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Ongoing contact with birth parents is expected for me and my lo. There is not a fibre of my being that wants to go to these meetings or subject lo to seeing the people responsible for her neglect and trauma. Looking for positive aspects please? Any families who have found contact orders to be a positive in the adoption process?


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Is it actually a contact order or a voluntary thing you are being asked to do. We have direct contact on a voluntary basis with dad and little bro. It is hard work , emotionally draining but beneficial for simba, particularly maintaining the relationship with little bro. BUT dad has turned his life around, gone to college, stable employment and home. Simba did not live with him for most of the first four years which is when the neglect occurred, though of course he isn't without responsibility. BM is an entirely different matter, her life remains dominated by drugs and alcohol and all that brings with it. She exposed Simba to danger and would do so again so no at the moment I would not agree to direct with her as I think it would be damaging for him. I think it all depends on the individual circumstances. I can completely understand why you would not want to see people who caused your child harm. Because ours is a voluntary arrangement I don't know much about contact orders or what scope there is for challenging them, particularly once you have your adoption order. Can you discuss it with your SW. I seem to remember that your daughter is a bit older, what is her view, if she doesn't want the contact is she old enough to have her views taken into account by the court if you were to challenge it. Perhaps just bear in mind that the BPs may be different people now.


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3Be the first user to support this

Ty for replying. She's 9, will agree to anything she thinks is expected of her rather than voicing what she actually wants. They have not turned their life around, are not people I would ever have in our lives and I think will bring up a lot of trauma when she sees them.


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Then challenge, get your SW on side. Write it out your concerns formally like a report, identify specific concerns , not just that you think it's a bad idea, and ask how they will be addressed eg security, at 9 it will be very easy for her to give away where you live, Simba blurted it out on our first visit but we have no security issues, and I'd find out what the position is with overturning contact orders once you have your AO


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Ty. That's useful. My understanding is that challenging it before the ao won't bode favourably but afterwards ss would be willing to support me .. they think it is silly, too. Still need to get the initial meetings out of the way though and don't know what to say or do when I have no interest in their lives and don't think there are any benefits to them knowing about our lives. Interestin gly, ad already knows she must not say where we are and doesn't want them to know.


Any further advice over handling the whole thing would be very welcome from anyone.


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I don't think you have to show any interest in their lives and you don't want to give away too much about yours. I assume it will be at a contact centre. Keep it general, doing well at school, settling making friends , you don't have to be specific. SWs should manage the meeting for you. It's good to know they will support you to challenge post AO. Just see it as another hoop to jump through


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Ty again S. I should join the circus with the number of hoops I'm jumping through. I still don't see the point of the contact but hoop jump I will.


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Seeing them could be traumatic, but then again, not seeing them could have consequences too - I am not sure that there is a win-win outcome when it comes to relationships (or not) with birth family. You could just be swapping one set of problems for another. Personally I think that seeing them means that the child does not have unrealistic expectations, want to make unsupervised contact, harbour dreams about reunion etc. Their birth parents are demistified. And when she gets upset, you can help her through it. Not seeing them on the other hand can allow a different scenario to occur - I am not saying you should see these people, but not seeing them is not necessarily going to help either.


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When we did Direct Contact DD was upset afterwards but she also found it helpful because she was able to see that BM was okay and that was reassuring for her at the time.

It was stopped because BM found the whole thing difficult plus, from our perspective she ignored DD and focused her attention on DD's sibling who also attended. It told me a lot as well about her relationship with DD (basically non existent). However BM has also not responded to letterbox contact which is a bit more difficult as because the sibling also no longer has contact we no longer get information as to her wellbeing and is rather worrying from DD's perspective. She no longer wants to see her but likes to know she's okay.


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3Be the first user to support this

Thank you. All these replies have been useful. I will have to see how dd reacts to contact and go from there. I think my worry is that if the bps get scrubbed up and turn on the charm for an hour it will confuse dd even more than if she saw what they are apparently like the rest of the time. But I suppose I can discuss those confusing / conflicting ideas with her.


This whole concept really is a struggle for me to understand in the context of her history and their current situation, neither of which I can share, but I've discovered most things adoption-related are a struggle to understand.


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It is indeed baffling why anyone would view continued contact with abusers as a good idea. In this case I think her age is probably the crux. She's 9 thus presumably she has significantly established links to her birth family.

