Staff guidance

Birth relative support - guidance for staff from local authorities

This information is for you if you work in a local authority and require birth relative support.

Why is this needed?

The views and experience of birth parents have long been the most neglected dimension of the adoption triangle. There is evidence that engaging birth families can have a positive effect on the child’s adoption in terms of future contact, reduce the likelihood of mothers becoming pregnant and experiencing the removal of subsequent children; result in a range of benefits to the parents themselves and a reduction in the need to access a range of services over time.
(Source: Corman BAAF)

How we can help?

At Adopt South West, we offer:

Pre-adoption support

  • understanding of adoption
  • thinking about birth families’ loss and grief
  • face-to-face meeting with adopters
  • ‘Wish you well’ contact
  • obtaining life story information for the child
  • Letterbox service

Where possible we help to explore support outside of Adopt South West.

Post adoption support

Support groups

Birth mother support groups across the region.

How to make a referral

Please seek birth relative consent to make a referral for birth relative support. Consent for support should be gained once there is a plan of adoption.

Pre-adoption support

Once consent is gained, tick the relevant box on the Family Finding Referral to say that the birth relative consents to support. This will generate a referral for support. The birth parent will then be allocated a Family Practitioner who will support them, usually within four weeks of the referral being made.

Post adoption support

Call 0345 155 1076 – our telephone advice and support line – to ask for a referral for birth relative support to be made.