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When and How Do We Tell He's Adopted
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When and How Do We Tell He's Adopted

We adopted a beautiful little boy when he was 8 mos. old. He had a brother a year and 1 day older. When the mom surrendered her parental rights and everything was completed, we asked her if she would be willing to also allow us to adopt her other child so they could grow up together as siblings. She didn't. She allowed my brother and his wife to have permanent guardianship. ( My SIL thought that would hold marriage together.) They are since divorced. The child knows our son is his brother. He still sees his mom regularly. My SIL knows it is not the time to tell our son he is adopted, or if it ever will. Our son's biologial parents and grandparents are in jail but most are in prison for a LONG time. We want to protect him fromthis scandal. I have tried to keep him away from this other child. When he doesn't talk about him for sometimes, then my brother brings him up. He knows how we feel about this but continues. This girl's Dad had the mentality and he even told me" if you have dogs and you can't take care of them you get rid of them. That's the way with these kids. She needs to give em away." When I look at my son I feel sad and do not want him to ever be subjected to this mentality. He has been a blessing to our family. I am 52, my hus. is 68 and we have ason that would have been 28 (cancer/deceased) a 26 y/o and a 22 y/o. He was DX with IUGR--intrauterine growth retardation during mom's 5th month preg. He's small for his age and a little behind in maturity. Recently also 1 1/2 years ago dx with ADD/ADHD. As long as he receives his meds he is fine. I am concerned when should we tell him he's adopted, if ever? Am I wrong in trying to keep him from his half brother for fear he will know he's his brother before we have had the time to talk to him and prepare him. We tell him he's adopted. He knows his mother loved him but could not take care of him. He knows Jesus sent him to us. I do not know how much of this he is retaining. That is why I wonder if we should just keep it simple for now. Sorry for the length, everything about my life is complicated and hard to explain. Any suggestions---appreciated.
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Avatar_f_tn
God bLESS YOU. lET ME START BY TELLING YOU I AM A 52 YR. OLD FEMALE AND WAS ADOPTED AT BIRTH, IN MY FAMILY IT WAS ALWAYS SPOKEN ABOUT OPENLY SO MY PARENTS NEVER HAD TO TELL ME. AS I MATURED WHEN i HAD A QUESTION THEY ANSWERE ACCORDING TO MY AGE. I HAVE NO HANGUPS AND ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO DESIRE TO KNOW WHO MY BIOLOGICAL ROOTS.
MY SUGGESTION WOULD BE LET HIM KNOW FIRST AND FOREMOST HOW LOVED HE IS AND THAT THE LADY THAT GAVE BIRTH TO HIME COULD NOT CARE FOR HIM AND WANTED HIM TO HAVE A GOOD LIFE. BE AS HONEST AS IS APPROPRIATE FOR HIS AGE BUT DON'T WAIT MUCH LONGER I HAD A COUSIN WHO ADOPTED AND HER DAUGHTER FOUND OUT FROM SOMEONE AT SCHOOL AND SHE WAS A FREASHMAN THERE WAS SEVERAL YEARS OD DIFFICULT REBELLION.
ANY WAY I CAN HELP I'LL BE HAPPY TO.

GOD BLESS
SANDRA
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303824_tn?1294875001
I was adopted, and my parents told me when I was five years old. My father is a pastor and his one of his pastor friends told him that 5 is an appropriate age because the longer you wait, the angrier a child will be. At five, there is little understanding from the child on what "Adoption" is, and you can sit down and talk about it together and answer questions without a shouting match. As an adoptee, I am grateful they told me at that age because I never had any resentment about it whatsoever, just LOTS of questions! When I was 16, I found my biological mother, but did not wish to pursue a relationship past our initial meeting. I am very grateful and blessed to have the parents I have! Good luck!!
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303824_tn?1294875001
Ooops! I'm sorry! I didn't read the whole thing through before my comment! LOL!
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Avatar_f_tn
Just comimg on again to this forum. Thanks for the info. It helps so to hear from ones on the other side. David knows he is adopted. He is so innocent.Last week my brother brought our son's 1/2 brother by. When they left, David said --He told me he was glad I was his brother. I asked him what di he mean? David told me "You know momma, we are brothers in Jesus. " I didn't know what to say. His brother is given material things and lives in unstable environment, or at least was last time I looked. Our family is dysfunctional , but we function together as a family. There is abunddance of love. When I am "down" David like he did just tonight will come up to me and say "Mommy I'v got something for you. Holds arms out and wraps around me. " I will do anything to keep him from being hurt emotionally. He was hit by a car at 2 1/2. There was $$$$ involved. We did not want the money, but man's insurance suggested we put in a trust for child and we did just that. The person his mother/father and grandparents are, when he reaches age, they will probably come into picture then leave when all gone, hurting him deeply. I may not be around to help him pick up pieces. His biological Dad is not elegible for parole until our son will be 35. I do want him to know his half brother. When I look at them playing, I get so angry because his birth mom wouldn't allow us to adopt him also. She gets him when she wants and the environment he is exposed to is deplorable. My son will not be exposed to that as long as I can help. Am I wrong in feeling this way?
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440193_tn?1293814117
Hi,
I was adopted as a baby,I have always known as far back as I can remember that I was adopted,my WHOLE FAMILY knew,it was always talked about openly .I do not know if I have birth sisters or brothers BUT, I can tell you this, adoption is not something to hide, you will give off the message that it is shameful, or not "normal" if you hide this information from him,and belive me as long as his older half brother knows of him, he will someday know himself.TELL HIM, don't sheild information about his birth family, good bad or indifferent,he has the right to know .He will grow to be his own man and better off by knowing the truth,belive me the longer you wait,the more resentful he will become,I know because ,it is how I would react.If I found out that I was adopted from someone other than my own mother and father,it would be devistating!!! and yes your own feelings are clouding your veiw, please don't let  your own  feelings get in the way of what is your duty as a mother and father,time to be a grown up,get some age appropriate books about adoption and start there, the books are fun for children and it is a good way to help you bring up the subject for him, adoption is a gift, he is a blessing,let him know just how much of one he is to you and your WHOLE FAMILY!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Obviously you are a loving, wonderful person with a conscience. But you cannot shield your son from the ills, trials and tribulations of the world. If you do, he will grow up "crippled".

