What to Do If Your Adopted Child is Looking for Their Biological Mother

What fundamental rights do adopted children have? What should you do if your child wants to meet their biological family? Find out here.
What to Do If Your Adopted Child is Looking for Their Biological Mother
Gorka Jiménez Pajares

Written and verified by the psychologist Gorka Jiménez Pajares.

Last update: 24 March, 2023

Adoption is often a way out for underage boys and girls in situations of vulnerability. Indeed, it’s an essential resource as they have the fundamental right to grow up in a family. In this article, we’ll advise you on what to do if your child is adopted and is interested in looking for their biological mother.

Due to the fact that they’re adopted, these children have another fundamental right. The right to know where they came from. However, although most parents recognize this fact, it often also generates a great deal of fear and doubts about what they should tell their children about their personal history and origins.

In fact, both adoptive families and people who are adopted need the guidance and support of various professionals. Among the specialists involved are psychologists who advise them and help them go a long way in the search for their biological relatives.

“Every single minute matters, every single child matters, and every single childhood matters.”

-Kailash Satyarthi-

Keep this in mind if your child is adopted and looking for their biological mother

People who are adopted may want to find their birth families to:

Adopted persons, who reached the age of majority or during their minority, through their legal representatives, will have the right to know the data on their origins held by Public Entities, without prejudice to the limitations that may arise from the legislation of the countries of origin of the minors. This right will be made effective with the advice, help, and mediation of the specialized services of the Public Entity, accredited bodies, or entities authorized for this purpose. – Law 26/2015 –

It’s essential that the entire process of searching for origins be adapted to the needs of the individual and the family. The shared objectives are:

  • Organize and mediate in the agreed contacts.
  • Emotionally accompany and provide support during the search process.
  • Address personal history and answer any questions that arise.
  • Provide the tools that allow them to successfully face the process of tracking their origins.

How to do it? Recently, the Ministry of Equality, Social Policies and Conciliation of the Junta de Andalucía in Spain published an intervention protocol regarding the search for the origins of adopted persons.

It may happen that an adopted child expresses the intention of looking for his biological mother
Whatever the child’s age, parents should support them if they show an interest in searching for their birth family.

Origin Search Process

If your child is adopted and looking for their biological mother, in the early phases the work with their ‘vital history’ is extremely important. It’s proposed that the following be explored.

  • Initial information. It consists of an initial collection of information about your child. Basically, it consists of delving into all the documentation that there might be about them and their past.
  • Explaining the process to them of searching for their origins. They need to understand that it may not end with a reunion with their biological relatives. Moreover, it could be a process that takes years. It certainly won’t be immediate. This must be made clear to them so they avoid generating any expectations that aren’t later met.

Decision making

In these cases, when biological relatives have been located, it’s necessary to make decisions about the reunion, the people to be involved, and the date and time. Whoever initiated the search (as well as those who are being sought) might want to incorporate people from their own environments at the meeting. For instance, sons, daughters, partners, or friends.

It’s also important that those interested in the reunion decide on the nature of the support they need to build the relationship. They must specify if:

  • They’re going to visit them and what form the visits will take.
  • If the meetings will be sporadic or repeated over time.
  • How the meeting/s will impact the life of the person concerned. In effect, they should be as healthy as possible.
  • If the meetings involve large displacements and what their economic costs are in time, effort, and other aspects.

Therefore, the adopted individual needs to know what they need before establishing the relationship and to work out if this can be implemented to make it effective. It’s essential to be realistic.

Psychological support for adoptive parents is necessary during the search for the biological family of the children
Just as psychological help is essential for children, it’s also necessary for adoptive parents.

Adoption services

If your child is still a minor, it’s highly recommended to carry out the entire process through the adoption services offered in your community. You must also ensure you comply with any current legislation. These services, in case of conflict, have a team of professionals whose mission is to help regulate relations between the parties. They seek to achieve, mitigate, minimize, dissolve, or solve any problems that may occur.

If the person in search of their origins has already initiated contact, informally through social networks, in person, by phone, or by other means of communication, the following should be considered :

  • The assessment of the situation.
  • Understanding the impact of contact with the biological family by the adopted individual.
  • Encouraging the involvement of the adoptive family. Partnering with the adopted child is a key factor.
  • Understanding the link with the family of origin and attending to the link that the adoptive family has with the adopted individual.

Once the process of searching for their origins begins, the main objective will no longer be only to contact their biological family. In fact, of the utmost importance is their safety, as well as the evaluation of the impact of any previous contact. Thus, it’s a good idea to contact the adoption services of the community in which you reside. They’ll guide you and mediate throughout the process so that it’s the healthiest for all parties.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.