I hope social work are planning to provide a great deal in the way of preparation and support to you both in this. Surely direct contact can't be made part of the adoption order, because that would remove your daughter's right to decide at some point in the future that she no longer wanted to see them. Would your daughter be obliged (by law) to engage in direct contact, even if she didn't want to participate? Something worth clarifying I think.


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thank you, MGM.


the contact order will be part of the adoption order. My understanding is that if dd really doesn't want to go to the contact then I have to go back to court to get it overturned.


She did have links to her birth family but she is starting to sever those out of choice and wants to distance herself from them.


It really is a puzzle how it can be beneficial to anyone.


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Professionals tend to see complete removal from a birth family as draconian. Often, children have ambivalent feelings towards birth parents who have abused/neglected them and just want them to stop the behaviours - they don't necessarily hate them as such. I think it's hard for us to understand how they feel, but yesterday I was reading an article in the Sunday Times about that woman who left her young child dead in his cot for several years, and apparently when the police entered the house, one of the older children was sitting in all this filth (and the mother was drunk most of the time apparently) crying "don't take me away". I think we have to accept that we can't understand the complexity of these relationships and that sometimes what we want/think is right is not the full story.


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Flosskirk its not really that difficult to understand from a childs view. Take the example you mentioned of the child crying. The child perceives his home life to be normal and thats how a mum behaves and keeps a house. It isn't until they have been removed from that environment and been looked after in a safe environment that a child starts to realise something wasn't right at home and he wasn't in a safe place. This is when they start to really become confused as to why their parents didn't keep them safe and did they (the child) do something wrong to be taken away.

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To the original poster if you feel it .s not in your childs best interests then you need to say so. You have to help your daughter understand that whatever has happened to her wasn't how children should be treated. If interventions were put in place to try and support birth family again you will have to explain this.

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What I'm trying to say is its your job to explain tgat despite everything they couldn't keep her safe.

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The criminal age of responsibility in England is 10 because it is thought that below this age many choldren struggle with acting on what is right and wrong. If you apply the same theory to a child under 10 who has been harmed they won't necessarily be fully able to understand the behaviour towards them is wrong.


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All interesting comments, thank you.


I can understand why children don't want to leave even the most horrendous situations. Abused partners often start a new relationship with an abusive partner because it is familiar and has been 'normalised'. And those are adults. Apply that principle to children and it is magnified 10 fold I think.


However, the line between allowing her to maintain contact with her previous 'normal' and her new 'normal' and reconciling the two things is really hard to determine.


I have seen my dd start to understand what 'typical' families do rather than neglectful ones. Little realisations have come to her. The one positive I can see with contact is that she can directly ask her bps the questions she is asking me and see if they give her an answer. Sadly they won't be in a position to.


We do have regular conversations that come up in the course of a normal day / week about 'when you were little' and how it's my job to keep her safe and how / why other people couldn't. It's frightening how much vocabulary and understanding she has around her situation but not a true understanding of the impact it had on her. It's as though two separate film-reels are playing in her head at once: the truth about how she was treated and then her being taken into care, but the two reels never run at the same time. I suppose, as you said M4cca, that will come with age and by seeing her bps she might realise that she didn't do anything wrong because they still want to see her.??


Meantime (and I think I'm being dim here) I still can't see how visiting her bps will help her run those two versions of events together.


I'll give it a try, though, stick to the contact order, and be back in court in a flash if she is being at all traumatised by it.


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28 users have supported this.

The contact won't help her run the two versions of events. You will have to help her and depending on what has happened that may be very difficult for all of you.

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Can you ask your sw for some ideas how to help?


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thank you M4cca.


SW is lovely but also pretty mystified by it. It's such an unusual situation that she hasn't come across it before, either. Post adoption order I will be passed to another team of sws who will help manage it all. The current thinking is "suck it and see".


The only way I can help dd cope is by telling her the truth in gentle, age-appropriate ways. Breaks my heart that even she says "my friends only have to worry what to watch on telly tonight".


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What reason have they given for continuing contact? They must have one.

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Did your daughter have a court guardian when care proceedings were ongoing? They would have had some input which should be on the CPR.

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Can you not ask for the post adoption team to make contact. Given whats happening it sounds like you'll be going to them for advice so why not start it a little earlier. If it were me I'd ask my sw once more for help and if nothing happened I go straight to post adoption myself.


