When I first decided to search for my natural parents, I contacted Birthlink in Edinburgh, for help. They directed me to the right place to get copies of the social workers’ notes and other documentation concerning my birth and adoption. In addition to revealing so very much that I hadn’t known about my natural parents, to files held copies of the letters sent both to my adoptive father and to my natural mother. I was struck by the cold harshness of the letters to my mother, and by the fact that each of them was unsigned but that the courtesy title, Mrs. was given to the social worker writing the letters. Here is a found poem from phrases in some of the letters.

Notice, 1967

(a found poem)

to the mother or other person

having charge of the child

I hereby certify

I have received

Adoption of Children, Explanatory Memorandum,

from which I

detach. Your baby.


will require to pay

£2 per week towards her

maintenance. I do hope you are feeling

better now that you have returned


baby passed

is now fit

for adoption


or not

you still wish her

to go.

Sign the form of consent

I do hope

This is convenient.

We have permission –

a certificate signed

by baby’s mother.

Call to collect baby            .                                                                            I shall be glad

to have a note of the new names

you intend to give


Yours Sincerely


Assistant Children’s Welfare Supervisor

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