Ask AF: Writing to an Unknown Birth Mother

The first letter to your child's birth mother can feel like the hardest.

Q: My daughter is six months old and I’ve been agonizing over the first update to her birth mother. I’m essentially writing to a stranger — we never met her and know very little about her — yet that stranger gave me the gift of this amazing child.


A: Members of respond:

“I always find it hard to start the letter, but once I get started, it is so easy to gush about my kids to someone who truly wants to hear all about them.”

“We were told to highlight all milestones, so I always give the most recent update from the pediatrician, as well as his current feeding and napping schedule.”

“I would imagine she wants to know the child is happy, healthy, and loved. I always try to include a cute or funny story, as well as share anything fun she recently did, like go to the beach or join Daisy Scouts.”

“You might describe a special gift she’s been given — a blanket from Grandma — or something to show that the whole family dotes on her. Also, include tons of pictures!”

“I’m a first mother, and I wanted to mention that I resent the ‘thank you for the gift’ comments. We don’t give people our children as a present, and that sentiment can really rankle.”

“You make a good point. My son’s birth mother used to say ‘thank you for loving him’ and I would think ‘how could I not?!’ ‘Thank you’ can feel awkward, and even insulting, to either side. Obviously, we adoptive parents are grateful to have been chosen to raise our children, but maybe just keep the focus on the baby.”

“Our child’s birth mom stopped picking up our letters for a couple of years, but then contacted our attorney again and wanted them. So, keep in mind that, even if she doesn’t read the updates now, she may want them in the future.”


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