What Birth Parents Really Want in Updates

Some adoptive parents are unsure of what exactly to share with birth parents. Here are a few good things to know.

Samantha Alkire September 25, 2018
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Being in several “mixed-triad” adoption groups on social media, I often see questions pertaining to what should and shouldn’t be sent to birth parents in an update. Some adoptive parents fear making them sad with touching moments, making them worry if there’s an illness or issue, etc. If I wanted to sum it up simply, I would say this: if roles were reversed, what would you want to know?

It may be just who I am as a person, but as a birth parent myself, I want to know just about everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. It is honestly the highlight of my day some days when I learn a new word he has said or a new milestone he has achieved. It makes me laugh pretty hard when I learn of something mischievous he has done. I love cute pictures of eating and naps and bathtime. I like to know when he’s sick, even if it makes me sad. In essence, I want to know everything that’s going on in his life.

Birth parents don’t just want updates for the good of life. It is not realistic that life is always good. While you may feel that by being an adoptive parent, you have to be perfect or a better parent than most, that is a ridiculously high standard, and you’re setting yourself for unnecessary stress. So share it all—the good feels and the bad. Share with us like you would your sister or your friend from college. We just want to know all the parts of the person we brought into the world.

So the next time you find yourself asking “Should I tell their birth parent about this?” ask yourself, “Would I want to know this about my child?” The answer will be pretty clear.

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Samantha Alkire

Samantha resides in Weirton, WV with her fiance and myriad of animals. She is a birth mother to a two-year-old boy in a very open adoption, and has come to think of his family as part of her own. She spends her free time talking to others about adoption, writing, and playing board games with friends.


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