Reuniting A Daughter With Her German Mother: Legalities?

I think I may have helped to find the biological mother of a friend that posts to a local message board I also belong to.

We were able to find 6 phone numbers in Germany based on either the Father or the Mother’s name, and on Monday we want to try to contact either/or to reunite the daughter with her biological mother and father.

I have volunteered to act as her translator, but I am wondering if I need any kind of power of attorney to act in her behalf, since I will be involved in making the initial phone call.

Anybody know?



I drew up a simple Power of Attorney and had it notarized and signed by my friend. Simply stated it allows me to act on her behalf as a “contactor/translator”.

We are hoping for the best, and to further clarify the above post, the 6 contacts include three possibles for the father and three possibles for the mother, so it is possible that they might have split up.

There were 379 hits in the Deutsche Telekom phone book, and I was able to narrow them all down by using the first name of the mother and of the father.



I doubt there are any legalities preventing a child from attempting to contact its natural parents as long as there were no laws broken in obtaining the information about the parents, but you might run into legal problems if the natural parents resist the contact and you persist (on behalf of the child).

It can be devastating for a person to receive such a call from a child that was given up in adverse circumstances. Just make sure that information is only revealed to the suspected parent and not to any of the person’s other family members, etc. I would suppose there are experts in the field of contacting birth parents and it might behoove you to seek out advice on the best ways to broach the subject once you make contact. Mysterious, unexplained phone calls can cause as many problems within a family as unceremoniously “spilling the beans” can.

IANAL but I’m not understanding why you needed her Power of Attorney to get on the phone and speak German?

At any rate, I hope it works out. How old is this friend, anyway?

Well, hell. Since no one answered, I decided to take matters into my own hands (having never done this before) and get the best possible protection in case the person in Germany got the red ass and decided that my friend was invading their privacy. That “protection” equals “power of attorney”.

I too ANAL, (that sounds kinda retarded, don’t it? :D) but as I am doing a favor for a friend, I just didn’t want to get “burned” for it. My friend is okay with that.

Probably not worth much, but at least we both would have gone through some kind of legal “motion”.

And you’re simplyfing things too much, Abbie. I am not just getting on the phone and speaking German, I am possibly shaking up someone else’s life. I know this, and I know how I would feel if out of the blue someone contacted me and told me that a daughter I gave up for adoption many years ago was trying to get in touch with me.

What difference does it make how old my friend is? She wants to find her birth-mother, and I want to help her.

As an update, we “got through” to two out of the six contacts today. The others were either not home or had repeated busy signals. The two we reached were not the ones we sought. We try again tomorrow.

Plan “B” is a letter writing campaign. We start with the ones of the 379 who live closest to where my friend was born and hope for the best. We also will send a “thank-you” note to the ones we reach, just in case and to keep my friend on their minds.

Think about the two we reached today: Don’t you think those two ladies might have had an interesting conversation with their husbands at the dinner table tonight?

Cilassi, thank you! My part of the initial conversation was very carefully “scripted” so as to cause the last amount of “discomfort” to the person on the other end. I kept my voice very calm and would have offered a call-back number had one been requested. I had my friend’s birth certificate in front of me, and had her permission to provide the details from it had we been asked for them.

As for me, I am just so happy to be able to help someone like this. Even if it’s just with the use of my native language.

Not to be maudlin, but we could sure use some positive vibes sent our way.

My friend is 40 and her mother must be in her 70’s.



PS: That song “Somewhere Out There” keeps playing in my head. I am thinking that is a very good “mantra”.