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continuing contact is a legacy of her being bounced around the care system for many years and having contact with bp at different stages and placements. I hadn't thought of looking on the cpr. I'll go back to that, thank you.


I'll be meeting both bps without dd present before we resume contact. I will ask my sw what input she will have on that contact and who else will be there. I think post adoption may actually be present. I'll check, thank you.


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Normally a child of this age with on-going contact wouldn't be placed for adoption. Pretty much if regular on-going BP contact is required the recommendation would be long term foster care. To get a 9 year old placed at all AND with an adopter willing to consider this option is unusual indeed.

I'd resist it being more than 2 or 3 times a year and it needs to be supervised by you and a social worker who know the family history. Even in LT foster care most kids only see their birth families about 6 times a year that usually coincide with school holidays.


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It's good that you're meeting the BP's alone to begin with, from that you'll get a strong indication of whether or not they've come to a place of responsibility and acceptance for their actions (personally, I doubt they will have).

If they aren't at that place (and I agree with those who've said that children typically blame themselves when parents don't love and care for them) then rather than realising she didn't do anything wrong, it may actually perpetuate the feeling of responsibility on her part, with the additional burden of feeling that she has abandoned them/left them behind.


Gosh what a dreadful postion you've both been put in, I can't imagine how stressful this must be.


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MGM I've just seen your comment. Ty. You've summed it up perfectly. I'm going to use your very eloquent summary.


Ty to everyone. It is an awful position and perhaps I was naive before placement. However I've made a commitment to LO and I will have to make sure I get the best outcome for her.


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so there is no contact at the moment? I'd be asking why contact should be resumed. in our case, Simba always had contact with dad throughout the time in FC. Thinking aloud here, how close are you to applying for your AO. I think I might ask for some legal advice on what were to happen if post AO, you just refused to meet them, who would challenge you, unlikely that the BPs would have the where with all for a legal challenge, though they would probably kick up a fuss, so who would challenge you and what would the consequences be. Just a thought


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M4CCA, I just don't agree that it's up to the adoptive parents - the children will have their own views, especially older children. I think that one of the most difficult jobs of an adoptive parent is navigating the issue of the birth family. If there is any form of ongoing contact, then I personally don't really see how face-to-face contact is so terrible - it may in fact be better, as the child can see what's going on. My elder daughter has always worried about her birth mother, who she doesn't see - as she has grown up, this has just become more difficult for her. I think that any contact raises a lot of issues - but letters can be very distressing too and then there is no 'closure' as the child can't e.g. ask questions re what it says in the letter. I have had a lot of problems through having no face-to-face contact - we even requested it because of the problems (though it was deemed that the bm would not be able to behave properly so it was refused). My daughter remembers some good times with her birth mother, among all the bad stuff. She may well start up a relationship with her again when she is 18, which is just two years away for us now. I am not sure that avoiding the bm is the way to go - I know that other people feel strongly that this is wrong, but it's my view based on my own experience.


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I would personally welcome direct contact with my son's parents but mum said no from the outset and cut herself off while he was still fostered and could have contact and dad has breached his licence a couple of times and until he stays out of prison consistently I'm not willing to do it with him. I'd also like it to be equal for both as there is another full sib living with mum and seen by dad, so the dynamics are delicate.


One of the things I said to PAS when I contacted them in the autumn was that I wanted the whole letterbox/contact thing sorted out properly cos SS have just let it slide and I haven't pushed them.


In the summer we were coming back from a stay in London and walked straight into birth mum on the platform at our nearest town railway station as we got off the train. Unbeknown to us our AS's eldest half sib had been on the same train probably coming back from a stay in London with his bio dad and birth mum was meeting him. She clearly recognised us all but kept her head down as she spotted us first and walked past. She was pointing us out later to AS's brother as we waited on a different platform for a local train and they left the station.


These sorts of events for us are likely cos we live in the same town and I'd rather he knew all his family if possible, he also has three more younger half siblings now too!


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I suppose it's partly about who is in control. Our direct contact is voluntary. Dad let Simba down very badly twice last year. The last contact I decided not to tell Simba just in case he didn't turn up because I couldn't bear the disappointment for him again. It took weeks to get through it. At least I can tell dad he can forget it if he doesn't play ball, with a contact order I wouldn't have that luxury.


