Birth parents and relatives

If you're unhappy about your child being adopted

If you’re unhappy about your child being adopted, you should seek legal advice straight away. Your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau will know some names of solicitors who specialise in adoption cases. Before the court can agree that your child can be adopted, you must agree to this, or the court must decide that your child should be adopted. Your solicitor will advise you about this.

If you want your child to be adopted

Contact us and we'll ask the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to arrange for someone to visit you.

They'll make sure you understand the legal effect of adoption and will ask if you're willing to sign a formal document consenting to placing your child for adoption. The form will say that you agree to your child being placed with adopters and for the court to make an Adoption Order.

What about the father?

  • If the father is not named on the birth certificate and you're unmarried, his permission is not needed for the adoption to take place. The social worker will ask to contact him though as the adopters and your child will want some information on his family background and medical history
  • The father’s formal agreement is needed if you're married (and your husband is the father), or if the father is named on the birth certificate
  • If your husband is not the father, the law will consider him the legal father and ask for his consent for the adoption, unless he has signed a declaration
  • If the baby’s father doesn't agree with adoption and wishes to raise the child himself, the court may be asked to decide what is in the child’s best interests

Adoption Order

Once the Adoption Order has been made by the courts, you'll not be able to have your child returned to you. Before this point it may be possible, although the court may need to be persuaded that returning the child into your care is in the child’s best interests. 

Once the Adoption Order has been made, you have no legal responsibility or relationship with your child.

How we find an adoptive family for your child

We make very thorough enquiries about adopters to understand what sort of home they could offer your child. A lot of thought goes into choosing a suitable family. 

Please let us know if there is anything special you would like us to remember when choosing a family for your child. For example, you may wish them to have a particular religious or cultural lifestyle.

We can't promise to do as you wish, but we will certainly take your wishes into account. Occasionally it is possible to arrange a meeting between a parent and the adopters.

Please discuss your wishes with your social worker.

Contact with your child after adoption

Sometimes it's possible to arrange a meeting between you and the adoptive parents. The most common way to keep in contact is indirect, known as Letterbox Contact. This is a way for letters and cards to be exchanged at pre-arranged times. Please discuss this with your social worker. 

If you already have letterbox contact and you want to discuss the arrangements, please contact the Letterbox Contact team using the details below.


Contact us

Letterbox administration
PO Box 16262
Birmingham,
B2 2WX
(Postage stamp needed)
  • Telephone: 0121 303 1010

Email letterbox administration