Thursday, 26 January 2012

Tracing birth relatives through social media

Last night marked BAAF's first Twitter Chat of 2012. With an increased focus on adoption and social networking in the press recently, many adopted people may consider tracing birth relatives – and vice versa – via sites such as Facebook. Between 7pm and 8pm adopters, adoptees, and those interested in the issues gathered on Twitter to discuss.

@EmmaLangman
@BAAFAdoption Sorry I didn't make it tonight. Looking forward to reading the timeline on the #adoptfosterchat tag. xx

@spursblogger
RT @baafadoption: Check out our blog - bit.ly/977pnx - tomorrow for a round-up of tonight's discussion #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
People talk lots about post-adoption contact but absolutely @PottiJo, more post-adoption support needed 4 all involved #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption Good news is through GP he now has fab counsellor. #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption Our son was nearly six & needed something. We were told time would fix everything. Sad for him #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@MiddleAgedCred @BAAFAdoption Actually I do feel thats an area that could do with input ... post adoption support for kids#adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption and for the kids as counselling for them could have avoided unhappiness later #adoptfosterchat

@Familoo
@Jags_Catering #adoptfosterchat something slightly diffrnt from lifestory work I think. More gritty realism- or is that unfair on lifestory?

@PottiJo
@MiddleAgedCred @BAAFAdoption thats no good for you though and others that needed it before. Makes me value the agency here#adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@PottiJo @BAAFAdoption Had one now as scored poorly on audit but too late for when we needed them #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
G'night all. I enjoyed #adoptfosterchat. T'was my first twitter chat and was interesting. Keen to read @BAAFAdoption's round up tomorrow

@PottiJo
@SVPhillimore of course but good supportive training lays the foundations to help adoptive parents become resilient#adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations
@BAAFAdoption Thank you, another good chat. Will look forward to the next one #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@SVPhillimore @MiddleAgedCred I think in some cases yes..... sad I know and the recent report highlighted this #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@BAAFAdoption Thank you for running these #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@Children_Law fingers crossed! #dontholdyourbreath #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@BAAFAdoption thanks :) enjoyed it #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@AdoptResources @harryandrews thats exactly the right approach i believe. x #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@SVPhillimore that is my thinking. More support in advance/at the outset may prevent breakdowns/disruption later #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@BAAFAdoption Maybe better authorities could mentor those authorities that perform less well in the adoption process#adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@PottiJo @harryandrews we're starting off chatting about being safe online and choosing usernames #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@MiddleAgedCred @BAAFAdoption well they need a good shake up then #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Check out our blog - bit.ly/977pnx - tomorrow for a round-up of tonight's discussion #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@MiddleAgedCred This is my concern: that perhaps not enough support is even before the event to equip adoptive parents#adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@MiddleAgedCred @SVPhillimore thats dreadful. Were the agency not open to you contacting and asking for advice #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@MiddleAgedCred @pottijo I have heard this from others. so support varies hugely according to your LA? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Thanks everyone for joining us tonight! If you need more info/advice, head to our website - bit.ly/r42JM8 #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@BAAFAdoption They have since been audited and scored v poorly on adoption & foster support #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@SVPhillimore @Children_Law I think it depends where in the country as disruption rates in some places are good #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
Easy to find potential family members via SM but the issue is how you contact them, adults will think it through, kids wont #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@PottiJo sorry missed first tweet! Training sounds good - but facing reality inevitably different I would assume #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @PottiJo: @AdoptResources @harryandrews I guess tht open honest dialogue, trust and respect help to ensure communication#adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@AdoptResources @harryandrews I guess that open honest dialogue, trust and respect help to ensure communication#adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@harryandrews I know many 11 yo using Facebook #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@MiddleAgedCred Sorry to hear this - did you feed this back to agency? #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@Children_Law does this help to explain why disruption rates so high? #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@PottiJo this = my experience from recent clients adopting. They met with parents & happy to do that. Still changed names#adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@SVPhillimore @PottiJo We adopted 10 yrs ago & frankly have had no advice or support. GP has been our saviour #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@harryandrews Difficult =- hopefully parents talk to their children about these issues #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@SVPhillimore No thats not it at all as they will have had months of prep and hard work before hand, but panels do ask #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@harryandrews our kids' friends started as young as 10yo... 12yo not interested at moment but 11yo more keen #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@PottiJo is that it? I bet the reality must be harder than answering a question at panel... #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@PottiJo @SVPhillimore it can be tricky to find the right words when it comes out of the blue #adoptfosterchat