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I've not said face to face contact is wrong. What I did say was if you feel it is not in your child's best interests then the op needs to say so.

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I have also suggested that the op try and find out why there is to be direct contact.

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In certain circumstances I've no issues with direct contact and I've never said otherwise. All I have given is an insight into why children behave the way they do towards birth family. Given what I do for a living and some of the things I see and am told I don't have difficulties understanding the relationship between adoptive child and birth family.


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"Flosskirk its not really that difficult to understand from a childs view" - I just take issue with that, as you seem to be saying that you understand children full stop and you certainly don't understand my child.


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I give up


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MGM - sent you a pm.


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Please don't fall out over the issues, folks. I'm finding the whole spectrum of opinions very interesting and informative.


There had been contact, it had been stopped, it is to resume but the benefit of the court order is it is supervised and it isn't irreversible if it's not in my lo's best interests and I won't know that until I try it out.


It just worries me that she will agree to it because she thinks she should rather than wants to or the flip side is she will say she doesn't want to when she does just to please me.


I went back to the CPR as suggested and it was very useful to check the wording of everything so Ty for that. It was also useful to revisit the very difficult account of her early life...and then I ended up back where I started thinking "how dare these people have any access to her". Obviously I can't share details but it beggars belief that a very liberal judge somewhere deemed that they could ever have any access.


Serrkunda, I'm going to pm you Ty


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Hopefully LA you will continue to get some food for thought on what is clearly a stressful situation. It might help you to hear from those who have direct contact, and feel that it benefits their child, what indicators they look for/have noticed which shows it is benefiting them – what makes adoptive parents sure, and confident enough to continue, that contact is responsible for pleasant emotions, and not responsible for unpleasant emotions. Might help.

I think that, whilst we might not all agree on the pros and cons of contact as an overall concept, we can (probably) all agree that contact should always be individualised. Different scenarios will attract different advice.

I wish you and your girl all the best.


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The comment about her agreeing to the contact or not is the very reason you should be allowed to access post adoption support. They should be explaing the contact to her to help reduce the pressure not only on her but yourself.

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You need to be in the right place to help her with her life story. If you our worrying about her motives for taking part or not taking part in contact you can't put eveything into helping her.

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Hope it all works out for you both


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Just wanted to say we did contact with BM just before Christmas initially which wasn't a good plan so it was changed to the summer although BM still bought DD presents. I never told DD until the day and still don't when she meets up with her sibling because she gets really stressed. We also have some fallout for a week or so afterwards but she's now 11 so does have some understanding as to the whys and wherefores.

Have you seen a book by Catherine McCaskill called 'Safe Contact' (or something similar) which has some really useful stuff in plus Kate (I presume) has done some screen grabs from the old website which you can search which again might be useful to look at. I don't think it's a bad thing but would advise being guided by your DD's response. Hope that's useful :)


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Thank you kazzie. That's good to hear and I'll look into the book. You say dd gets stressed but I assume that the benefits outweigh the stress?


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The benefits definitely outweigh the stress. It's just two hours twice a year and they get to do something that's fun although it's getting difficult to think up fun things to do as they get older plus the FCs have their own much younger children to consider. DD has lots of difficulties that weren't picked up on when they were living together as does sibling so this is much better for both of them.

One thing that we have had recently, not really relevant to this, but useful for people to be aware of. FCs have a relative who attends DD's school and in fact is in DD's form - the school have a vertical form system and this child asked DD lots of questions about her adoption and us but school were wonderful and sorted it as DD got very upset. Would have been useful to know before DD started there as the school would then have been able to put DD in another form. They stay in the same form throughout the whole time they are there. Just mentioning it in case anyone out there has DC with siblings who live in the same area who potentially have similar circumstances.


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Sorry every one I think I may throw a spanner in the works I have been a foster carer and now am an adopter can safely say


That in the majority of cases contact Is a way of placating the birth parents loss and in my experience has little to do with the children needs more to do with birth parents wants.


With and older child who has alway has contact then fair enough .


But there are lots of things I fail to see the value in for the child eg send photos how dose it benefit the child to send a photo of them to the birth parents I have yet to come across a sw who can give me an answer I can see why having a photo of Bp can be of benefit.


And I am afraid if should be totally up to the adoptive parents who there child sees and when because if we don't have control of this basic thing then what are we LONG TERM foster carers.


