Tag Archives: sore point

Issues of contact

Another guest post today from an adoptive parent, sharing experiences of direct contact…
Depending on the age, relationship and what type of contact is implemented, my views sibling contactare that if contact between siblings, birthparents or birth family take place then every effort should be taken to ensure the quality and frequency of contact is in the best interest of the child.
I have six adopted children all of whom have many birth siblings and all my children are now young adults. Physical or written contact should be accompanied by discussions between the carers and the adopted child to sustain a relationship outside of the actual contact meetings.
For example I adopted a child when she was three and her elder birth brother many years later. They had very little contact with each other prior to joining my family and it became apparent after they were placed with us that not enough work had been carried out to look at the real value and depth of their birth sibling relationships.
 
My son found it extremely difficult to form the attachments that many children develop naturally with their birth siblings and who are raised in the same family environment.
The lack of attachment and/or quality or regular meetings lead to; inappropriate expectations, behaviours and problems with boundaries. Because the relationship between the siblings was not sustained or had not been in place at an earlier time the attachment issues, boundaries etc was only identified when the two children came to live in the same family. These issues and others like loyalty and guilt all played a crucial role in the development of my children’s relationships with each other as well as their other birth siblings who had been placed in individual families.
 
I think I’m saying it’s simply not enough to go through the motions of sibling contact once or twice a year, or for example to write at Christmas or other times. We need to be mindful how children worry or fantasize, about their siblings and family when they are away from them and the distress or impact this will have on young or even older children as well as on the way we parent.
From a personal perspective nearly all my adopted children who when adults sought out their birth siblings or families; experienced episodes of further rejection, disappointment and further loss after contact attempts failed through a variety of reasons. In hindsight a robust plan/attitude to contact could have consolidated relationships much earlier.  And a transparent and proactive approach to ‘good’ contact avoids some of the painful or added trauma in their lives.
 
I can draw upon another example where one of my eldest adopted children was so desperate to find his birth parents and his racial identity that he ignored requests for professional support and found his birth parents anyway. Managing this became a nightmare as he had shared his intention to contact the birth family despite his younger siblings were under 18 at that time and the parents continued to undermine our parenting and relationship with all our sons.  The level of aggression and resentment the birth parents levied towards us, as parents became so untenable I had to consider the involvement of the police. Again the divided loyalty my children felt towards both the birth parents and us as adopted parents exacerbated many of the problems the children/young adults had already experienced or had to cope with.
It’s been in our experience that a great deal of adopted parents feel very personally threatened about contact and therefore over protective of their adopted children and family. Our attitude to ‘good’ contact has always been positive but our son’s contact with their birth parents have continued to be so negative and difficult that slowly our sons are withdrawing from their relationships with their birth parents, more specifically their birth mother who is unwell. It is sad that things have come to this and in an idea world ‘everyone’ would get on! 
 
Because my children are only able to deal with one set of parents at a time, we have had to take the adult decision to ‘stand back’. This has been one of the most difficult challenges as watching the parents harmful interaction with my son’s their erosion of all the work we’ve done with them and our inability to continue to protect them from the negative side of the relationship with their birth parents has been one of the hardest challenges of raising my family. 
 
There are many successful and positives in contact between children, parents, siblings and their families.  Contact can when managed well and the children and families are prepared and supported can be so beneficial and a win, win for all concerned
 
There are many who would share very positive experiences based on the benefits of successful contact between children, siblings, birth parents, families and even previous foster carers and their families.  After all they were all part of the child’s life experiences.  Our experiences of contact are not in isolation and by sharing some of the ‘problems’ can give us; more knowledge and opportunities to look at ways of how we can improve the whole issue of contact.

Adoption Sore Point – Contact

We are going to do it all again and this time we want to talk about CONTACT.

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Maintaining contact with an adopted child’s birth parents can be very difficult for many families. Some find it too difficult to agree to contact right at the very start of their adoption journey, others find the momentum to continue with contact, difficult to sustain over many years. It can be a tricky topic to discuss because families feel protective of the lives they have created for their adopted family, contact can seem to threaten this.

Today, social media can also bring unsolicited contact, complicating family life, sometimes with a devastating effect. For others well managed contact has added depth and meaning to an adopted child’s life story and brought them a greater sense of identity.

So what are your views and experiences of contact?

Do you think maintaining contact is important?

How could contact be better facilitated?

What are your concerns and worries around contact?

Has maintaining contact been a positive experience for you?

We want to hear everyone’s opinion on this. We already have some contributing pieces from adopters, an adoptee and an adoption social worker but, we would be interested in hearing from anyone one else who would like to contribute. You can email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com.

Our Sore Point week will commence on Monday 13th July. 

We will have posts each day related to the topic of contact and will hope to offer a diverse set of opinions and experiences.

We will have a #TASchat, twitter chat, on Thursday 16th July 9pm GMT on the subject of contact.

We will have a special contact themed #WASO on Friday 17th July.

We will be using the hashtag #Sorepoint during the week.

We would also like to include a list of resources, so if you know of anything which would be helpful to others, around the topic of contact, please let us know.

And as we said before, if you would like to contribute or even have an idea for something to include in the week, please contact us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

 

Introducing Adoption Sore Points

You know there are some things that are just not spoken about very often – those things that are mis-understood, scary or open to judgement, maybe admitting to them feels like you’ve failed? Maybe they’re just too emotional and holding it in is what keeps you going? Or maybe it’s just that no-one talks about it and you’d feel uncomfortable or unsupported doing so?

Here on The Adoption Social we think it’s about time that we should be able to speak freely about some of those things, no more sweeping under the carpet or dodging the elephant in the room. And so Adoption Sore Points is our new initiative to do that – a whole week of posts on a specific subject, with guest posts, resources, a scheduled Twitter chat, reviews and a #WASO theme.

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Our first Adoption Sore Point is ‘Child to Parent Violence’ or CPV. There has been a little bit of talk about this recently, with research into it, and an increase in training programmes to support parents who are living with CPV, but we still think that there are people out there who have never heard of it, or think it’s normal, or are too scared or ashamed to ask for help.

We understand that being on the receiving end of domestic violence from your child is difficult. We’ve both experienced it from our children. But we know that if we want better understanding and good support then we have to share our experiences, we have to tell people what happens, we can’t help our children until we do that.

When?
18-24 May is when we’re hosting our Child to Parent Sore Point Week, with posts on The Adoption Social, on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.

What’s going on?
18-20 May Guest posts published
21 May Twitter chat, from 9-10pm #TASCPV
22-24 May #WASO, theme: CPV
All week – a special avatar (or image) that you can use on Twitter or as your Facebook profile to show your support and interest in CPV awareness.

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#WASO
On Friday our usual Weekly Adoption Shout Out will have the theme Child to Parent Violence too, but as usual you won’t have to link on that theme.
However, if you would like to write about your experiences of CPV and would prefer that it wasn’t on your own blog, please do get in touch because we can offer you a guest space – anonymously – on The Adoption Social, which you can then link up if you’d like. Please send these pieces to us as soon as possible (theadoptionsocial@gmail.com), so we can make sure they are published during CPV week. Your anonymity is assured, and we won’t share your details with anyone.

Next time
Our next Sore Point week will take place in July, and we’ll let you know the theme nearer the time.