Things have changed tremendously in adoption over the years. Secrets about children’s history and birth parents are no longer promoted and we actively encourage our adoptive parents to be honest to their children about their history and birth families.
You may have heard of letterbox, letterbox is a voluntary arrangement made for birth parents or relatives and the adoptive parents to share information about the adoptive child/children.
The letterbox decision is based on a number of reasons formed in the assessment mainly on the needs of the child/children however the adoptive parents’ views are taken into consideration. Each adoption will have different arrangements, some will have letterbox once a year and some maybe 2 or 3 times a year. It is very rare to have direct contact (face to face) contact.
The letters are monitored by the adoption agency to ensure details of the children are kept confidential however details could include child milestones, their progress at school and updates on their health up until they are 18.
The adoptive parents have the responsibility of ensuring this arrangement is continued because it’s extremely important for adoptive children to comprehend their life story and these letters all help towards understanding their past. This also helps reduce the feelings of loss and rejection if there are letters to show the child/children at an age appropriate time.
This is also important for the birth family to know their child is progressing and also helps them makes sense of their own past.