The whole point of adoption is that WE are the legal parents and have all the rights and resposbilites that it brings And I should ad that every one on here wants what's best for there children or they would not have went through the most gurleing process ever .


Just like name changing it's very personal to adoptive family and how the BP are.


And I do feel that the more complicated contact is for a child the less likely they are to be adopted.


I think this issue along with name changing Leeds people to agree to things that really they are not on board with very sad we aren't just allowed to be honest .


I for one no the effect purposeless contact can have on a child and it's sad to say the amount of contact a child had did play a part in what sort of child we wanted.


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Thank you fishwife. I think that's a really honest and informative view. My ad's contact arrangement is one reason she stayed in care ... Other people backed off. Whether they are of benefit remains to be seen. To give a true answer to that I'll probably need to report back in about 10 years time.


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I meant whether the contact is of benefit.


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3Be the first user to support this

Hi all. Very interesting discussion a d I do agree with a majority of what fishwife honestly states. But I look at this in a sl ightly different perspective. I am adopted child myself as well as a soon to be adopter. I really can not see how contact would of helped me as a young child or teenager. My parents were very good at explaining everything to me. I knew I was adored, safe and special, adding BP's to the mix would of just confused me. Personally it was far better to wait until I was an adult and I was in full control, I would of hated SW having that control. So what I am saying is that contact should be for the benefit of the child not birth family. But I do understand why it would be of assistance to older children. Hope that helps a little. G


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Gilbertus, I think that the issue is that there is usually contact of some sort whereas in the past this wasn't the case. I think there are arguments both and for direct contact (instead of indirect contact) - I am unhappy with people suggesting that it is never a good idea, because for some children it is going to be better than the alternative, which is usually indirect contact. It is rarely no contact. I think this is what makes it so different from in the past - we are no longer comparing direct contact and no contact but direct contact versus indirect contact. For my daughter, having letter box contact is, I think, the worst possible outcome - I think she should either see her bm face to face and get to grips with what she's like or not have any contact at all. I could see how direct contact might benefit her, as she remembers her bm and worries about her, so no contact would not work for us. So I think there are some cases for face to face contact - I just don't like the idea that there is always a feeling that birth family should be kept away, because the trouble is that now with the internet, they are very likely to try to make contact anyway when the child gets on Facebook.


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Flosskirk, I really love you loads but this is not the case I was a baby carer for almost 7 years and many child smily had vey little contact or none


My own adopted daughter only met her birth mother once and that was at the good bye contact at the good bye contact


I have personally fostered a child who in 3 years only ever had 7 successful contacts for then a sw to tell an adopter they must facilitate face to face contact.


I have fostered children were the the contact was spars to say the least and not of very good quality in whose interest is it for it to continue


I think for older children were the contact was go good quality I can see the benefit however I still suggest if a child needs to level of contact then maybe adoption is not right for that child adopters take on lot asking them to be unpaid long term foster carers it and ask to far.


The problem is that there is no real conversation it's seen as a must not a hope or a want that contact with BP will take place I actually think if not forced most adopters would but it's the compulsion that you will comply or not adopt again or receive any adoption support .


This system we have forces people to be untruthful. "Oh yes contact or course" how can one agree to contact when adopters have not even meet the child sadly if you don't agree to most forms of contact you pretty much wont get approved.


And sadly the amount of contact a child has will effect if they get adopted and I think sometimes sw need to think weather the want to retain contact or get the child adopted sadly you can't always have both.


And I do believe if you did away with compulsory contact which is what happens now the amount of adopters would double over night many people I have spoke to about adoption say we would love to but I would want them to be our child


And I can understand having jusrdiction over who and when your child sees someone is not only calming but a basic parental right


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I'm going to throw a bit of junk telly into this debate. Did anyone see 'benefits street' last night. I'm not opening a debate about it (better things to think about) but one scene summed it up. Drug addict / alcoholic father was going to have first direct contact with his adopted son and the adoptive parents cancelled it the night before. Lots of ranting about the rights of the father and how it destroyed him and all I could think of was what were ss even thinking about suggesting it should go ahead. A 5 year old would be terrified being in a room with an unkempt, unpredictable man like that. I could never let a child of mine be exposed to that. Am I being terribly narrow minded?


