Friday, July 15, 2011

To Write or Not to Write

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I have a sort of pet peeve to discuss with all of you today.  I actually discussed this on more than one occasion with my social worker.  It seemed to be a pet peeve of hers as well.  This is especially applicable if you have an adoption where you expect to get update letters and photos of your child, even if it’s in email form.  Whether these letters are in addition to visits & phone calls or not, writing a letter back to your child’s adoptive parents is equally important.

I placed my daughter with her parents in January of 2010.  We didn’t have our first visit until July 2010.  They might have been open to a visit with me during that time.  I don’t know, as I never asked.  I don’t think I was ready to have a visit yet.  I also wanted to wait for Nick (also the birthfather) to get home from his Iraqui deployment so we could visit her together.  Anyway, during that time, we got our first scheduled update letter with pictures.

Though we still don’t have their last name or their address, it was important to me to send a letter back.  I know T & C (my daughter’s aparents) appreciated the letter.  In it, I not only responded to the things they said in their letter, but I gave them insights into my own personality and told them what had been going on in my life since placement.

Returning letters is still very important to me. Even though we’ve now added emails to our means of contacting each other, I know we all value the letters.  Besides, it gives us something to look forward to getting in our mailboxes besides bills and junk mail.

I know that we all crave a relationship with our children.  Not only our children, but we want a relationship with their parents as well.  Unless we choose to have a closed adoption (or had that option chosen for us), we specifically choose the people we want to parent our children.  Therefore it makes sense that we’d want a relationship with them.  My social worker told me of several birthmoms that complained they never got anything from their child’s adoptive parents, but when the adoptive parents were contacted, they admitted that they have a really hard time writing update letters and never getting anything in response.  It’s hard having a one-sided conversation all the time!

I would strongly encourage you to start a habit of writing letters back to your child’s adoptive parents when they send you one.  Not only does it give them more motivation to continue sending letters to you, but it gives them more insight to who you are as a person.  Also, if you’re fortunate enough to have awesome adoptive parents like mine are, they will keep the letters to share with your child when he or she gets older.  Even if you never write a letter directly to your child, they can still find more about who you are and what you do.


  1. Monika, I would also like to stress the importance of sending any correspondence certified, registered mail, whether it is directly, or through an agency.

    Unfortunately, sometimes, letters to adoptees and their adoptive parents mysteriously never make it to them. It's sad, but true.

    I feel it is very important that you have a record of how you tried to keep in contact with your child & their adopters...just in case those letters or gifts never get to them. It will be proof to your child when they are older.

    Keep those letters going out. Your child will be very thankful for them!


  2. Great post with some thought provoking advice. Thank you for sharing with everyone!

  3. I wish my son's birthmom would write to us, or call us when we send something. There's so much out there about adoptive parents closing adoptions, but not a lot about birthparents who do, or who don't respond.

  4. I love this and hope our daughter's birth mom will soon feel comfortable enough with us to write to us as well. We are all pretty new to the situation (baby girl is 3 months old) so I know in time it will grow. We do text a lot and I really enjoy keeping up with her that way, and we are arranging occasional visits throughout the year. But letters would be so wonderful to have for baby girl one day!

  5. I just came across your blog tonight for the first time. My husband and I haven't adopted yet, but this advice is awesome and it is something that I can file away for the future - thank you.

    Cami (

  6. Monika, I've also put my child up for adoption. I've stayed in contact with the adoptive parents and my child. My way of contact is threw e~mail. The reason why I choose e~mail is because I can save the letters that I've sent and the letters from the adoptive mom as well. Some adoptive parents sometimes don't want you apart of your child life so it sometime won't make it to your child.