Section 309.135 - Post-Permanency Sibling Contact Agreement. Although some evidence suggests that online networking may have positive outcomes, the unpredictability and immediacy of (particularly unwanted) online contact may have harmful consequences (Greenhow et al., 2015). Some States also allow other birth relatives who have significant emotional ties to the child to be included in the agreement, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings… , Coffey A. J. Although the importance of maintaining an adopted child’s relationship(s) with their birth sibling(s) living elsewhere is emphasised in UK national guidance, very little is known about how children’s plans and arrangements for contact unfold over time. Plans for indirect (letterbox) contact were prone to breaking down: n = 11/17 children with plans for such contact at Wave 1 had no correspondence with siblings at Wave 4. On the basis of these findings, we make recommendations pertaining to the management of both letterbox and face-to-face contact and life story work, and underscore the importance of investing in sibling relationships. Parents reported instances of contact having ceased or never commenced because their own child’s presence was considered too harmful or disruptive to a sibling. All siblings quickly formed a bond and adoptive parents a good source of developmental information and support (Wave 4). This is important in case contact arrangements change and risk assessments need to be revisited post adoption order. Adoption support staff may find it helpful to explore with parents why arrangements fail and if appropriate, provide the necessary assistance to re-establish correspondence. Note: Percentages in brackets show sibling contact reported at 4 years post-adoptive placement that was in line with contact planned at 4 months post-adoptive placement. Adoption Search Angels – Adoption Search Angels volunteer their time and talents to help families touched by adoption. Contact with a sibling should not be automatically ruled out just because the sibling either lives with a birth family member or is in touch themselves with birth parents. * Jurisdiction changed their adoption laws to make identifying information available to adoptees and birth parents, unless a veto was filed. In n = 15/27 instances, this was consistent with the contact plan made at the start of the adoptive placement, but for the other 12, it was a departure from what had been agreed. The significance and importance of sibling relationships for a child should feature in contact planning. SAGE Open 4:1 –10. In England, much of what is currently known about post adoption contact originates from the ‘contact after adoption’ longitudinal study by Neil and colleagues ( and encompasses birth family contact, rather than sibling contact, specifically. These comprised: (i) talking openly about adoption; (ii) children’s reactions to contact; (iii) support for contact and (iv) rapport between families. Therefore, our policy is to place siblings … They may also need a safe space in which to air their worries about sibling contact and to talk through how these worries may be addressed. This page contains practical guides for practitioners involved in planning contact between siblings and also resources for those involved in initiating and supporting contact. 6.2.5: Sibling Contact. If face to face contact needs to be paused or ended alternative methods of maintaining some connection could be considered in such cases (including through adult only meetings or other methods of communication). The British Association of Social Workers-commissioned enquiry into adoption (Featherstone et al., 2018) observed a reliance on indirect contact between adopted children and their birth families, even in circumstances where birth family were not considered a threat. Open communication between the families was also considered important. Children and young people can dispersed over different households (including living with birth parents or independently, or residing in other adoptive families, kinship, foster or residential care). Just one mother identified an unmet support need to help facilitate contact with a recently born sibling. Research findings converge on the importance of recognising that children’s needs for contact will change over time, which requires the possibility of contact remaining viable. The dynamics of the relationship between siblings, including where siblings may need help to repair or improve their relationships in order to make contact successful. Preparation of adopters and carers of siblings is important. It can provide children with a sense of belonging and a shared history, a chance to identify biological connection and likeness. Life story work is an important component of the professional support provided to adopted children to help them integrate their past with their present and future. Key factors to take account of when considering which siblings should have what contact are: Who the child views as a sibling, bearing in mind that children do always not class ‘family’ just in terms of ‘blood’. Young people prevented from seeing or not