12 now and knows practically everything. Fed to her bit by bit.
BTW - Are soc servs aware of these photos/objects and if so do they think it's a good idea for you to keep hold of them? Just asking as sometimes there is a No Contact Order in place which means exactly that - no contact whatsoever is deemed appropriate between birth parents and child.
I've had some further thoughts this evening OP.
In addition to being an adopter I've also worked in children's services with families where no-one within the extended family is able to care for the child (due to all sorts of understandable circumstances) and there is often a genuine feeling of loss and sadness from extended family members when a child of the family is being adopted and, as such, lost to them. These family members have really wanted the child being adopted to know that they were loved and wanted.
As an adopter this is not really the case in our circumstances. However, having spent years talking with my daughter, holding her, wiping her tears and listening to how disposable she thinks she was to her family of origin I think it would've been really beneficial if she had cards/letters etc from her extended birth family. To know that although they weren't in a position to offer her a home they cared about her and were sad to lose her may have helped her enormously.
As I said earlier, as your daughter grows up you will gain a good sense of how she is dealing with her birth family stuff and you'll find it easier to share difficult information with her. The cards and objects you have been given by the fc could prove to be really powerful for her in a positive way.
It might feel quite threatening right now to have this stuff, and I completely understand why. But please try and imagine your lives in 10 years time.
As an adopted child I later had letters and cards and then met my birth mothers brother and sister who were around at the time. They all said they didn't want me to be adopted at the time but there was no option. They could not take me on as a baby.
It added context and certainly made me feel that it wasn't a case that no one cared.
Put in box in safe place,
I have kept something similar from DS's Dad - it wouldn't occur to me not to keep it. I would be happy to share it with him when he is ready - possibly mid teens, possibly earlier. I know it was written sincerely. Unless you think that what's been written wasn't meant, then I actually only see a benefit to keeping it and sharing it later.
lucky like others say I would keep everything of this nature.
I would also take copies of it by photographing/PDFing so that even if something does happen you have a copy.
It is only while children are young/small we need to protect them from the details of the past, IMHO. In the future, when older, they can find out things in more details (and should know their own story in age appropriate language as they grow). So all these things given in trust for them should be kept. It would be wrong to dispose of anything because we do not know what use it may be of one day.
Thanks everyone. I don't intend to dispose of it, it is not mine to do so. I just don't want it with all the other bits as I am not sure it is appropriate for a child/young teenager to see. It feels almost like emotional blackmail to me but that is probably just me being sensitive.
You are not being over sensitive, it is a form of emotional blackmail .
I had similar with one of my children, there was a big crowd of relatives who all wanted to send cards, letter, photos and gifts to her. Quite literally a bin bag full. All full of " grandma will always love you, you will always be our baby, we will see you on your 16th birthday " .
My child had enough to deal with in her own feeling and loss. Without having to deal with the guilty feelings of a huge groups of adults. Not one of whom was interested in actually helping her birth mother out when she was struggling .
Or visiting her in foster care.
Or applying to be a kinship carer. Even though there were several who could have done so ( two siblings in their 20s and young grandparents . All had homes and jobs and partners )
No one wanted her. They just wanted to assuage their own guilt by sending piles of crappy toys and horrid clothes and emotional words in cards . It was therapy for them, nothing to do with the child's needs.
I completely accept that birth family members have very genuine feeling of guilt and loss when a child is placed for adoption. However I DONT agree that it's the responsibility of the child or the adopters to help with these feelings .
That's the job of social services - have a duty of support to birth family members.
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