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Before you start your search

If you are looking for your birth mother, birth father or birth relatives, here are some things you should think about, including how intensely emotional it will be.

Adoptive parents

Adoptive parents naturally experience a range of emotions when their son or daughter begins to search for information or is reunited with birth relatives. Adoptive parents often feel threatened and neglected in the reunion process. It can be a stressful time for them.

Their anxieties centre on the fear of losing the child to the birth parents. Adoptive parents may question whether their relationship with their son or daughter will be impacted by the introduction of their birth mother and / or birth father. There may also be worry and panic at the thought of the many unknown possibilities. Will my child be hurt? Will the birth parents refuse contact? Even adoptive parents who have supported and assisted the search for the birth family may become apprehensive or distressed when a reunion occurs or is imminent.

In most cases, access to information or a reunion does not have a negative impact on the relationship between the adopted person and their adoptive family. In fact, the experience of reunion usually strengthens the adopted person’s deep and permanent ties to their adoptive family.

Similarly, adoptive parents’ fears about being replaced by the birth parents are generally unfounded. Birth parents are likely to be sensitive to the adoptive parents’ feelings and do not want the relationship between the adopted person and the adoptive parents to be damaged in any way.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019