For birth parents and family relatives your journey is often one that is challenging and sometimes unexpected. You may struggle to manage feelings, and decisions that are out of your control. This can have a huge impact on your life. Support and understanding is paramount and we want to help connect you to the advice available.
Advice and counselling for birth parents
If you are a birth parent who is facing court proceedings and you are concerned that your child may be adopted, you are entitled to advice and counselling to help you through this very difficult time.
You can contact PAC-UK who offer a completely independent service called First Family, that can provide advice and counselling, or you can ask your child’s social worker to refer you to PAC-UK they will then make contact with you. You can call them on 07975 846 249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAC-UK’s First Family Service has its own Action Line that can help:
- Give you information about adoption and let you know how other parents like yourself feel.
- Offer advice on where you may be able to get help with practical problems.
- Get the best from Letterbox arrangements that may be made for you to maintain contact with your child, including helping you to write a letter.
- Listen to your story and how you are feeling about your child, to help make sense of what has happened and help you to rebuild your life.
If your child was adopted in the past, you can still contact PAC-UK for advice and counselling. They understands the lifelong impact that adoption can have for birth parents.
Other advice for birth parents
If your family is involved with children’s services, or you need help or advice about any aspect of the court proceedings, you might find the Family Rights Group helpful.
They are a charity that works with parents whose children are in need, at risk or in the care system and with wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home. They advise parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about their rights and options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children‘s welfare. They campaign for families to get their voice heard, be treated fairly and get help early to prevent problems escalating.
For more information about birth parents’ rights, please look at the Government website under Child Adoption – Birth Parents: Your Rights .
Advice for expectant birth parents who are thinking about adoption
Many people may have doubts and worries about looking after babies. This is a natural feeling but for some people, they find that it can help them to talk their worries and their options through with someone. Some mothers may believe that they are not in a position to care for the baby they are carrying and may wish to talk about relinquishing their child, which means giving their child up for adoption voluntarily. If this is something you wish to just have a discussion about, or think through with someone, contact your local authority and ask to speak to a social worker about adoption.
You can get advice from a children’s social worker in your local authority who will refer you to Adopt London for counselling if you live in one of the 23 Adopt London Boroughs. You can also speak to PAC-UK for advice and information.
Adopt London operates Letterbox arrangements for indirect contact between adopted children and birth families where this has been agreed at the time the child was placed with an adoptive family, for the 23 individual London Boroughs who make up Adopt London.
To find out which Regional Adoption Agency is responsible for providing your letterbox service please contact your Regional Adoption Agency for the area of London you live in or for where your child was adopted from.
The contact details for the Letterbox Coordinators in the following Adopt London Regional Adoption Agencies are as follows:
Adopt London North – Email ALNLetterbox@islington.gov.uk or Call 020 7527 4777
Adopt London South – Email letterbox_enquiriesALS@southwark.gov.uk or Call 020 7525 4491
Adopt London East – Email email@example.com or Call 01708 432589
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