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1-off Meeting with Birthparents

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Hi There


We are about a month into placement with our Lo. So far things couldn't have been better and we have such strong and positive feelings towards her. She is very affectionate and is accepting cuddles when feeling sad. Lo is grieving for her two birth-siblings who will remain in fc and also for her excellent fostercarers. She is very articulate for a 4 1/2 year old and speaks about them a lot.


It is getting less and less that she brings up BP (lived with them till just after 3rd birthday). Brings them up occasionally when lo doesn't get her own way, eg doesn't get anymore chocolate Lo says - " I wished I could live with my old Mummy or Daddy". FC said the same that she only talks about BP when she wants something she wasn't allowed to get or do.


Now our LA said that we should meet birth parents as a one off (we agreed to letterbox contact twice a year and direct contact twice a year with birth-siblings). My questions is; would that one-off meeting be helpful for our LO or is it just something which will tick SS boxes?


Many thanks.


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The birth parent meeting is usually just for the adopters, not the LO?? I found it one of the hardest parts of the adoption but I'm so glad we did it. The par seemed to only contain negative information about our LO's mom and dad so it was nice to find out a bit more about them that I can pass on to LO as she grows up. I think the birth parents found the meeting helpful too. We took them some photos (our choice) and they enjoyed hearing how she was doing, what we'd been up to etc. They ultimately wanted to know that LO was in a loving home and that she'd be looked after properly, I hope we conveyed that to them during the meeting. If you go ahead I'd def take a list of questions. I was so nervous that without my list we'd know nothing more than we did before!!


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We had a one off meeting with birth parents and found it really difficult at the time but I'm glad, after the event, that we did it. As Blueberry suggests it made the birth parents seem more real and it means that if our AC ever ask whether we've met them then we can confirm that we have.


As well as SS the foster carer came with us and was extremely supportive. This made it much easier all round as the birth parents knew and seemed to trust the foster carer and the foster carer seemed happy with us as the adopters. So, the foster carer bridged the gap, as it were, between the birth parents and us.


A word of caution, though, when AD came to live with us and a meeting with birth parents was organised; we went, tense and nervous, and they didn't turn up. Having tried to be emotionally prepared for meeting them it was probably harder not meeting them than if we had. It was only when AS came along several years later that another meeting with the same birth parents was arranged and this time they did turn up. So you might want to be prepared for the fact that they might or might be there.


After our meeting the birth parents they started responding to Letterbox which they had never done before. Our AC are not involved in Letterbox at all but I have kept all the letters that have now been sent as it may be helpful to them in the future.


Hope this helps.


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I had a one off meeting with BF during intros. A really positive experience as I can say to my LO that I met her BF and what he said about her etc. I was also able to reassure BF perhaps that LO would be loved and well looked after etc. After the meeting, I wrote a letter to my LO describing the conversation that I had with her BF and so when she's older she can read it. As I adopted a child from the city where I live, it was also very useful to meet BF so I knew what he looked like as he would recognise LO if he bumped into us but I wouldn't have known what he looked like. Forewarned is forearmed as they say! My SW controlled the meeting very well and it lasted 20 mins. I would suggest you do it if BP are open to the idea and resigned to the fact that they're not getting LO back. Good luck.


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Like Blueberry, I'm not clear whether you mean you meeting BPs or your daughter.


If just you, I think its a worthwhile thing to do. Its obviously very emotional, and I think it has to be something you want (no obligation if you don't) but I did so I could answer kids questions later. I found it quite positive, if hard. We won't be telling kids about the meeting until they are much older and asking questions.


If you mean your daughter meeting them, then that would not be normal practice and I cannot see any good coming from it. The risks to her wellbeing are huge. Frankly I'd be horrified by an SW suggesting this and would be having some quite bolshy discussions about why they thought it was a good idea.


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We found meeting birth parents very useful- i took a note book and wrote down everything, and use it to answer the odd questions that pop up ' what time was I born' on a birthday, ' what was my first word' etc. we tried to ask all the sorts of questions i remember asking my parents when i was a kid/teenager. Some of what we were told was clearly b8ll8cks- bf especially was a complete fantasist, but then that was also useful to know for future reference! If he ever mKes contact in the future we may be slightly forewarned and forearmed about his tall tales. We also had photos taken together which are in their life story books. I think I probably have saved myself some grief for years to come as well, as unlike in the photos we had seen DD is the very image of bm. I think I would have found that hard if I had found out later.


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Thank you for all your comments. They have been very useful. I meant that the meeting would take place with only me and my husband, SW and birthparents. I am not so sure if BM would make it to meeting though but I think BFather would make the effort (that was what happened during contact meetings when LO was in FC).


After what I read here I am up for it, now I need to convince my husband.


Many thanks.


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Thank you for all your comments. They have been very useful. I meant that the meeting would take place with only me and my husband, SW and birthparents. I am not so sure if BM would make it to meeting though but I think BFather would make the effort (that was what happened during contact meetings when LO was in FC).


After what I read here I am up for it, now I need to convince my husband.


Many thanks.


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I felt my meeting with my LOs BM was hugely beneficial. I really liked her BM who was just a v young girl with a lot of issues. My LO s SW changed after the CO was made hugely unhelpful. I learnt a lot in that meeting that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I was nervous and anxious but I am so glad I did it.


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We met with BM about six months after placement and after the AO was granted. We asked our children if they minded us meeting with her and my DD said that she didn't care as long as she never heard about it and never talked about it afterwards. We did go ahead but the children didn't know. It was a total eye opener and helped frame many of the opinions on contact and letterbox I often rant on about on this forum. The meeting lasted an hour and a half and was cordial however was a basic reiteration of the whole sorry saga from BM's perspective with no sign of any responsibility and a lot of fantasy. It also confirmed that we are viewed as temporary carers. We found it stressful and got no new information.


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Thank you Jovigirl and Ford Perfect. Both of your experiences are helpful to make a decision on it. I am quite certain that BM sees us as temporary carers.


We still have time to make the right decision for us as I like it to be in a few months.


Many thanks.


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I didn't find it hard to do. I just kept telling myself that at the end of the 60 or 90 minutes, I was going to return to DD and BM was going to go home alone. I couldn't see that I had anything to be stressed about, and indeed she was the one who cried. Maybe I would have felt differently if BM had deliberately abused DD, but as far as I knew she hadn't.

In our case, we moved on to do direct contact. It can be horribly hard, but because of DD, not BM. BM still leaves in the SW's car and I'm the one who drives off with DD.


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Thank you elderberry for your replay. What a nice outcome to it.


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