Adoptive Parent Resources / After Adoption
Communicating with Your Birthmother after Placement
Each adoption is unique. The level of openness and ways to communicate with your child’s birthmother after the placement depend highly on your individual arrangements, preferences, and feelings. Most often, you’ll hear lots of advice on how to maintain healthy communication before the placement, but in open and semi-open adoptions, communication doesn’t end after placement. Here are some ideas and ways to be thoughtful and considerate when communicating with your birthmother after placement.
- Depending on your arrangement, call and/or text your birthmother as often as you both are comfortable with, especially within the first year. It’s always good to let her know you’ve arrived home with the baby safe and sound and that he or she is adjusting well. If she ever calls you, always call her back promptly. Keep in mind that this is still a very emotional time for her, and when you maintain healthy communication, you are assuring her that her baby is loved and safe.
- Emails are a good solution if you feel like calling or texting her invades her privacy in any way or if you chose to not have frequent phone calls. It’s important to let her know you are thinking about her, and it only takes a moment to send a quick photo with a short update.
- Communicating with your birthmother might seem hard at the beginning, but a thoughtful gift, such as an adoption journal, is a wonderful gift to nurture your relationship. Consider creating a scrapbook or album with photos and short stories about the time you’ve known one another thus far, including when the baby was born. You can leave pages blank for her to fill in with updates and photos you send as the baby grows.
- Another great way to communicate with your birthmother and keep her updated is to create a website, blog, or social media group to host your family photos and updates about the child and share it with her. If you’d like, this website can double as a general place you can use to share with the rest of your family as well.
- A photo album containing pictures from the hospital stay, a family photo, as well as pictures of yourself is another thoughtful idea for your birthmother to keep after placement.
- Send cards, letters, and photos to share your baby’s milestones, like crawling, walking, or talking, or to just share with her important times in your baby’s life, like birthdays and school graduations. Also consider taking videos of certain special moments or occasions and sending them to her.
- Not all communication has to be serious. Don’t forget to share funny stories from day-to-day life, habits that your child is developing, or new favorites he or she has.
- Handprint or footprint art is always a fun project. Consider sending your birthmother one of these pieces she can add to her scrapbook.
- Child art projects and drawings are adorable and it’s sure that she will want to see some of those. Consider setting aside a couple of these a year and sending them to your birthmother. Once your child grows old enough, perhaps he or she can even create something special just for your birthmother.