"The attitudes sound quite familiar to me too. My parents were very open in lots of ways and told me sometimes that if I searched they would help but I was absolutely aware that this would be devastating for them."
Ditto. My mother's 'offer to help' me search pretty much ended when I was in middle school. AFter that: "Everyone knows your adopted. Why do you feel the need to tell people?" This of friends too.
Also it was easier to be relaxed about this in the 70s when it would have been harder to find people. It can be scary for all concerned that it's so much easier to find people, in the social networking era.
Hi I hope I am not too late to add onto this conversation but I just wanted to add my experiences. My dad is adopted and I seem to have known at least since I was 10. My dad was not told he was adopted til he was 21 which was relatively common back then. However because of the way this was handled we have not really talked about it and there are some issues about it. My DH thinks I am overly empathetic as I am can be emotional about this. I think only recently (I am over 40) that it really sank home to me that my dad never knew about his biological mum and I had another grandma who I never knew and who died without knowing what had happened to her son and about us and didn't know how everything turned out well for us. As people have said above my grandparents were my grandparents and I have no real need to know about my biological grandparents but there is some sadness there for the reasons I mentioned above. Sam
Thought I would just add my experience, as only you can decide how/if/when you tell your children.
I found out my mum was adopted when my cousin mentioned it in conversation when I was about 8. I had no clue so I just thought she was making it up. A year or so later I was watching a tv programme (Gentle Ben if you're interested!) that had an adoption storyline, so my mum used the opportunity to tell me she was adopted.
I was annoyed that she hadn't told me and I felt foolish because of what I had said to my cousin. But it has never changed how I felt about my mum or my darling Grandad.
As an adult and a parent, I still don't understand why she waited so long to tell me - especially as she was only told when she was about 12, and found it very difficult to deal with at such an advanced age. But she has never been one for talking - probably learnt from her parents, hence only being told when she was 12.
My Dh is adopted, in the early sixties, and has always known. It was never made a big thing of but just something he always knew. I have always been open with my 3 DC's. It comes up in conversation when they ask ' who do I take after'. I found that they forgot and then found out again, my 15 year old DS recently asked if he had any other nationalities in his genetic line-up. My DH's birth mother was half french so we told him that. Turns out he had forgotten the adoption story but was totally unphased by it. I think being open and honest is the key.
I would say yes. Not only will they know the truth but they will help normalise the process if you have been through it to. They they will be able to empathise / understand as they have also been through it so to me is a bonding advantage as they get older. I grew up without parents and I have told my adopted children this and one day after they turn 18 I have told them they will be able to find their birth parents if they want just like I found my dad (and explained what happened etc).
complicated situation, my past came back and opened up a can of worms. I was adopted as an infant. i was never very comfortable talking about it and did not tell many people.I accepted it at a very young age. My husband at the time knew i was adopted(now ex). we have two children ages 20 and 22. My kids and my ex husband have never had a good relationship, he is in my opinion a narcissistic man. 15 years after our very messy divorce he decided to tell our children out of the blue without my knowledge that i was adopted, of course they were shocked. I explained to my kids that I did not hide this information from them to hurt them, I accepted my adoption a long time ago and feel that my adopted parents who raised me were to me my only parents. I have now contacted the adoption agency to get any and all information for my kids so I can answer their questions regarding their background. I will do it for them even if i don't have any interest in knowing. The next part of this problem is. My ex had testicular cancer when we met. He caught the cancer early and is fine to date. He froze his sperm and when we decided to start a family we had to use donor sperm in addition to his sperm. My ex never wanted the kids to know any of this, his cancer or the donor sperm. I informed the pediatricians when the kids were babies so it would be in their medical history.My ex is now telling me that I should not tell the kids how they were conceived, mind you my ex is in the medical field. Now I feel horrible that I kept my adoption from my kids and feel that its time to be completely honest with them about everything. I have tried to talk to my ex about this for weeks now and he will not listen. He feels its going to hurt the kids since they have a bad relationship with him already, I'm so torn up about all of this and I hold myself accountable for not telling my kids of my adoption. any advice is welcome. I want to do the right thing. This is not about revenge, I now see how I have made a large mistake and want to be honest with my kids.
Your instinct is right -of course you must tell the children that they were conceived by AID. I'm sorry you are in this situation now and that you were not given good advice about being honest with them when they were small. Most children who grow up knowing the facts as ok with them -its a lot more upsettig to discover at a later date that you have been lied to .
You need to prepare youreslf for the possibility that they will be quite upset. It's quite a blow to discover that your father is not your biological father AND your mothers family are nt your biological family either.
There is no easy way to do this I'm afraid, they need to know now. Please try not to blame each other. You have both lied to them for years . Theres no question of one of you not " letting" the other be honest . You just need to tell them that you thought it was for the best, that attitudes were less open 20 years ago and that you didn't mean to hurt them and you are sorry .
Thank you for the sound advice kristina. My ex and I do not know if he is the biological father since the we used his sperm in addition to the donor sperm. I would guess that if the children wanted to find out, a dna would need to be done and I'm not sure if their father would agree to do it and I worry that this will bring on more resentment with him. Their relationship with their father has been horrific for so many years. Almost non existent. I'm very concerned for them. My youngest son is going through a very difficult time right now and I'm not sure how he will cope with all of this. I have to find the right time to tell both of the boys. I just wish that my ex was on the same page with me, the last thing I want to do is cause any pain to my children.