Primum non nocere
First, do no harm
· Remember the feelings of those you are searching for. Many birth moms were made to feel very ashamed. Some have never gotten past that.
· When possible, make direct contact with your birth parent(s) and let them be the one to break the news to family members.
· Be careful what you say to potential relatives. Unless you have definite, clear information regarding your birth, it behooves you not to share anything that may not be 100% accurate. Your birth parent(s) may not have told anyone about your relinquishment, and may not want that information shared.
· Be discreet when writing letters or making phone calls. You do not know who your birth parent(s) know.
· You cannot predict how a family or family member will react to your arrival. Coming into their lives now may upset or disturb their everyday relationships. It will be very hard not to take this personally. Understand that this may be very difficult for them as well.
· Sometimes, a birth parent will not tell their family. You must decide for yourself if informing your siblings on your own is the correct decision.
· Give your birth parent(s) time. Reunions can bring up many complex emotions.
· Being respectful of your birth parent(s) can bring you closer to the reunion you are hoping for.
· Unfortunately, you may find your birth parent(s) has passed away. You may have no way of knowing whether or not your birth family knows of your existence. In this case, there is no alternative but contacting the siblings or other relatives directly. Expect to be asked for proof of the birth, the relinquishment, and the adoption.
DNA tests are affordable and easy, and this is the most definitive proof available.
MORE TO FOLLOW