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to attempt to get in contact with..well..my brother?

(13 Posts)
ohhhadishwasher Sun 09-Oct-11 16:01:29

I'm a only child but found out about 2 yrs ago that my DMum had a DS when she was 17 and gave him up for adoption.

That took a while to sink in and have just had 2nd DC so it has got me thinking about him - my brother again.

DMum is in process of moving so was going though her stuff and came across a letter from ACR. Turns out she is registered but chose no contact, but he obviously chose contact (if that is the case you get a letter informing you about the other) I asked her about it and she - in the way she does - brushed it off and said that she did it on a whim and doesn't want to get in contact with him so chose no contact. Then she looked at me and said that she doesn't want me to get in contact with him either (she knows me too well on that score)

But I have been thinking about it. He obviously chose contact for his own reasons and he must have felt terrible that someone went out of way to say no contact.
Now we have DC2 my interest has peaked and even printed off my own ACR form to fill out.

DH says it is my decision.
but I don't really want to upset my Dmum by doing it behind her back or in secret. Yet I am intrigued.

AIBU to attempt to get in contact when DMum has specifically asked me not to?

ElsieMc Sun 09-Oct-11 16:06:46

This is a difficult one with so many different emotions involved. I was given up for adoption, traced my mother, but received a phone call from someone in her family saying that she didn't want to know and that I wasn't to contact my two siblings because she didn't want them upset or to feel ashamed of her. Not a lot you can say to that really.

As the adopted-out child, I would have liked to have had some form of contact with my brother and sister and your brother may well feel the same. Is it really your mother's decision to deny you and him this contact? You could also be very disappointed. You need to weigh up your options.

squeakytoy Sun 09-Oct-11 16:09:00

I am adopted. I have two half brothers somewhere older than me, and I would love to be able to find them, so I understand how you must feel.

I do also see your mums side of it though, and I think you really have to respect her wishes. Is your dad still alive and with your mum? Could this cause problems for them?

I would talk more to your mum first perhaps and find out all you can before making any decisions.

ohhhadishwasher Sun 09-Oct-11 16:11:44

squeaky I haven't seen my Dad since I was 20 (so about 12 years ago) and I have no idea if he knew or anything.

nodrog Sun 09-Oct-11 16:20:38

What about a different approach and instead of physical contact you could send a letter with information about you (obv you would have to respect your mothers wishes and not put anything in it about her) and maybe also you could speak to your mother again and see why she is so adamant about no contact. What ever you do be careful because someone could get hurt.

ZillionChocolate Sun 09-Oct-11 16:45:26

I think your mother is being unreasonable in saying that you should not try and get in contact with him. You should respect her wishes to the extent that you don't get her involved, but nothing beyond that I don't think. I would tell her that you plan to do it anyway, and say that you won't tell her anything further unless she asks.

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDawn Sun 09-Oct-11 17:09:29

Just be prepared for your mum to never forgive you when she finds out. Just suppose this brother was put up for adoption because he was a product of rape? Whatever the reasons, it would have been a very traumatic experience for your mum and you are being a bit selfish to ignore her wishes, when you really cannot possibly know how she feels inside, or what she may have gone through, just because you want to know this man.
It's understandable that you are curious and want to know more, but your mum has asked you not to. You just need to think through - could you live with it if your mum decided to never speak to you again over this, and didn't?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Oct-11 17:13:48

If you go behind her back you'd be risking the trust of your mother, the woman that has brought you up single handed what sounds like your whole life, solely in order to satisfy your curiosity about a total stranger. If it's important to you, you need her consent.

reelingintheyears Sun 09-Oct-11 18:09:07

Don't go behind her back...it's her past life,not yours.

philosophyphily Mon 10-Oct-11 11:56:13

If you contact Norcap and talk to them you would be likely to speak with people who deal with these types of issues regularly.

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all although your mother has probably spent the intervening years not expecting contact as the old ethos was very much that adoption was a permanent position and you were best forgetting and getting on with your life. Many mothers kept it secret, I suppose yours must have to some extent with you finding out so late, and have lived in fear of them being found out.

I think you probably have to approach the two issues a bit separately with your first deciding whether contact is important to you. Norcap could help with this as could some other adoption charities. There are so many different narratives so contacts which have gone brilliantly or badly but the trend is that they are intense and demanding at first and eventually normalise/fade away/become part of your family as appropriate.

I am an adopted only child who was contacted by a 'sister' and actually it went well for us, we would consider ourselves family though we are not in as much contact as we were, partly that is circumstantial as we are both at busy phases of life but also I think it is often how it works out. I didn't meet her mother who had already died but I don't think she would have welcomed contact although it went on to mean a lot to her parents and siblings. Part of me thinks it is very healthy when it all comes out in the open and it allowed healing for lots of people involved not least my 'gran' and my parents.

I am also a birth parent and placed a child for adoption when I was younger and whilst that was a long time ago probably no where near as long ago as your mother and yet even then the tone was that it was very final. The legal changes that give more people rights to search, the open adoption changes, the media changes that have all impacted on contact were unimaginable then. Luckily I didn't do this under the same social pressures that your mum did and it was never a secret for me. My children have grown up knowing about their 'sibling' and knowing that they all have a right to feelings and actions that may be different to mine.

Would your mum be open to more discussions? It has probably been her thing for so long that she has problems imagining that it is your thing too. I don't really think you can sign up on a whim as such, more honestly she took decisive action to ensure contact was made less likely and she must have had strong motivation for doing so.

I really hope it works out for you all.

RedRubyBlue Mon 10-Oct-11 12:01:28

I am in an identical situation with my mum and I have left it. She wants no contact and I respect her wishes.

My Dad died recently and he knew all about her firstborn son and was more than happy for her to contact him but for some reason or another she doesn't want this so I shall take it no further.

kiki22 Mon 10-Oct-11 12:07:09

i think if your brother wants contact and so do you you should go for it. Maybe once you have contact your mum will want some quite often the reason that the parent does not want contact is because they are scared to face the child they gave up and have to answer the hard questions about why. Imagin having to look at a child you didn't know and say i gave you away it must be scary!

RedRubyBlue Mon 10-Oct-11 12:10:12

Be very careful OP unless you know the circumstances of your DB's conception. Was your Mum a willing partner sad for one? It could open up a huge can of worms for her.

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