Public Forums

View latest posts View Archive

Contact with birth mum - for the first time

freedom1 May 13, 2022 22:32

Hi all. I'm after some very honest advice please.

I have a son who has been with me for 8 years now (he's currently 11yrs old). I've always kept 2x yearly leterbox contact with BM. He is not that interested in including anything in the letterbox contact when I do write, but knows that I keep in contact.

My question really is, should I explore the possibility of my son and BM meeting? She lives in a completely different part of the country to us but we sometimes visit that town to say hello to his previous foster carers. I know about past trauma, but am also aware that his current life story work from the placing authority was dire (we're currently working on this using theh ASF)

Has anyone had experience of physically meeting and the effect? I know that these experiences may vary massively but I'd be very interested to read them. Is it productive (e.g. would help him to understand himself a little bit more for when the teenage hormones hit) or make things worse because of the transition to secondary school? My son is now much more mature than he has ever been - thanks to things like cadets, hence me exploring when a good time would be. Now? Mid-secondary school? 18? Is leaving it until 18 too long? He has, in the past, asked about meeting her but understands that then wasn't a good time.

I'd be interested to hear people's honest opinions, especially if you have any experience in this area. Thank you in advance!

Serrakunda27 May 14, 2022 16:00

Honestly I wouldn’t. He isnt showing any interest at the moment so I would leave it alone until you have done life story work. And then follow his lead on it. But I do think 11 is really still a bit young to understand the implications.

We have had direct contact with birth dad since placement and its been fraught with difficulty. My son is nearly 18, has not seen his birth mum since he was 4. He was very keen to meet her when he was 14, after we had completed the life story work. I supported him this wish but social services didnt so it never happened. At the moment he doesnt want to pursue contact. He knows I will support whatever decision he makes.

You need to think very carefully about the purpose of any contact and what the implications would be, and that includes raising expectations of the birth mum. Do you see contact as a one off thing, what if he wants more? What if you raise his expectations and she doesn’t want to meet. What if she wants more than you are prepared to give. Don’t set either of them up for rejection. You also really need the support of SW to facilitate contact and that may not be forthcoming.

Donatella May 14, 2022 19:03

Does he want to meet her? My three are 21, 18 and 16 and have never expressed any desire to meet. In fact, quite the opposite. They’re all quite adamant that they don’t want to meet any of their birth parents.

One has shown interest in meeting with an adopted sibling and at his request I did speak to social services about the possibility of establishing contact. SWs advice was not to even consider it until his education was complete - he was in uni at the time - and that in her opinion contact shouldn’t be established until mid 20s at the earliest - even for sibling contact. Her adoption experience appears quite different to his so it might have been tough for her

I’d focus on the lifestory work for now

Appreciate that I’ve not got the experience you’re asking for though so feel free to disregard!

freedom1 May 15, 2022 07:11

Thank you Serrakund and Donatella, these are both very helpful responses.

We honestly haven't talked about arranging anything at the moemnt and I was just exploring when people 'usually' facilitated contact with birth family. I understand that it would be fraught with difficulties for all people that were involved and so will lean towards caution here (I obviously don't mess things up).

Really appreciate your time and advice and hope that things are going well for you. :-)


This topic is read-only. You must log in to reply.