@harryandrews
facebook's minimum age limit is 14, i think. assuming that's widely flouted, when do we expect it to kick in? 12? 11? #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
Im not convinced that these issues are properly addressed if at all in adoption support plans. Doesn't it start there? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Don't forget our freephone adoption helpline is open 9am-1pm weekdays throughout January - 0800 652 9626 #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
panel will often ask about how adopters will share info with children and the worse case scenario stuff @SVPhillimore #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Great to see everyone sharing their stories tonight! #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@miss_smidge absolutely - my extended family had no idea (it was a bit of a whoops moment for them) #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@SVPhillimore here they get lots of training & support & in depth workshops which cover stuff like how to tell them etc #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
@PottiJo I agree, also fear of what has been told to family and out of blueness issue #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@miss_smidge don't forget each person has a different response so there is deffo no 'one size fits all' approach #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@PottiJo what kind of training or support do adopters get? This must be fantastically hard, to strike right balance #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
@miss_smidge yeah but thats me. I was glad when the letter arrived out of the blue and then couldn't wait for the emails! #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
Some good adoption reunion and contact chat tonight on@BAAFAdoption #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
Indeed it may well be grim reading so that's why its essential that adoptive parents are open and honest @SVPhillimore #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Social networking and contact: bit.ly/yfogTl #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
@PottiJo really? so you would have welcomed contact via FB or twitter? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Facing up to Facebook: bit.ly/xs04zA #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
@Jags_Catering sorry, social worker rather than direct contact through SM #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
Joining in with #adoptfosterchat tonight about #adoption search and reunion and use of social media, really interesting subject!

@SVPhillimore
@Jags_Catering mobiles can be quite difficult, had lots of problems with foster pmts. As ever, depends on how it's used #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Full search & reunion titles in our bookstore here: bit.ly/x0LtfG#adoptfosterchat

16h Fiona @AdoptResources
@harryandrews really tricky to manage risks with living a normal (nowadays) life #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
@Jags_Catering I agree (that is what i just said!) #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@MiddleAgedCred @ins_foundations @AdoptResources it's hard getting balance right and keeping it safe for all... #adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
If FB had been around when my son made contact I would have been thrilled. As it was it was via a letter then email #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@miss_smidge Important everyone has space & time to think about what they want #adoptfosterchat

@miss_smidge
Have found out so much through SM but plan to go traditional route of contact - what happens if siblings don't know? #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@Children_Law ...needs to be part of good adoption support#adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@Children_Law most prep groups raise these-hard thing is dealing with reality&changing need for info as they grow older#adoptfosterchat

@PottiJo
Thats so essential @BAAFAdoption Info needs to be age-appropriate, but v important they know full facts #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@ins_foundations cuz of the internet/ability to access info, adopters are worried hence spike in those changing childs name#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Using Social Networking Sites to Make Contact with Birth Relatives:bit.ly/p8FLvc #adoptfosterchat

