Ideally this letter should be hand written, envelope addressed by hand so it does not look like junk mail.  It could be a card, like a greeting card.  Be sure to put “ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED” to the left of the address in case the address is wrong so it is sent back to you with the new address.  You can send it “Delivery confirmation” via the post office so you know when it got delivered or you can send it so you can see who signed for it. 

 Sometimes people worry about getting mail that has to be signed for, though.  A short informative but not too informative wording is best.  If you tell them everything about you or a bunch of negative stuff (adopted by an abuse family, etc.) they may worry that you “want” something from them like inheritance or could be a scam artist or identity thief.

 Ideally a photo of you – head shot is best – like your high school yearbook photo so they can see resemblances.  When people send full body shots or of older people, wrinkled, gray hair, glasses or group shots it is harder to see that the person looks like their family member.  Everyone has seen or has a copy of their own school photo so they can “see” resemblance better.

 Dear                      ,

I was born (birth name) on (date of birth) in (city, state), adopted shortly after my birth and am searching for my birth family in order to learn my heritage and especially my medical family history.  I have a copy of my original birth certificate which states that (bmom’s name), age XX, born in (state), was my birth mother.    My paperwork also shows that (birthparent’s first name) had X children prior to me, (their relationship such as a son and a daughter).

 After much research, a (birth parent’s full name) was found (now deceased) connected to (Surname) in (State).

 I am hoping that you are the daughter/granddaughter of (bparent’s first name) and that you are open to contact with me.  I don’t wish to upset anyone’s lives and my purpose in searching for my birth family is to learn my medical history and perhaps see photos or maybe meet biological relatives as I have never met anyone who looks like me.  I was adopted by a family in (city, state) and am now married/widowed/divorced with x children and x grandchildren.  I work as/am retired from xxxxxxxx (type of work). 

 I am enclosing a photo of myself so you can see what I look like.  I now live in (State) and all my contact information is listed below. 

 Sincerely,

 Your Name

Street address

City, State Zip

TEL: xxx –xxx –xxxx (collect calls okay – add this if you will accept collect calls)

CELL: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Email:

 FOR A LETTER that is mailed to someone – NOT an EMAIL to a match on DNA test sites !

 

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE, BUT HAVE USED DNA TESTS, USE WORDING LIKE THIS INSTEAD OF THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE PART.

Dear                 ,

 I am working on my family tree in order to learn my heritage and especially my medical family history.  As part of this process I have taken DNA tests and my results show that I am related to the (Surname or Surnames) family/families from (State or city, state).    My research shows that we are (X cousins) and share the same ancestor (name of ancestor, birth/death years, locations) who was married to (spouse name, birth/death years, locations).   I do have a private family tree at (web site) and would like to invite you to see it. 

 I am hoping that you are the (relationship to your birth relative) of (birth relative’s full name) and that you are open to contact with me.  I don’t wish to upset anyone’s lives and my purpose in searching for my birth family is to learn my medical history and perhaps see photos or maybe meet biological relatives as I have never met anyone who looks like me.  I was born (your date of birth) in (city, state) and adopted by a family in (city, state) and am now married/widowed/divorced with x children and x grandchildren.  I work as/am retired from xxxxxxxx (type of work). 

 I am enclosing a photo of myself so you can see what I look like.  I now live in (State) and all my contact information is listed below. 

 Sincerely,

 Your Name

Street address

City, State Zip

TEL: xxx –xxx –xxxx (collect calls okay – add this if you will accept collect calls)

CELL: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Email: