Not everyone is in a position to develop a close, trusting relationship with a child’s family.  Asking a biological mother whether or not she drank during pregnancy is a sensitive conversation.  Understandably, a woman may not feel comfortable answering this question right away.  However, the fact you were able to bring up the subject in a non-judgmental way may give her the courage to share information with you or someone else at a later time if she’s not able to disclose immediately.

Instead of saying: “Did you drink when you were pregnant?”

Ask: “When did you find out you were pregnant?  Is there a chance you might have had some alcohol before you knew you were pregnant?”

Or ask: “Many people choose to drink alcohol on occasion.  Before you got pregnant, how often did you drink?  How much would you usually drink?  After you found out you were pregnant, about how often did you drink?”