Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My Grandmother just announced my Mother is adopted :(

(25 Posts)
scattykatty Sun 28-Jun-09 15:49:11

Yesterday in my kitchen I asked my Grandmother how old she was when she had my Mother. She replied that she wouldn't know as my mother was adopted and my uncle was really her first child. My mother was in the other room, came through at this point and I knew straight away it was true. This has never been mentioned before and I am heartbroken. My Mother is 61 and was adopted from her 'Father' 's sister who wouldn't say who the Father was. I know know my Grandmother whom I adore has no blood link to me at all and I actually have no aunts and uncles or cousins (my Dad was an only child)

I know that it shouldn't make a difference to how I feel about them all, but it does. I feel cheated and lied to, my Mother has know her whole life and has let me think they are my relatives are not. They all know my Grandmother says so I feel they might have been thinking my whole life that they are not really related to me

Bucharest Sun 28-Jun-09 16:07:56

I can't help with how you feel, but the exact same thing happened to me when I was about 15. I was at my beloved paternal gps' house and my gran told me they had adopted my dad when he was a baby. His birth mother was unmarried and went to America apparently.

The fact that it never bothered my Dad, (he knew from being young, and although they knew where his birth mother was, and her details, he never expressed any interest in her, as he said, the people who loved him and brought him up were his parents, not the women who didn't/couldn't keep him) coloured my view of it, and it didn't bother me at all.

I'm sorry you feel lied to, but I think you need to try and not see it like that.

They are not your blood relatives, but hey, what's dna but a quirk of biology. They are people you have grown up with and loved. That doesn't need to change because you aren't blood relatives.

GrapefruitMoon Sun 28-Jun-09 16:23:26

I appreciate this has come as a shock to you and it may take some time to get a bit of perspective...

But if the people you have up to now thought of as your close relatives are close to you and you love them, the fact that the blood relationship is not what you thought is not really relevant. I have aunts that I am not at all close to, due to hardly ever seeing them, whereas I have second cousins that I feel much closer to and spend more time with...

I'm sure your mother thinks of them as the relatives they are known to you as iyswim...

SolidGoldBrass Sun 28-Jun-09 16:23:35

Sorry you have had such a shock. Honestly, though, it's love and family history that makes family, not just genetics.

I am going to take this as a due warning to start introducing DS to the concept of adoption (as I was adopted) so he grows up comfy with the idea.

muggglewump Sun 28-Jun-09 16:33:35

I was also adopted, I actually have a really complicated family as the man that adopted me (with my Mum) then died when I was 9, though my Mum had remarried before then.

DD does know, but not the details, mainly because I don't know either.
I still have no idea what was wrong with my adoptive Dad (who is my brother's biological Dad).

Really though, what matters most is who you were brought up with, who you knew as family, who was there for you.
Genetics mean a lot less.

tribpot Sun 28-Jun-09 16:36:55

They are still your relatives. You are still related to them. Hopefully once the shock of finding out so unexpectedly has worn off you'll be able to see that.

And in actual fact, don't you still have a blood connection? Your grandfather's sister was the birth mother, meaning his adopted his niece?

muggglewump Sun 28-Jun-09 16:38:34

By wrong I mean illness. I think it was something like Huntingdons, but I don't actually know for sure.
My family did a bizarre cover up. (thread for another time)

Still though, as an adult, my Dad (stepdad) is my Dad, and my Mum's (adoptive, now dead), family are mine, and DD's.

Sotty for your sahock though. It's why I've

muggglewump Sun 28-Jun-09 16:40:37

Cut off before I was finished.

It's why I've brought DD up knowing the truth, so I don't have to sit her down and tell her.

I would love to know the whole truth but I can't bring myself to ask.

scattykatty Sun 28-Jun-09 17:02:04

Yes he did adopt his niece, but he dies before I was born. What really hurts is that it is my Grandmother that I adore and I am not related to her. I wish I had been told ealier so I could have grown up knowing rather than suddenly have it blurted out. My sister still doesn't know, but I have told my Mother she must tell her as it's not fair for me to know and not her.

I'm really not close to my mother and I am upset that she told mw stright afterwards that she had 'just' found out too but then my Grandmother said she had known all along. he also said she had never told anyone but I asked my Dad(they are divorced) and he said he knew but didn't feel it was his place to say. But then again this is the same women who told my sister and I that I Father didn't want us and had asked for us to be aborted only for us to find out 2 years ago that he had spent years and hundreds of thousands of £'s fighting to see us but that my Mother wouldn't let him as she was angry that he had left her.

