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Adoption

A QUESTION ABOUT LETTERBOX CONTACT.

26 replies

hifi · 11/01/2009 18:31

when we adopted dd the sw said i had to hand write my letterbox contact as if it was typed it could possibly be intimidating to the birth mother.

this was over 3 years ago have things changed as i find it tedious handwritting 2 letters? one i keep for dd.

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bec144 · 11/01/2009 20:23

Hi I have 2 adopted sons and I have been typing their letterbox letters for the last 3 years - I have had no complaints of of yet?
You need to do whatever is most convinient for you!

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bran · 11/01/2009 20:34

I type DS's contact letters, even if I had to hand write it I think I would type it up first so that I could edit it. Could you use a handwriting font instead? Alternatively, just photocopy the letter that you send. The SWs ought to be photocopying the letter and keeping it on your DD's file as well.

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KristinaM · 11/01/2009 20:37

hifi - i have never heard of this. how strange. surely typing is much easier to read for most people than handwriting. even more so if you have literacy issues.

was this was a fundemental part of some written agreement or just a verbal suggestion by one worker who thought it was a good idea? Unless its the former I woudl just type it and send it in. or photocopy the letter so you only have to do it once

good for you for keeping up the contact

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hifi · 11/01/2009 22:14

it was a verbal suggestion, dd birthmother is well educated so i cant see a problem with literacy.
the handwritting font is a good idea. we are seeing a sw this week so will discuss. good to know its not common practice.

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bran · 11/01/2009 22:34

I think sometimes an individual SW has strange ideas, or ideas that are more relevant to another case. In our review meeting after we had DS but before the adoption was finalised we talked about letterbox contact and the team leader said that photos should be of DS only and taken in a location that was either not identifiable or not close to home. It used to be a pain twice a year searching for suitable photos but we never questioned it. Then when we went on the training course for this adoption we were talking about contact and mentioned how difficult it was to find photos and the SWs said they couldn't think of any reason to be so restrictive given that the birth mum had always been co-operative and was very unlikely to try to find DS.

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KristinaM · 11/01/2009 22:37

sorry to threadcrash...any news bran?

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bran · 11/01/2009 22:46

It's been delayed by a month, so we should get her in early March. The little girl had a change of social worker, so the last thing the outgoing one did was choose us from the shortlist and I get the impression the new one is having second thoughts. Anyway, they are coming to see us again at the end of this month and they are going to get a report from DS's new school to check that he has settled in well, then it will go to the February panel.

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KristinaM · 11/01/2009 23:23

great! . i assume you are the only family they are taking to panel?

how is Dh behaving? has he started driving lessons? bloody men

i love the way that they can decide if a child is " settled" or " unsettled"... if only life were that simple [rolls eyes]

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hifi · 12/01/2009 10:21

interesting bran, thats what they asked us to do with dd, the photos. last year i sent a school photo instead of a blured nonedescript one, the sw and bm were delighted with it .
they also said we were NEVER to visit the place she was born.very strange.
good luck with yours, were starting again on thursday, here we go again.

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themildmanneredjanitor · 12/01/2009 10:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hifi · 12/01/2009 10:26

its something you agree to, but unenforceable, when you adopt a child.its basically a yearly update on the child to the birth mum. its sent via social services and you usually just hear if the bm has picked it up or not.you usually send a photo aswell, some people get letters back, we dont sadly.

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PheasantPlucker · 12/01/2009 10:32

Hi, it never even occurred to me not to type the letters. I felt it gave me more anonymity of they were typed somehow. Interesting re the photos though. We have been told they HAVE to be full facing, smiling photos (ie school/professional photos type ones), and initially when I sent a photo we had taken of dd2 for Letterbox Contat via the SW she phoned me to say it was not good enough and I would need to get something else quickly.
But I had not heard of anyone being requested to handwrite the letters.
We have always maintained the contact, but we have never heard back from dd's birth mother.

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themildmanneredjanitor · 12/01/2009 10:47

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PheasantPlucker · 12/01/2009 11:56

Ours is twice yearly - is this more than most people?

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hifi · 12/01/2009 12:48

ours is once.

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bran · 12/01/2009 13:06

Ours is twice yearly. We are considering dropping it down to once a year as we don't know whether the birth mother is getting the letters, but the new DD will be letterbox contact too so if we are doing hers twice a year then we might as well keep doing DS's twice a year too.

KM I should introduce you to my DH in person, I think you would be just the person to put a rocket up him. The agreement was to start driving lessons in July and sit a test by the end of this year. [we'll see emoticon] He has improved massively on travel and now spends one night a week abroad. He's immensely busy with deadlines for his doctorate (started before we got DS) and for his work. So from my point of view he's here in body but not in conversational terms, however from DS's point of view he's much more present as he does his best not to be working while DS is awake.

DS has settled into the new school so well it's a delight. He's learning exponentially more than he did at the previous school but he thinks he's playing all day. The behavioural issues that were spilling over from school-life into home-life have disappeared except for a very occasional tantrum when he's over-tired and bored. It's fab. I don't think there'll be anything for the SWs to worry about there.

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hifi · 12/01/2009 13:48

bran, surely the sw should be able to tell you they have been picked up?

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bran · 12/01/2009 14:01

No, they never get picked up, the birth mother has dropped out of sight. They get posted to the birth grandmother in the hope that she has contact with her (birth grandmother also gets a copy of the letter), but we never hear that they have been received or get a letter back.

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NotQuiteCockney · 12/01/2009 14:04

Oooh, congrats, bran, about the new arrival! I didn't know!

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PheasantPlucker · 12/01/2009 14:07

Congratulations Bran, lovely news

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bran · 12/01/2009 14:21

Thank you. I did have an angst-ridden thread about it when we were chosen from the short list but I think only veterans of the adoption topic read it. From our own experience nothing is certain until we actually have her in our arms so I'll do an announcement thread then.

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PheasantPlucker · 12/01/2009 14:58

I still have nightmares about dd2's 'shortlist'!!!

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Littlefish · 12/01/2009 15:05

Hijack for Bran

Bran - I'm delighted to hear that things are still going well at your ds's school. I bet you're pleased you made the decision now, even though it was tough at the time! Congrats (nearly) on the new arrival.

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SimpleAsABC · 12/01/2009 18:06

Will keep fingers and toes crossed for you Bran.

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KristinaM · 13/01/2009 01:53

Bran - that's great news about DS - what a weight off your shoulders

re your dh - once i have worked out how to manage my own DH i shall be delighted to pop over and sort out yours . but at least he is at home in body, which means that when he is working in the evening & Ds is in bed you can go to the gym/nightclasses/out with friends etc rather than being stuck in the house alone. Go out now girl, before DD arrives!

sorry for hijack hifi

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