When you’re a birth parent, writing a letter to your child can be an amazing, healing experience — for you and for them. In fact, one of the most common questions we receive is, “Can I write a letter to my child to go home with them after the hospital stay?”
The answer: Of course.
During your adoption, you’ll be encouraged to send letters and pictures to your child through an open or semi-open adoption. Writing a letter to your child after placement is a great way to connect the two of you. But finding the right words to say what you really mean can often be daunting.
Every birth parent’s letter will be different. So, don’t worry too much about what everyone else is saying. This letter is a special opportunity to share your deepest and most precious thoughts about your adoption story with your child. It’s a time to dig deep and share what makes this moment really important for you, so don’t be afraid to open up.
If you’re having trouble filling out the blank page, don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about writing your first letter to your child.
What Should I Say?
Writing a letter to send home with your child after birth takes immense courage. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what kind of sentiments to express. Is there a particular moment of your adoption that still sticks out to you? What were you feeling the moment you held your child for the first time? What is something that, no matter how old they get, they’ll always look back on fondly?
No matter what you decide to include, always speak from the heart.
Here are few more ideas to help you start crafting the perfect letter:
- Include a photo of yourself.
- Stay positive about your experience.
- Talk about your dreams for them.
- Open up about yourself.
- Express your feelings.
- Be honest.
- Talk about your family.
Writing the perfect letter won’t be easy, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a few times for you to find the right words for your child. If you have any other questions about what to include in your letter or you’re struggling with the blank page, reach out to your adoption specialist.
What Should I Avoid?
There are probably countless parts of your adoption that you’ve been waiting to share with your child. But, there are a few general things that you should avoid sharing.
Remember, your child will read this letter at various times throughout their life. Their understanding of adoption — and your decision — will change over time. Complicated parts of your story may be best saved for later on, when you can talk in person.
For now, here are a few tips for writing while you’re at the hospital or before you deliver:
- Don’t speak negatively about the adoption or the adoptive parents. Complicated emotions are normal, but negative expressions can affect your child’s personal identity as an adoptee.
- Refrain from including any negative statements about your child’s biological father. Your child will know their adoption history, and they’ll likely know how you felt about the situation without you having to expressly mention it.
- Try not to make it too long. Stick to the important details.
- Don’t apologize for your adoption decision. While you may be sorry that you weren’t able to be the parent your child needed, remember to express pride and purpose in your adoption decision. Remind them that you made the decision because of how much you love them. Knowing that you only wanted the best for them can make your child feel more secure in their adoption story.
What you choose to put in your letter to your child is completely up to you. If you’re unsure of what should be avoided, talk to your adoption specialist for guidance.
We know that putting pen to paper is harder than it sounds. Thankfully, there are plenty of birth parents that have been in your shoes.
To help you get started, here are a few great examples of their letters:
- Dear Birth Son — A Letter from Your Birth Parents
- In Moving Letter, Birth Mother Shares Her Love with Her Son
- A Birth Mother’s Love Letter to Her Baby Girl
Don’t forget that you can continue to send heartfelt letters to your child after the hospital stay, too! You can also always ask for feedback about what you’ve written from your adoption specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re feeling stuck.