Post # 1
I was adopted as a young child, never raised by my biological morther but adopted at age three by my parents. A few years back, I was contacted by a “search angel” who was hired by my biological mother and long story short, we were “reunited” so to speak. We have never met in person to this day but have shared conversations via email or phone.
Biological mother knows of my upcoming wedding but has never mentioned wanting to attend. I am wondering if I am obligated to invite her? My parents have had a really hard time with bio appearing and wanting to be a mother to me and honestly, I have had a hard time with it too! It has put a real strain on my relationship with my very elderly parents and I feel a lot of pressure to do what’s right and not hurt feelings although I often don’t know how to handle all this.
So what to do…do I invite her because it it proper and hope that she doesn’t come and also take the risk of hurting my parents or do I not invite her and take the risk of hurting her???
Thanks for your input!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
I would do whatever you want. If you wouldn’t be comfortable inviting her, don’t invite her. If you really feel like you want her there, sit down and talk with your parents about it to make sure they aren’t going to be hurt. I don’t think there’s etiquette on something like this.
Post # 4
In this situation, since you have yet to meet in person, perhaps sending a wedding announcement after the big day and some photos or a copy of your dvd would be appropriate. If that’s what you’re most comfortable with. I don’t know that there’s technically an etiquette rule on this, more of how you feel personally and what you would prefer. If you would like to have her there, then that should also be up to you, but I don’t feel that you should be obligated to invite her because it’s ‘proper,’ I think this is a case-by-case situation. Do what makes you happiest! 🙂
Post # 5
If your parents are going to be hurt, i wouldn’t invite her. You stated that you too had a hard time with her showing up and wanting to be a mother. While there may valid reasons why she wasn’t there, your parents were. I’m all for loyalty.
Post # 6
If you do invite your biological mother to the wedding, please make an appointment to meet her before hand. I don’t recommend meeting your biological mother at your own wedding. You have no idea how that meeting will go, and it’s too much emotion to pack into a single day. Meet with your biological mother ahead of time and ask her if she wants to be invited, if you’ll be comfortable having her there.
Make sure your adopted parents understand that you still love them and need them, and that you will always consider them your parents. But they should not influence your decision about whether or not to have your biological mother at your wedding. You deserve to make that decision, and they should support you whatever you decide.
As long as everyone understands and supports each other, you’ll pull through this just fine. 🙂
Post # 7
Your biological mother surrendered her parental rights some twenty-or-so years ago: that included surrendering the “right” to an invitation to your wedding. She made a courageous decision on your behalf then, and I don’t imagine it was easy or that it didn’t hurt. She bore the consequences of her decision then, and she can bear them now. A relationship isn’t built overnight, even with the benefit of 50% shared genetic material; and it isn’t guaranteed to ever be built. Neither of you can rush it. Don’t change your plans or feel obligated on her behalf; and let the future take care of itself.
I don’t know how much you and your biological parent have shared, but consider the possibility that she has a rich and rewarding life even without you in it, which will tide her over even if your relationship with her never develops.
Post # 8
Oh thanks so much for your responses ladies! I really appreciate all of the great advice and suggestions. It is such a delicate situation and my biological mother is very easily offended (like when I addressed her by her first name rather than “mom”…she was so upset and I was really overwhelmed by that. I think that is why I am so concerned about what is the “right” thing to do. It is so nice to hear that I really do have a choice in the matter.
Post # 9
I was adopted as an infant. I have not searched for my biological mother, and maybe plan to after I get “settled” after the wedding. That being said, I don’t think there is an etiquette rule saying you should invite your biological mother who you have only talked to for a few months through e-mail. In fact, I would highly suggest that you do not invite her. The relationship has already caused strain with your parents. If she showed up at the wedding it would be extremely awkward IMO. You would not only have to worry about your new life with husband, but whether or not your parents are happy about your biological mother, and whether your biological mother is going to behave and not over-step your boundaries. At this point, it seems like you mother should be the only one there to celebrate your life and finally give away her daughter in marriage. It would take away from her moment if your biological mother was there.
Again, this is all just my opinion. But I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t mix life changing events with searching for or meeting your biological parents for the first time. In person will be different than e-mail I’m sure. It could be a great situation… but the risk of the bad it too great for me to even consider inviting my biological parents to the wedding. Or if it was later it life, I probably wouldn’t invite them to my hospital room to see my newborn, etc etc.
