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Should I try to contact my adopted brother?

(25 Posts)
NYF03 Wed 15-Mar-17 06:06:53

Hi all,

Regular poster to this site but have NC for this as it's a sensitive subject.

Last year, age 26, I found out I was adopted. I'm NC with my adoptive parents and they had never shown me my birth certificate before so this had come as a complete shock.

I went about finding my original birth certificate and last week I was finally able to read my court documents. Found out more about my BM, that she was 18 when she had me, I was the result of a holiday romance, my BF doesn't even know I exist and neither do my BM's parents. She made it clear to SS that my conception was a mistake and she doesn't want any contact with me in future.

I found out though that she also had another child when she was 16. He was put up for adoption too so I have a biological brother, 2 years older, who is also currently in the same position as me.

I have had a quick search of his name on social media, Facebook etc, and I have found one guy who looks to be about the right age, and living in the next town from where BM was living at the time. I am absolutely not going to jump onto this guy's Facebook with a "Hey, I might be your biological sister whom you probably know nothing about!" but I'm wondering if it might be an idea to potentially go through an agency to "test the water", maybe see if he knows about me and if he might be interested in contact.

I'm conflicted though because this guy on Facebook seems to have had a wonderful life (from what I can see) and is married with kids, settled down. He might not even care less!

Does anyone have any experience of this or advice for the best way to approach this? or not as the case may be!

lazycrazyhazy Wed 15-Mar-17 07:34:14

My story was similar. I wasn't told I was adopted and found out aged 20. I am your parents' generation I should say so this was all a long time ago. Sadly the wonderful
Charity NORCAP who were expert in handling all sides of the adoption triangle had to fold for lack of funds. I traced both parents and most siblings but used their intermediary service. I would strongly recommend using a professional intermediary. Many are listed online. Also, don't be too hard on your BM as what is recorded in your file is someone else's report on her feelings and also in 26 years her feelings may have changed utterly (they often do). If you would like to chat please send me a private message. I know one ex NORCAP intermediary who may be able to recommend someone. SS also offer an intermediary service I believe in some areas though this may have been subject to funding cuts.

Athome77 Wed 15-Mar-17 07:40:22

No advice, just rememberlots of people appear to have great lives on Facebook, the reality can be different....

Do you think you would have been happier if you had always known you were adopted? Just asking cause we are at the start of the adoption process, we plan on telling the child from the beginning, also think our boys would let it slip, it would be impossible to keep 'secret'.

lazycrazyhazy Wed 15-Mar-17 08:01:14

Don't want to hijack thread but it worked out down for me though I do see that morally it was wrong not to tell me. Had I adopted I'd have told them from the start but, rather like I was told my Grandfather died in the war, not as something which is massive.

flapjackfairy Wed 15-Mar-17 08:07:27

You absolutely would not be allowed to adopt today if you wanted to keep it secret.
A huge no no !

NYF03 Wed 15-Mar-17 09:13:01

Thanks for your replies smile

lazy It is such a shame that these services aren't/can't be properly funded. I feel they really are invaluable for people post adoption.

Athome my opinion on this might be biased due to being NC with my adoptive parents when I found out, but the shock and pain I felt when I realised I had been lied to all these years was immense. (and I do feel like I was lied to because my mum used to talk in great detail about her 'pregnancy' and my birth, even though this was all made up). I am of the same opinion now as lazy if I decide to adopt, I would tell them right from the start. All the best with the adoption process smile despite everything, I do feel it is a fantastic thing to do.

flapjack In my file, I read that my adoptive parents told SS that they would absolutely tell me the truth as soon as the time was right. Why they went back on that decision, I don't know. It's inevitable I would have found out eventually, and it would have saved considerable heartache on my part.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 15-Mar-17 09:23:50

I too agree it is only right and proper to bring a child up knowing.

Even the comment in the file 'tell when the time is right' would probably ring alarm bells these days. Adopters need to mention adoption to their child before the child has any real understanding. So there is never any big 'reveal'.

OP. Maybe your APs lied from the start. But maybe also they just kept putting it off until one day it seemed too late. 4 is too young, 5 is also still young, 8 still won't really understand the reasons etc. I also wonder whether the relationship between you and your APs would have been better if they had not been lying to you for all those years, it must have damaged things somehow.

