22. What to consider before you say ‘yes’

Man thinking. What to consider before saying yes to contact

What to consider before you say ‘yes’ you do wish to have contact.

First of all, we would like to thank you for your consideration in this matter and for connecting with the correspondence we have sent you. We know it is a big call on anyone when they are contacted out of the blue by an adoption intermediary agency about a birth relative. We like to give people as much advice as possible so that they are well informed and can make good decisions that might affect their future. This leaflet is to signpost you to our Service User Guides and Information. We will keep it as straightforward as possible.

  1. We encourage you to verify our identity. We are registered with Ofsted as an Adoption Support Intermediary Service. In order to verify this and see our last Ofsted Inspection Report Spring 2022 in which we were rated as Outstanding. Please go to reports.ofsted.gov.uk and plug in our unique reference number for Joanna North Adoption which is 2617067
  2. Once you are confident that we have approached you in all sincerity about a legal process you may or may not want to contact us in order to verify information about the person who is searching for you. There should be advice in your letter to show you how to do this.
  3. Our team are there to talk with you during office hours and they will make you aware of our counselling service that is available so that you can talk through any concerns, worries, thoughts and feelings. This is a free service (if we have contacted you relating to a search) and there is no charge to you for this. Our counsellors are registered and qualified in the profession and offer a supportive service. Please ask for our leaflet on this.
  4.  You may wish not to be in contact with the person who is searching for you. If this is the case, we have leaflets about how we will manage this for you so that you are supported, and the matter is closed as quickly as possible with a good sense of resolution for all concerned.
  5. However, if you wish to say ‘yes’ to being in contact with the person concerned, then we want to give you good advice before you do this as follows:
  6. Please don’t rush into a decision. Take your time to consider this. Just let us know that you are taking time to consider the best way forward for yourself. We will put everything on hold and wait until you are ready.
  7. We never rush people into making decisions about moving forward.
  8. Please talk with partners, friends, adult children and/or relatives who are supportive and who will give you good advice and support before you move into contact with a new relative.
  9. Consider what is the best form of contact for you. Would you like to initially be in touch through e mail, letter or phone or would you like direct contact. We can help you think this through.
  10. Use the counselling service that we offer for support.
  11. There is no question that we will not consider with you. People tend to think that their questions may be thought of as ‘silly’ but we know that you may have the smallest queries that could make the biggest difference. Please run your questions past us as we will be able to help.
  12. If you have any underlying health conditions or mental health problems that make you vulnerable at this time, please let us know so that we can put in support relevant to you. If you have an enduring health condition such as a heart vulnerabilities you may want to take advice from your G.P.
  13. If you have any private information that you don’t wish to share with a new birth relative – hold in mind that you don’t have to divulge everything about your life with a new relative all at once. In fact, we would advise against this until you know this person. You can approach with friendly caution keeping yourself and your privacy safe. NEVER divulge financial information of any sort.
  14. If you have any diversity needs in relation to faith, orientation, disability, race or culture that you wish to have respected and understood please let us know so that we can ensure a mindful pathway forward for you.
  15. Finally, again, take your time. You do not have to rush this. We have very good outcomes for people on these intermediary journeys but it is best to consider your wellbeing and safety before making a move forward.

Dr. Joanna North.

Consultant Psychotherapist Adoption.

September 2024.

Joanna North Adoption (Ofsted registered)

Man thinking. What to consider before saying yes to contact