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Just found out I have two sisters

(9 Posts)
tinks4 Mon 27-Oct-14 14:05:52

The Saturday before last I found out that I have two half sisters. I’m in my 40s. My dad’s sister rang me and we chatted about my Dad who passed away 6 years ago. She spent a lot of time with my Dad, who was a bit of a character, in their teens and twenties and has lots of stories which I love hearing. She mentioned this woman “M” who has the same name as my cousin and I thought my Aunt was talking about her. When she mentioned “M’s” two daughters ”J” and “P” I realised my aunt wasn’t talking about my cousin and asked who “M” was. She said that my Dad went out with her in the 1960s. I mentioned the daughters and my Aunt said that they were my Dad’s! She thought I knew. She went on to tell me that “J” had learning difficulties and that “P” was adopted when she was about six weeks old as “M” couldn’t cope. My Dad and “M” did not live together, but my Dad regularly used to take “M” and “J” up to my grandparents and when my Aunt moved miles away from our home town my Dad took them on holiday to go and see her.

My Dad was seriously ill for many years before he died, probably a couple of years before he died he was in intensive care and we didn’t think he was going to pull through. When he was back in a normal ward, before Mum came in to visit, Dad told me that he had a son “S”. This son was born before my parents were married and my Dad hadn’t had any contact with him. There was also another child from another relationship that my Dad mentioned then and he gave me the impression that there may have been more but he never mentioned “J” and “P” to me. When Dad came out of hospital he showed me a photograph he had of “S” as a grown man with his three children. “S” looked so like my Dad it was untrue. My mum was there when Dad showed me the photo and she got really upset. She was upset that Dad had told me. Apparently they had contact with “S’s” mother in the 1980s and had arranged to meet “S” and my Mum and Dad went to meet him, but “S” never turned up and that seemed to be how it was left. I wanted to ask my Dad a lot more, but because he was extremely sick he needed full time care from my Mum and because my Mum was upset about it I didn’t want to speak to Dad in front of Mum so the conversation never happened. I have done a bit of research and have been to where he was living in the 1980s, but I don’t have enough details to be sure of contacting the right person.

I have a half sister “V” who I have always known about who is also my cousin. My Dad got my Mum’s sister pregnant when they were teenagers and had to get married. They were never remotely suited and split up when “V” was two. “V” very much regards me as her cousin rather than her half sister. I don’t know the timescale but at some point after my Dad and my Aunt split up my Mum and Dad started seeing each other. However, at the time the law would not allow them to get married as my Aunt was still alive. My Mum was someone who would never have “lived in sin” so there was no future in their relationship. My Dad moved away for a while to help my Mum get over him and while he was away it was announced that the law would be changed so that they could get married which they did in the late 1960s.

I have managed to trace the birth records in the indexes of “J” and “P”. My aunt didn’t recall the surname at the time, but I matched up first names which were not that common and found a surname which they both shared and “J’s” middle name was that of her mother’s. It also turns out that “M” was about 16 when “J” was born and my Dad would have been 25. I have found some traces of “J” in electoral registers etc and have located her up to 2008 so far. “M” died in the early 1990s and her husband with whom she had four children died a few months ago. I had assumed that he took on the step father role. However, yesterday I spoke to a friend of “M’s” and “J” was given up for adoption as well. I don’t know if the children from “M’s” marriage know about “J” and “P”.

That’s the complicated, extremely confusing facts out of the way.

I know that my Dad clearly didn’t take his responsibilities seriously and I would appreciate not having too many negative comments about him. My parents were married for over 40 years and were very happy. As far as I am aware my father behaved himself throughout the marriage. I am the only child of the marriage and my Mum has also passed away.

I’m basically really thrown. Not only do I have two sisters that I didn’t know anything about, but it’s painted a different picture of what I knew before my parents were married. I thought my parents were together in some way for most of the 1960s, now it seems he had a lengthy relationship with another woman through a lot of that time, I have no idea if my Mum even knew about it. If she did was he cheating on her or were both relationships a bit on and off.

I don’t know why Dad didn’t tell me when he told me the other stuff. I can only guess that maybe Mum didn’t know or that he was ashamed.

