Relationships with Birth Parents

Adopting parents come in two groups—those that want to be in touch with birth parents and those who are fearful of the relationship.

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Adoptive Parent(s) Looking For A Relationship

These prospective parents are eager to get to know the biological parent of their soon-to-be child. They are curious about their background, interests and talents. They want to be able to reassure them that they are a good family and to allay any fears the birth parent may have in choosing them. Some adoptive parents hope to meet and stay in touch during the pregnancy and some hope to continue the relationship in the years to come.

Other prospective adoptive parents are afraid of meeting birth parents. They often fear the birth parent might have a change of mind about the adoption and by having contact would know how to find the child. They are afraid a child would be confused as to who the parent(s) are should there be contact after the adoption takes place. They are concerned a birth parent might interfere with the day-to-day life and the rearing of the child.

Either of these views also can be shared by a birth parent.

Birth Parent(s) Looking For A Relationship

Again, there are those that want a relationship and those who don’t.

Those who are looking for a relationship wish to get better acquainted with the parents and family in which the child will be raised. They want reassurance that this is the right decision and by meeting and staying in touch over the years, and watching their child grow and mature, the correctness of their decision is reinforced. They are able to provide any information the child and family may need, as well as help the child understand why they made the decision to choose an adoption plan.

Those who do not wish to have a relationship are often embarrassed as to the situation in which they have found themselves—the inability to provide for a child and the necessity to make an adoption plan. Some wish to put the pregnancy and adoption behind them and resume life without reflecting about their decision. However, not wanting a relationship does not mean that the birth parent does not think about the child or wonder how they are doing. Many wait for the day that they will be contacted or that they can contact the child.

The Relationship

Most birth and adoptive parents will talk on the phone. The majority meet at some point in the adoption process prior to or at placement. Some choose to stay in touch after placement through their attorneys or adoption agency. A small group chooses to have direct contact either by phone, email or by meeting with one another.

Since most relationships these days include some contact, a birth or adoptive parent who wants none places the adoption decisions in the hands of an adoption professional who becomes the liaison between the two parties. They can be given information on one another or ask for little to no information. They trust the adoption professional to share information and to report back any problems during the adoption. The adoptive parent will most likely have little information to share with the child about his or her background. The birth parent will have to rely on the adoption professional for information on the child after placement.


Each adoption has a different relationship between birth and adoptive parents. They need to understand the types of relationships that are available to them. They need to understand the options for talking, emailing or meeting. They need counseling to allay fears and to sort through their feelings and to decide whether they want to pursue contact or not.

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