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Letterbox and name changes

(26 Posts)
amornin Sat 02-Sep-17 16:55:15

Can anyone who has changed their child's names on adoption tell me how you handle this with respect to letterbox contact? Do you continue using the child's birth name, or their adopted one?

Thinking about issues around confidentiality, with regard to not just BPs but extended family too.


OP’s posts: |
Iamthestorm Sat 02-Sep-17 18:58:51

I have continued to use my child's birth name. It feels duplicitous but to using the new name would meaning changing names was pointless as we changed for safety reasons.

5ForeverBabies Sat 02-Sep-17 19:57:14

yep old name....why bother changing names otherwise?

Rainatnight Sat 02-Sep-17 20:49:30

Can I ask how you approach this when you want to show the child the letters eventually? I suppose I'm still grappling with broaching the name change. (Our DD has a new name for security reasons)

goldstargabby Sat 02-Sep-17 21:34:01

We use DD's birth name, as we were recommended to change the name for safety reasons.

DD knows her birth (first) name as it's in her life story book and is now her middle name.

amornin Sat 02-Sep-17 22:37:13

Thanks all. For those of you who use birth names for security reasons, how do you sign off the letters? do you use your first name at all?

I've had similar questions to you, Rain. DC knows their birth name, but wouldn't know it isn't disclosed to birth family for security reasons. I don't want them to feel they have two identities, if you know what I mean?

OP’s posts: |
SueL60 Sun 03-Sep-17 00:33:28

It wouldn't surprise me if my GD adopter isn't using her real name in her letters

tldr Sun 03-Sep-17 09:24:59

We sign off with initials only.

5ForeverBabies Sun 03-Sep-17 13:45:11

we don't sign off using names, we don't use our adult names at all in the letter, we simply say at the bottom of the page 'sending best wishes till next year, take care xxx'

our children know their names have been changed and that it was to keep them safe. the older ones know what their names were as they remember them, the younger ones don't as they were tiny babies.
We may or may not tell them the names - but we are talking years away and we are in the mindset of we'll cross that bridge when we get there....

mymindisabridged Sun 03-Sep-17 22:12:22

No, Sue, I wouldn't be surprised. Does it matter to you, if the adopters are engaging with letterbox, that they keep their name private? Genuine query, as I keep mine private.

Rufus27 Sun 03-Sep-17 22:14:36

We use his original name and have altered our names too as DP and my names are both unusual.

SueL60 Sun 03-Sep-17 22:23:48

If keeping names private is so essential, perhaps I could have been allowed to chose another for the purpose of letterbox. There is so much she will know about us, with no recourse to challenge the lies.
As for engaging in letterbox, I get a distinct feeling she relishes rubbing our noses in 'it'

mymindisabridged Sun 03-Sep-17 22:30:06

I haven't met an adopter who relishes letterbox. We do it for the sake of the children, to keep communication open. It sounds like you really resent the adopter here, which isn't really fair. They are parenting and raising the child, when your family couldn't, for whatever reason, fairly or unfairly. Whatever decisions were made by the court, that's not the adopter's fault.

The adopter will know your name from the child's CPR. However, it's known that unscheduled contact by birth family can be quite destabilising for adopted children, so many adopters for the sake of the children wish to remain private, and keep their whereabouts private.

5ForeverBabies Sun 03-Sep-17 22:57:33

SueL60 - you sound very bitter on several threads here this evening.
This is a supportive safe place for adopters and birth parents alike.

You will find a listening ear if you need support.

If you are here for another reason this is not the best place - there are many other places on the internet where adopters are vilified....i'm sure google will help you find them.

Your names as PP said would have been released in the paperwork surrounding your GD. That is not the adopters fault - it is just the way it is.

As adopters our names are kept private only in order to keep children safe....obviously some of our children are removed from the most dreadful of situations and must never be found by their birth families.

I write every year to my children's first family - keeping that promise - despite the most awful situation, and with great risk to my family. We have moved house once already after a photograph of my child was put on the internet by another parent at school - such is the risk we live with. Our names therefore could never be put to paper - neither could my children's.

