Adopt South West Family Practitioner, Karen, attended our annual conference in September, along with many adoptive parents. The conference focused on adoptive parents and family communication around adoption, as well as birth families and contact, and welcomed as guest speakers several birth mums and a grandparent who is a special guardian. Julie Young, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia (UEA), shared resources and videos about contact after adoption.
Since the conference, Karen tells us that several adopters have written really beautiful letters to birth families:
“I think the conference really had an impact on many adopters I spoke to.
“As part of my role, I check letters that come from adopters and birth families. After hearing the stories of the guest birth parents, some adoptive parents have reviewed their agreement and looked at their own letterbox agreement differently.
“There was an adopter at the conference who talked about the birth father not writing for the first four years, when his daughter was placed with her. However, the adopter didn’t stop writing and birth Dad wrote back, in time. He just didn’t know what to say in his letter.
“Now 16 years later he has met the adopter (he never wanted to do it at the time). He has met his 18-year-old daughter and slowly they are building a father-and-daughter relationship.
“It was led by the young person and the adopter, and I supported and enabled them to make it happen in a safe manner.
“The young person calls him Dad. Dad is very proud of his daughter and, in his own words, said that the adopters are wonderful and if he could, he would have picked them himself! 😊
“This is the nice part of my job; connecting birth families.”