In the past adoption was often considered a solution for children whose mothers were unmarried, or for children whose birth parents were unable to raise them for a wide range of reasons, and then chose adoption for them. Nowadays adoption within the UK is mostly considered for children whose birth families have struggled to provide a safe home for their children. For some children who cannot be raised by their birth families other forms of permanent placement are thought to be preferable.
Whatever the reasons and events that led to a child's adoption or permanent placement, the loss of their child often affects birth parents, and in particular birth mothers, in an intense and ongoing way. Other birth relatives may be affected too. Where a reunion or contact with an adopted child is a possibility, some additional and complex matters may arise. Birth parents and birth relatives often need specialist counselling to support them with all these issues. This is where PAC can help. Please feel welcome to contact us with any concern you may have, whether or not they are listed on this site.
There are many different reasons for seeking counselling, these may include:
- emotional distress
- ongoing feelings of loss and grief
- low self esteem
- a sense of isolation and loneliness
- identity confusion
- longing to re-establish contact with adopted or permanently placed child
- telling subsequent children
- questions around tracing now adult adopted child
- unexpected contact from grown-up daughter or son
- managing reunion and subsequent relationship with now adult adopted son or daughter
Advice Line: 020 7284 5879
Our telephone advice line is open Monday to Friday 10.00am to 1.00pm, plus Wednesday and Thursday evenings 5.30pm to 7.30pm (excluding bank holidays)
Counselling is likely to be short term (usually up to six sessions). The first session serves as an assessment allowing you and the counsellor to clarify your needs. Consideration will be given to a stated preference regarding gender and ethnicity of the counsellor.
Formal telephone counselling sessions can be arranged. An initial face-to-face session is recommended.
This service offers preparation for possible contact and/or reunion with a now adult adopted son or daughter, as well as initiation of contact with them, in accordance with relevant legislation.
A drop-in group for birth mothers takes place every two weeks at our main premises at Kentish Town. A second birth mothers drop-in takes place every two months at a venue in Enfield Town which is open to women who are resident in the London boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Camden, Haringey or Islington.
Other groups are time-limited and are offered at a particular time of the year.
Face-to-face counselling takes place at PAC's main premises in Kentish Town, London, as well as at a number of monthly outreach surgeries in and around London. Please contact us for details.
- Contracts we have with certain local authorities may allow some free-of-charge sessions.
- Fees for privately funded sessions:
- face-to-face counselling: £58.00 (+ VAT) per 50 min session
- telephone counselling: £46.00 (+ VAT) per 50 min session
- Fees for intermediary work will be calculated at an hourly rate.
- Fees for groups are lower, please contact us.
- Rates for local authorities commissioning our services are different, please contact us.
We aim to provide a safe space where any issue related to adoption/permanent placement can be explored. We also endeavour to actively help with processing intense feelings and identifying coping strategies. Careful preparation, support and guidance with regard to the many issues around contact with adopted son or daughter are sought out at all times.
- experienced in working with diversity
Click here to download the PAC General Leaflet