I am usually the most liberal and accepting person in any room and that just epitomised my fears. I'm not suggesting my own dd has bps with a similar history but many bps will be just as chaotic, unpredictable and will surely just trigger memories of chaotic and unpredictable behaviour which they were subjected to in early life. Those memories need to be dealt with in a safe way... Therapy etc... Not by sitting in a room with the person.


My head hurts from thinking about it all. I really really want what is best for dd but she wasn't taken into care for nothing.


*poof* .. another adoption-process braincell just gave up


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I got the impression that Fungi's youngest child might have been adopted by somebody in the extended family network of him or his other children. When he first got a phone-call about seeing his adopted son, he said something about it being the child's grandparent who had phoned him. Later, when the adoptive parents pulled out of the meeting, one of the street's other residents said something to Fungi along the lines of that he should go through the official channels (Social Services) to ask for contact to be formally set up. So, although I can't 100% prove it, I don't think there were any social workers involved in the proposed contact session which fell through. Somebody from the adoptive family got in touch with Fungi directly and suggested it, but the adoptive parents then put the brakes on. (As I say, the scenario which seemed most likely to me was that the adoptive family is a distant branch of birth dad's own extended family - hence being able to come upon a current mobile phone number for him three years after the adoption.) (Also, with my social worker head on, the branch-of-extended-family-as-adopters theory is the one which makes most sense. Fungi didn't initiate the suggestion of a contact session himself. If stranger adopters had requested contact through Social Services because they thought it might benefit the child, then the SWs would have done some sort of assessment of Fungi's current circumstances (and would probably have decided that renewing direct contact at that point, after none for 3 years, wouldn't be beneficial), plus the first phone call wouldn't have come from somebody described as a grandparent.)


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In our case dc to bps hasn't been considered

But

The families I know that have dc do very well indeed on it.


Family A. DC with bf

A lovely man always taken advantage of and given the naff end of things. Kind of straightened himself up after the adoption. Really handy link into the family and helpful for health and other questions like prevalence of asthma etc

The dangerous nasty ones in the mix are the gf's parents and so they meet him on his own and get on really well.


Family B

Have dc twice a year with bm's grandparents

Lovely 'ordinary' people who's adopted dd got into squats drugs etc and remains in a right mess sadly

And lost her children to adoption some years ago


Family c

Older child adoption very close to a senior family member. Ongoing contact continued regularly and tbh this relative has become part of the adopters extended family in many ways.


I can see an awful lot of my children's bps reflected in my ac

I would love to meet up with their bps again

Ask and share things together

I'm not afraid of them I suppose and that's not a luxury all share as there are no security issues

I think there's been a change in me to think if blossom had had a baby and it cried she'd simply be annoyed! Very little grasp over anyone else's needs so you can see how undiagnosed autism and mh probs have a ripple effect.

It would have been good to know them better I think


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Ah! Makes more sense. I wasn't watching the preceeding bit closely so missed the context


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3Be the first user to support this

Flosskirk, I do accept your opinion and it has merit and I so understand the question of contact regarding Facebook. Thankfully not something I had to worry about but is something I fear managing for my child in the future, not sure SW have the answer to that problem yet.

Fishwife, love your honesty. G x


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I don't want to sound like I am hard-core about meeting birth parents - I am not. I am just putting forward a view for why it might sometimes be appropriate. Some people seem to be saying that it shouldn't happen and I don't agree with that. And I don't think it's just the adoptive parents' decision, just because every child is different. I have two children and my younger daughter's view is basically "I am not adopted" (she said this on Saturday to us - she hates the whole idea of her birth family and wants nothing to do with them). Her big sister on the other hand came to us obsessed with her birth mother (she was just 3) and has remained pretty much so ever since. As she is now 16 and will be able to reunite soon anyway (her bps have never tried to contact her on Facebook btw, but that's partly because she isn't on Facebook and they have learning disabilities) and so I would have preferred managed contact over the years rather than this big reunion that I suspect is going to happen. Also, my girls' bm was not massively abusive or anything - she had two older girls who didn't go into care until she met the father of my two. It seems that he was the bigger player in what happened and so I genuinely think it would help my elder daughter to meet her. I know that not everyone agrees (and thanks for the love, Fishwife!) and I like it best when we can all have different opinions and still value each other's contributions too. BTW, even if a child is adopted by relatives, as long as it is an official adoption, social workers will still be involved in contact.


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27 users have supported this.

