A Birth Mum has not Received Letterbox Contact – A Problem Shared

Today we share with you an email we have received from a birth mum.  

“To whom it may concern… my children have been adopted and I don’t know how to get the ball rolling about getting my letters and photos which I was promised years ago and I would appreciate any advice on this matter.”

A Problem SharedI wonder if there are any professionals out there who may be able to advise this mum or anyone who has been through a similar experiences. Maybe an adopter can shed some light on how difficult this contact is to maintain or how valuable it has been for your family. We understand that the subject of any kind of contact in adoption can be a very sensitive subject for most, so we just ask that people are respectful of all parties when they reply.


8 thoughts on “A Birth Mum has not Received Letterbox Contact – A Problem Shared

  1. Mark Martin

    I assume you have asked social services if they have anything on file – as all correspondence would be sent to them to pass on to you, if they do not then clearly the new parents have found reason not to honour what they originally agreed, which although unusually can be quite understandable.
    Adoptive parents usually have a huge amount to deal with and having to consider birth parents when going about their day to day lives can be difficult, agreed contact can be tough to maintain OR it may be that they feel something inappropriate has happened from your side and decided best to stop contact.
    It is at the discretion of the adoptive parent and I would suggest that your best option would be to go to social services and request that contact be started again and make it clear that you will meet any and all of the new parents expectations – and then ensure that you do exactly that.
    Good luck.

  2. Suzanne Lavelle

    I second what Mark says about contacting Social Services in the town/city where you lived when the children were placed for adoption.

    As a parent of an adopted child, we always maintain contact via the Postbox system by writing a letter annually to the birth mum and also all the siblings. Some years, we don’t hear back from the birth mum, but usually we do. However, we have moved on from postbox contact alone with the siblings to actually meeting up with them and their adoptive families regularly. This has been a wonderful experience for all of the children as they get to know their brothers and sisters (in our case, this is the case as they never lived together as a family and were all adopted soon after birth). Our daughter loves the fact that she has lots of family “out there” and feels very connected to them as they are part of our everyday lives. I think that if you try your best to normalise the postbox/contact thing, then your children will see it as a positive thing too.

    That is just our experience, anyway. It may not be the same for all and very much depends on the children too.

  3. Meggy

    Hi. I can only write as an adoptive mum, so I can only try to imagine how hurtful this must be, especially as you had an agreement. Did contact ever happen? I assume you’ve been fulfilling your part of the bargain and writing regularly, and that you’ve had help and support from social services to try and encourage the adoptive family to keep in touch?
    It is a situation where you are particularly powerless, and that must be very difficult. Of course there may be a reason why they are not in touch, but if so you should be informed.
    I can only encourage you to keep writing yourself, and sending pictures, save copies of the letters so if your children contact you in the future you will have something to demonstrate that you were thinking about them and trying. Also keep in touch with social services, keep asking, to remind them that you are there.

    As an adoptive mum, I do find letterbox contact hard at times. It’s a chore, but an important one, and we are committed to it. The real difficulty is knowing what to say and what not to say. And then there is how much to involve the kids. My kids are frankly not interested at this stage, although I try to involve them. I haven’t always shown them their birth parents letters, because some inappropriate things have been said, although I save each letter. However I do believe it is very valuable to keep in touch. Our birth family is pretty reliable. They miss occasionally, so do we.
    We have friends whose birth mums have never bothered to write, and their kids are very hurt by that. We also know families where the kids have requested that contact be stopped. If that happened in our family I would have to respect it, because although ‘our’ birth mum is a person we care about and are very grateful to, we feel contact is primarily about the kids.
    I do hope you manage to get some response. All I can really say is keep trying!

  4. Liz

    I’m 24yrs old I had my baby taken from me, in 2011! I was promised letter box contact. And have had nothing! Please help

  5. Carl

    I’m wondering if anyone can give me some advice…. Img mother has special guardianship of my daughter I’m allowed contact anytime and live with my mum and daughter. Social services recommended in court that the baby’s mum shouldn’t have any direct contact and only have letterbox contact, baby’s mum was a herion user stopped working with social services didn’t turn upto court, she ended up in prison, now she’s out of prison and wants contact and says she’s been Intouch with social services and they’ve said there not involved anymore and it’s up to my daughters Guardian about her having direct contact! Can someone please give me some advice, should I contact the social worker who was involved?

  6. Liz

    I was meant to have letterbox contact, with my daughter. It’s never happened! And worried to chase it up, and don’t know really how to go about it!

  7. Robert Pulver

    Hi. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts about our situation.
    Should we restart the annual Letterbox contact with birth-mum?
    We adopted a baby girl four years ago. At the time our birth-mother was a young bright girl who had been known all of her life to Social Services but through no fault of her own. Unfortunately, she fell into bad company and became pregnant. She lost our daughter after numerous attempts by Social Services, mother-baby units and her family failed to help her bond with her new baby. She challenged the adoption order and rejected the agreed once a year Letterbox contact because she wanted twice a year. We initially wrote as requested but had no contact back and have since stopped writing.
    We do not live in the same area but worry about the birth-father as he is a Muslim who’s initial reaction to hearing we are a same-sex couple was not good. We do not know if birth-mum and dad are together.
    Social services have recently been in touch with us to ask if we would reconsider re-staring letterbox contact as this had been recommended during birth-mums current therapy sessions.
    We would like our daughter to know her birth-parents but not at the risk of emotional or psychological issues arising from further unreliability. And we are not sure that we want any contact with birth-father.
    What do you think we should do?

  8. Tina Southward

    Hi i have a one year old son that has been placed for adoption i was told i colud have a letter once a year and photos i have had a letter but no photos


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