This sounds like more an issue for you and how you would deal with his birth family if you told him the truth (if you allowed his birth family into his life, would it somehow tarnish you? your reputation? Embarrass you? Create stress in your life being around them?).

He sounds like a smart and compassionate kid. With your love and support he will be able to process the information just fine. (if you are really concerned about his emotional well being, I would suggest going to see a adoption therapist that can help ease the transition for both you and your son).

I can completely understand your feelings of anger and frustration by his birth mother's behavior and choice to not allow your son's brother to be raised by you and your husband, but try not to judge. Unless the birth mother was born with a triple-6 on her scalp, mothers LOVE their children. They might not be able to care for them financially or even emotionally but they still have a bond and they want to do what's best for the child.

Don't worry about the trust money. Just see a lawyer. There are plenty of things you can do to protect your son.

His birth family may not be living an exemplarily life or be the poster children for Fine Living, but he would be living a lie if he didn't know the truth.

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
ps, I was adopted at birth and knew I was adopted from as far back as I can remember. I was reunited with my birth mother when I was in my 20s and found out that I had 3 half sisters! God bless our mother, she passed away shortly after she and I were reunited (car accident).

Two out of my three half sisters were living in an environment that was dreadful. But they didn't think so and didn't know any differently. Although, there are great differences between us on a million and one levels, we keep our distance. But we still have a bond. And there is love there.
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Avatar_f_tn
If he finds out about adoption from you ASAP he will accept it, if he finds out from others he will be angry. Next time he mentions that someone is his brother in Jesus, you could just explain other ways someone could be your brother such as, stepbrothers, 1/2 brothers, adoption, good friends, etc... I would not mention anything negative about his birth parents. One child I had in fostercare asked me, "Do you think my Mom knew he was going to rape me when she left me with him?", I always say generic things at times like this, "I don't think any Mother would do that to a child". One of my daughters used to cry and ask, "Why didn't my Mom take care of me?" I would tell her that her, "Your Mom did the best she could". It would only hurt him to know the whole truth. He just needs to know that he was adopted by you and your husband because that's what God and you both wanted and that you both love him very much.
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Avatar_f_tn
in a way i think u should tell him. i made a mistake and regret it everyday. my daughter is now 10 yrs old and she does not know that shes adopted. and i should have told her sooner.  right now she is acting like a little teenager and i am scared of what she will say or do when i tell her, her birth mom is actually my aunt or is disabled. and when we have family get to gathers she is around her birth mom and does not know it. so my advise would be to tell em. don't wait like i did and regret it.. i wish i could make time go back, so i could fix this mistake..hope i helped
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for all the comments and posts on this subject. Our son knows he is adopted. He knows how much he is loved. I am not sure if I mentioned in first post, but he is a very serious yet funny child. He is so loving and innocent. Yes I do want to protect him. I am not afraid of how it will make me look if others know he is adopted. This is a small town and everyone we know, knows he is not my birth child, but is our child in all other aspects.We are open with him and all about the adoption. Sometimes he will sit and stare and then he'll ask why did my mamma give me to you. I tell him that she loved him so very much that she asked God for someone that could love you that much. We tell him she loved him and couldn't not take care of him. She was young.. My fear comes from the fact that if he knows his birth family it will be devasting and traumatic for him. Not sure if that the right thing. The entire family has, was and still is in prison. Dad will be there and will be elegible for parole when child is 30-35 y/o. I want to protect him from the harshness and judgement of this and surrounding communities/counties. See the crimes that the family committed where against people here, in our area. They know he is adopted, but not the son of this family. This world and the people in it are mean and cruel. I do  not want him to be taunted and harassed by the children of these victims. We have discussed this with his psychiatrist and he feels this is not the time for him to know more than the fact that he is adopted. We no longer tell him daily in conversation. We have and will continue to tell him, but MD doesn't know if he is ready for any more in-depth revelations. The trauma from the accident is still present. He feels adding another emotional stressor will only make things worse and I tend to agree. He is a loving and sensitive child.There are complicating issues  with the birth family. They talk but don't walk. Birth mother's dad wanted to visit after we took David to see him in hospital. Found out he had MI and not doing well. Wanted him to know David and to be a part of David's life. David knew it was his grandfather. That was 3 years ago. We call, presents on special occasions. We stopped that about a year ago. Grandpa never came. Said he was coming and never would show. I will not apoligize for feeling the way I do and my  not calling him anymore and asking him to come and visit. I saw how David was huirt when he did not come on all occasions when he said he would. No call or reason why he didn't. Nobody hurs my children be they birth or adoption. There is no question that he knows and will always know he is adopted. My question is about the truth about his birth family. My son was even left in the car while one of the crimes was committed. Its hard to explaun via typing.  