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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


is it worth responding or better to ignore

26 replies

MissCheevious · 30/09/2018 18:22

DD's BP have never really got the hang of letter box. Lots of I miss you, I will see you at 18, we always went to the 'whatever they have done with me'.

I have never responded to this as its understandable and I just pop the letters away for when DD is older.

However, BM has had 3 babies since DD was removed and all were taken into care at birth. This has upset DD greatly and we have had many a tear shed over the years about 'lost' siblings.

This letter box BP wrote 'I bet DD is very excited about her new sibling Bob'.

I feel for DDs sake I need to put them straight. Exciting isnt what DD feels every time she finds out about another sibling being put straight into care, its extreme sadness, hurt, regret and pain.

Worth mentioning or something just to suck up, roll my eyes at and ignore?

OP posts:
Ted27 · 30/09/2018 20:29

I'd be talking to the letter box coordinator. The letters aren't appropriate and shouldn't be sent to you

Beebopdooowopdo · 30/09/2018 20:54

Have you really never contacted letterbox? They should be vetting the letters before sending them to you! I approached letterbox to ask them to remind bp that letters should be addressed to us and not our child. I certainly would have complained at receiving the kinds of letters you are receiving.

topcat2014 · 30/09/2018 21:09

I understand that the letter box is adult to adult, with nothing specific passed to the DC.

But, copies kept for discussion later in life.

But then, I could have got the wrong end of the stick.

MissCheevious · 01/10/2018 18:03

Hi All

I was told that the social worker who reviewed the letter saw nothing wrong with 'love and miss you see you when you are 18' comments. So I dont bother now.

I dont read or show DD the letter as its to me its just whether to pick BP up on 'enjoying' the wave of new siblings or not.

OP posts:
Ted27 · 01/10/2018 18:45

then to be honest I would be complaining about the SW as well.

Beebopdooowopdo · 01/10/2018 19:25

Me too! Our agreement specifically forbids them from writing anything emotional or anything that might confuse a child...the letters you are receiving would not be passed on to us. I would be telling letterbox to enforce guidelines or the agreement will be stopped.

Beebopdooowopdo · 01/10/2018 19:26

I wouldn’t bother write directly and set BP straight by the way. I would be telling the letterbox team to!

MissCheevious · 01/10/2018 21:47

They wont do anything - they havent before and SS are in an even worse state now. They were put in special measures (or SS equivalent) I think.

OP posts:
brightsunshineatlast · 02/10/2018 21:07

In terms of how to handle it in letters, do you think that is is worth contacting an organisation who helps women who have baby after baby to get their advice. It is horrifically tragic, and it might help having some insight about how best to address it with her and also what is going on with her - she is having baby after baby knowing they will be taken into care, very likely on purpose, so her frame of mind isn't likely to be anything most of us can relate to.

Have you been told that you may be able to have contact with the siblings once they are in care?

Beebopdooowopdo · 02/10/2018 21:15

That’s all very well brightsunshine, and very noble, but I can’t see how it would be a good idea for an adoptive parent to set their child’s birth mother straight about anything. It could massively spark something off, with the amount of emotion involved. Organisations might be able to advise but the very idea of the OP telling the birth parent anything like that, no matter how sensitively, I feel could be like a bomb going off. I don’t think the OP or her child need that. This is why it is so important for social services to step up when it comes to letterbox, they can be seen as “the bad guys” and the professional body that the birth parents can let rip to.

OP such a disappointment that your agency are rubbish. In your shoes, I think I would leave the letters unopened if it upsets you and just continue to write a factual update each year.

Beebopdooowopdo · 02/10/2018 21:17

Also totally agree with brightsunshine that her state of mind is unlikely to be anything you can relate to, which makes setting her straight all the more risky.

brightsunshineatlast · 02/10/2018 21:34

I didn't advise setting her straight - i said the org may be able to advise on best way of dealing, which might be how to address it with SS. It is in best interest of dc to not lose the engagement in letterbox. It might also draw the mother to the attention of the organisation and she may get help.

comehomemax · 02/10/2018 21:53

I really don’t think the OP should get involved in directing or advising birth family to organisations who support with intervening on multiple pregnancies or offering advice. Its absolutely not her place and would be very inappropriate.

OP, I think the only thing you can do is raise again with the letterbox coordinator maybe sharing best practice advice at the same time. But sounds like they are a bit useless at present!

brightsunshineatlast · 02/10/2018 22:02

Just to clarify, the advice OP was to phone the organisation to get advice about how you can address it, for the benefit of your dc and yourself and for example the advice may be - leave well alone, do not say anything, say xyz in the letter, tell SS to do xyz, or that the organisation may talk to the LA. Or they may not be able to give any advice at all.

