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Sibling contact - to cut or not?(5 Posts)
We're 10 months in with our DD (5) and are looking forward to get the AO sorted in the next few weeks. However we've got a tricky decision to make about whether to maintain direct contact with her birth brother who is currently still in foster care and likely to remain so (and go to a long term foster carer). Sw has advised us that he believes if this happens we should switch contact to indirect as he'll have regular (if infrequent) contact with BPs and so raise the possibility of them getting in easy contact with DD once they're a bit older. We can see his way of thinking but want to consider the possibility of keeping direct contact for the benefit of DD. We're aware of the pro's and con's but would be really interested to hear of any examples of people that kept up direct sibling contact in a situation like this. How did it pan out? I should add that BPs aren't aggressive so the worry is more about inappropriate contact than danger.
Questions you need to ask really are along the lines of your DDs safety. Will she be safe if she continues a relationship with her brother? What kind of contact does he have with birth family? Is it letterbox or face to face? What risk do birth family pose to your DD?
I think if you feel its in the childrens interests to maintain the contact you should do so and find ways of managing any risk.
Risk of contact via social medis is going to be there anyway, I would think at 5 she is going to be aware of birth surname so she can look for herself if she is wants to when she is older.
I have a similar if slightly more complicated situation with my son's younger brother who was with birth family until 8, then in FC now in a residential home. I am fighting tooth and nail to keep these boys in contact. I may even end up fostering the brother. But we are 6 years in, my son is 14, I know birth parents, who quite frankly despite all protestations about how much they love both boys, have not been able to maintain contact when its been handed to them on a plate. So I can manage any 'risk' such as it is.
Much earlier days for you, with more unknowns. Not an easy decision. But if the risk is low, and the relationship is important to them, I would try. You can always change it later on.
I have an adopted daughter. She was allowed contact with her younger brother with he was in care but this was stopped when he was adopted by the parents because they were concerned there may be contact with the BP. There is no contact with them and she is just sad that she doesn't have any contact. She has contact with her elder half sister who does have contact with BM and it has never caused a problem. The relationships are kept very separate. It's a hard decision
Thanks so much for telling me about your experiences, it gives me hope that maybe we can make direct contact work. At the very least we want to be able to tell DD that we considered it fully.
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