Hello everyone, my name is Laurie Walker, and I am an Adoptive Family Specialist with American Adoptions. I have worked with many birth mothers and adoptive families in my time here at American Adoptions and love being able to watch families form through adoption.
Q. Hi Laurie, I really appreciate your informative advice, even four years after adopting our son. Early on during the adoption process, we had a close relationship with our son’s birth mother, exchanging emails monthly. However, as the years have progressed these exchanges became less frequent, and eventually she stopped responding to our correspondence. I’m not sure how to interpret this (sometimes I worry that she regrets placing her child). I want to respect her privacy, but I also liked the idea of being able to accurately answer our son’s questions because I have contact with his birth mother. I thought you could shed light on this for me. Thanks!
A. It’s common for the relationship to change throughout the years for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s simply because the birth mother becomes busier in other parts of her life. It can also mean she has found enough healing regarding the adoption that less contact is necessary for her to feel secure with the child’s placement. On the flip-side, some women have said that they feel better having less contact if the reminders bring more sadness. I’ve also seen situations where the birth mother was in dire straits, which made it more difficult to have internet access to respond, or there were more distractions and a need to pay attention to more basic needs on a day-to-day basis. There are many other reasons this can happen.
The best advice I can provide is to continue your normal contact with her regardless if you receive responses. Her lack of response is not an indication she is not on the other end receiving and enjoying the updates. At times, years go by and then a birth mother resurfaces, and communication picks back up. At times, it will not, but at least you’ll have peace in knowing that you continued your efforts. I agree – it certainly is great to have the updates for your child, but just like so many things with adoption, this is one more thing that is out of your control. Typically, if your comments to your child about adoption and your child’s birth mother are positive, no matter how much feedback from the birth mother you have or how current it is, it will benefit your child.