I guess I know and have known all along that I will do what our family has to do to protect him from the knowledge about his birth family. I do lie when I tell him the nice things about his mother. How do you tell a child she didn't want to keep him because she couldn't prostitute in her car with many men in one night. She couldn't have as many "friends" because David wa in front seat and his crying was disruptive. Do you tell a child that. No! It's also not fair to tell him lies either. I will lie and tell him good things about her. The entire history is written and sealed with adoption papers in safety box. I would never keep the fact that he is adopted from him. He would figure it out anyway based on my medical history.  I do not mean to sound angry and harsh. You would have to know David to understand why I question telling him who birth family is. MD says not necessary. When he is older, he will be able to know should he desire. For now I will continue to agree with him when he says God gave him to us. He truly did. I do appreciate all the responses, please do not think I didn't. I guess I wasn't clear with the questions I had. My ADD has really been ranking up there for a few weks. Thanks again. AND if you want to comment on the question I mntioned, would appreciate. That is if you can figure out what I'm asking. Have a hard time putting thoughts in words on paper.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just checking back--no further comments. Hope I did not offend antone. After reading my question, I realize I wasn't clear and didn't word quite as I had wanted to. I guess the question is not how do we tell he is adopted. We tell him, but I am not sure how much of this he retains. The problem and questions I have are him being a part of birth family. At time of adoption, birth Mom requested to have no further contact with him. She said she did not want dad or his family to have contact either. At hearing when it was held to terminate Dad's parental rights, he did not even respond or attend. He was aware and all steps were taken to assure he had opportunity to be transported to the court should he desire. (judge made sure this was available). Our attorney ALSO made sure grandparents were aware of hearing and that they were allowed availabilty to attend hearing. No one attended. This saddened me that no one cared enough to even show up and make either + or - comments. All adoptions are unique. Each happens for different reasons. Please understand. I must say those who think I am thinking about myself, are wrong, and how I feel I may be tarnished if people find out who birth parents are. The situation is complicated. So do you suggest we sit down with him and tell him who his birth parents are. His birth dad wanted nothing to with him( per Mom-birth) and none have even attempted to seek permission to inquire how he is.  No one has asked for pictures. I would gladly give BM pic, but since she said she wanted to have no further contact, do I send them anyway. Like I said all are sparate and different.As I have past weeks to reflect more thoroughly, I feel stronge about telling him about his 1/2 brother. BM didn't want this done, since they did not have same dads. All we wanted to do was love and protect this child and as his Mom said give him the love she was unable to give. That saddened me then and now when I rethink about it. More than anything, I felt so sad when went to chang name and at 8, almost9 months, this child had never been given a name. When he asks what name he had before adopted do, we be honest and not shield him and tell him his name was Baby Boy? I feel and guess each of you see me as angry and thinking only of how things look for our family. That could not be any farther from the truth. I request is that you all pray as we face each day and handle each situation as it occurs. I pray for God's guidance in this situation. Each year on his birthday and holidays I want to take him to see her and allow her to see how he is doing and is ok. I am torn. That's why I asked for opinions. That's what friends are for. They give us their opinions and they do not get angry and judge us otherwise if we do not agree. They support us in the dicisions we make. I would never do anything to hurt or harm him. He has our other 2 sons (26 & 22) that are protective but allow him to be himself. He has a close relation with them. Many believe the 26 y/o is his Dad. I do appreciate all responses I have received and hope to continue to receive. We need all the support we can receive. I will continue to pray for God's guidance as we face each day. Thanks to each of you that cared enough to offer your advice and feelings. May God bless you all.   Madlyn
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