In the past when children were adopted, this was thought to be a final arrangement and all contact was stopped. However, adopted adults have told us that this has left them feeling like a ‘jigsaw with a piece missing’.
Now most children placed for adoption have indirect contact known as Letterbox arrangements. Such an arrangement allows for the exchange of information between birth relatives and adoptive parents.
Adopted people who do not know much about their original backgrounds can sometimes feel they don’t really know who they are. This feeling can surface at different times throughout their lives. Adopted people can also feel upset by learning later in life that they have brothers or sisters born to their own birth mother. Or they can be concerned by not knowing what happened to their birth family over the years.
These factors - and the knowledge that birth family frequently feel unresolved anguish and concern about children who have been adopted from them - have led to a belief that greater openness between birth families and adoptive families can help everyone.
Below you will find two guides to download to help you with Letterbox, one for birth family and one for adoptive parents. If you would like to talk to us about letterbox or would benefit from some further help, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our Letterbox Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01642 526 400.
Guide for birth family:
Guide for adoptive parents: