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Difficult situation re ds and exdp - adoption issues

(8 Posts)
GeordieinExile Tue 23-Oct-12 09:07:10

I'm a regular but have name-changed for this one.

My ex was adopted but had a lot of issues around this. After our first son was born he got in contact with his birth mother very abruptly and out of the blue, but she only wanted to exchange letters/phone calls whereas he wanted a full-on relationship and it all got a bit messy. He behaved very badly and she ended up warning him off and to stay away from her family.

We don't have any contact with ex due to his violent and unstable behaviour. He has been gone over two years now with no contact with the children. My elder son has just started secondary school and has recently become curious about his father's birth family. He wants to make contact with them but I'm not at all sure about this or how to deal with it. I do have an address for ex's birth mother and I know that she knows about my sons, but what should we do here? Would it be worth sending a card to establish contact and see what happens? Or would it be worse for ds if, as I suspect, she doesn't really want to know?

I am in an absolute quandary here about what to do and would appreciate any advice at all. Thanks.

WaitingForMe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:14:19

I think you could send a short letter and not tell your son until you see how it's received. If it's positive then you can cautiously proceed, if it's negative you'll have to side step the issue until your son really pushes and then you'll have to be honest and say his grandmother is a sad and confused lady not ready for all of her family in her life (or words to that effect which make it clear it's her and not your son with the problem).

GooseyLoosey Tue 23-Oct-12 09:22:00

I agree to make an approach in writing and make it clear that you are not looking for a relationship, your son simply wants some information about his father's family.

I would also make it clear that you are not in contact with your ex and this approach has nothing to do with him and you will not be passing on any details to him.

I also agree not to say anything to your son until you know how she wants to proceed.

Intrested to see that your son is around 11. My dh is adopted and I have wondered, when if ever, my children might begin to be curious about their biological antecedents. Dh has never wanted to meet his birth mother so it will be difficult if they do become curious.

GeordieinExile Tue 23-Oct-12 12:28:53

Thanks for this - I'll think seriously about sending a short letter and seeing what the outcome is.

Problem is, I think my son does actually want a relationship with these people. We still see ex's family, just not ex, so he has contact with his grandmother and uncle/aunt/cousins on that side, but recently he's said these aren't his "real" relatives. I've had a talk with him about this but he is really set on finding his "blood family" (his words not mine). I've told him that this might not be possible which upset him. I'm not sure what's motivated this as it seems to have come rather out of the blue.

Does anyone know, is it only adopted children themselves who can get help/mediation from social services or whoever about finding their birth families, or does this apply to other people affected by the adoption eg my son?

Thanks again for your advice.

Acinonyx Tue 23-Oct-12 13:47:22

I used to work with AAA-norcap (adults affected by adoption) and I think your son could talk to a counsellor and/or intermediary through them.

Give them a call (lines can get busy though) or email them.

monsterchild Tue 23-Oct-12 13:54:02

Even if he wants a relationship, he isn't the only person deciding this. the birth family has the right to not have a relationship with him.

I suggest you write her, and see if she is interested in any contact. I would just say that your son is curious and would like to know more. If she wants to open the door, all well and good, but give her that option. They can determine the extent of their contact.

And explain to him that he may not get what he wants, and that it isn't really his decision, as with all relationships.

It's natural for kids to feel this way, its part of the exploration we all go through.

ImperialBlether Tue 23-Oct-12 13:57:27

Personally I think it's very unfair if your children have a relationship with your ex's birth family when they won't have one with your ex.

I'm also unhappy about your child using the expression 'blood family' when he's known his grandparents all his life. It seems very disrespectful to me.

GeordieinExile Tue 23-Oct-12 15:33:03

Thanks all for the good advice, given me plenty to think about.

Imperial, though, how is it unfair? My sons don't see their father because he beat them up and destroyed their self-esteem to the point of them being suicidal. This is not some whim but has been done for their protection and with the full sanction of the court system. Why does that mean he/they shouldn't be in contact with other parts of the family? They still see ex's family who they think of as their grandparents/uncle/cousins etc. Why should ex's crappy behaviour deprive them of even more than it has already ie an extended family? Can't see your logic here at all.

Yes, I agree that "blood family" isn't the best terminology, but that is what he said and how he thinks of it. I've spoken to him about this and he does still see ex's family as his family as well. It's complicated, for him as well as for me.

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