My advice was not for you to get involved, or intervene, or for you to offer advice, or to set anyone straight.

It may be that in doing so the birth mother is inadvertently helped, who knows.

comehomemax · 02/10/2018 22:17

It’s just that all of those scenarios are massively overstepping the boundaries of the adopter / birth family relationship. The organisations would not offer advice as they don’t know the circumstances of the birth mother. There is nothing the OP can write that would make a woman stop having babies or seeing it as a positive to share with an adopted child - that’s for the professionals working with the family to manage.

Beebopdooowopdo · 03/10/2018 14:14

totally agree!

Kr1stina · 03/10/2018 16:05

I think that you should not mention it.

Because BM either has a learning disability or mental illness or she is completely devoid of any shred of empathy. Nothing you can write can fix any of these things and she will be either confused or angry.

I guess it just underscores why she is unable to meet her children’s needs. It’s very sad.

Italiangreyhound · 03/10/2018 16:13

The letters between us and our son's birth mum are just that, letters between adults. We do not show them to ds. He knows we write and does not show any interest in seeing the letters. They are for when he is older.

MissCheevious can you start just reading out bits of letters and not showing the whole thing.

It is totally right your child knows of siblings, full or half siblings born to either parent, but the added comments about her being excited are so unhelpful. In your shoes I would try and translate this into something that has some meaning for your child.

Will it ever be appropriate for her as a child to meet these siblings, or would this be something for her to explore as an adult?

I'd personally not say anything to birth mum. I'm in two minds over whether to mention it to letter box but in all honesty not sure any good will come of it. But I would ask for support from post adoption support to address the reality of these siblings rather than specifically what happens with letter box.

Good luck.

Italiangreyhound · 03/10/2018 16:13

We do tell him things from the letters.

brightsunshineatlast · 03/10/2018 18:14

comehomemax I think you are still misunderstanding. In OP's shoes I would want a better understanding of the issues - this is a common, countrywide issue and is not limited to the birth mother in this situation - as with greater understanding I would deal with it better, now and in the future, in letters and how I explain things to my dc. Gaining a general understanding is not overstepping boundaries at all, because it is not in relation to this specific woman. I hope that that is clearer now.

MissCheevious · 03/10/2018 20:13

Thanks all. I will leave well alone.

I dont show DD the letters - they are to me not her. And since the babies have started coming she hasnt shown any interest in BP (although to be fair she is having a fun life and too wrapped up in that - which is just how it should be).

It will all be there for DD when or if she is ready.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 03/10/2018 20:14

To understand the issue generally is a good idea, I think brightsunshineatlast.

The charity is called Pause.

Italiangreyhound · 03/10/2018 20:16

MissCheevious that's great to know.

OurMiracle1106 · 03/10/2018 21:50

As a birth parent I think writing those things could potentially be very very damaging to a child.

I sign off with love you “miracle” but I don’t mention how much I miss him or wish things could be different. I’ve carefully considered the repercussions of myself having another child, the emotions it may raise for my existing child.

I keep my letters positive- but not “everything’s rosy”. I share info about my life/past/hobbies/likes etc as well.

I would approach the coordinator and state this letter isn’t appropriate, and repeat every time she writes things that are inappropriate. In regards to contact agreements forbiding anything “emotive” this would have prevented me sharing information as both my parents are deceased and I’ve shared things about them which could of course be considered emotional. I think it’s all to do with context and whether it’s damaging to the child. Myself saying “littlemiracle has my dads eyes” should be fine but then again he could say “why didn’t grandad look after me if my birth mummy couldn’t?” I think sometimes it’s a very fine line and I think it needs to be taken as whether the info benefits the child- I feel talking about my parents provides my son with a greater sense of where he biologically came from and I hope this doesn’t cause issues.

I also address my letters to Mum, dad and little miracle, which has never been raised as an issue.

Brightsunshineatlast · 05/10/2018 21:02

Thanks for posting that Italian - I probably wouldn't have googled myself but I am glad you posted as I think it is really important to be aware - your link to the the article 23000 babies from 7000 women then had link to Pause which works to turn lives around to stop the cycle, and the video on the first page which provided some insight into the mindsets of the women at the time they are in the destructive cycle.

It is amazing to think that their lives can be turned around, good for themselves but also good for the children.

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