I'm firmly on the fence on this one!


If a child is older at placement and/or has a relationship with bm or sibs, and wants to maintain contact, then that's fine. Because it's their decision. What I don't like is the blanket approach taken by sws that some level of contact, whether it's indirect or direct, should be maintained because it's in the interests of the child. Often it's more to do with the wishes of the birth family and, frankly, who would a sw prefer to cross - a belligerent birth mother or a more reasonable adoptive mum. (Yes I appreciate that's stereotyping but pretty accurate nonetheless.)


I think there needs to be a balance between the old way of doing things and where we are now.


One of mine has limited indirect contact. The other two, none. We tried to instigate lb with bm at the time of littlys placement but she couldnt be bothered. Too interested in the new man. Biglys sw had obtained a no contact order for him.


We revisit it each year with middly but now it has to be his decision. Up until recently it was mine because I'm his parent and I know him better than anyone else. I know what he can cope with.


I've taught my children about fb and the like. They know the risks. If and when the time comes that they want more contact then we'll deal with it then. Tbh in the meantime I want them to have as normal a life as possible without this additional burden.


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I see you have had loads of responses, but this is particularly emotive to me. We have had direct contact, for 3 years twice a year for 2 hours which was a voluntary measure rather than part of an AO due to my AD being 8 at time of adoption. Contact was awful, a couple of weeks prior and a few weeks after we had the outfall. Even if we didnt say when it would happen, she would know the time of year. The contact itself was very polite, but the birth family couldn't stick to the rules, and became over familiar, lots of cuddles, asking her to be a bridesmaid for a family member, putting hte pressure on me, as the only sister she should be bridesmaid and i was welcome to go as well!, things like this. They wanted to bring more people, and if we said no, there was an atmosphere, and they did it anyway, hanging around by the doors so we couldnt leave until we saw them, this was the last straw for me! The professionals involved realised it really was detrimental to her settling with us, and although we persevered for a while as I thought our LO would then know her family were ok, and there would be no suprises in the future ( her family were not royalty who would rescue her and take her to live in a beautiful castle somewhere]..... it really didn't work for any of us.

At the end of the day WE had to manage the outbursts that occurred after contact as part of the strain, and also provide the reassurance that we were there for good despite her challenging behaviour the would occur after contact, and whatever else was going on in her head about revisiting the people who could not look after her or respond to her best interests, or keep her!

There is always the risks of facebook, and she is talking about seeing her birth mother again now after 2 and a half years not seeing them, if we do, we will keep it to one to one, short and sweet, but it is up in the air for us.....

As it was a voluntary arrangement we can arrange this in the best interests for our LO, SW will support if we ask, but it will be when she is able to manage it, not when others think should happen.


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33 users have supported this.

I see you have had loads of responses, but this is particularly emotive to me. We have had direct contact, for 3 years twice a year for 2 hours which was a voluntary measure rather than part of an AO due to my AD being 8 at time of adoption. Contact was awful, a couple of weeks prior and a few weeks after we had the outfall. Even if we didnt say when it would happen, she would know the time of year. The contact itself was very polite, but the birth family couldn't stick to the rules, and became over familiar, lots of cuddles, asking her to be a bridesmaid for a family member, putting hte pressure on me, as the only sister she should be bridesmaid and i was welcome to go as well!, things like this. They wanted to bring more people, and if we said no, there was an atmosphere, and they did it anyway, hanging around by the doors so we couldnt leave until we saw them, this was the last straw for me! The professionals involved realised it really was detrimental to her settling with us, and although we persevered for a while as I thought our LO would then know her family were ok, and there would be no suprises in the future ( her family were not royalty who would rescue her and take her to live in a beautiful castle somewhere]..... it really didn't work for any of us.

At the end of the day WE had to manage the outbursts that occurred after contact as part of the strain, and also provide the reassurance that we were there for good despite her challenging behaviour the would occur after contact, and whatever else was going on in her head about revisiting the people who could not look after her or respond to her best interests, or keep her!

There is always the risks of facebook, and she is talking about seeing her birth mother again now after 2 and a half years not seeing them, if we do, we will keep it to one to one, short and sweet, but it is up in the air for us.....

As it was a voluntary arrangement we can arrange this in the best interests for our LO, SW will support if we ask, but it will be when she is able to manage it, not when others think should happen.


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26 users have supported this.

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