Adoption separation and contact

Direct contact

Direct contact is between adopted children and their birth parents or birth relatives and needs to be carefully thought about before making a commitment. Adoptive parents should participate to support their children.

Contact will involve spending time together in a neutral venue, supervised by a social worker or professional caretaker who will offer emotional support to everyone involved.

Adoption from birth

Adult holding a baby's hand

Once your child is born and leaves hospital, they will be placed in foster care. Indirect contact may be possible through letters and, with agreement from the court, you may be able to receive photographs or send a small gift once or twice a year. All letters and gifts are viewed by the Adoption Support Social Worker so both parties are protected.

We understand that making the decision to place your child for adoption is difficult, and so there is a delay of at least six weeks after the birth before you are asked for your agreement in writing.

After a family is found

Once a family is found, your child will leave foster care and live with their new family. They will be visited regularly and eventually an adoption order will be applied for. If the court agrees, the new family will have legal parental responsibility for your child and all legal ties with you will end.

You may continue with direct or indirect contact, if this has been agreed. As this is a very emotional time, assistance is available from us and independent agencies.

New families are encouraged to keep memories of their children’s birth family and past alive, along with their culture and religion. Once the adoption order is granted, the child’s surname is changed to match the adopters’ and an adoption certificate is issued (similar to a birth certificate) with the name of the new family.

At 18, an adopted person can view their birth records. This will contain information about their life before adoption and the reasons for any decisions. Sometimes, people who have been adopted try to find their birth family. If you have been adopted and would like us to help trace your birth family you can contact us.

Independent support

Adopt London works with an independent support service called Post Adoption Centre. They understand that for many birth relatives it is important to have access to support from skilled professionals. The Post Adoption Centre provide confidential counselling and support to birth parents and relatives. For more information call 020 7284 5879.