SueL60 Sun 03-Sep-17 23:20:16

If you had been in my place, watched NHS staff cause the injuries the parents were blamed for, tricked into going forward for an SGO to 'keep me quiet' from challenging the expert reports with my own 'expert' knowledge of the injuries, I think you too would be bitter.
I hope my GD grows up happy, and doesn't have the problems I have warned SS about and they refuse to listen

Laura25o6 Mon 04-Sep-17 10:08:39

We've not done a letter yet as we are doing foster for adoption, but we have been told by the judge we cannot change our LOs first name as they know what they are called, aged 3 they know their names. This is part of the plan. Only surname will change once all has been finalised.

OurMiracle1106 Tue 05-Sep-17 20:24:40

I suppose it depends on how common the name is. I'm a birth mum and as far as I am aware my sons first name hasn't been changed. He knew his name at point of placement and it's a common name (top 50 or so for year of birth) and is spelt in the most common name. I met my sons parents and they chose to introduce themselves by first name x and first name y and have continued to use these names in letters.

OurMiracle1106 Tue 05-Sep-17 20:27:55

However I have decided that should I either revert to my maiden name or change completely that I won't be sharing this with the adoptive parents (it's not in my opinion a significant life change) I have also debated whether social services would actually need to know?

mymindisabridged Tue 05-Sep-17 21:01:49

I wouldn't feel I needed to know if either birth parent changed surname. The only concern would be whether it would affect finding each other as adults if they wished contact, but I'm sure that could be sorted, if both parties wanted contact.

OurMiracle1106 Tue 05-Sep-17 21:14:25

My main reason for changing surname/not using my legal surname on social media is so that my son would have to go via social services/ general register office to find me, and therefore we would BOTH get the support we needed. I can't imagine the emotional impact on either of us should he trace me via social media etc in his young teen years and just turn up on my doorstep.

It protects both of us. And if i return to my maiden name he will be able to find that on his original birth certificate (he will know me and birth father aren't together as we wasn't at time of placement order and my divorce had been granted by time of adoption order)

mymindisabridged Tue 05-Sep-17 22:06:01

Yes, obviously via an intermediary is better.

And using a variant name on social media is sensible for all sorts of reasons!

Italiangreyhound Wed 06-Sep-17 13:44:47

Rainatnight in terms of showing the letters to the child, we don't. We did not change the name of our son so that is not an issue. Although I will never know if we did the right thing or not. We kept the name as it felt right at the time.

When our son is a lot older, a teenager or maybe even an adult, and it is a good suitable time,we will give him all letters. If he asked for them before this we may well show him. But he hasn't shown a lot of interested (he does know we get letters from birth family). I choose to pass on bits of info from the letters.

One issue with showing the letters is that we cannot guarantee if they will continue, they have been a bit sporadic. So an assumption for our son that letters will come could be unhelpful if the letters stop coming. We are committed to writing whatever happens.

Sue I am sorry to hear about your situation. thanks

Italiangreyhound Wed 06-Sep-17 13:45:55

Our son is 7 and has been with us almost half his life.

donquixotedelamancha Wed 06-Sep-17 18:27:18

"I don't want them to feel they have two identities, if you know what I mean?"

This was my worry, but ultimately we decided to use the old name with BF for security. Our kids won't be seeing these letters until much older (if they want to) and I don't think its jarring if you've been open with them about adoption from the start.

OurMiracle1106 Wed 06-Sep-17 18:59:05

It is sad to hear that not all birth parents are able to write religiously. Or on time. However from my perspective my contact was due a month ago and I am still chasing it. In fact the social worker hasn't responded since being "on leave". My letter is due with them in the next few days but that clearly can't happen because it's almost impossible to write back to a letter I have yet to receive.

I'm feeling disillusioned and short of taking it to court and asking for a court order of it being by x date and stuck to and a change of the intermediary agency dealing with it I have little to nothing that I can do, just get more and more frustrated

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