What to do if you feel no connection

What to do if you feel no connection with the relative you have searched for

This leaflet has been written from our experience and expertise and also with help from external research*. In this leaflet we discuss what to do if you struggle to feel a connection once your relative has been found.

If you have difficulties with language or reading, please let us know and we will read this information over the phone or to someone who can support you.  Should you need any further information or support about this matter you can phone or email us via the details on our website.

  1. You may not feel an immediate bond.  Don’t worry about this.  There are no rules about what you should feel.
  2. Its o.k. to be honest with yourself about how you actually do feel. Your immediate response may not be the big love you had imagined, or you may be unimpressed by the person you meet.  Give it time and don’t make judgements, this is just a process of adjusting to a stranger.
  3. Sometimes our expectations can be very high and people may not meet up to our hopes and dreams in a first meeting.  Give people a chance, withdraw and take time to think. Whatever happens, always be polite and kind and this will reduce any possible upset for all concerned.  Retreat and talk your feelings over with someone you trust, or use our counselling service.  
  4. You may have high hopes, but the relatives you are meeting may not dress like you, think like you, speak like you or dream like you.    They may not be like you at all.  They may have a different lifestyle.  It may take time to make sense of these differences.
  5. You may feel judgemental towards the person you meet, but it is best not to express any criticism at a meeting.   Raise all of these issues with a counsellor or your intermediary support worker.  In this way you can continue to deal with your feelings, and nobody is offended.
  6. It could be that you may not wish to let this new person be part of your life.  But take your time over this decision and talk with someone first.  It is best not to react to a first meeting which really needs some reflection and consideration.

Make use of our counselling service.  We are here to help you with these complex situations.  Don’t feel you are alone just talk to us.

* The Adoption Reunion Handbook by Julia Feast, David Howe and Liz Trinder.  (Wiley 2004 p.43)