To Contact or Not To Contact Birth Siblings

An adoptee struggles with the decision to contact her half siblings.

Sonia Billadeau August 25, 2014
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Last time I mentioned finding my birth mom and oldest sister and my lack of success in contacting my (full) brother, John.

Despite those setbacks, I do have a younger brother. After lots of searching, I found the youngest of the clan in West Texas. He is thirteen years my junior and such a neat guy. My older sister and I decided to meet about 11 months after finding each other in the mid-1990s. We decided that San Antonio was midway between Ohio and California. We invited Joel, the younger brother, from West Texas. As my sister and I (and our spouses) sat in the San Antonio airport, we tried to pick him out of the crowd. I guess we were looking too hard. He found us! We had a great weekend getting acquainted, drinking beer, and comparing childhood notes. It was like a meeting of the minds. There were so many similarities in our lives: careers, education, and the desire to meet our birth mother.

In addition to Joel and my older sister, there are two sisters in California, one in Texas, one in Pennsylvania, and my brother in Kansas City. With the exception of my full brother and the Pennsylvania sister, we have all contacted and stay in touch mostly through Facebook.

I need your advice. I know who my Pennsylvania sister is, and we have not yet made contact with her. A number of years ago my older sister and I called her mom to tell her we wanted to contact her daughter, and she went ballistic threatening legal action. This behavior tells me that my sister has no idea she is adopted. She comes from a large family born after she was adopted. I would like to contact her. I have a FB friend that is a professional searcher, and she has offered to make a contact on my behalf. The sister is about 57 and should have an opportunity to meet all of us if she chooses. What should I do?

Also want to contact by brother John. Despite the fact that he has discarded previous letters and pictures, I would like to give it one more try. My FB friend is again willing to be the intermediary and make the initial contact. I truly believe that John does not know he is adopted and thinks  there is a crazed woman trying to make contact! Thoughts or suggestions?

Despite the fact that there are two more out there, I am very grateful for the siblings that I do know. They are caring and receptive folks who have taken this extended family in stride. The interesting fact is that the two California sisters knew about John and me. Apparently the birth mother told them about us. Not really sure about the nature of the stories, but they knew our names. These two sisters, as well as the Texas sister, had contact with the birth mother over the years, and there must be lots they could tell us. There have been hints of a tenth child, but all discussion ends when there are follow up questions. So…some things will remain untold.

Your opinions are important to me. Should I take a chance and let the intermediary do her thing or just back off? Finding the last two siblings would be a gift for all of us. I’m really torn. Don’t want to cause any rift between the sister and her mom. Her mom is somewhat of an activist and is often in the newspaper, so I know she is still living. I don’t want to cause her any concern or distress. Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Sonia Billadeau


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