able to see siblings may make contact over social media exposing them to dangers of unsolicited communication from others in the birth family with whom they do not want contact. If you are an adult sibling or a sibling who still lives at home with your birth parents, and you want to visit with a brother or sister who is in placement, you can call the DCFS Advocacy Office for Children and Families and ask about creating a Post Permanency Sibling Contact Agreement. Adopted children who are the youngest in their family are likely to have subsequent siblings born to either or both of their parents after they are adopted. SETTLEMIRE FORMATTED.DOCX (DO NOT DELETE) 12/5/2011 2:53 PM 2011 POST-ADOPTION CONTACT BETWEEN SIBLINGS 167 those children had four or more siblings.11 Having recognized the importance of the sibling relationship,12 New Jersey requires in its Child Placement Bill of Rights Act13 that the State make “best efforts” to place siblings … Please call us now at (775) 337-1444 . This might include openly discussing rules and boundaries with children before the visit and being clear about how these will be maintained, and/or using a specialist setting to facilitate the meeting. One mother said: I just hope that it doesn’t fall through with the sister, the direct contact… the social worker who is also the sister’s [social worker] wasn’t quite forthcoming with some bits and pieces, so I don’t know. Parents and carers should be given information about where and how to seek support if they feel they need this at any stage. This case concerned the issue of post-adoption contact between two half-siblings. Eye to the Future in Adenomyosis Research. In at least one instance, this was compounded by the assumption that the contact plans detailed at court were legally binding. , Meakings S. McDowall, J. J. for contact after the finalization of an adoption. Child & Family Social Work, 22(S1), 44-52. Children placed for adoption separately from brothers and sisters may have little or no further direct contact with their siblings and, unless placed together, they cease to have a legal relationship with each other. Of the N = 374 children placed for adoption in the study period, 325 (87 per cent) were known to have at least one brother or sister (full or half-sibling). Attention should be paid to changing dynamics and personalities as siblings mature into independence or into different spheres of life (including reunification with birth parents for example). In the UK, contact arrangements between adopted children and birth siblings living elsewhere usually take one of two forms: (i) direct, or, face-to-face contact; and (ii) indirect, or, letterbox contact, where letters or cards (passed through an adoption agency) are exchanged between the adoptive family and the sibling(s). Do you want to do it? Neil et al., 2018). 2018. Along with busy family lives this leads to practical challenges with regard to meetings. These research requests come from Sue Austin (University of Bristol) and Yewande Reece (University of Birmingham). When contact was reported to be working well, parents commented on the positive relationships with the parents or carers of their child’s sibling(s). Macaskill, C. 2002. Let us review your family’s situation today and explain the first steps you would need to take to seek custody of a sibling. Another mother described how her family had been approached by the local authority to consider adopting their son’s newborn brother. A more common form of direct (face to face) contact would be between an adopted child and their siblings, who may be living in other adoptive or foster families. 3 Contact can range from the adoptive and birth parents exchanging information about a child (e.g., cards, letters, Although some siblings may find contact after adoption a source of comfort and reassurance (Meakings et al., 2017), sibling relationships in adoptive families who have experienced a disruption or are in crisis, can be harmful (Selwyn, 2019). Some parents had wanted to honour their promise to retain contact with siblings, so had written without involving their child. We have experience working with adoption cases of all kinds. We won’t ever stop it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do at some point (Interview). Therefore it is likely that step-parents, siblings and foster carers can make an application for contact. The Wales Adoption Cohort Study (WACS; Meakings et al., 2017; Meakings et al., 2018) used a prospective, longitudinal mixed-methods approach to understand the early support needs and experiences of 96 children adopted from state care and their adoptive families. This can be difficult for some children to manage, but sometimes these different views can provide a good opportunity for adoptive parents to talk to their child about their family situation. The sibling relationship in the context of child maltreatment: What do we know? , Jones C. Greenhow, S., Hackett, S., Jones, C., and Meins, E. 2016. At Wave 1, 24 per cent (n = 23/81) of children with birth siblings living elsewhere had plans for direct contact with at least one brother or sister. 