Adoption is now a much more open process and the days are gone when adoption was clouded in secrecy. Adopters are expected to share information with the children about why they were adopted. It can help a child to keep in touch with some members of their birth family while they are growing up. Contact could be direct or indirect.

Indirect contact

In the great majority of cases contact is indirect, often called a Letter Box or Post Box Scheme. This is an exchange of letters and/or photographs between the adoptive family and the birth family. This is done through the third party of the placing Local Authority. In these arrangements, the anonymity of the adopter is essential, and great care is taken to ensure that birth parents do not know where the child is living.

Direct contact

In some circumstances, there is a need for face-to-face contact with birth families; this is known as direct contact.

This whole issue of openness would be discussed in detail with you during your assessment and in no way would contact be imposed on you if this is something you did not feel you would welcome. All contact arrangements are based on the needs of the child. Plans for contact would be discussed with you fully before you decide to go ahead. The level of contact that is right for each child will be considered very carefully, so that it benefits the child and does not undermine the security of their new adoptive family.

Meeting birth parents

It is usual for Adoptive Parents to have a one off carefully managed meeting with birth parents. We appreciate that this may sound daunting however Adopters find this a valuable experience for them and their adoptive children.

There will be a lot of support to help you with any aspect of contact.