Post # 10
I’m adopted, so I know how this feels.
I think a nice compromise is to send her a wedding announcement the day of instead of an invite. Bridesmaid or Best Man has never expressed an interest in going, and I would want to avoid hurting your AP feelings.
(BTW: if I had my BM’s address, that’s what I would be doing. In My Humble Opinion, of course.)
Post # 11
@kperry3: Thanks for sharing that you were adopted too. You are right, it would be really awkward if she did show up and I honestly don’t think I could handle THAT much stress at one time!
Ladies, if I do decide not to invite my biological mother to my wedding….would you suggest that explain to her why I am not inviting her? Like I said previously, she is super sensitive and I would worry about the best way to tell her.
Post # 12
Part of me would just want to shout, “because you’re not my mother!” but I’m guessing that’s not the best way to go about telling her she’s not invited. Maybe you could phrase it in such a way to suggest that it would just be too emotionally overwhelming to have her there, but like others said, send her some pictures etc so she doesn’t feel excluded.
I feel like there’s the potential for much drama if she were to come to the wedding. If she is so easily upset that she doesn’t like you calling her by her first name instead of “Mom” then what is she going to do when the call goes out for family photos and your adoptive parents are there by your side first…?
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
Well, not being adopted and never having given someone up for adoption (i.e. take this with a grain of salt), I wouldn’t explain anything to her. I think sending her an announcement is a nice idea, and I would only explain it if she says something. I also would have felt really uncomfortable with my biological mother being upset that I didn’t call her mom when I hadn’t seen her for 20 years, and she hadn’t raised me.
Actually, I see my biological father once a year, and don’t call him dad, and I’d be really irritated if he ever said I should call him dad when he’s not the one who raised me or contributed to my growth (he never paid child support). I have an adoptive father who is my dad.
So go with your gut, and do what you feel is right, not what you think anyone expects of you. 🙂
Post # 14
wow i like reading this post. i am also adopted from birth and my CRAZY birth mother hired a private investigator a few years back who hunted me down. I did meet her in person (with my MOM and DAD in tow as well as my FIance). She (BM) was very self-absorbed and really only concerned with what she wanted and felt she needed out of a relationship now with me. She made this all very clear in front of all of us. She then tried to control me and she even brought it as far as TELLING me that i had to drive 2.5 hours to her house to meet her other children (who were home from college). When I didn’t show up she lost it and tried reprimanding me and everything. I told her if she contacted me again the police would be involved and that she was never my parent so what makes her think she can treat me like that now.
Anyway my advise to you after my experience (and not all will end up like this, but you never know) ENJOY your wedding day and meet her after. Like the other ladies said as well RESPECT your parents for all that they are and all that they have done (Like pay for your wedding ‘maybe’). GOOD LUCK if you do ever decide to meet her. But i would highly recommend NOT on your wedding day.
Post # 15
@Tebo-to-be: Thanks for your post! I think it was so wonderful for your parents to go with you to meet your biological mother like that! I am sorry that it didn’t work out the greatest though. Did you ever end up meeting your bios other kids? Mine has two others as well-but different fathers. You are so strong to stand your ground with her and tell her to stay out of your life like that- sometimes I wish I could do the same but then I feel the guilt that comes with it. I feel like she could have had an abortion so I kind of owe her SOMETHING for giving me life.
As of now, I don’t plan on inviting her to the wedding. I have already sent out my STD’s and didn’t send one to her.
Post # 16
It sounds to me like the real issue here isn’t etiquette (and I really don’t think there is a straight-forward “rule” for this situation anyway), but that your biological mother is, as you put it, very sensitive. She doesn’t like that you don’t call her mom, and she has a tendency to get offended. So you are worried about hurting her feelings further by not inviting her.
I really think that this is a really bad reason to invite her. Quite honestly, she does not have a right to ask you to call her mom, and she does not have a right to be at your wedding, in my opinion. She is not your mother, and I don’t think even you consider her to be that. Therefore I would not invite her. I would send her some beautiful pictures afterward. If you feel the need to explain to her why you didn’t invite her, I would tell her because it was a very intimate affair.