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Letterbox Contact

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Can I ask your views on letterbox contact.


We are four years in and have letterbox contact at birthdays and Christmas. Both birth parents have Learning Difficulties and it is clear the letters are written from the SW.


Has anyone discontinued with writing back or receiving letters?


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I still write postbox letters because I said I would and I want my daughter to know I honoured the agreement and did my best to keep channels of communication open, even though BM has not written back for several years. If BPs in your case have learning difficulties, then the SW will be supporting them, but I would assume there would be input from BP, I would be totally shocked if SW were writing postbox without that.


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We continued until they were 18 - in a very general way - but stopped photos before then as my daughter did not want to continue and my son was involved in sport at a national level so in danger of being recognised. Again because I said I would - and also because it leaves an avenue open for asking anything if needed - if fact BF has agreed to provide a blood sample for genetic testing for my son which couldn't be done without it. We only got cards for years - after BM died - she used to write the letters herself - but in your case although SW write the letter it will probably be read to the BPs and mean a lot to them and maybe they have a lot of input into drafting it?.


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We have also gotten information we would not have otherwise, so we it has been very useful on a practical level. My children are keen for me to write and care about the letters we receive, even though I summarise them for them. I find letterbox very valuable and it is clearly imporant to my children.


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I think it depends on each individual circumstance. Our children’s BM does not have any learning difficulties but the SW hand writes her letters for her, never worked out why, I know she has a laptop and printer and if a SW is writing them why on earth doesn’t she just type and print them? It’s not as if it makes them any less personal. In our case they are a pointless waste of time. My children are terrified of the BFam and are old enough to tell us that they do not want to have anything to do with them or even hear about them. They are never mentioned and I am fed up reprinting life story books that they routinely destroy. Like an hostage to conformity, I keep sending my letter even though I really don’t want to and my children couldn’t care less. It’s a stressful time for me and my wife and we really shouldn’t put ourselves through it but we do, I know not why.

Don’t let your sympathy for BFam rule your decision, it is all about your children.


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I know of a number of people who have stopped when their kids became old enough to object. We just told SW he didn't want us to do letterbox anymore so we weren't going to do it. It's supposed to be for the benefit of the kids after all, not the birth parents. And as the legal parents it's your decision.

But with learning difficulties it's not so straightforward as some loved their kids dearly but weren't able to manage competent care of them. These same LD adults will have difficulty writing a letter. It does depend on the circumstances and maybe some reassurance from SW about the input might be helpful ?


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We stopped writing at my son’s request however we still receive birthday and Xmas cards, even though it wasn’t in the original agreement. We put them away and he’s not yet seen them.


We revisit it every year and this year he has said he’s thinking that he might have some questions for them. We’ve allowed him to take the lead - it is all about him in theory anyway.


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Thank you all for your comments


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I always did it because I agreed to and morally I feel that if you agree to sth then you should do it unless there is good reason not to.


My kids' bm has learning disabilities and sws wrote letters on her behalf. She couldn't have done it on her own - to me it's a red herring that she's not writing them.


My children are now adults and they would be really angry if I had stopped the letters. In fact the bm stopped engaging several years ago. They know that. They also know that they can trust me as I do what I promise in all areas including this one.


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We have letterbox contact twice a year too and just write a general letter saying how little one is and what shes interested in etc,nothing too comprehensive just to let her Bm know shes safe really.

When we started Bm wrote really nice personal letters back for a couple of years often with an advance birthday card included but the last couple of years we haven`t had any back at all, much depends on Bm current situation at the time.

We will continue to write for little one so there is a paper trail really but have little expectation in return letters and don`t really worry much about it to be honest.

Our daughter is not a interested at all in BF and would rather not acknowledge anything about them but that may not always be the case as when older she may feel differently so would prefer to just do a very basic letter in case Bm writes again.

I think its probably more difficult if children really want to engage with letterbox and don`t hear anything from BF but for us that isnt currrently an issue as AD hasn`t wanted to read them.


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