Outreach Letter to an Adoptee on Behalf of a Birth Sibling



Dear Adoptee:

The White Oak Foundation is a non-profit-making organization which provides post-adoption assistance to adopted persons who were born, adopted or are currently residing in Illinois and their birth and adoptive families.  A copy of our brochure is enclosed with this letter.  

A little over a month ago, we were contacted by Carol Wilson, a birth sibling who was attempting to locate a biological sister who was born in Chicago on June 6, 1956, and adopted shortly after birth. Through publicly available databases we were able to help Carol narrow her search down to a single person. This was the process which led us to you.

Although every precaution was taken to make sure that this letter arrived at the desired destination, there is always the possibility that this envelope has arrived on the wrong doorstep.  If this is the case, please simply return the enclosed forms, as well as the card and letter from Carol, to us in the provided self-addressed, stamped envelope.

If, on the other hand, the date, place and circumstances of your birth concord with those outlined above (i.e. you were born in Chicago, IL on June 6, 1956, and adopted shortly after birth), you may have one of several reactions. It may be that you are one of the rare adoptees who has no curiosity at all regarding the conditions of your birth, and no desire to make direct contact with your birth sister.  If that is the case, please return the enclosed form to The White Oak Foundation (or call us at 312/666-5721 between 7 and 10 p.m. CST for additional information or assistance).  

It may also be that you are one of the not-so-rare adoptees who has often wondered about your birth family, but, for whatever reasons, would prefer not to make direct contact with your birth sister at this time. If that is the case, I am certain Carol will be willing to provide you with additional medical and background information (both maternal and paternal) through our intermediary. Again, please call us if you wish to receive any additional information or assistance.

It is possible, too, that, like many adoptees, you have been waiting and hoping for this day for as long as you can remember. If that is the case, I am sure you will be getting in touch with Carol very, very soon. Congratulations to both of you!!! (If you prefer, you may reach Carol directly by calling her at her home number: 217/555-1234.)

There is also, of course, the somewhat unlikely possibility that, although the information above corresponds to your date and place of birth and maiden name, you were unaware of your adoption until you began reading this letter. Most adoptive parents apprise their adopted children of their origins at a very early age. If this was not the case for your adoptive parents, I am truly sorry to be the bearer of such unexpected news.

However, no matter what your reaction is to this initial contact, I can assure you that Carol will respect your wishes implicitly. Although I have not met your birth sister, I have spoken to her by phone, and know that her warmth and generosity would bring much joy into your life. Please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss this matter or obtain additional information before making a decision regarding contact.

Finally, I am enclosing the application forms for the new Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange. Regardless of your wishes regarding contact, if you are willing to exchange identifying and medical information with Carol through the new Registry, the Dept. of Public Health will release to you a copy of your original birth certificate as well as a formal verification of this match.


With best regards,


Melisha Mitchell
Executive Director
The White Oak Foundation