Take some time a think about what you can live with and what would be best for the children concerning contact with the birth family. There are so many things that impact your decision; the age of the foster children, what abuse they suffered, are drugs or alcohol involved, and the “biggie” what kind of impact would the contact have on the foster children.
Here are some questions to think about: Would face to face contact be too much for the foster children? (a lot of time it is traumatic for the foster children) Would contact through letters and pictures work? Would the contact be directly with the children or through you? How often do you feel comfortable with quarterly or twice a year? Would you use a post office box and first name only? Would the birth parent also have to correspond?
When you decide what would be best for the children and your family write down what you have decided. You need to make sure that you are clear on what you decide.
We can do quarterly letters and pictures with the birth parent. Who is “we”, you or the children? If they are young children 4 years old or younger that cannot write and may not understand who they are writing too. Some birth parents want letter and cards on certain holidays. For a lot of foster/adoptive parents keeping the dates open can be easier and less stressful. If you agree to visits how long, supervised, or certain dates. I would suggest thinking about having a cause put in that states if the birth parents do not make contact for an entire year that the agreement is null and void. This is becoming a more common thing.
There are parents that have agreed to contact with a birth parent through letters and after a several months the birth parent stops making contact. The parents still continue sending letters even after they are being returned due to no forwarding address a year or two later.
Please share your experience with mediation for a TPR and thoughts below?