The Opposite of a Dear Birthmom Letter,

A letter to potential adoptive parents from an anonymous birth mother.

Dear PAPs,

When you’re developing your profile online or on paper, this birth mom will tell you what helped win over her heart and feel a connection before even meeting you.

Be open and honest. Don’t over glorify your life. Life is not all sunshine and roses and if I know you’ve faced some obstacles and adversities you will seem more real to me.

Don’t hide any skeletons in your closet. No matter what an agency says. Do you take an anti-depressant? Did you have a substance abuse problem? I will respect and trust you more if you’re forthright and honest with me. That doesn’t I mean you have to lead with “I’m a recovering alcoholic who’s been sober x amount of years”. It’s okay to feel the birth family out first, to find the right time and place to disclose these things… But if you’re so desperate to have a child that you’ll lie or omit the truth to adopt one… you shouldn’t be adopting. I would want nothing to do with you or an agency that condones anything but full disclosure…

The birth father matters. If he’s in the picture and reaches out to you to make a connection, do it. Imagine yourself in his shoes. Wouldn’t you want your questions answered? Making yourself available and open could be a big factor in his decision. (More on birth fathers and adoption later in our upcoming article “Birth fathers: Lost in translation?”)

If your extended family is very supportive in your adoption journey … include them in your story. It meant a lot to know that not only would my child be parented with love, but also surrounded by it. It also tells me you’ll have a support system, people who will help you and be by your side if and when times get hard. Because whether it’s the teenage years or the terrible twos, one day it’s going to get hard. Remember we were all kids once upon a time, too. Knowing you have support will make me feel more at peace with the situation and more secure in my decision.

Finally, never, ever attempt to make a failed match feel bad, terrible, etc. for whatever reason they chose. It’s terrible etiquette to begin with and it makes you look childish and desperate – two qualities I would never want in choosing the parents of my child. It’s okay to be hurt, offended, sad… but it’s not okay to bad mouth people because “you didn’t get a baby”. That baby never belonged to you; it belongs to us and we have the right to choose who we feel will provide the best home… for whatever reason, at whatever time.

Signed,

– A birthmother

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