I was also really upset yesterday that “J” was later given up for adoption. She would have been at least five at the time and I keep thinking how abandoned and upset she must have felt at that age to lose contact with her parents. “J” kept her birth name.

It’s been a lot to get my head around and now finding out that “J” was adopted at that age, I just feel so upset for her and I want to try and make it right for her. I can’t ever do that though. I don’t know if I can find her or even if she is still alive now as she had difficulties. I know I won’t be able to trace “P”, but I would like to find “J” if I can, but I’m also a bit apprehensive about what else I might find out.

As anyone else had any similar experiences with finding out about siblings they never knew, or maybe seeing their father a bit differently.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 27-Oct-14 15:34:22

It's not quite the same thing but my DM was contacted by a young man via Facebook not so long ago asking did she know 'Bob' because he thought he was his father. After a bit more communication and some photos which totally did away with the need for DNA tests it turned out that her brother Bob had a few secret families in different towns and sired quite a few extra DCs in the process. Talk about Pandora's Box

There were a few good-natured meet-ups between half-siblings, although Bob himself rather kept his distance. Everyone seemed to be OK about it and have gone back to their regular lives since.

Smilesandpiles Mon 27-Oct-14 15:51:21

I know I have younger siblings but I don't know if they know about me.

Sometimes I think about getting in contact but usually I talk myself out of it. If they have a great family set up and are really close, I don't want to spoil that in any way shape or form for them.
My family is crap so I know what it like to watch a family break apart over issues. I don't want that for them if they have a good relationship with each other. I don't want that for anyone.

kentishgirl Mon 27-Oct-14 16:31:26

How very complicated!

You need to have a look here. You can register yourself as a blood relative. If the adopted children also register themselves, wanting to find out about their birth family, then you will all be put in touch.

https://www.gov.uk/adoption-records/the-adoption-contact-register

It's better to do it this way than go looking for people directly. If they are on the register, then you know they are at least curious about their birth family, and there's no direct contact without interest/consent of both parties. Otherwise you risk stirring up a hornet's nest.

tinks4 Tue 28-Oct-14 13:14:02

It's slightly reassuring in some strange way that my Dad wasn't the only one carrying on like this. Cog if you don't mind me asking have the half-siblings stayed in touch do you know?

I have talked myself out of contacting the couple of possibles that I have for "S" quite a few times. I am not sure of the reaction I would get and you obviously run the risk of stirring up emotions for the other party which they might not want.

Thank you Kentish for the link, that's a very good idea. The last thing I would want to do is upset anyone. I don't know what "J" knows about her family, I don't know if "P" even knows that she is adopted. The half siblings that they have from "M's" marriage may not even know that their Mum had other kids that were adopted and I would hate to distress them.

Thank you.

Adarajames Tue 28-Oct-14 19:57:12

My mum recently found she has half siblings she knew nothing about, her father had a second family after he left hers, and he even gave sons in both families the same name! Families are indeed an odd thing! Thankfully the meeting them went well and they all now have contact

Fuckerysmuckeryboilsnspornery Tue 28-Oct-14 20:09:44

Not quite as dramatic, but when I was 14 I found out dm and df had both been married before. My dsis who I grew up with was my half sister and I had another half sis that I knew nothing about on the other side of the world. Dm being th secretive person she was, packed me off to my planned holiday with my cousins and told not to talk about it. (Ironically, my aunt and uncle could have filled in many gaps) Dsis2 knew nothing about us (her lovely dm told her df was dead, until she intercepted a card on her 21st). Now, we are all very close, even the other sisters who aren't even related. I really hope you can have a happy ending too.

tinks4 Fri 07-Nov-14 13:28:09

Must of been a shock for your mum too Adara, pleased they all get on well.

Fuckery pleased to hear that you and your siblings are all really close. I hope I get a happy ending too! Many thanks.

Cadsuane Fri 07-Nov-14 18:16:24

My DH has found out in the last few years about a younger half brother, an older half brother who was left with grandparents and another half brother who was adopted.
In his case though it was a mother that they all had in common. In fact the second older brother was born after his parents married but wasn't his dads.

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