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The child I gave up 16 years ago wants to meet me

(98 Posts)
newname321 Sun 28-Sep-08 20:31:24

I had a baby when I was 14. I never even considered keeping the baby and wanted him to go to a "proper" family rather than stay with a single teenage mum.

I was in the USA and my parents organised a private adoption. My mother knew the couple through work and assured me they were great. At the time I wrote the baby a letter about why I could not keep him and it was agreed I would get photos and updates once a year. It was also agreed my identity would not be revealed until he was 18.

The photos and updates have been lovely and have assured me that I made the right decision. I have never wanted more contact or regretted anything.

He is now 16 and I have just heard that he knows my identity and wants to get in contact. I am feeling very guilty because I don't want contact. I know his life is happy, I know my life is happy. I can only see heartache for both of us if we try and change how things are.

Am I terrible for feeling this way? Is it cruel to simply write to him and explain I have always wanted the best for him and wish him nothing but happiness but I know that happiness will not come through us meeting?

FairLadyRantALot Sun 28-Sep-08 20:35:30

I think, but have no personal experience, that finding out about your roots is very important, especially for children that grew up without their biological roots....so, I think you should let your child contact you...tbh...in a way you owe your child that much...
but just my opinion...

sandyballs Sun 28-Sep-08 20:36:28

Difficult one. I'm adopted and would feel devastated to get a reply like that if I chose to find my birth mother. It would feel like being rejected again.

Why are you so against meeting him? Does your present partner/children know about him?

NorbertDentressangle Sun 28-Sep-08 20:43:50

Personally if I were in your shoes I think I would regret it if I never met him. I also would worry about how he would feel to hear that his birth mother doesn't want to meet him. (but of course that is how I think I would feel....only you know what you want)

Could you maybe communicate by letter for a while and see how things develop?

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 28-Sep-08 20:44:59

Do you think meeting him would unsettle you and bring regrets? Does your family know?

KristinaM Sun 28-Sep-08 20:46:11

I'm so pleased to hear that things have worked out so well for both you and your bio son. i can understand why you are reluctant to meet him and upset teh apple cart. i dont think you shoudl feel guilty for not wanting to meet him now. Nor do i think you shoudl feel bad about placing him for adoption - you were only a child yourself and not in any position to question what your family arranged.

however i do feel that it woudl be cruel to refuse to have any contact now. i really do agree that you own him at least soem information about teh circumstances of his birth and his family backgroud.

Are you living in teh Uk now? If so i strongly suggest that you get in touch with NORCAP or a similar agency and seek soem counselling and perhaps use an intermediary to help you though this process. It wont be easy but i think you will always regret it if you refuse to have anything to do with him

bythepowerofgreyskull Sun 28-Sep-08 20:48:35

I totally understand what you mean.
Is there a way that you could arrange to meet his Family - therefore totally acknowledging the adoptive parents as his parents.

I personally feel that you should have direct contact with him. good luck!

mamadiva Sun 28-Sep-08 20:48:45

I have no experience of this but I can see where your coming from on this it just makes sense to me. If it was me I think I'd want to meet him just to give him the answers he needs and see how it goes from there.

It must be so daunting for you both but please make sure the decision you make is based on your feelings no on else's eg family etc only you can know for sure.

As for are you terrible to think the way you are no you are not. You done what you felt was right at the time and that's what your trying to do again but just consider it there isn't really a wrong answer to this is there? It depends on your individual circumstances.

Good Luck with this.

WendyWeber Sun 28-Sep-08 20:50:20

Why do you only see heartache, newname? sad

You don't know why he wants to meet you, he may well also be happy with how things are, just wants to find out who you are, has no wish to change things - I suppose you could just say you'd still rather wait until he is 18, but now the cat is out of the bag I agree with other posters that if you refuse to meet him now it will be very hurtful for him...

newname321 Sun 28-Sep-08 20:51:32

DH knows but he is the only person in my life who does know. My parents have since died and after the pregnancy I changed school and never told anyone, or at least nobody I have kept in touch with.

I am not sure why I am so against meeting him but it is a very strong gut feeling. Its strength is a shock to me. I knew I did not long to meet him but I never knew I would be so horrified by the thought.

After the pregnancy I threw myself into school, then university and then my career. I made myself into a totally differnt person and hardly thought about what happened. Even when I got pregnant I never compared it to my previous experience. When I first held my DC I never compared them.

For me, and for him, I had to move on and that is what I have done. He does have lots of information about the circumstances of his birth because they were in the letter I wrote at his birth.

I don't understand why his parents have told him about me two years ahead of when we agreed. I really do not want to hurt him or add to any feelings of rejection but I just do not feel right about this. I can cope with the idea of letters but anything more seems impossible: e-mails, calls, meeting.

