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Help needed to write letter to possible relative of my maternal grandmother - my mother was adopted when she was 18mths old and is now in her seventies.

(8 Posts)
ilovetomandjerry Thu 04-Aug-11 21:58:23


Don't want to put too much info on here but my mother's mother came to England, gave birth and put her up for adoption before returning to her own country. This was towards the end of the 1930's.

After lots of searching I think I may have found some living relatives. I have made contact but so far have not told them the real reason I am asking about their relative.

I now want to tell them the truth, but obviously it is a sensitive matter, even though events happened a long time ago and they may not even know what went on.

Would anyone be willing to just help me with a few opening lines and how to broach the subject? Obviously I have to fill in all the info, dates etc that I have.

Any thoughts and help would be appreciated!

ilovetomandjerry Thu 04-Aug-11 22:23:38


ilovetomandjerry Fri 05-Aug-11 09:05:01


tigerlillyd02 Fri 05-Aug-11 12:47:14

I did this for my own mum a couple of years ago. Her biological mother was born in the 1930's too.

However, I think it was slightly easier for me as my mum was already aware of who the family were as she'd had problems with her bio mother while she was growing up. She had never wanted to know them (because of their background and history) - but there were 11 brothers and sisters (all but 2 had been given up for adoption also) whom she was a bit more curious about.

To be honest, I found 4 of them via facebook. I knew instantly it was them because of the name, where they lived and they had a distincitve look about them. What I did was write a short but simple message to them through there asking if their biological mother was EF. When they replied, yes, why? then it became a bit more tricky.

However, I really could not think of a nice way to put it. I just had to be direct and say "I think my mum may be a relative of yours as her biological mother is EF also." It was very informal but I couldn't think of another way around it.

Fortunately, in this case, they all knew about the situation so it didn't come as a shock. But, I didn't know this at first and was expecting some resistance. It turned out to be quite the opposite. She now has a good relationship with one of them. Although, the others, she's met and although they keep in touch with politeness, they don't seem to gel so well. But, she's spoken to them all, met all but 1 and put her curiosity to rest.

I think you just have to go for it and it's never easy (someone might advise otherwise). But, then the ball is in their court on whether or not they want to continue with any contact. They may already know and be curious themselves. They could be excited at the thought of having more family, although surprised too. At worst, they might not know and find it quite upsetting that they'd not been told (is the mother still alive?). However, I would imagine they'd be at least a little curious and should respond - maybe given a little bit of time to allow for shock.

ilovetomandjerry Fri 05-Aug-11 15:21:54

Thank you tigerlilly. What a lovely outcome for your Mum and family.

Yes, as you say, you just have to come out with it really! The mother is no longer alive, but I have a feeling none of the existing family would have a clue that she had my mother all those years ago. So, hopefully they will be curious and excited to think they may have a lot more family in a different country!

I'll keep you posted!

tigerlillyd02 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:54:03

Yes, please do!

I personally would find it all very intriguing, but I know not everyone is like that. My mum wouldn't be able to keep something like that a secret either but understandably, back in those days, things were very much hush-hush with the woman being made to feel ashamed etc.

I look forward to hearing back from you!

Decorhate Fri 05-Aug-11 16:04:38

How old are the relatives you have found? If they are youngish they probably will be interested in what you have to say. If they are of your mother's generation they may not welcome the news, especially if they are old fashioned in their views on unmarried mothers, etc - in which case I would try to go via someone in their extended family who may be more open minded

ilovetomandjerry Sat 06-Aug-11 15:54:03

Decor- the relative I'm writing to is mid 20's so like you I hope he will be intrigued and curious!!! Any thoughts on an opening line or two???

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