DEAR DEIDRE: EIGHTEEN years ago I adopted a daughter. Now her birth family are causing real problems . . .  for both of us.

I first fostered my daughter when she was 11 weeks old.


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Every week I took her to see the maternal grandparents and also met up with the birth mother in a contact centre.

But the system broke down quickly, as her mother never turned up. Social services decided it would be best to put her up for adoption.

I asked if we could adopt her and was delighted when she officially became my daughter.

Social services told me not to see the grandparents but they begged to keep in contact. They always came across as lovely people, so I agreed.

But over the years, I realised they were using me for money. Eventually I had enough and stopped seeing them.

When my daughter was ten, I found out her birth mother had passed away.

Since then, her extended family keeps cropping up.

An uncle approached her on the bus and told her she should get involved with her family.

Another aunt was waiting for her outside her school and bad-mouthed me.

Now things keep going missing from outside our home – plants, tables, bikes.

I’m sure the birth family are behind it and it’s unsettling for all of us.

Now my daughter has started to fall in with a bad crowd and I’m worried she will turn out like her birth parents, who were both drug addicts.

DEIDRE SAYS: What a worrying time for you.

Your daughter is no doubt drawn to troublemakers because she will feel incredibly unsettled by the birth family’s behaviour.

They should absolutely not be approaching you, your home or your daughter.

Contact Family Lives (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222) for support and advice on how to go ahead.

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