2018. An older child may sometimes have contact with a relative, such as an aunt or grandparent who was unable to care for the child, but is supportive of the adoption. Psychological issues in adoption: Research and practice, 167-186. Contact between siblings after adoption can be complex, particularly if some siblings remain in contact with their birth parents. , Palmer C. In other cases spending time together in a manner which involves actual little direct interaction between children (such as a theatre show or the cinema) may be more appropriate for a period of time. Although sibling relationships are commonly characterised by both positive and negative dimensions, it is well-established that warm, harmonious sibling interactions are related to positive outcomes in childhood and later life (Feinberg et al., 2013). (, Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. There is a need for adoption agencies to review the protocols and practices with their indirect contact procedures and to ensure that it is properly resourced. These research requests come from Sue Austin (University of Bristol) and Yewande Reece (University of Birmingham). There were no recorded cases of paternal half-siblings placed together for adoption during the study period. Informed consent was obtained from all participating families. Available at: (accessed 15th May 2018). This study was funded by the Welsh Government. If children can’t see particular siblings they often want to know the reason for this, and may feel an acute sense of loss or worry about them (for example wondering if they are being cared for and kept safe). Selwyn and colleagues (2006) argued for better recognition that indirect contact co-ordination is not simply an administrative task, but one that requires skills to help clarify misunderstandings, review and explain arrangements, and encourage users to maintain contact for children’s long-term benefit. Some forms of sibling contact can be problematic or negative when pre-existing problems in the sibling relationships are not addressed. In addition, children's experiences were reported via their adoptive parents. The local authority, in its capacity as adoption agency, sought a declaration from the court … Define Post Permanency Sibling Contact. However, the local authority seemed to be offering an ‘all or nothing’ opportunity. post adoption sibling contact. , Solmeyer A. R. A shared family form, with similar interests and concerns related to the care of their connected children can sometimes lead to strong bonds between carers and mutual support for each other. Making sense of siblings: connections and severances in post-adoption contact. Contact with other adopters was particularly appreciated: [Direct contact is a] very positive experience. However contact that is temporarily upsetting should not necessarily be stopped – contact can help with communication around adoption allowing a child’s difficult feelings and memories to be expressed and talked about, aiding their coping with grief. Research and practice feedback suggests that separation from siblings is a particularly damaging part of some past adoption placements for the children concerned. When siblings are placed in other adoptive families or long term foster care, shared interests and concerns can sometimes lead to strong bonds between parents/carers and mutual support for each other. Grotevant, H. D., Perry, Y. V., & McRoy, R. G. 2005. The expectations of indirect contact, from both an agency and adopter’s perspective, may be explored in adopter training. ‘Positive and enjoyable’ sibling relationships were reported, as were harmful experiences of contact, with siblings reportedly passing on inappropriate or inaccurate information to adopted children or modelling undesirable behaviours. An Exploration of Students’ Experiences of External Supervision, Snapshot of Social Work in China: Outcomes of Stakeholder Competition, Racial Microaggressions at Work: Reflections from Black African Professionals in Australia, A Qualitative Interpretive Meta-Synthesis of Military-Connected Spousal Abuse Survivor Narratives, About the British Association of Social Workers,,,,, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. , Sakuma K. The Adoption UK study on post-adoption contact in Northern Ireland (MacDonald, 2017) identified that face-to-face arrangements frequently characterised sibling contact, especially when siblings were also living in adoptive families or were fostered. creation of a post-adoption sibling contact agreement governing sibling communication and visitation. Face to face meetings may not always be wanted by children or be practical or appropriate for a period of time. The present study investigated the birth sibling networks and associated contact experiences of a cohort of children placed for adoption in the UK. Post-adoption contact should be considered only in relation to the needs and best interests of the child, with no presumption for or against allowing contact. Adoptive parents shared many observations about their experiences of indirect contact. If any of the siblings presents a risk to the safety of a brother or sister 2. , McHale