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  • The Adoption Process
  • Types of Adoption
  • Preparing for Adoption
  • FAQs
  • Adopter Stories
  • The Children
  • Ask the Adopter
  • Being an Adoptive Parent
  • LGBTQ+ Adoption
  • Early Permanence
  • Support and eLearning
  • Pre-Adoption
  • Post-Adoption
  • Adoption Support Fund
  • Education Support
  • Life Story Book
  • Training
  • Talking About Adoption
  • Support for Adopted Children
  • Support for Adopted Adults
  • Support for Birth Families
  • Adoption Support Training Hub
    • Leicester
    • Leicestershire
    • Lincolnshire and Rutland
    • North Lincolnshire
    • Northamptonshire

Support for

Support for birth families

birth families

Family Adoption Links value our birth families and understand that they may need support too. From therapy to how to use the letterbox system, we can help with free, confidential and independent advice.

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Area Support

Leicester

First Family Support is a free, independent and confidential service for birth parents and their immediate family where the plan for their child/children is adoption. You can access this service at any point before, during or after the adoption has been made. We know this period can be both confusing and distressing and First Family Support are here to help.

What we cannot do…
  • We cannot change the plan for your child or stop the adoption
  • We cannot keep information confidential if it relates to the past or current concerns about the safety of children
  • We also cannot represent you in court or give you any legal advice. However, we can advise you who to speak to about particular issues.
What happens next?

First Family Support is provided by the Children and Families Support Team. We will offer you an appointment for your first session which can be online, at our office in Leicester, a venue near where you live or even in your own home if it’s appropriate.

If a Social Worker is still involved with your child, we will speak to them to get a better understanding of your situation and court case.

What we can offer
  • A safe space to…
  • Talk about how you are feeling about what is happening
  • Help understand what adoption means for you and your child/children
  • Ask questions (which we will do our best to answer as quickly as possible)
  • Help understand the letterbox service and your letterbox agreement
  • Receive guidance on how to send and receive letters for letterbox

You’ll get 6-8 sessions set at your pace and follow up calls if you need them

How to contact us

There are 2 ways to access this service:

  • A referral via your Child Care Team Social Worker
  • Self-referral by calling 0116 454 6540 or via email.
Testimonials

We have recently helped a birth Mum who already had 2 children living with her and her husband, they had taken the difficult decision to relinquished their 3rd child for adoption. We worked with both parents separately.

The service provided was warm and friendly and gave me a safe space to discuss any thoughts and feelings surrounding adoption. Steph was very knowledgeable about the process and drew on previous experiences to answer any questions honestly and thoroughly. The service has helped me to talk openly about difficult emotional and mental problems and to see the positives in what has been a very difficult time. I honestly can’t thank you enough for working with me and helping me through this. You have been an absolute godsend and put me at ease going through the adoption process of which I could find no information about to answer my concerns prior to speaking with you. I just wish I had spoken to you from the start. Finally receiving the support and encouragement I needed to get through the difficult emotional turmoil has made me feel much more positive about my decisions and the situation overall so thank you.”

This Mum also had a very difficult and traumatic birth, her experience led to feelings of being negatively judged and of being treated differently to other Mums on her ward, I was able to discuss her concerns with those responsible for her care (without identifying her) and to gain the information she needed in order to speak to the relevant people about her concerns.

We also helped this birth Mum who came to us for support during the proceedings of her second adopted child (She did not receive any First Family Support during the adoption of her first child).

“My experience with the First Family Support service has been a real positive experience. At first, I was hesitant to use the service as I was unsure what I would gain from using it. The first few sessions were done over the phone which I found rather difficult at first as I couldn’t see who I was talking to but after a bit of time talking I started to relax a bit. After the first few sessions on the phone we changed to video call, at first I was unsure if I wanted to do video calls as I wasn’t very confident, once we started the video call I started to relax, and the longer the call went on the more at ease I started to feel. I found video calls to help a lot more than normal calls, as I find it easier to talk to people I can see. I had a lovely post-adoption worker, who I found easy to talk to and tell things to. I feel a bit emotional that the sessions are coming to an end as I have really enjoyed the sessions and they have helped me cope with my youngest child being adopted, I am so grateful for being able to use the First Family Support service, as it has helped me so much. I would highly recommend the service to anyone who is going through the adoption process, as it will help you a lot. Never be afraid to show your emotions to your post-adoption worker as they are there to help you and if they can’t see how you are feeling it is harder for them to help you. Having someone to talk to once a week was something that I would look forward to as I knew I could truly express my emotions without being judged. I hope you also have a positive experience like me. Thank you.”

