My feed

to access all these features

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


Birth Parents requesting recent photos

9 replies

soundofstars · 06/01/2021 22:03


We adopted our child almost two years ago at 9 months old and we currently have mailbox contact twice a year with BM and BF. We were very clear when creating the mailbox agreement that there’d be no sharing of cards/gifts/photographs with the exception of a single picture which we gave them at the one off 1:1 meeting (which they failed to attend). Physically, our child has changed significantly since this particular photo was taken and is literally unrecognisable - this is the way wish it to stay.
Both birth parents have separately requested recent photos in their last letters. How on earth do we tell them that we don’t feel comfortable sharing photographs? We don’t want to hurt their feelings, make the situation any worse for them or jeopardise the good relationship we seem to be forging, but it’s simply non-negotiable. We briefly considered sending a non identifiable snap (e.g. wearing sunglasses and a hat/from a distance/from behind) but we decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate and we were conscious that they might keep coming back for more.

We could ask the mailbox team to remind them again of our agreement but we feel like we owe them the decency of sympathetically addressing the issue in our next letters.

Has anyone else experienced something similar and if so, how did you approach it?

Thanks in advance x

OP posts:
ac73 · 06/01/2021 22:21

Our agreement says no photos so when this issue arose, the person in charge of letterbox explained this to birth family.

Jellycatspyjamas · 06/01/2021 22:36

It’s one for the letterbox team to address with them - they’re putting you in a difficult position asking you to go outside the agreement and my concern would be if you engage with them over this, they may try to renegotiate other parts of the agreement.

If you feel you need to say anything, I’d simply refer back to the original agreement and leave it at that.

Buggy1720 · 06/01/2021 22:49

Probably not my place to comment as I have never adopted but my partner had to sign his first child over to the mothers parents (DS is now 20) the agreement was that the mother had no access this was done in court. If they wanted to change the agreement it had to be done legally. I’m not sure if this is similar so apologise if not but to me you should get the team to sort this and explain the agreement to them.

UnderTheNameOfSanders · 07/01/2021 07:11

Presumably the decision not to share photos was made for a good reason which hasn't changed, so I agree the letterbox coordinator should deal with the request.

Did you also consider and rule out providing a photo to be viewed but not removed from the SS offices?

For us the BF aren't a risk so we have always provided the best photos we could, but I appreciate that many others are not in this lucky position.

percypetulant · 07/01/2021 09:34

For us, with social media, we feel it's an unfair restriction on the kids to share photos, as we would then have to advise the kids to be more careful than their peers. It's not beneficial to the children to share photos.

I agree the letterbox team should handle this, not you.

I tried sending photos in hats from a distance, and this appeared to distress BPs more than no photos, no I stopped.

Letterbox should be in the interests of the child.

donquixotedelamancha · 07/01/2021 10:22

We could ask the mailbox team to remind them again of our agreement but we feel like we owe them the decency of sympathetically addressing the issue in our next letters.

By all means do this because you want to keep the relationship positive but the mailbox co-ordinator should not have forwarded this letter and I think it's important to make sure that your LA is going to support contact properly.

They need to do the reminding. They need to understand that you expect not to get inappropriate correspondence.

Has anyone else experienced something similar and if so, how did you approach it?

I know several APs who have and have had to nudge the LA to be more careful. I know two who have agreed to requests for expansions of the contact agreement and have regretted it years later.

It's possible to develop a good relationship with BF and then (when a child is old enough to consent) expand contact in a healthy way. I think that's quite difficult for many APs to achieve because, even if one member of BF may be supportive and risk-free themselves, you can't control anything you send once they have it.

Thepinklady77 · 07/01/2021 14:52

Like others have said leave this to letterbox to explain. We have direct contact with our BM and she still asks for photos. We stated at the beginning we would not be supplying photos. Obviously as she sees the kids twice a year she knows what they look like anyway but we are keen to avoid them being put on social media. Also we do not want her to have up to date images that she could use facial recognition software with to find them on social media. At the moment they are too young for social media and we don’t post them on it but in years to come when they have their own accounts we will have no control of their images being out there. We don’t want her having up to date images that she can use to track them down outside of contact. We have kept strong to our reasoning on this everytime it arises but we have not broached it personally with her in contact. We leave that to the contact CO-ordonator. We don’t want the good relationship we have in contact spoilt.

Bananahana · 07/01/2021 17:37

Big nope.

soundofstars · 07/01/2021 20:18

It's obvious that we need to take the issue up with the Mailbox Team. Im surprised at how much it's stressed me out over the last 48 hours. Thanks very much for your advice, we appreciate it. X

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.