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Children meeting their biological parents?(10 Posts)
My husband and I have two older sons but after my second son was born we found out that I couldn't have any more, so we adopted. Over the past 17 years we have adopted 7 daughters, the oldest is 18 and the two youngest are 7.
The two oldest (18 and 17) don't know much about their parents (they're not related, they have different parents) but I have been wondering lately if it is a good idea to talk to them about them meeting their parents. They always say that I will always be their mum because I raised them and loved them, but I think it would be good for them to at least write to them or something. Has anyone gone through this and could give me some advice? How should I bring it up and is it a good idea? Thanks
presumably you have the annual files from the adoption agencies that give you appropriate options
I have 2 older daughters, who are now 27 and 17, and when it comes to contact with their biological parents, they have polar opposite viewpoints and have done the complete opposite to each other(they both however are in contact with siblings)
My personal feeling, is that our role as parents is to support our children with whatever they decide to do, as far as they want us to. If they would like to seek out contact, we support them with that, but if they aren't interested in contact, then we also have to support that. Our own private feelings about what's best can't really come into it, and sometimes that's hard - I know that I wish my 17 year old wasn't meeting up with her mother, but it's certainly not my place to say that to her.
In your situation - no, I don't think you should suggest to your children that the get into contact with their biological parents. Making contact if they haven't had any previously is a really big step to take, and it's something they should only do if they are absolutely sure they want to do that, and are as mature and mentally prepared for it as far as possible. Contact can bring up a huge range of feelings, and sometimes it doesn't go well. It's not something that should be suggested to them. It might seem like a good idea to you, but every adoptee thinks differently about it, and to your daughters, well, they might not want contact at all right now, and it might seem like a bad idea to them.
If you tell them you think it would be good to do something that they aren't comfortable with, then there's a chance you'll create a bit of a gulf between you, meaning they aren't so likely to talk to you about how they really feel, because they will think "well, mum doesn't understand how I feel about this, she thinks the opposite to me, so I won't bring it up with her"
I do think that we should let our children know that we will support them in their decisions. I have told my children that I am behind them and will be there for them whatever they choose to do.
So if you bring up the subject of contact, I would only bring it up as "I want you to know that I support you 100% in whatever you decide to do. I would be completely comfortable and fine with it if you decided to seek out your birth family, and would help you as much as you wanted. Likewise, if you decide not to seek out any contact ever, I also completely support you"
adoption / family separation
I've lived 3000 miles from my dad since I was 2
I have been with him for angave average of 3 days a year (am now 48)
I always knew who he was and was offered contact
but he only became my "dad" after I had kids
much as I am deeply pissed off about many things in my childhood, the clarity that distance gave ( in my case miles , in your case legal) is a masssive boost
when they are ready / if they are ready, they will choose what to find out
think of it as genealogy back the generations : in the long term it has the same role
I think you should wait until they come to you. I haven't seen my biological father since I was 5, I have zero interest in finding him and would be a bit annoyed if my mum started saying "have you thought about meeting up". To me, there is no benefit to it. My dad is the best dad I could have asked for, therefore I don't want another dad in my life.
I know it's a very different story for other people, and will respect that with my own children. However, I will still wait for them to come to me with curiosity.
Good luck whichever you choose
It is common for children who are adopted to think that by even bringing up the idea of contact with birth family they are somehow betraying their parents who loved and raised them.
I like the idea of bringing it up and saying you'll support them either way.
We see birth family now, but when DS is older it will be up to him, and we'll tell him we'll be happy with his choice either way.
Can you raise it by talking about the contact register (or whatever it is called).
Once 18 they can decide whether they would be willing to accept contact from BPs or not, and if they don't want they can put a no against it (or something).
So you could check whether they are aware of register and go from there?
I would talk to them both together, so it seems no big deal.
Them just knowing that you will support them if they ever want to will be enough for them.
I found it hard telling my mum and Dad that I knew things and by coincidence I met family members after my mum and Dad had died.
When I was their age I really wasn't interested and don't think I could have managed it emotionally. I'm not saying your dds wouldn't.
I am not an adopter yet (approved but not yet had a child placed with me), I am a mum to a birth child (singleton) and I'm not adopted myself so my view may not be of much use.
I do like the idea of letting the children know you will support them whatever they choose to do. As Lilka says "I do think that we should let our children know that we will support them in their decisions."
And I agree with her that you should not try to sway them either way, contact can go in a good or bad direction (as we all know) and it must be their choice.
If you choose to mention that you will support them, is there a way to ensure you do this in a very low key way so they do not feel it is a bit issue to disucss at that moment? E.G while you are walking together or baking a cake or washing the car or washing up or whatever you do together that is low key?
Also, in my humble opinion I would not tell them at the same time together. I see a slight 'concern' with telling them both at the same time is that if one wants to meet the biological parents and the other doesn't then one may end up doing either doing what they do not really want to do, or not doing what they want to do because of the feelings of the other sister.
Personally, I would make it clear to the children you will say the same to each of them. If the children were biologically related then it would probably be relevant to tell them that you are telling (or plan to tell the other) and there may be a greater sense of them both doing the searching together etc if they both wished to. However, as they are not biologically related then this does not seem to be relevant to their search. Having said this they may still choose to support each other and you may find they wish to do that and may wish to speak to you together about it but personally I would not assume they will do discuss it together (you know them, of course, so you know how they think!).
My mum and dad treated me and my sister very much equally in everything, which I loved. However, as the older one it was a bit annoying that we ended up having our ears peiced when I was 16 and sis was only 15 or maybe 14 (there is only about a year and a half between us). If you children are 18 and 17 I would say that you could talk to the older one first (if you choose to do this), and the younger one when they are also an adult.
You sound a really caring mum and I really hope it will go well.
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