Keeping you safe and how we assess risk

keeping-you-safe-meeting-birth-relatives-adoption

This leaflet has been written from our experience and expertise and also with help from external research. In this leaflet we how we access risk and try and ensure your safety throughout our service.

If you have difficulties with language or reading, please let us know and we will read this information over the phone or to someone who can support you.  Should you need any further information or support about this matter you can phone or email us via the details on our website.

This leaflet is to prompt you to raise any important questions when you have your initial consultation with us.  You may wonder why we think about keeping you safe.  This is so that we can properly exercise our duty of care to you while we are working together.    If you could just read the following and raise any issues with your Consultant when you speak to him/her.  If you have any difficulties with reading or comprehension we would be delighted to speak with you directly over the phone…..just let us know. 

Adoption finding cases often run smoothly with a positive outcome, but there can be obvious complexities involved in this process.  Because of this we try to find out as much information as possible at the outset in order to protect you and the people you are trying to find.  So, whilst these questions may seem to be out of the ordinary, they are in fact designed to help us make sure that the intermediary process runs as smoothly as possible.  Do feel free to ask us questions about any of the issues below.  If we know about any vulnerabilities, we can keep you safer. 

  1. Do your current family know about your search for a relative, for example your children and partner?  Are they supportive?  We ask this so that we can evaluate how much support you have or need. 
  2. As far as you are aware was there any jeopardy or danger involved at the time that you were adopted i.e. did any birth parent/sibling have criminal convictions, was there any domestic violence or abuse, or were you harmed in any way.    We ask this so that we can ensure this is a safe process for you.
  3. Are you aware of any other complex or distressing circumstances before adoption that you would like us to be aware of? 
  4. Do you have any current paperwork or papers appertaining to your adoption that may help us establish whether or not this person wishes to be contacted?  We ask this as we have a duty to ensure that people are not contacted if they do not wish to be.
  5. Are there any gender or sexual orientation issues of which we should be aware, i.e. have you or to the best of your knowledge anybody we are contacting changed gender?  We ask this so that we can be as sensitive as possible about this matter, and of course it may influence the finding process.
  6. Did your birth, to the best of your knowledge, take place within a different country or culture, where daily life or practices such as religion may be different to your own?  It would help us to know about this so that we can be aware of how these differences may affect people, and so we can be sensitive to the requirements of the people involved. 
  7. Aside from the person we are tracing, is there likely to be anybody else whom we might find to whom you are related in this process?  For example, additional siblings, cousins.     If this were to be the case how would you feel about this?
  8. Are there any health issues that make you vulnerable and extra sensitive at the current time that you would like us to know about? 
  9. Are there any mental health issues that might make you vulnerable at this time, for example depression or anxiety or any history of suicide within the family of origin?   Obviously, this is private information and you do not have to tell us about this.  We ask as we have a duty of care to support you if this process makes you feel more vulnerable.  
  10. Did your adoptive parents give you any information about your adoption process that may help us?  Did you have a life story book? or did you make a life story of your own?
  11. What is your biggest fear about this process?  Do let us know so that we can ensure that we re-assure you.
  12. We do need to make you aware of the possibility of many conflicting emotions that may arise when birth family are found.  These can often be positive, but there may also be disappointments.  Let us know if you need help as we have much advice and support to give.