I'm so sick of being lied to by her, she is a fantasist and makes things up to keep control of people. It was hard enough trying to forgive her for saying that my Father didn't want me and stopping me seeing him but now I have to accept that she didn't tell me the truth about this and then tried to lie again to cover it up. Why can't there be any honesty!!!!!

scattykatty Sun 28-Jun-09 17:07:33

PS, sorry about the hideous typing, I'm just a bit stressed about the whole thing and taking it out on the poor keyboard

Chopchopmissy Sun 28-Jun-09 17:07:44

But surely they are all your family still (just not as genetically close) because your mum was adopted from her "fathers Sister" which means there is a blood line on your grandfathers side. Your grandmother was obviously just a lovely lady/wife and took your mother on and loved her as her own, just as she sees you as her granddaughter. Which of course you are even if its not by blood. My close family has an adopted child within it and I would be horrified if she ever though that we felt we were not related to her. I am sure this is not how people feel.

I do hope you can get your head round this soon and get on with loving and being loved by your family.

scattykatty Sun 28-Jun-09 17:11:34

My Mother said that my GM treated her differently and didn't love her the same which makes me wonder how she feels about my sis and I.

My GM said she took my Mother on as she thought she couldn't have children but then 2 months later got pregnant with my Uncle. So I wonder if maybe she didn't regret taking her in. My Mother is obsessed with her deceased Father but hates my GM and blaims her for everything, yet from the story I was told it seemed it was my GM who wanted her and not her husband even though it was his niece.

lisad123 Sun 28-Jun-09 17:15:11

thats got to be hard, and your feelings are normal. We havent told dds that dh is adopted yet but its not a huge sercret either but dh didnt know till he was 23years old. I have a terrible relationship with my grandparents but have a wonderful relationship with my mums friend (older) who we all call nan, she has always been like a nan than my rl one.
Just rememeber none of this was kept from you to hurt you and its likely that they didnt see the issue as they are family. Blood is only that, a product of the body, family is being there when they are needed and even moe when you dont
hth

frumpygrumpy Sun 28-Jun-09 17:20:37

Its similar to my family. My mum is adopted (within the family, complicated) and I am very very fond of my non-biological gran. It was a shock but when that subsided, I realised NOTHING had changed. Lots of other stuff made sense but nothing had changed.

Its hard when you think it all through, but it is history and I just tried to remind myself of what happens in the today and in the now.

Let yourself feel cheated and lied to (not the best way of telling you!! Thanks gran!). And expect to feel a bit shit for a while. It will subside though and you will get peace with it.

scattykatty Sun 28-Jun-09 19:50:24

Thanks for that Frumpy, I feel really hurt at the moment but my feelings towards my GM haven't changed.

It's maybe just that it came out the blue, she said it to my husband and myself as if she was saying the other day she went for a little walk! When I asked her why now she said 'well it's never come up before' as if I really should have asked 'So, out of your 3 children how many are actually yours?' aged 7!

tribpot Sun 28-Jun-09 20:03:50

Okay so really the problem is with your mum and would be regardless of this detail. Please don't let it detonate your relationship with your grandmother, that sounds good and to be encouraged regardless of the genetics.

PixiNanny Sun 28-Jun-09 20:55:30

I know exactly how you feel. I needed to get my passport renewed in May and discovered that my grandad isn't actually my Mum's Dad, he adopted her. How did I find this out? Mum gave me her adoption cert as proof of her UK birth rights They never told me before then! At first I didn't feel comfortable with it, had a brief chat with Mum about it and she says she doesn't care about her actual father at all, doesn't remember him and doesn't want too. But for me it's just more relatives who I'll never meet (my Dad's sister refuses to come to England and I know nothing of her family and children).

BUT, you need to get over it, she's still your gran and it's caring that matters. I still love my Grandad, he's the one who had a hand in raising me, not this random stranger who conceived my Mum.

edam Sun 28-Jun-09 21:03:33

Must be a terrible shock - don't make any decisions about not speaking to anyone/having a row with anyone while you are still so raw.