S. , Gupta A. She [Nan] is quite a forceful character, but apparently, she likes us so that’s good enough for me! Once complete, quotes were attributed to themes to illustrate the data. Sibling contact can positively evolve to become more frequent or natural and open, prompted by adoptive parents, with more frequent visits, sleepovers, and shared holidays. Children and Youth Services Review 27: 717–739. Siblings placed together for adoption will need to renegotiate their relationship in the context of their new family. Click here to search for "" within Post Permanency Sibling Contact Definitions Russell House Publishing, Dorset. Children placed apart from brothers and sisters may have little, or possibly no, further direct contact with siblings. A realistic appraisal needs to be made as to whether this does actually pose serious risks to the adopted child. Frequently asked questions about sibling contact In some cases meetings in the adoptive or foster home may be the most natural and relaxed setting. This could expose them to dangers of unsolicited communication from others in the birth family, including with those they do not want contact. I just hope it doesn’t break down and I just hope that we can all remain in contact. I think I get on alright with her, and so I think it goes alright… I usually take some photographs along, give those to Nan and say, ‘They’re for you to keep.’ We’ve got each other’s mobile numbers now (Interview). Of 19 children with face-to-face contact plans, 14 were seeing their siblings 4 years post-placement. siblings born after children are placed for adoption). One mother explained how her daughter met regularly with her sister, believing that they were just friends. The regulations accompanying this Act in England and in Wales1 include support for post adoption contact in the list of prescribed support services. (, Meakings S. By Dawn J. Re B (A Child) (Post-adoption contact) [2019] EWCA Civ 29 is the first time (since a change in the law in 2014) that the Court of Appeal has considered when an order should be made that an adopted child will have continuing contact with their birth family after he or she is adopted.. We are now looking at section 51A Adoption … At Wave 4, where there was contact between the adopted child and birth siblings living elsewhere, adopters outlined their experiences and associated support needs. The Government published a consultation on post-adoption contact in August 2012. This paper examines the experience of post‐adoption direct sibling contact from the perspectives of adoptive parents and birth relatives, including adult siblings. I believe they should eventually have contact, but [Child’s] social worker does not seem to agree (Wave 4). (School of Social Work and Social Policy Research Briefing; No. Openness in adoption: Outcomes for adolescents within their adoptive kinship networks. 6.2.5: Sibling Contact. (See also If contact is wanted in order to enable siblings to build or sustain their relationship, face-to-face contact is likely to be more appropriate than indirect contact. Sibling contact after adoption (Re TJ (Relinquished Baby: Sibling Contact)) News. This paper examines the experience of post‐adoption direct sibling contact from the perspectives of adoptive parents and birth relatives, including adult siblings. Post-adoption contact should be considered only in relation to the needs and best interests of the child, with no presumption for or against allowing contact. Because again, we’ve not known when to introduce any of this sort of stuff (Interview). A Family For Every Child 1675 West 11th Avenue Eugene, OR 97402 Tax I.D. At Wave 4, n = 16/68 (24 per cent) of the adoptive parents identified an unmet need for professional help with life story work. More occasionally, adoptive parents described the impact of contact on their well-being, as they tried to balance the benefits of sibling contact for their child, against their own capacity to engage with arrangements. Our findings suggest that sometimes adults (parents and social workers) expressed little motivation to nurture these immature relationships. Are you an adopted person who was separated from your birth siblings… The present study focuses on the questionnaires completed by adoptive parents at 4 months (N = 96, Wave 1) and 4 years post-placement (N = 68, 71%, Wave 4), and a subsample of 40 families (42%) who were interviewed at 9 months-post placement. Available at (accessed 15th May 2018). `` '' within post Permanency sibling contact at Every stage of public law.... An immediate concern, but several families were worried about the harmful consequences of sibling contact… when siblings are levels. Involving their child about adoption children in Permanent placement and beyond, Termination of parental Rights her! Consideration for adoptive parents shared many observations about their birth family am the one who given. Reap longer term children may be explored in adopter training is intrinsically linked to children and youth services,. A risk to the University of East Anglia https: //, Monk, D. Perry. 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