WendyWeber Sun 28-Sep-08 20:54:46

Who have you heard from now, & what did they say exactly? Is communicating by letter/email an option for the time being?

FairLadyRantALot Sun 28-Sep-08 20:56:08

hm...I think it might actually be healthy for you, because by the sounds of it you never gave yourself time for emotions and you worked hard to avoud them....

WendyWeber Sun 28-Sep-08 20:56:56

Oh sorry, not email, just by letter.

As for why they've told him early, I have a 15-year-old & he can be incredibly persistent about getting what he wants; probably this boy is the same & drove them into the ground hmm so I wouldn't be angry with them I don't think...

Grammaticus Sun 28-Sep-08 20:59:39

I don't know, newname. I've no experience of adoption, so all I can see is that he is the child here and you are the adult and therefore you should put his needs first and not yours. And I'm not sure that is helpful to you.

mrsruffallo Sun 28-Sep-08 21:02:33

I think it would be unfair not to meeet him

Kewclotter Sun 28-Sep-08 21:06:55

his parents have told him becasue they feel it is best for him. Anythign they agreed with you 16 years ago is way outranked now in their minds by the needs of their son.

Obviously you don;t have to meet him. No-one can make you. But he had no choice about what happened to him - you and his parents did and you took those choices for him as best you all could at the time. Perhaps he feels its time for him to have a few choices now/

He may not want anthing form you other than to satisfy a curiousity, to see the flesh and blood that created him. If you cannot deal with that then sadly he will have to deal with that. However at the very least I would consider odering whatever you can to start with - emial contact letter contact phone contact etc and take things very slowly. You may in fact find that he "needs" very litle from you other than to look you in the eye and know who you are.

Are you grounded enough to be able to offer that? I suspect you won't know until you try.

noonki Sun 28-Sep-08 21:07:35

My good friend was refused to see his adopted Mum and it really hurt it badly,

it may be hard for you but how about suggesting you take things slowly letters and the like first and then see how it goes,

a big no may really hurt him and you may regret it and find it hard to go back on

don't be angry at his parents, he could have found out any manner of ways and it may have meant so much to him that he got it out of him

newname321 Sun 28-Sep-08 21:08:14

I got an e-mail from his Dad who has always had my contact details for the photos and updates. He simply said that his son had asked to be told about me so they had obliged. He son read my letter and was happy to have it but would like to "get to know me a little". The adoptive parents are happy for this to happen but will not give my contact details without my permission.

I know it sounds bad but I really, really do not what to get to know him a little. I know he is happy, successful, popular and healthy. That is all I ever wanted for him. I doubt I could give him the reaction he would need if we were to meet and might that not hurt him more than limiting contact to a long and friendly letter?

Yes I am the adult here. But I was the child. I was younger than he is now when I had him. (I know that is an immature point, and probably irrelevent, but it what I feel).

HonoriaGlossop Sun 28-Sep-08 21:08:29

I wonder if the strength of your feeling against meeting is a symptom of how much you have buried the experience?

i think letters sound a really good idea.

Of course it's a huge shock to you to be asked for contact now and there's no reason you should feel ready. However to be rejected for him would be damaging I would think. I think it would be a great compromise to suggest getting to know each other well by letter first; if you do go on to meet i'm sure the meeting will be all the easier for having gone this way first.

Kewclotter Sun 28-Sep-08 21:09:54

what reaction do you assume he needs? By the sounds of it he has very sensible and caring parents- I doubt in his case (supposition of course) that he is looking for another mother.

FairLadyRantALot Sun 28-Sep-08 21:13:27

erm, soory newname, but your last post annoyed me...this is not about you it is about the child you created...sorryt you owe that child that much...what are you so scared off?

newname321 Sun 28-Sep-08 21:14:15

You post is very helpful Kew (as are all the others). I am going to have to do this aren't I? I am going to have to do it because I do not want to have any guilt about this situation. I have had none before because I know I did what was best for him: I continued with the pregnancy, I found him a family who could give him everything, I wrote him a letter to take through like, I monitored his life through yearly updates... I need to protect the knowledge that I have done my very best.

It just all seems so unfair. For both of us.

WendyWeber Sun 28-Sep-08 21:16:13

I think it would be fair and reasonable for you to write to him at this point that you have been taken by surprise, you were not expecting this to happen until he was 18, & you are really not ready to deal with it now so please give you some time to come to terms with it.

You must be feeling right now exactly like the 14-year-old who gave the baby up - younger than he is now, as you say. So asking for some breathing space is fine.

Just please don't say a flat no!

noonki Sun 28-Sep-08 21:17:19

I don't mean to sound harsh but it sounds like you haven't got over giving him away

DO you feel like you have buried it all and were hoping that it would just stay in the past?

newname321 Sun 28-Sep-08 21:18:28

FairLady - I think your last post was a bit harsh. I am trying my best.

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