Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Letterbox from a birth parents POV(15 Posts)
My local L.A. have driven me round the twist this year.
Knowing my birth son would be starting school this year I asked if it'd be ok to include a 'good luck on your first day' type of card. They didn't even respond. So I sent it anyway with a note asking them to let me know they'd received it as it went walkies in the post last year (and they didn't contact me for nearly 7 months to find out why I'd not written back!) And I still had to chase it up to - this has taken the best part of a month.
I'm just venting away from the real world before I lose my temper with them.
I sometimes think they just want birth parents to disappear post adoption but that isn't what's best for the little person at the heart of it so they can sod off!
I just hope they've remembered to forward the letter to his family and him!
So sorry to hear this anxious. I hope that it has made it to him despite the lack of LA communication.
If it makes you feel any better, I'm an adoptive parent and have been trying to get LA to set up letterbox contact with AC's BM for 3 years.
Most recently have called, left messages and sent emails saying that we would like to get this started. I know that BM was positive about it. And adopted siblings families too.
I've been feeling like they'd like us adoptive parents to disappear post adoption too.
I don't know what the answer is but I hope that the records will show AC in the future that we tried (and will continue to) and the same for your BC.
Jeeez that's not on at all.
Can you contact after adoption for some help setting it up? They'll be my next move if the L.A. mess around next year.
Anxious, good luck. It sounds like you are doing a remarkable job of plugging away for your birth son's interests in the face of difficult circumstances.
We set up contact so that letters were only exchanged in a particular month - not at Christmas time or near DS's birthday. Anyway - birth father always sends a letter and card to DS around his birthday - I suppose it's the two fingered salute to SS! It's actually been rather lovely - we have always been sent it a few weeks after birthday because of SS admin I suppose - but it makes me smile and I am happy that he thinks of DS. I love getting anything from the birth family and they have been pretty good - granted, they definitely make me feel as though we are just looking after DS but they are always courteous and I am just thrilled that DS has correspondence from both birth parents.
So I hope they send the good luck card on. They should. And hopefully it will be well received. It would in our household.
And as for your thoughts about SS wanting birth parents to just disappear - I honestly think SS are so starved for cash that the less admin they have to deal with the better. For both birth parents and adoptive parents.
"I sometimes think they just want birth parents to disappear post adoption"
Never put down to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.
No one want's BPs to disappear. Some SW even get far too involved advocating for BPs, and every adoptive parent I know who doesn't get responses to contact is sad about it. The truth is that many LAs are crap at contact.
We've had exactly the same from the other end- BF not getting letters and us having to chase very hard to make sure they are sent. Unfortunately the only solution is to chase and double check everything.
It's great that you respond to contact. It will be appreciated by BPs, even though we often find it hard as well. Hope it works out.
Occasionally with this particular lot it's hard to sort the malice from the incompetent. It's the same team that told me I wasn't putting my son first over a meeting I had to cancel just before I gave birth because I was actually in hospital being checked over after some random unexplained bleeding...as in I was hooked up to a monitor and couldn't leave but that's not putting his needs first apparently. Some of them are fabulous but the ones that aren't are really quite horrendous (as in should be put in an office away from actual people).
But then I read of others struggles with them and mine become just minor annoyances. I'm half surprised they haven't messed up and sent my little ones adoptive parents address or something by mistake! That wouldn't surprise me and I'd be horrified on their behalf!
I'm just hoping they've done as they're supposed to... fingers crossed ey?
It must have made it so much harder for you at your most vulnerable time.
We have come across the very best and also the very worst of people (LA SW's) in our adoption process.
Imagine they're under pressure and understaffed, I know that our LA adoption team were.
I never thought there was any malice, only incompetence, lack of understanding of the real impact of their incompetence and some I think we're in the wrong roles. But as you say in contrast some fabulous, dedicated people.
They probably have a load of paperwork to process and this is likely to be the cause for delays.
I really hope that our LO's BM makes as much effort as you do. It will mean a lot I'm sure.
It's awful, anxious, and I think you're doing the right thing by venting!
As PPs have said, neither adoptive nor birth parents find it satisfactory.
Speaking of disappearing, our DD's BM has disappeared (or more accurately, the LA can't find her) so we're not expecting any letters and ours aren't being sent to her as she's not signed the letterbox agreement. The LA don't seem that bothered and after making a little effort to find her, have stopped.
I'll keep writing the letters and sending them to the LA so that they're there if she does ever reappear, and because I want DD to know that we tried.
Distress being caused happens it seems on both sides. Though not sure why when very little is shared to a birth family that are no risk, promises broken and judges request refused, we are expected to be open and bare all to an adopter who we do not know, but knows so much of a subjective SS opinion about us. We have a GD starting school this year and we are not allowed to send any promised before AO cards, no exchange of photos etc. So why should be expected to share news of an imminent future GC with her half sibling that no longer is legally related to us. Seems Adoption System wants its cake and eat it while BP are left to fight over what crumbs are thrown. Seen today that SW want respect, they certainly are not doing anywhere near enough to get it from either side
Hope it works out for your little boy, anxious and you do not find it all too stressful.
Anxious I like you am a birth parent and often get this feeling. Every contact is chased and chased and often sits around for months at a time. Drawings etc have been lost and then had to be asked to be replaced.
I feel your pain very much. You often don't get answers.
My heart goes out to you. Keep persevering. Your son will one day thank you, just as mine will.
If it helps I send my letters by email to the social worker and ask for confirmation they have received it. I know this makes no difference to your child getting it but least in years to come you can prove to your child and their adoptive parents that you did indeed send it.
SueL60 that sounds tough. I'm also relatively low risk (his biological father however if he was at all bothered would be high risk) and I don't get photos either though I fully intend on badgering them for a primary school photo when he moves to secondary if at all possible.
I think a huge part of the problem particularly in the run up to the AO is that everything falls to child placement team (or it did here) and they're having to juggle with the little one, the adoptive family and the birth family so end up swamped and have very basic guidelines that don't take into account individual cases.
If you are still pre-AO I'd see if you can attend the hearing to explain your wishes to the judge.
FWIW we really value the letters that we get from DD's BM. I just think that post-placement support is the very poor relation in the SW set up
Thanks OlennasWimple I don't doubt his parents feel the same, it's the system that frustrates me not his parents.
Please login first.