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Support for adoptive parents

1. Support for adoptive parents

Adoption is a lifelong commitment and we provide post-adoption services for all those involved in the 'adoption triangle', children and adopted adults, adopters and birth relatives.

We recognise that adoptive parents and their children may require on going support or assistance at specific times.

Adoption support can be requested at any point. We provide a service for people affected by adoption who live in Buckinghamshire.

The types of adoption support that can be sought are listed below and an assessment will help us determine what service may be suitable:

An advice line where one of our workers is available to offer information and advice relating to adoption and special guardianship support.
Open Monday - Wednesday, 13:00 – 17:00 and Friday, 13.00-16.30

Call 01494 586626

  • Support group for adopted young people – Buckinghamshire Adoption Support Services (BASS) Young People's group for adopted children. Held once every three months.
  • Means tested financial assistance for families, based on the child’s needs
  • Twice yearly social events for adoptive families offering support and the opportunity to meet other families and professionals
  • Regular training workshops for adoptive parents

Further support can be accessed via requesting an Assessment of Need. You can discuss this further by contacting the advice line.

2. Support for adopted children

Sometimes it can be difficult growing up as an adopted person. Maybe no-one knows very much about your early life or you don't have photos of yourself or information about things you did as a younger child. Maybe children at school are unkind to you because they don't understand about adoption.

Every month we hold the Buckinghamshire Adoption Support Services (BASS) Young Peoples Group for adopted children. Members of the group are involved in home visits to introduce the group to potential members and their parents.

We may also be able to help you by:

  • listening to your story
  • sharing information from your records
  • putting you in touch with other young people who are adopted
  • giving you information about other organisations specifically for young adopted people
  • helping you understand your own life story

3. Support for adopted adults

Adults aged 18 and over can apply for access to information about their birth origins.
We offer support to adopted adults who:
  • were adopted through Buckinghamshire County Council
  • live in Bucks
  • have applied for their original birth certificate and have chosen Bucks as the place to have their counselling, and have informed the General Register Office of this
Adopted before 12th November 1975?
By law, you need to speak to a local authority social worker, or a counsellor from an approved adoption society before you can apply for your original birth certificate.

At the counselling session you will be given advice on how to proceed and how to prepare yourselves. You can apply to the General Register Office or Nidirect government services for a copy of your original birth certificate. All the information along with relevant forms can be found on the Directgov website.

Adopted on or after 12th November 1975?

You are not required by law to have counselling before you can continue with your birth certificate application, although you may find it helpful.
However, you are entitled to ask for counselling and support. It can assist in looking at aspects of the information that may cause distress or conflict and could help you make an informed decision on the journey you are about to take.

Accessing information

If you decide you want access to information from your adoption file, you can apply to the adoption agency that arranged your adoption and your worker can arrange for it to be sent to us.

If you do not know the adoption agency, your counsellor can try and find out where it is and apply for the file on your behalf.

If your adoption was arranged by us, your file will be ordered from the County archives.
Sometimes no file is available. It may be possible that the court involved at the time are happy to share the court file.

Once an adoption file has been received, your worker will prepare a copy to share with you.

A support line for adults is available on Thursdays between 9am and 1pm.

Adoptive parents of adults seeking birth information

Often adoptive parents wish to support their adult children in finding out information about their birth origins. The website Adoption Search Reunion has a section with information for adoptive parents.

On occasions adopted adults do not wish to cause distress to adoptive parents and do not feel able to share the fact that they are seeking birth origin information. Research indicates that for the majority of adopted adults who do seek birth origin information, such information does not harm the relationship with their adoptive parents.

We are happy to discuss any concerns that you may have, to share with you any changes in the legislation since you adopted and to signpost you on to other agencies if appropriate.

4. Support for birth relatives

Support groups

We hold monthly groups which offer support for birth parents:

  • Birth mothers monthly group
  • Birth fathers monthly group

Monthly drop-ins take place where birth relatives can socialise and assist each other in day-to-day challenges. Here you can also get help with writing letters from our Letterbox Co-ordinator

Adoption Contact Register

There is a national Adoption Contact Register run by the General Register Office. 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, Southport, PR8 2HH. Find out more about the Adoption Contact Register at GOV.UK.

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.

Letterbox

Letterbox or indirect contact can be used by anyone who has been important in the child's life. It promotes the exchange of information with the child and can continue until they are 18 years old.