The Dear Birth Parent letter is a one-page snapshot of your life and the life you hope to give a child. It is an opportunity for you to put into words your love and longing, your desire to raise a family. It is, by far, the most read section of any Adoptive Family Profile, and it is one of the hardest things for families to write.
700 words. That’s what it all boils down to. How do you condense your life to a mere 700 words? How can you convey your love for a child you haven’t yet met in one page? How can you connect with a woman making the hardest decision of her life in such a small space?
The biggest piece of advice we can give you is this: Be sincere.
In a sea of Dear Birth Parent letters, an expectant mother doesn’t want to read about the wonderful gated community you live in with all of its amenities. She doesn’t want to read for the 100th time that you live in the top-rated school district in your state. What she really wants to read about is YOU.
Don’t inundate her with the facts of your life; tell her your story instead. Tell her about your hopes and dreams for this child. Tell her what you envision your weekends with this child will look like. Tell her about the quirky little traditions you have and how excited you are to include a child in them.
After several years of designing profiles for adoptive families, we’ve found that the best Dear Birth Parent letters:
Highlight Your Personality
If you’re outdoorsy, share your adventures with birth parents. Tell them about your favorite hiking spot and its amazing views. If you’re more of an artsy person, share your hobbies and talents. Tell them how excited you are to share your love of photography, painting, or woodworking with a child. Maybe you’re more of a quiet person who enjoys reading. Maybe you love to make people laugh. Whatever it is that makes you, you, share them with the birth parents. These are the things that make you unique, and they will make your family stand out!
Paint a Picture of Your Life
When writing a Dear Birth Parent Letter, tell them how you enjoy many outdoor activities or team sports, or that you spend a lot of time with your family, but don’t stop there! Expand on just the facts and give them the details. What sports do you play? Are you on a team? How much time do you spend outside? What outdoor activities are you most excited to share with a child? What do you do when you get together with your family? Why is family time so important to you?
The more details you give, the easier it will be for potential birth parents to envision their child growing up with your family. They can picture the child riding along in a jogging stroller while you run. Then can imagine their child’s laughter as they play endless rounds of tag with their cousins. They can even see the light in their child’s eyes as he or she makes their very first soccer goal.
Include Your Dreams for the Child
You’ve been dreaming about your future child for years now. You have big plans for your family and hope your child will achieve great things. Well, now it’s time to share those dreams with potential birth parents. Not only should you share these dreams with them, but you should tell them how you plan to make these dreams a reality.
If your dream is to see your child go to college, tell birth parents how you plan to nurture a love of learning. If your dream is to mold a child into a caring, generous adult, share your plans for philanthropy. If your dream is to raise the next President of the United States, tell them how you will instill a passion for making the world a better place.
Are Positive and Upbeat
Most importantly, a Dear Birth Parent Letter should always remain positive. Though you should talk about your struggles with infertility, don’t dwell on the heartache. Instead, focus on how your struggles led you to adoption and how happy you are to have finally found your path to parenthood. What a birth parent really needs to know is that you have moved past your infertility and that you are ready and willing to love their child as your own.
We know how difficult it can be to boil your life and dreams down to 700 words and you can’t expect to do it in 20 minutes flat. This is a very important piece of your Adoptive Family Profile and you should take the time to make sure it is the best representation of your family. So slow down. If you’re stuck, put the pen down (or walk away from the keyboard) and come back to it later.
Remember, you don’t have to put on a façade and pretend to be the perfect family. In fact, your imperfections are what make you stand out. Whatever you write, and however you choose to tell your story, make sure it represents the true, imperfect you.