In an open adoption, one of the key ways to produce a loving, caring environment for your child is for you to send regular and descriptive updates to your child’s birth family. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about this process, and many adoption agencies in California leave you to your best judgment when it comes to sending letters and pictures. At A Is 4 Adoption, we do our best to help guide you on this journey. We encourage you to remember that your child’s birth family has given you the best gift you’ll ever receive, and to treat them with the respect and generosity that this role deserves.
Sending Written Updates
There are many ways for you to stay connected with your child’s birth parents, and the path you choose will be entirely determined by your preference and that of the birth mother. These are just a few options available for you to send written updates:
- Private Facebook page
- Private blog page
- Hand-written letters
- Email correspondence
Tips for What to Write
The single most important thing to remember when it comes to written updates is that your child’s birth mother is a mother. This means she wants to be able to know and brag and hear about her child’s accomplishments, from finishing his vegetables to graduating with honors. Your letters are serving a purpose, reassuring your child’s birth mother that she made the right decision and her child is happy and thriving. These are few tips to get started, but eventually you will learn what is most important to send.
- Tell funny or heartwarming stories.
- Explain your child’s personality.
- Talk about your child’s eating habits.
- Talk about your child’s likes and dislikes (“he hates diaper changes,” or “she loves bath time”)
- If your child is school-age, discuss his or her favorite classes, least favorite classes, and the activities he or she loves.
As you well know, milestones are parents’ bread and butter when it comes to bragging rights. These could include:
- First tooth
- First day eating solid food
- First time he or she rolls over
- First time he or she crawls
- First steps
- First word
- First haircut (it may also be nice to include a lock of hair with this letter)
- First days of school
- First trip to the zoo
- Awards and grades in school
- Any talents (sports games, piano recitals, etc.)
Don’t forget details.
Details are important! Describe your child to their birth parents, including:
- Clothing size
- Growth percentile
All parents know that raising a child is not all sunshine and rainbows. Make sure to keep your child’s birth parents in the loop about:
- Recent illnesses
- Learning disabilities
- Any rebellious stages
One of the best ways to keep your child’s birth parents in the loop and feeling like they are important in your lives is to ask them questions such as, “He really loves music, did he get that from you?” or, “She is very athletic, did you play any sports in school?”
Remember, your child’s birth parents are not trying to interfere in your life, and they aren’t trying to undermine your role as a parent. They simply want to know more about their child’s life and even if they don’t respond to your letters, they still enjoy them, so keep writing! Stay tuned and find out the best ways to send picture updates, as well as useful apps and software that make these updates easy.