@harryandrews
only that some names are more unusual than others (deffo in our case) and it (arbitrarily) puts us at the mercy of google#adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
As long as there is proper support - reading about why you had to be adopted will be pretty grim reading for some. #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
But what is point of letterbox contact once or twice a year? Seems a sop. #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@Familoo I totally agree with the proper/real info being read for child when older. That would be massive step forward #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Info needs to be age-appropriate, but v important they know full facts #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@ins_foundations @AdoptResources Us too. Eldest 20, middle 16, youngest 12. Tempted to let eldest & our 16 to have emails#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @Familoo: As children get older they need REAL info re adoption- judgments & nonjargon summaries shld be kept & ready#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@SVPhillimore Letterbox contact&openness has bn arnd4some time-now need2ensure ppl are prepard/informed abt social ntwrking#adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
I query need for immense amount of detail - shocked by recent doc and what was in young child's Life Story Book #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
issues of openness, contact, identification etc may well put off adopters #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations
@harryandrews @BAAFAdoption The name change issue has really changed in my area, its becoming very common again#adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger
@svphillimore again, big problem. Some potential adopters v worried about this #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@BAAFAdoption @harryandrews @Jags_Catering I think name change is difficult-crucial part of identity #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@SVPhillimore this is the issue. I dont know what is right or wrong but I think adopters want the child to be 'their child' #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations
@AdoptResources Sibs difficult for us too. They have direct contact, but age gap of 5 yrs between eldest and youngest #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger
@baafadoption @Children_Law hard to maintain any control over this process. As you say, new challenges overturning practice#adoptfosterchat

@Familoo
As children get older they need REAL info re what has led to adoption- judgments & nonjargon summaries shld be kept & ready#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @MiddleAgedCred: @Jags_Catering @harryandrews changing birth name is a v emotive subject.Part of the child's identity#adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
Will more openness 'put off' adopters? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Familoo Absolutely! #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
Very true & give support to do this RT @BAAFAdoption Important that their is open communication between adopters children#adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
@harryandrews adoption application form has space for 'new name' which prospective adopters often use for fear of tracing#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @Jags_Catering: @harryandrews @baafadoption #adoptfosterchat I hate fact I have a different name wad born Paul-my identity was changed.

@Familoo
@harryandrews @BAAFAdoption for me it's about acknowledging the inevitable & proactively preparing & informing adopted kids#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@harryandrews V difficult - it's been raised and is topical#adoptfosterchat

@harryandrews
@BAAFAdoption do you think we'll go back to the old practice of changing children's names at time of adoption? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Children_Law Important that their is open communication between adopters and their children #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
issues w siblings make contact tricky for us-indirect for now but can see direct might be right at somepoint #adoptfosterchat@Children_Law

@Children_Law
@BAAFAdoption and also I think v. difficult for the adopters who then will start to have less of a grip on the situation. #adoptfosterchat

17h BAAF @BAAFAdoption
@SVPhillimore @Jags_Catering Contact Local Authority or head here for more advice/info: bit.ly/yU5Pzb #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@Children_Law Agreed to certain extent as long as child is able to talk through with someone supportive if it's emotional#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@ins_foundations Contact not often straightforward - more to consider here: bit.ly/p8FLvc Hope you have some support#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Children_Law Also adopted people may not be aware of circumstances surrounding their adoption #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@BAAFAdoption @Jags_Catering how do you contact a suitable intermediary? (I should know this) #adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
... and it is not recommended to be in the interests of the child to have contact with birth family. Really difficult stuff #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@MiddleAgedCred Difficult if she's keen - not always easy with teenagers #adoptfosterchat

@louise_dorman
@BAAFAdoption I had letters & original records for 2 years. So I could have contacted her! But I needed it structured#adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations
@BAAFAdoption I found my childrens birth mother on facebook and not sure if its a good thing or not! Lots of pros and cons#adoptfosterchat

@Children_Law
I think children using social media to try & find birth family is ok if that is their wish. Prob is the other way around #adoptfosterchat

@spursblogger
Good evening, hope this evening's #adoptfosterchat goes well

@MiddleAgedCred
@BAAFAdoption Thank you. Advisory service feel once you have that level of contact Obv can't go back but kids really keen#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @Jags_Catering: @MiddleAgedCred @baafadoption I agree - there is no way of cutting if it goes wrong. #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@MiddleAgedCred Don't worry - we still found it! #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Jags_Catering Intermediaries can help people think about the issues #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@BAAFAdoption Think my first tweet had a misspelt hash tag :-S#adopfosterchat #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@Jags_Catering glad it was a good response #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
RT @Jags_Catering: @BAAFAdoption @svphillimore #adoptfosterchat I didn't with my birth father and it was a NIGhTMARE !