Leicestershire

If you are a birth family who needs support in Leicestershire, we can help. We can arrange independent and confidential sessions with a counsellor to birth parents and their immediate family where the plan for their child/children is adoption. You can request this support at any point before, during or after the adoption has been made. We know this period can be both confusing and distressing and we are here to help.

What we cannot do…
  • We cannot change the plan for your child or stop the adoption
  • We cannot keep information confidential if it relates to the past or current concerns about the safety of children
  • We cannot represent you in court or give you any legal advice. However, we can advise you who to speak to about particular issues.
What we can offer

A safe space to…

  • Talk about how you are feeling about what is happening
  • Help understand what adoption means for you and your child/children
  • Ask questions (which we will do our best to answer as quickly as possible)
  • Help understand the letterbox service and your letterbox agreement
  • Receive guidance on how to send and receive letters for letterbox
How to access this service
  • Ask for a referral through your Social Worker or refer yourself by calling 0116 305 1126, between 9am and 12pm on Wednesday or by emailing here
  • We will then contact our independent qualified counsellor who has significant adoption experience
  • She will then get in touch with you to offer 6 free and confidential sessions. These can be carried out virtually or in person

Lincolnshire & Rutland

Family Adoption Links Lincolnshire commission PAC-UK to deliver independent counselling to birth parents/grandparents and anyone whose lives have been impacted by adoption. This service is offered to all birth parents whilst in proceedings and at any point following this. Many birth parents find this service particularly useful when using the letterbox contact system. PAC-UK also deliver counselling for birth parents where there is the need to consider and set up post-adoption contact.

Find out more about the PAC-UK service.

North Lincolnshire

We can offer help, advice and support on all aspects of adoption to birth families, both during the adoption process and afterwards.

Our adoption social workers will be pleased to offer help and advice. Or if you prefer, we can also put you in touch with a voluntary adoption support agency called PAC UK . This confidential service is paid for and arranged by the local authority to give independent advice and support to birth parents whose children are being adopted or have been adopted. You can contact them on 0113 230 2100 or advice@pac-uk.org

We can send you a copy of their leaflet telling you a little more about them and the service they provide. We can also give you advice on how to keep in touch with your child after adoption via the contact Letterbox service.

We will also be pleased to work with you to help you contribute to your child’s Life Story Book. This is a special book of photos, memories, stories of a child’s birth family members and history. It will help explain to your child about their birth family, where they have lived and why adoption is their plan.

Read our birth family leaflet

If you require any further information please contact us. We will be happy to help.

Email
01724 297000

Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Adopted Adults Service is a registered agency which offers both access to records and advice on intermediary services to adopted adults who:

  • live within Northamptonshire
  • are prepared to travel to Northamptonshire to access records held by Northamptonshire

Adopted adults have a legal right to obtain information about their adoption and biological family history.

Many adopted people decide at some point in their lives to find out more about the circumstances which led to their adoption and to seek information about their biological families.

The Adopted Adults Service believes that the impact of adoption is likely to affect anyone adopted, or associated with an adoption at some point in their lives. We aim to provide support to individuals and families who wish to explore their adoption history.

Contact the Adopted Adults Service

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Letterbox contact

Many birth parents have an agreement to keep in touch using the letterbox system. Each Family Adoption Links partner co-ordinates this service and last year facilitated over 1,000 forms of contact. This regular contact can be invaluable for all concerned. As a birth family, you may need assistance in creating your letter and we can help with this.

With regard to other support services offered to birth families, this differs from partner to partner, please click on the relevant link below to see what is available to you.

Family Adoption Links Leicester

(Telephone lines – Monday – Thursday, 10am – 2pm)

01724 297000
   
Email

Family Adoption Links Leicestershire

(Telephone lines – Wednesday, 9am – 12 noon)

0116 305 1126
   
Email

Family Adoption Links Lincolnshire and Rutland

01522782111
   
Email

Family Adoption Links North Lincolnshire

01724297024
   
Email

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FAQs

Why was my child was adopted?

Your child’s Social Worker will be able to explain why your child was adopted if you need further support in understanding this.

Can I recommend someone to adopt my child?

You can suggest someone; however, this would need to be discussed with your child’s Social Worker, to see if they would be suitable.

Can I get copies of, and support with court documents?

You can request copies of and get support with reading court documents through your child’s Social Worker.

Can I meet the people adopting my child?

We would need to consider your situation to see whether this would be viable.

Can I have contact with my child?

This would be decided by the court when considering what is in the best interests of the child. Many birth families use the Letterbox service to keep in touch. This is where the adoptive family would send yearly or twice yearly updates about the child and you would then be given the opportunity to respond to these updates with news of your own.