However, when he is an adult (and I don't mean 18, I mean probably late 20s) if he still hasn't been told I would be very inclined to speak very strongly to the parents, or to other relatives. Because it is important he finds out before they die - otherwise the trail, if there is one, will be stone cold.
He is in a very difficult position, as his is not an adoption, but an illegal forging of a birth certificate, which if he was born abroad could cause all sorts of problems.
I would also say that if you don't know his parents well enough to give them a talking to about it, you don't know him well enough to tell him.
Thanks for the replies, I think what you've both said articulates how I feel too, it just feels so wrong to know something so personal about someone that they don't even know themselves and to be part of that lie (albeit in a very tiny way). I guess the best thing to 'do' is just to be a supportive as I can to him if and when he does come to know.
No good will come of you informing. If anything medical & urgent comes up you may be forced to reveal, but beak out until then. I know he may find out by accident (neighbour?), let others pick up pieces.
I have something similar in my family. An adult cousin has been lied to about who his real father is. It could destroy relationship with his mom if he found out truth. Bothers me a lot, too. Especially since he probably knows his real dad as a family friend. Nonetheless, Must let the sleeping dog lie.
Would have been so much better & a non-event to tell the boy when he was small. No good way to do it now, though.
On my husbands side of the family there is a boy of 17 who was adopted as a baby but doesn't know it. Most of the rest of the family, as do some people in the neighbourhood, friends etc. I'm not sure how many people know exactly, it's not loads but then again its not been a closely guarded secret, apart from keeping t from the boy himself.
There are no records to show his adoption as it was not in the UK and he has his adoptive parents names on the birth certificate so he wouldn't find out that way. His adoptive parents haven't told him as they don't want him to be upset, much in the way that adoptions in the UK used to be handled in days gone by I guess.
I guess my question is, if you had this knowledge that is so crucial to a persons identity and sense of self what would you do? Would you find a way to tell them, even if it wasn't your place to do so?
On one hand I feel very sad and angry for him that his family have kept this and have continued to keep this from him, with no plans to tell him, and I wish he would be told so he has the chance to ask his mum and dad any questions while they are still alive, and so he can start to work through any feelings with their support. On the other hand it's not my place to tell him, and my husband doesn't think any good would come from him knowing so wouldnt support someone telling him. The way the adoption was handled was illegal, and the story of the birth parents sounds odd to me, but the country this was in does not have the same standards of law and policing we have here. I'm pretty certain the birth family are now pretty much uncontactable because of the way it was handled and the country they are from.
I thought I would post here in adoptions as you guys have so much experience to see what you'd do in this situation, or if you have any good ideas. Pursading his parents or any other close relatives to disclose this info isn't an option because they don't see it's a problem, I have made my thoughts clear to my mother in law for example. We live in different countries with a slight language barrier too.