If the adopted relative you are trying to contact has registered an absolute veto, legally we are not allowed to contact them so there is nothing else we can do. If your adopted relative is open to considering contact, we will offer a service to you whether or not the adoption took place in Essex, as long as you are a resident here.
We will invite you to a counselling interview with a social worker from the Post Adoption Team.
Why see a counsellor?
Many complex feelings can be aroused in all parties by such a contact. The social worker will help you to understand why you want to contact the adopted adult and what you hope to gain from this. The law says we must consider your welfare, the welfare and wishes of the adopted person and all other circumstances before we can agree to go ahead.
Please understand that you will not receive any information about the adopted adult during this initial interview.
What if I decide to go ahead?
If a decision is made to go ahead we will try to contact the adopted person on your behalf. We must get the adopted person's permission before identifying them to you or arranging for any contact.
How might adopted people react when contacted?
There is no set answer. People react differently, and many people's feelings change over time. Often the adopted adult feels in a state of shock following the approach and needs time to adjust.
Some people are clear from the outset that they do not want to have any contact with their birth relatives. Sometimes people don't feel ready, or the approach comes at the wrong time in their lives.
Some adopted people may have an immediate interest in pursuing contact, whilst others may be more uncertain and need some time before deciding how they wish to respond.
The adopted person may have only had minimal information about his or her birth family and circumstances of adoption and may now be dealing with a lot of new information. This can be overwhelming and unsettling for a while. However, at the same time the adopted person may feel pleased to know of their birth relative's continuing concern and reassured to know they have not been forgotten.
Contact does not always mean meeting face to face. Often letters and photos are exchanged through a social worker for some time. Sometimes we advise people on how to write letters and offer counselling and telephone support.
One of our social workers will act as an intermediary, and will help both parties decide on the pace of the contact. Sometimes, people ask us to be present at the first meeting, when very strong feelings can emerge.
The service provided through the Essex Adoption Service is free. However there may be a cost involved if you need to hire a tracing agency to find the adopted person.