How to explain to child that can't trace BM yet.

(5 Posts)
oldnewmummy Thu 19-Sep-13 13:29:39

Gorgeous boy is 6.5. Twice now he's said he wants to meet BM, as he's worried that people are being mean to her and that she has no-one to cuddle her. How do I explain that he has to wait until he's an adult because he needs to be able to cope with her possibly rejecting him? I obviously don't want him to know yet that she may reject him, but I'm wary of him building up fantasy parents.

We adopted from Singapore where adoptees have no right to trace birth parents, but we have a 2007 address. Given that BM may have kept it a secret, she may well be shocked/rejecting when he turns up in 10 years time.

HeyJudith Thu 19-Sep-13 13:50:10

In my (non SW, non-professional in any way opinion) I would firmly reassure him that his BM will have lots of people to cuddle her and nobody will be mean to her. Then I would say she lives somewhere very far away and it would take a very long time to get there, and he needs to be a lot bigger before he is able travel there, so when he's a lot older and bigger, if he still wants to go you would help him at that time. (and, actually, you should, or at least give him your blessing, hard as it would be). But it's not for now.

Obviously don't mention the rejection element. It's not relevant in any case because by the time he is even old enough to think about meeting her, who can predict how she would be - she could be delighted or horrified, who knows. You may not even be able to easily trace her if the address is very out of date. He doesn't know that yet though and no need for him to know, he won't comprehend the complexities at 6.5.

Regarding "fantasy parent" I think that you need to be carefully neutral about her, so if he says "My BM will be this or that" (glowing/fantasy) then I would say "She might be but we just don't know that about her". "She might be but everyone does both good and bad things". etc. He might not even build a fantasy parent up.

I have no expertise but I was adopted myself.

oldnewmummy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:20:17

Hi Judith

Thanks. Unfortunately the "it's too far" bit won't work because we live in Perth and go to Singapore quite a lot. The rest of your message is pretty much what I said, so maybe I'm not doing as badly as I thought.

So hard to see your child hurting, though.

Maryz Sat 21-Sep-13 11:39:38

If it's any help, both mine went through a phase at about that age of being curious, but both are now older teenagers and have no interest in searching at all.

I think it's that age that children see the reality of adoption, and realise that there are other "parents" out there. If you just say "when you are older" and "I'm sure her family are looking after her" a lot, the questions will die down.

And what Judith said is right - it is perfectly natural to fantasise. And much better to say "that's interesting, we don't know, I'm sure we'll find out when you are older" than "no she isn't/doesn't/wasn't/whatever".

oldnewmummy Sat 21-Sep-13 15:31:36

Thanks Maryz.

I think the upset was also linked to his school sleepover the following night, which was the first night he'd ever spent away. But he got through it OK, so hopefully will settle down a bit now.

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