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Birth parents never told me I had a full sister for 20 years

(7 Posts)
Dualta Sat 15-Feb-20 09:09:56

Hi all
I'm not even sure what I am looking for in terms of advice. I have just discovered what feels to me like the most awful betrayal of trust. I'm adopted and had successfully traced and reunited with my birth parents and have been in contact with each of them separately for many years (20 years and 12 years respectively) I was recently contacted on a dna website by a full sister that I knew nothing about she equally although she knew she was adopted never knew that she had a sister adopted before her. We quickly established that we shared birth parents and that they had kept her a secret. In addition to this she tried to contact our birth mother 10 yes ago but was told she wasn't ready for contact - despite the fact that I was already in touch regularly with birth mother.
We are now in our forties and I feel we have been denied the opportunity of connecting and getting to know each other for all these years. I am so angry. I naively thought the secrecy had been tackled and that having met my half siblings on both sides there was a degree of trust. I am astonished and delighted to have a sister and have been open and positive with her sharing photos and have an immediate connection with her. I feel pretective towards her and I can't understand why she was pushed away when I was being included in the family. I can't forgive it or the denial to us of the knowledge of each other as adults we could have connected and have missed the last 10 years of knowing each other which could have been facilitated once she made contact with our birth mother. I have told my birth mother of my distress at how she withheld this information she seems to not take any of this on board. Secrecy and witholding and control have been significant issues with her always and now I feel at a loss as to know what to do. I am going to have a relationship with my sister on our terms and separately to the birth parents (I have a good relationship with my birth father but he also witheld this information which I just can't comprehend.)
I feel like just telling them both to go away!
Has anybody experienced this? What did you do? How did you deal with it?
I'm focussing on the positives and to try and give my sister a positive start in her contact journey with them but i am so so angry.

OP’s posts: |
chocolatebrioche Sat 15-Feb-20 11:13:14

I’m sorry to read this. I’m a more recent adoptive parent, and these days it’s realised that openness and honesty is the best way to be with our children. I’m so sorry this wasn’t your experience.

I don’t have any advice or experience to offer, but I know there are some great organisations like PAC UK who offer specialist advice and support. I hope you can find the help you need at this time.

Ted27 Sat 15-Feb-20 11:48:11

I think that birth parents have very complicated emotions and to lose a child to adoption means there was something very wrong. Maybe they are ashamed that having lost one child, they went on to have another who was removed? Only they can answer that question as to why separately they decided not to tell you.
My son's birth dad had another child two years ago that he does not see. , We have direct contact with him. He has never mentioned this child to me or my son. Neither did his aunt who we saw last year. I know because social services told me, and I told my son. But from dad nothing.
You are allowed to feel angry, sad, whatever emotion it is that you feel. Its a huge thing in your life. You sound very positive, sensible and senstive towards your sister's relationship with you and your birth parents. focus on that.
You can't force them to talk to you about it or to give you an explanation. And you can't change what has happened. All you can do is try and come to terms with the situation as it now is, maybe some specialist counselling would help.
Good luck

OVienna Sat 15-Feb-20 12:25:22

Hi OP
Are you on FB? There are many adoptee groups there where there are people with very similar stories to tell. (I am an adoptee.) I suspect you will feel less alone - if that makes sense- and also get some useful insight.

PM me if you'd like some suggestions.

I agree the embarrassment factor may be profound and also that they didn't know quite what to say? And maybe the longer they left it they harder it became.

I am so sorry and hope you and your dear sister can enjoy your developing relationship,
thanks

bombaychef Sat 15-Feb-20 23:20:10

I'm an adoptee and made contact with birth mother and 1/2 siblings. But it's limited. She's like me. My younger siblings are like me. My adopted family aren't. But she's never given me any info about my father and the adoption agency told me she never declared who it was / said unknown. She denying me part of my understanding of who I am.
I really struggle with that.
Our lives are complicated and I now focus on just what I can control

Dualta Sun 16-Feb-20 10:17:44

Thank you so much everyone for your answers they are so thoughtful and considered and I really appreciate the advice. It's such a hard mix of having to accept things that can't be changed but also I so think we should fight for acknowledgement and honesty. I mean why have relationships otherwise? It's hard I guess some talking would help. Calming down now a week in. will have to see how it goes.

OP’s posts: |
WalkingOutOfFlabbiness Sun 16-Feb-20 16:13:35

That must feel shocking - how great that you have not lost this opportunity to connect. I was adopted around the same time as you and my bm was someone who never revealed my bf identity or even told her daughter that I existed.

She was controlling and damaged whether adoption issues caused or contributed to that damage I don’t know but they can’t have helped. She had two children who she wanted to place for adoption ... I don’t think she would have told anyone later if she could have helped it. Such a difficult time to have those experiences - society has changed so much .

Hopefully you and your birth sister can have a type of relationship that your birth parents aren’t able to have themselves. They have probably done the best with what they can even if some of those choices feel unfathomable. I think we often bring much less baggage and underestimate the echoes of shame, guilt and denial that keep ripping through their lives.

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