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#1 of 10 Old 12-05-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a birth mom. The daughter I placed turned 15 years old in November. I want to contact her once she is an adult. I would like to get advice from adoptees as to what worked/didn't work regarding contact with birth families. Thanks!


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#2 of 10 Old 12-10-2013, 06:01 AM
 
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I don't have direct experience with this, but I would start by contacting the agency that placed your daughter. They might be able to help with counseling and have advice for how to proceed, and may have updates from her family as to how she's doing. Good luck!

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#3 of 10 Old 12-10-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't use an agency and I know where she is / how she is doing. I also already have a therapist who specializes in adoption issues and reunification. While I understand everyone is different, I still value the first hand experiences of adoptees above the opinions of others when it comes to meeting and having contact with birth families. I have been reading some blogs written by adoptees too.


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#4 of 10 Old 12-14-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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I'm an adoptee, and if you want my honest advice, I would not contact her, I would instead allow her to come to you IF she chooses to do so.  She might not.  I am 40 years old, and just had contact over the summer with my birth family, and they REALLY wanted to get to know me, where I just wanted information like health stuff, etc.  I have a mom- I didn't want another, and I really felt weird about the contact and the super-welcoming attitude of my half-sisters.  It felt strange.  I hope it isn't too hard to hear but if I were you, I would not initiate contact.  


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#5 of 10 Old 12-14-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Sorry, I wasn't complete in my post... I meant that the agency (or whoever handled your adoption since you say you didn't use an agency -- was there an attorney?) could help bridge the communication between you and her family. That is how it works here -- either side contacts the agency (or attorney) and lets them know they want contact. The social worker or attorney then contacts the family to feel them out, so they're not blindsided by direct contact. 

 

It helps, but even then people can get cold feet once contact is initiated. My best advice would be to work with her parents first, since they know her best, and can support her/make sure she has support in place for all the emotions that might come along with whatever level of contact she has with you. Even just finding out that her birth mom wants contact is a lot for her to handle, even at her age. She may be excited, but also feel guilty or anxious about it -- that's a lot to manage. Go slow, and show them that you are ready to respect whatever boundaries they might need to be comfortable.

 

Like mom0810, we had an experience where contact was initiated, and then the initiators completely withdrew with cold feet. It can all be too much, even for people who want this. (Yes, I said I didn't have direct experience -- we're on the "other side" of things here so I can't claim to know what's in an adoptee's head, and frankly I think everyone is different anyway.)

 

Sorry if that's not what you're looking for. Just trying to help, FWIW.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-15-2013, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. It was suppose to be an open adoption but her parents closed it within days of her birth. We did use an attorney. I am in contact with the adoptive mom's sister (bio daughter's aunt). I don't know if the adoptive parents know about our communication. The aunt sends me emails with pictures and updates. Maybe the best thing to do is just to make sure that the aunt has all my contact info so if bio-DD wants to look for / contact me it won't be hard for her to locate me. I have other family members though that might initiate contact and that makes me a little nervous . . . It's not hard to find bio-DD, she's all over the internet.


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#7 of 10 Old 12-15-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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You have to be okay with her not wanting contact.  Even if it was an open adoption, the level of contact may have been nil- because she may have wanted it that way.  As an adoptee, I can tell you it was a very unwelcome intrusion into my life- the birth family wanting a lot of contact, saying "we love you," stuff like that.  They don't know me- how can they love me?  They love the "idea" of me- but they don't know me as a person.  

 

I would say to leave your contact info with the aunt and then leave it at that.  I think it's sort of a betrayal on her part to be sharing information with you without the daughter or her Mother's knowledge.  I would be LIVID if my aunt had done anything like that to me.  I would inform other members of your family that it's necessary to respect her privacy and not contact her, or it could end with zero contact from her in the future.  

 

I don't mean to be unkind and I hope it's not coming out that way.  I would just tread very carefully, because if you want to leave a door open for positive communication in the future, knowing that you were going behind her back or her mother's back- to whom she has great loyalty and love for- could really harm your chances of any relationship with her.  She deserves privacy.  

 

If you talk to the aunt and you know this girl is happy and well-loved and taken care of- then that's the best outcome possible, and I would leave it at that.  She might initiate contact out of curiosity later, but I think that should always be left up to her. 


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#8 of 10 Old 12-15-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post Even if it was an open adoption, the level of contact may have been nil- because she may have wanted it that way. 
 

Thanks for the reply but this comment seems irrelevant. Her adoptive parents closed the adoption when she was a newborn and it has remained that way. I hardly think as a newborn, toddler or small child that she had any say.


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#9 of 10 Old 12-15-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm sorry, I meant that it might have *become* that way.  


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#10 of 10 Old 12-16-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, thanks for clarifying!


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