Could you adopt Isabella?
We are looking for a new family for Isabella. Could you be her new family? Why not find out more?
Many adoptions will allow for contact between the adopted child and members of their birth family. It is generally felt that contact will often satisfy the child's need to know about their birth family or that it is in their best interests to maintain some contact with their birth family. Each case is judged on its merits and it may be that contact will be allowed with some members of the child's birth family and not allowed for others. Generally contact will be quite occasional and of one of two types.
Letter Box Contact
Under this type of contact the child and the member of their birth family can communicate by letter through a third party, usually an adoption agency worker. The frequency of this contact is usually stipulated. When the child or the birth family member sends a letter it is delivered to the third party who will check to see that no information is given in the letter that has not been agreed. For example, contact phone and address details are usually not allowed to be disclosed. If the letter does not contravene any of the agreements made it will be passed on to the child or the birth family member.
Here the birth family member and the child are able to see each other at the frequency agreed. This will usually be quite occasional so as not to be too disruptive for the child. It is also likely that when these meeting takes place that they will be supervised. The most common form of direct contact takes place between siblings.
Concern of adopters
Most adopters are initially very anxious about the prospect of continuing contact between an adopted child and birth family members. Yet at the same time many appreciate that even a child of quite a young age may have developed a strong bond with brothers, sisters or birth parents that would be very damaging to them if all contact were severed. There are also strong arguments that children who have been adopted often suffer great uncertainty about their identity if they are unable to have contact with their birth families. You should discuss any concerns you might have with staff who will be able to explain the advantages to the child concerned and answer some of your concerns.
You can of course elect to only be considered for children where there is no plan to maintain contact with their birth families. This will significantly reduce the number of children for which you might be considered to be an appropriate adoptive family.
An article on birth family contact is on our next page.