How to Contact Your Birth Mother

    It is no easy feat for adoptees to contact their birth mom. After all, adoptees spend upward ten if not more years searching for their birth mother or family. Year after year of searching, the feelings of fear and anxiety build up causing adoptees to be apprehensive about meeting their birth mother fearing rejection, an adverse outcome, or an unexpected result. It is daunting. Reunions can potentially change an adoptee’s life forever. No, it will change an adoptee’s life forever. But it should never be the reason that keeps an adoptee from contacting his or her birth mom.
    If you are an adoptee contemplating contacting your birth mother, don’t let fear or anxiety overwhelm you. Take your time. Step-by-step. Prepare as needed. Gather a team of people that will encourage you, support you, and be there to give you a hug as necessary or an ear to listen. This is critical. You can do this! I am cheering for you.

    Below I have listed five methods you can use to contact your birth mother including a sprinkle of encouragement to keep you going. 

    Contact your birth mom via snail mail or email

    According to the majority of birth mothers, snail mail and email are said to be the best way to communicate with a birth mother to allow her to process the news and perhaps tell her significant other or other children she may have had.
    Writing is an excellent way to release. It is also an excellent way to be sure that everything that needs to be said is said. You can begin by brainstorming. Go back to your childhood when you began to think about your birth mom, put those thoughts down. All those questions you said you would ask if you ever met her, put those thoughts down. The joy or pain that you have felt over the years put those thoughts down. Major life events that your birth mother missed put those thoughts down. Whatever comes to your mind, put those thoughts down.
    If you want to make face-to-face contact, let her know. Let your birth mom know exactly what you want from her through this letter. Are you looking for a response? Are you looking to meet up? Are you looking to take the next step by making a phone call or video call? Let her know.
    Writing a letter is the best way to get it all out.
    Pick up your pen and write.
    It is okay. Don’t be scared.

    Contact your birth mom by phone

    There is something about hearing a person’s voice.  A sound, a word you have been longing to hear. The sound. Wondering if it sounds anything like yours. Contacting your birth mother by phone does take a bit of fearlessness, but it is entirely worth it. I know you can do it. That voice connection is deep. It takes connecting to a new level!
    Make a list of all the things you want to talk about, so you don’t miss a thing. After waiting for this moment for what seems like forever, we can quickly get caught up in our emotions and forget to ask all that we want to ask.
    Get it down in your notebook.
    Write. Write. Write.
    You have the right to ask questions.


    Contact your birth mom by way of  someone you trust or has experience with adoption reunions

    Okay. Maybe you aren’t ready to write a letter or email, and calling is just out of the question. But you want to make contact. I get it. It is easy to fear the possibility of rejection. In this case, it is best to have someone make the introduction for you.
    Have someone that knows you well or has experience with adoption reunions that you trust to make the initial contact for you.  A mentor. A pastor. A teacher. Find someone that is slow to speak and good at listening.
    Get your fearless gear on and be there when this person makes the call for you.
    Don’t think negatively. Your birth mom is probably just as scared as you are.
    Take your time and push through the fear.

    Contact your birth mom face-to-face

    According to birth moms, this would be the preferred last resort because it does not give them enough time to process or to prepare to tell her live-in family (significant other and children living in the home) the news.  Also, there are birth mothers that have endured lots of trauma from being coerced to place or having their children stolen from them. They need time to process.
    Most birth mothers want to be found and want to be reunited. This opportunity, this move of fearlessness can be one of the most special moments in your life as well as your birth mother.
     What is most important when embarking on the journey of reuniting is that you enter reunion with little to no expectation. Let it flow naturally. Remember, everyone has a story. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees of a positive outcome, however, know that more birthmothers are waiting to reunite with their child than adoptees or society thinks.
    There are many reasons birth mothers made the decision to place their child for adoption and some were even forced whether it be by their family, adoption agencies, or society. Rarely does a birth mother place her child for adoption because she wants nothing to do with her child.
    She could be waiting for you right now to send that letter, make that call, or run into her arms. I hope you can find the strength and courage to reach out.
    Be fearless. You can do it.

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    Jessenia Arias
    Jessenia Arias
    I'm Jessenia. I am an adult adoptee with 10 years of experience advocating and fostering relationships with adoptees, and over five years of experience teaching adoptive parents how to have a successful and genuine relationship with their adopted child.

    5 Comments

    1. PrisSharp says:

      With more than 1,000 solved searches and reunions, I have learned many things along the way about the best way to contact mothers. Believe me, showing up at her doorstep unannounced, having a stranger (intermediary), putting very personal, usually secret things in writing, contacting anyone else in the family, are the very worst methods. A private, discrete phone call is the best method in our experience. Here is my advice for contact, which has worked successfully in 95% of the contacts: http://www.womensvoicesmagazine.com/2015/01/01/contacting-family-members-advice-for-adoptees-contacting-mothers/
      If you cannot find a phone number, then a discrete note can be sent along the lines of, I am doing research on the X family of Metro, NY. I believe we might be closely related and I would love to talk with you about it. Please call xxxx. I was born on xxx, 19xx in Metro, NY." IOW, a hint that would be meaningful only to mother.

    2. Claire says:

      Best advice; "don't let fear or anxiety overwhelm you. Take your time. Step-by-step. Prepare as needed. Gather a team of people that will encourage you, support you, and be there to give you a hug as needed or an ear to listen. This is necessary." And then the advice, it fell apart. Write a simple letter of introduction. Put all the other stuff in a journal. Give her all your contact info. Follow up if she doesn't respond. Ask her "Is this a good time?" "When is a good time?" If she doesn't respond suggest a time in the near future. A reunion is a love story, be gentle. Reunion is not a rave party.

      • Hi Claire, I like that advice you added! Are you a blogger? I would like to edit this post and mention the advice you shared in the event it does not work out and following up with a letter, etc. and giving you credit for it.

        Thank you again xo

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