Preparing for the first contact
Many people are fearful of speaking with birth parents. “I don’t know what to say” or “I’m fearful of saying the wrong thing” are common statements that I hear. Those thoughts and feelings are completely normal.
The best thing to remember is that any potential birth parent you come in contact with is thinking the same exact thing. Most birth mothers have never spoken to someone about adoption, it is just a thought they have been thinking about and finally have the courage to reach out to someone who looks kind and says they are waiting to adopt.
When a birth parent contacts you, remember it isn’t like a cold call. You have put some information out about your family and your desire to adopt. She has seen some of that information and is responding – so she knows some about you, and very possibly has felt that she has something in common with you. Here is an initial exchange via Facebook messenger between a birth mother and adoptive parents (names have been changed):
Hi, I saw on Facebook you want to adopt. I’m about 7 months along.
Hi Janae, thanks for contacting us. We would be happy to talk to you about adopting your baby – we can talk here first or on the phone, whatever you would like. What type of adoption are you hoping for? We are open to keeping in touch with you afterward if you are looking for an open adoption. We’d love to learn a little more about you. Here is a link to see more about us. –Allie
Hi Allie. I was nervous you might not write back. I’m 22 and have a daughter. I can’t do another kid right now on my own. I have seen some videos about open adoption and that’s what I think I want if I do this. I live in Washington now but hope to go back to California where I’m from next year. I liked that you are in California because maybe we could meet up when I go back. I know I’m having another girl.
Wow, where are you from in California? Both Jack and I have lived here all of our lives. Do you work or go to school? I’d love to hear about your daughter – as you probably saw, I’m a Kindergarten teacher so I love being around kids! Do you mind if I ask if the father of this baby is involved in this decision? We are definitely open to visits after the adoption.
The dad is not around. He is the same father of my daughter and doesn’t pay support or help. He doesn’t spend time with Ella and I doubt he cares what I do with this baby. Does he have to be involved? Ella is 3. I work at Walmart about 20 hours and she goes to school while I’m working. She is always happy and always eating. LOL
Ella sounds sweet! Three years old is a wonderful age! I do have some other things I would like to ask you, but I don’t want you to think I’m just peppering you with questions. LOL Do you think you might want to talk on the phone? We have a 800 number set up if you aren’t comfortable giving us your number. LMK I’m happy to keep talking here too. How are you feeling? Your pregnancy pretty normal?
Yes, my pregnancy is fine and I actually feel pretty good. I think I could talk on the phone tonight after I put Ella to bed. Can I call around 8:30?
As you can see, it is just kind of a getting to know you type of exchange that you might have with someone you don’t know but are interested in learning more about. It truly isn’t anything to be fearful of. If the birth mother doesn’t respond or hangs up the phone, it’s okay – there will be others. Just keep in mind that everyone is usually doing this for the first time, so they are nervous too.
Experience will help you as well – after you speak with the first contact, subsequent calls or emails will be much easier!