The decision to find and contact a birth parent is a difficult one for any adopted person. There are uncertainties about whether the parent will wish to have contact with the child they chose to give up and whether the interaction will be a positive or negative experience. Here are some tips for approaching a discovered birth parent.
Contact them first. Showing up on a birth parent's doorstep as a way of introducing yourself will be awkward for both of you and may make your birth parent uncomfortable. Instead, use the contact information to call or write to them. Corresponding before meeting face to face will give both of you a better sense of one another and will help you decide if you are making the right decision.
Explain your intentions. A birth parent that has not seen the child they gave up for adoption a few decades earlier may be suspicious of the motives behind the child trying to contact them. Make it clear when you contact your birth parent that you do not wish for a confrontation, you are not contacting them for money and that you are reaching out to them with the best of intentions.
Meet in a public place. You may not know anything about your birth parent except that they gave you life. Considering that this person is essentially a stranger, it is a good idea to take precautions that you would take when meeting anyone for the first time. Set up your meeting in a public place such as a restaurant, coffee shop or park. Having a public meeting will also help both of you stay relaxed.
Consider their feelings. Your birth parent had reasons for giving you up for adoption. Whether you agree with the decision or not, it is important to remember that they thought it was what was best for you at the time. Remember this when approaching them. They may be experiencing feelings of guilt or regret over giving you up and this may cause them to be hesitant about meeting you when you approach them.
Take it slow. You cannot expect to have an instant relationship with your discovered birth parent after approaching them. Not only is this an unrealistic expectation, but you may find that it is also not the best thing for either of you. Approaching your birth parent will be a discovery for both of you and getting to know one another will be a gradual process.