Support for birth relatives

Our post-order adoption team offer a range of support and service to birth relatives.

Support groups

We hold monthly groups which offer support for birth mothers. 
Monthly drop-ins take place where birth relatives can socialise and assist each other in day-to-day challenges.

Our letterbox co-ordinator will also be at hand if you need help writing letters.

Letterbox for birth relatives

The letterbox (also known as indirect contact) can be used by anyone who has been important in the child's life. This could include birth parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts or siblings. It promotes the exchange of information with the child and can continue until they are 18 years old.

Before an Adoption Order is made, the child's social worker and the adoption social worker will complete an agreement with all those involved in the exchange.

You will agree:

  • the frequency of the exchanges
  • when the exchange will happen
  • details of where to send the information

The information can be in the form of letters, cards, photographs or pictures. No gifts can be sent via Letterbox.

If you have concerns, comments or questions about the service, contact us.

The letterbox process

All information should be sent unsealed. Adoption support workers will read information, allowing them to manage any concerns that might arise out of the information. For example, if you as a birth parent were to write that you have had another child, this may cause distress and will need to be handled with sensitivity.

A copy is also taken in case it is lost in the post or undelivered.

The Adoption Contact Register

There is a national Adoption Contact Register run by the General Register Office. It invites adopted people, birth parents and other birth relatives to register their details in the hope that there will be a link allowing future contact. There is a fee to place a birth relative’s name on the register. The register is held at:

Adoptions Section
Room DO9
Smedley Hydro 
Trafalgar Road

Birth parent support service

The independent birth parent support service is currently run on our behalf by a voluntary agency, St Francis Children's Society, following the recommendations of an adoption inspection. It has been extended to include other birth relatives.

Contact our advice line

If you need support as a birth relative, contact the post order adoption team on 01494 586 626.

The advice line is available:

  • Monday, Thursday and Friday: 9:30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 1:30pm to 5pm