In this second article from Adopt North East, they explain why post box contact is so important. They also detail the support they provide to birth and adoptive families to write the letters.

Post Box Contact: We’ll be with you every step of the way

It’s important for adopted children to be aware of and understand their history. There are many ways to help them make sense of their past from life story books to ongoing contact with birth families.

Photographs and life stories bring an adopted child’s past to life. They help them understand everyone who influenced their early development.  This can make it easier for children to understand who they are, where they came from and try to merge their past with the present.

Ongoing contact with birth families is also a positive way to ease the child’s sense of loss or rejection. However face to face contact is rare.  If contact between a child and their birth parents is agreed, it is most likely that post box contact will be the best option.

How does post box contact work?

Adopt North East’s post box service manages written contact between the two families.  The service ensures that family members can’t be identified and that letters remain confidential.  We also ensure that no inappropriate content is shared.

It’s vital that birth family members and adopters agree to post box rules by signing contact agreements.  The team offers practical support such as letter writing skills. We also provide advice on the type of information that can and can’t be shared.

Adopters are usually asked to send an annual letter to birth family.  It will typically include milestones a child has achieved during the year, their physical health and progress at school. Adopt North East also encourages birth families to reply to adopters to keep them informed of birth family news.

Why do it?

There are many benefits of post box contact including:

  • The child knows that their birth family has not forgotten about them and that they still care about their welfare and the progress they are making.
  • The link with the birth family is maintained.
  • Adopters receive regular information from birth families including any major changes in their lives or circumstances which the child should know about.
  • Birth families receive regular information from adopters about any changes in the child’s circumstances.
  • Birth families are reassured that the child is safe and well.

Adopt North East is passionate about the ongoing support it provides to adoptive families and birth parents.  Its life story work and post box contact service are just two of the ways it supports everyone involved in the adoption process.

Adopt North East is the regional adoption agency combining local authority services from North Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland and South Tyneside.

If you would like more information on post box support or adoption generally please get in touch. You can contact the team by telephone on (0191) 643 5000, email or visit


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