How to Write a Letter to Your Birth Mom
As an adult adoptee, you’ve been searching for biological family members. Maybe you’ve finally found your birth parents. Maybe you finally tracked down a biological sibling. Or perhaps you’ve identified your birth mother.
Regardless of the specific genetic relationship—half-sibling, mom, dad, etc—you need to make contact with this person. You’ve decided that writing a letter, among the different ways to contact your birth parents, is your best avenue to express your feelings and make that first introduction.
For the rest of this article, we’ll assume that you’re contacting your birth mom. If you’re reaching out to both parents, your dad, a sibling, or any other relation, just make the necessary modifications.
How to Write a Letter to Your Birth Mom Quicklinks
What Should I Write in My First Letter to My Biological Mom?
You’ve worked hard to find your birth mother. You want your letter to come off just right.
Think of your introductory letter to your bio mom as a self-promotional piece. You want to “sell her” on the idea of having a relationship with you. That’s why you went through all the work to track her down, right?
Your letter should:
- Reassure your biological mother that you’re not bitter over her placing you for adoption
- Showcase your maturity and emotional stability
- Convey a non-judgmental and compassionate attitude
- Let her know you’re eager to have her in your life but that you understand if she chooses not to accept
Your mother has probably hoped for this day your entire life and will greet you with open arms. She might have already looked for you and come up empty-handed. It’s possible she’s contacted your adoptive parents and been ordered to stay away from you.
Alternatively, she may have been terrified to look for you because social workers, her priest, her friends, and possibly her mother or father advised her not to. She might have been frightened that you didn’t know you were adopted, and that if she turned up, it would devastate you.
Guidelines For Your Birth Mom Intro Letter
When composing a letter to your biological mom, there are some things you should include. There are also other elements you should leave out.
Birth Mother Letter Dos
- Keep your letter under two pages. This is not an opportunity to tell your biological mom all about yourself, your struggles and triumphs, and your journey in tracking her down.
- Write your letter by hand instead of typing it. A handwritten letter is far more personal, and your birth mother will appreciate the gesture.
- Include basic personal details, such as relationship status, whether you have kids, education, place of residence, etc.
- Briefly describe why you’ve chosen to find your birth mother at this time, and how long you’ve been looking for her.
- Include a few interests, hobbies, and activities of yours.
- If your adoptive parents have been good parents, you should tell your bio mother as much. She’ll be wondering whether she did right by placing you with them.
- Include a picture of yourself. If you have children, include pictures of them, as well.
- Include a specific request, such as a phone call, an in-person meeting, or whatever your desired outcome is.
- Include your contact information.
- Send your letter to your birth mother by registered mail. You want her to sign for it, so you know she has received it.
Birth Mother Letter Don’ts
- Don’t overshare about yourself. Keep it to the basics.
- If your adoptive parents were not great parents, don’t share how awful they were. It will only make your birth mom feel guilty about placing you with them.
- If your adoptive parents were amazing parents, don’t go on at length about how awesome they were. Doing so will probably lead your biological mother to feel inadequate by comparison.
- Don’t address your own struggles as an adoptee: the unanswered questions, the self-doubt, the feeling of not belonging. She already struggles with guilt over placing you for adoption. You want the letter to uplift her.
- Don’t discuss any difficult or traumatic childhood experiences.
- Don’t boast about accomplishments or otherwise show off. Doing so will probably trigger feelings of inadequacy in your mom, as though your achievements have resulted from her being absent from your life.
Sample Birth Mom Letter
Feel free to use and modify the following sample letter as you see fit. Note that ALL CAPS words are placeholders, so when you see “YOUR NAME,” you should replace it with your name.
Dear BIRTH MOTHER NAME,
My name is YOUR NAME. I was born on BIRTH DATE at HOSPITAL in CITY, STATE, and I believe you may be the woman who placed me for adoption. I learned your name from INSERT DETAILS ABOUT HOW YOU FOUND HER.
I am writing because I want to have you in my life. I am hoping that when you read this, you will want to meet me, as I certainly want to meet you.
I have always known I was adopted, and I’ve wondered about you for so many years. Who you are, where you live, what you’re like, if I look like you, and so many other questions. I’m guessing you are curious about me as well, so I’ll tell you a little bit about myself.
INSERT BASIC DETAILS ABOUT YOURSELF
I apologize if this letter shocks you, or causes you or your family pain in anyway. I wanted only to thank you for everything and to let you know that I am thinking of you.
If I am correct that you are my birth mother, I would like very much to hear from you. Would you please call me? My phone number is PHONE NUMBER. The best times to reach me are Saturday and Sunday evenings between 4 and 8 PM.
If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable calling me, I would also appreciate a letter from you very much. My address is ADDRESS. Or, if you prefer email, you can reach me at EMAIL.
With warmth and excitement,
After You Send Your Birth Mother LetterThe anticipation will be strong as you wait for her to respond. It’s important to take care of your mental health. You have no control over whether she follows up or not, so focus on the things you can control, such as your daily routines, the people in your life who are important to you, and your work.
With any luck, your birth mom (or other biological family member, as the case may be) will call soon and you’ll have a new chapter to your life!