I would suggest you go through an intermediary, or ask for something to be left on his file so if he explores his adoption he seems you would be open to contact. flowers

Moonlightflit Wed 15-Mar-17 14:31:12

Op good luck with finding a way forward.
Sorry things have now gone NC with your adoptive parents. The only thing I can say as an adoptive parent is that it really will break my heart to tell our lo she is adopted. She is too young at the minute but of course we will be open and honest with her. I really wish she was mine biologically. This isn't about me and I'm not going into the nitty gritty of a horrendous story of birth parents as this is about you. I think what your adoptive parents have done is wrong and I'm sorry it's caused such a drift.
Facebook is a nightmare so don't believe first impressions of a perfect life there.
Good luck!!

NYF03 Wed 15-Mar-17 14:36:31

Hi Under

Thanks for your message!

It is possible that our relationship might have been different, who knows. It certainly would explain why they used to act as though I "owed them something" as soon as I reached adulthood. They certainly went to great lengths to hide it- applied for my passport/driving license on my behalf so I wouldn't see my birth certificate.

I hadn't thought about the possibility of putting something on his file. These are sealed for 100 years so I assumed they couldn't be altered.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 15-Mar-17 15:43:37

Sealed for 100 years? I don't understand that comment?

My DDs can ask to see their files/records when they turn 18.
I think you could ask the relevant LA to add something so that if he ever asks to see his records there would be a note about you and that you would like contact.

NYF03 Wed 15-Mar-17 16:15:34


When I applied to see my court records, I was told that all adoption records are sealed for 100 years due to the sensitive nature contained. I had to write to a sheriff to request the record to be unsealed so I could read them. I'm in Scotland so I don't know if this is just the case for up here or if it's UK-wide.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 15-Mar-17 16:28:25

Oh, OK, I can see Scotland might well have different rules.
There are records and records too.
As in court records that the court keeps.
And police records that police keep.
And Social Worker records that the local authority keep. This final set is the ones I was talking about.

Italiangreyhound Wed 15-Mar-17 17:09:05

NYF03 I am sorry your adoptive parents lied.

Our son can to us at three and we make sure he is aware of his adoption because we do not want him to ever experience a big reveal.

Firstly please could you use an agency to find and contact your brother? Please do not do it through Facebook if you can find a reliable alternative.

This one might be able to help

Although your birth mother said 26 Yeats ago that she did not want to see you/know about you, or however you phrases it, in your shoes so would still look, if you wish to. The approach can be done by a third party.

As an adoptive parent, I can only say what your adoptive parents did was wrong. But maybe they also found it so hard. If you want to explore relationships with them again, do get some help .

If they were cruel or abusive, of course not; but if it is the lying you found so hard, it may be worth thinking of it that having committed to a lie they kept going, maybe felt it was better.

I think my little boy would have liked to come from my tummy, it wouldn't so easy to lie to him, and pretend he did.I haven't and will not but I just feel it is maybe so easy to do.

All the best, get help. Trace whoever you wish to.could you also get some counselling for you?


Italiangreyhound Wed 15-Mar-17 17:15:20

It would be so easy.... I mean

lazycrazyhazy Fri 17-Mar-17 19:23:22

NYFO3 gosh our parents were so similar! Mine also got me a passport and driving licence. Yes law in England and Wales is you apply from aged 18 bit you still go through a process to open the file and only the adoptee can see this information so it is effectively "sealed". I'm sure the sheriff routinely opens the files in Scotland too. It's good as it protects all sides of the adoption triangle. There are many excellent intermediaries who worked with NORCAP and now work independently or under the umbrella of SS or After Adoption or whatever. My intermediary was Pam Hodgkins formerly of NORCAP and I have a friend I could ask if you want a recommendation for someone good (she also trained with NORCAP). Such a shame the charity folded as it was so good that it represented all sides of the adoption triangle. To the PP who was rejected: It's very sad when that happens but through NORCAP I do know someone else this happened to who went on to forge a strong relationship with her half sisters who had no idea she existed. Their mother was very uptight and seemed to be ashamed. The good thing about an intermediary is that there can usually be an exchange of information even if anything more is rejected.

WildflowerMarmalade Fri 17-Mar-17 20:05:22

I think that if you want to make contact then finding an experienced intermediary is a good way to do it.

I'd say that just putting something on his file in case he comes looking is too passive. Perhaps that would be the right approach for a birth parent to take, but you are in a very different position. He can make a decision about persuing contact or information on his birth parents as he knows they must have existed. He is not in a position to make that decision about you if (as seems likely) he doesn't know he has a sister. You were kept in the dark about the facts of your own life, you know how important it is to have the truth so that you can make your own decisions.

