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Should you have a relationship with your adopted child’s birth parents?

May 26, 2022

When looking at the adoption triangle, you see three parties – birth parents, adoptive parents, and their child.

The most important group in that triangle? The child.

That’s why we encourage positive relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents… here’s how we do it.


Meeting adoptive parents

It’s important for birth parents and adoptive parents to have a relationship as it creates positive parenting and has benefits for the child, or children, involved.

Once adoptive parents have been selected, we introduce them to the birth parents if both parties feel comfortable to do so which gives them the opportunity to chat and get to know one another.

We’ll also take a photo at the initial meeting that can go in the child’s Life Story book, and often adoptive parents can then make comments about similarities between the child and their birth parents which should boost their self-esteem and sense of self.


How parents find the meeting

At the end of the day, the mutual love for the child concerned is the most important thing.

It’s often very emotional for the birth parents but it can give them real peace of mind as they know who their birth child is going to spend their life with.

Meanwhile, some adoptive parents can be apprehensive – they might be worried about protecting their identity, but they know we would never put anyone at risk.

In reality, both sets of parents usually find it a really positive experience.

The meeting helps adoptive parents understand and relate to their child’s birth parents and they’re often more accepting of birth parents afterwards, too.


Ensuring regular contact

We encourage strong, long-term relationships between birth and adoptive parents for the sake of their child.

Face-to-face meetings are becoming much more popular and can take place throughout the child’s life, while letterbox contact is the most common method used. We can support birth parents with letterbox contact at our monthly drop-in support sessions in case they’re unsure of what to write.


What can good relationships result in for the child?

There is always going to be one thing in common when birth parents and adoptive parents meet – wanting the best for their child.

Accepting a child’s birth family is essentially accepting part of their identity. Adoptive families can truly embrace this part of their child by having photos of birth parents on the walls, if it’s safe to do so, and by engaging with the child’s Life Story book.

We often compare birth families to family members who live abroad; you may not need to talk about them all the time, or keep in touch with them daily, but you acknowledge their existence and speak freely about them.

This can lead to the child asking questions about their past which can be a difficult conversation, but we offer training for adopters to understand how to share this kind of information.

When adoption and birth families are openly talked about in adoptive families, children are often able to understand and accept what has happened to them. If children have this support around them and they feel confident in asking questions, they feel they can embrace that part of their identity.

This can only result in a happier child, and therefore a happier family.


Meeting birth parents

If, at 18 or older, an adopted child chooses to meet their birth parents, knowing they have a network around them who will support them on this journey will make it a far easier process.

We support adoptees through this process, but when they know they have their adoptive family behind them too they feel far more secure in their journey.


Want to know more?

If you’re thinking about adopting through SFCS, you may want to learn more about how we support birth families and adoptive families simultaneously.

We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and would love to help you on your journey. Email us at enquiries@sfcs.org.uk or attend an online adoption information session.









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