@BAAFAdoption
@louise_dorman Are you glad you did it this way? #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@MiddleAgedCred Important to make sure implications are considered #adoptfosterchat

@Jags_Catering
@ins_foundations @baafadoption #adoptfosterchat There is good coverage at the adopt resource site and of course BAAF

@louise_dorman
I contacted my birth mother through the agency my adoption was organised #transatlanticbaby #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
@BAAFAdoption @jags_catering I have no personal interest but a lot of professional interest (am lawyer) #adoptfosterchat

@MiddleAgedCred
@BAAFAdoption Thinking of letting them be in touch by email (16 yo with older sister) but advisory service think unwise #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Jags_Catering @SVPhillimore Are you (both) glad you used an intermediary? #adoptfosterchat

@ins_foundations
@BAAFAdoption I have no direct experience but interesting to hear from others #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Some tips around online search & reunion and keeping yourself safe:bit.ly/p8FLvc #adoptfosterchat

@Jags_Catering
@SVPhillimore #adoptfosterchat Social worker rang my birth mother and asked if she was interested in getting in touch- she had been waiting

@ins_foundations
@BAAFAdoption Hi i'm in! #adoptfosterchat

@Jags_Catering
@BAAFAdoption #adoptfosterchat I searched for my birth mothers name she popped up in one minute with phone number but I didn't ring !

@BAAFAdoption
It's good to be able to find people online but another thing making contact #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
V sensible. RT @Jags_Catering: @BAAFAdoption too easy too quick so I used a social work as an intermediary. #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
Interested to know how you first made contact #adoptfosterchat

@AdoptResources
@miss_smidge @pottijo hope you got some good answers on the forum... @BAAFAdoption #adoptfosterchat is on reunion tonite...

@Jags_Catering
@BAAFAdoption too easy too quick so I used a social work as an intermediary. #adoptfosterchat

@SVPhillimore
Hello I am at #adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
@Jags_Catering HOw was it? How did you go about it?#adoptfosterchat

@BAAFAdoption
Anyone had any experience of making contact with birth relatives online? How did it go? #adoptfosterchat

@Jags_Catering
@BAAFAdoption #adoptfosterchat we both traced our family - I did it online

@BAAFAdoption
Please be sure to add #adoptfosterchat to your tweets so that others can follow the discussion

@BAAFAdoption
Welcome to the first #adoptfosterchat of 2012! We are joined by BAAF’s search & reunion expert, Julia Feast

@Jags_Catering
@bethedwardsuk @mum3fi if you are there it is #adoptfosterchat now

@BAAFAdoption
@Jags_Catering We'll be joining you in 7 mins! #adoptfosterchat

@Jags_Catering
@BAAFAdoption who is here for #adoptfosterchat ?

@BAAFAdoption
An hour to go until #adoptfosterchat!

@Children_Law
@SVPhillimore @familoo I actually managed to sort myself out with TweetDeck and I am ready for #adoptfosterchat (separate column) now.

For more info and advice about search and reunion, visit the ASR website: http://www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk






1 comment:

michael mallows said...

What an excellent thread! I was sorry that I was unable to join in at the time.

For the last 25 years I have counselled, trained, and created workshops for all parties to adoption, professionals as well, all over the UK, and I'm impressed and inspired by the wisdom, experience, honesty and generosity of spirit that shines through!

I have long been concerned about information being withheld, whether it's by social workers who don't disclose information that could help foster carers and adoptive parents to prepare more realistically for the symptoms of a child's trauma, of parents who, for whatever reason, choose to withold information from the child 'simply' because the child might be upset.
Of course I'm not suggesting full disclosure of horrific events in a torrent. But I do think it is ALWAYS better to work on the assumption that looked-after children will, in time, find out everything - and that was before the impact of social networking.
Must be else where.
Go well

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