My experience of adoption reunions is that they can be bumpy and emotionally very tough, so make sure you have support. Good luck.

Italiangreyhound Fri 17-Mar-17 21:08:37

Do you have support in real life OP?


Jessbow Sat 25-Mar-17 07:48:11

Please don't contact the guy on Facebook

Unless I am missing something, If he was adopted his name will have changed- How have you established his new name? Or are you looking in his original name?

Italiangreyhound Sat 25-Mar-17 08:28:19

How is it going OP did you contact after adoption.

Kr1stina Sat 25-Mar-17 09:55:14

I'm also a bit confused. You say that you found out that your BM placed another child for adoption. I'm quite suprised that this was mentioned in your court papers.

I assume that you searched the Birth records for this child, but then you would only find the details for the name he was given at birth. There's no way you could then find his name when he was adopted.

So I can only guess that the person you have traced on FB just co incidentally has the same name as your biological half brother as he can't possibly be the right person. So no, please don't contact this person on FB.

If you do want to search for any of your bio family, please use an intermediary and go through the proper channel. You will get counselling and support - it can be very stressful.

Also can I say that it's extremely unusual to find an adoptee of 26 whose adoption was kept secret. All adopter then were told to tell their child asap. I'm sorry that happened to you, it must have been a shock.

Also most adults nowadays have seen their birth or adoption certificate because they need them to apply for a passport, many jobs, university or college application , a driving licence or police checks for a job or voluntary work.

So your situation is very unusual , because you are one of the tiny minority whose adoption was kept secret AND the tiny minority of your generation who don't have any of the above documents.

And you have found someone on FB with the same details as someone you are looking for , but it's the wrong person.

A lot of unfortunate coincidences for you I'm afraid.

I urge you to seek out some adoption couselling, most people find it very helpful.

Kr1stina Sat 25-Mar-17 10:02:29

Also you might want to think about contacting your BM. Its very likely that she doesn't feel they same at 44 as she did at 18.

You can put your details on Birthlnk and then if she contacts them, they will let you know ( and vice versa).

I have to say that she sounds a very enterprising and resourceful young woman, to have managed to conceal her pregnancy and birth from her parents when she was only 18. Again that's very unusual. As of course was anyone relinquishing a baby in 1991.

Your story sounds a lot more like adoption in the 1950s than adoption in the 1990s . Things changed a lot over that half century .

hooliodancer Sat 25-Mar-17 10:33:21

I have been in your situation, and was also 26 when I found out.

It took me 10 years to pluck up the courage to tell me both mother.

She had not changed her mind about not wanting anything to do with me. In fact her feelings were even stronger. Unfortunately, she went along with being in contact with me because she didn't want her other children to think badly of her. She was very cruel to me ( which I don't blame her for really) and eventually I stopped seeing her because I found it all too painful.

Don't let this stop you from contacting her through an intermediary if you want to. Just be prepared for all eventualities, and only do it when you are feeling strong.

I know my parents lied to me because they loved me. I never told them I knew actually. I suppose I was trying to protect them in some way.

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I had a lot of therapy, and I found it really helpful.

hooliodancer Sat 25-Mar-17 10:34:16

Sorry, that should say contact my birth mother.

Italiangreyhound Sat 25-Mar-17 15:58:44

Our son joined us by adoption. So I have no idea how it feels to be either a birth mum ego lost their child or to be adopted.

However, I have a birth dd and our son by adoption and I feel I would really want to have a chance to know family member lost through adoption.

So if I found out there was a sibling or someone in the wider family who the family did not know because of adoption, I would want the chance to know them.

I guess I am saying that as well as a birth parent you may also find wider family members.

But you really must go through proper official channels or you run the risk of great hurt and confusion to you and to others who may or may not be related to you by birth.

Hooli I am so sorry to hear your story as well as that of the OP.

We do remind out son about his story. He came to us at 3. He knows he did not come from my tummy. But in all other ways is totally our son. Social services now encourage total age appropriate honesty so hopefully fewer and fewer children will ever be unfortunate enough to experience what you did.

I hope you both find peace with your different life stories and despite the circumstances of your birth can feel that who you are is not just who you came from. I hope that makes

OlennasWimple Tue 28-Mar-17 02:20:35

I have a friend who only found out about a half brother when they were both in the their sixties - they both wish that they had known about each other sooner. They aren't best friends, or even really see each other very often, but both are glad that they are in touch now.

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