There are an awful lot of families with secrets. A genetic research project, mapping genes to show distribution of (IIRC) Viking descendants in the UK once accidentally discovered that something ludicrous like 1/6 men were not actually the genetic fathers of their supposed children.

My mother didn't discover she was adopted until she was in her mid-40s - lost her birth certificate and had to send off for a new one, got a letter back to say, you don't exist, try the register of adoptions... Awful shock and, as both her parents had been dead for 20 years, there was no-one left who could explain what had happened.

scattykatty Mon 29-Jun-09 10:24:13

Wow edam that's pretty bad! I guess a part of me is jealous that my 'cousins' are all still her real Grandchildren while my sis and I are not. My real GM is dead so I almost feels like I've lost 2 GM at once I just wish I'd known as a child so it wouldn't have become such a big deal. I think the shock is still the worst thing, it keeps coming to me in waves, suddenly I remeber that nothing will ever feel the same as before.

edam Mon 29-Jun-09 10:36:31

Bags of sympathy - it'll take time to get used to your whole world being turned on its head. And I don't think feeling a bit jealous of your cousins is anything to be embarrassed about, I think it's entirely normal human response.

My situation was different to yours, in that my maternal grandparents had been dead for years. Less tricky than your position, I think. But even so, it was still hard to grasp that all the family stories that were so important to my mother and that she had passed on to us were actually based on a lie. My poor mother felt all her precious memories of her parents were tainted, if you know what I mean.

Eventually you come round to some sort of acceptance - in our case, that her parents loved her just as much as she/we had always thought, that in those days people didn't talk about these things because there was a stigma about adoption (as many adopted children were illegitimate) even that my mother was lucky compared to all the other unwanted babies born after WW2, who weren't adopted by loving parents.

Hope that sort of process is helpful/happens for you. And that one day this will be a sad story with a happy ending, rather than something incredibly painful.

Your Gran IS still your Gran, even if the genetics aren't there. She chose to be your Gran, she cares for you just as much as if there was a biological link, like everyone has said.

GrapefruitMoon Mon 29-Jun-09 11:22:27

I remember you posting about your mum before Edam - did she ever get any further tracing her biological family?

I heard recently that a friend's dh only found out he was adopted the night before his wedding when he was looking for his birth cert for some reason....

edam Mon 29-Jun-09 19:06:53

Blimey, Grapefruit, a shock like that must have made all the fuss about seating plans etc. seem a bit less important!

No, didn't get any further - Maureen Cecilia Murphy seems to have vanished. We did employ a private detective who is famous for tracing birth relatives but no joy. She found a possible mother who was deceased but the relatives said no and my mother thought the facts didn't fit.

The lady would be at least 84 so very possibly dead. And there are no records as it was a private adoption and the county records office burned down in the 60s. Feels like we are fated never to know.

edam Mon 29-Jun-09 19:08:07

(Oh, and there is no birth certificate in this country, which lends colour to the idea that with a name like that she must have been Irish, but searching for a Murphy in Ireland would be needles/haystack time!)

scattykatty Tue 30-Jun-09 17:33:54

Ok I feel like someone has died and I'm going through stages... I'm now in anger/rage. Can't stop thinking how my Mother let me go for tons of extra check up as my supposed GM had breast cancer and the doctor thought I would have a much higher risk. Also she let me think I was a 1/4 French!!!!!!!!!

When will I move into denial, I think I'd like it there

Heifer Tue 30-Jun-09 18:10:24

Maybe your mum didn't think of herself as being adopted. It may not of even crossed her mind to tell you that.

I am adopted, and tbh if DD hadn't asked me when she was 4 about my birth and nanna, I am not sure when/if I would have told her. as it isn't something I ever think about. As far as I am concerned, my mum and dad were just that, I saw them as my real mum and dad, and brothers the same. Therefore I saw them as DD real nanna, grandpa and uncles etc.

Often I wish my DD didn't know as she askes questions that I hate having to answer. I hate her saying who are your real mum and dad (ie birth parents etc).

I guess I never realised that it may affect her in some way, and after reading your post, guess maybe it will more as she gets older. I see it as my issue I guess, and if I can accept my parents as being my real parents in my eyes then I want her to also - which is obviously unfair. Crikey this has opened a can of worms in my head, what happens if DD wants to know more about her birth grandparents etc!!! I don't want to know myself, but guess it just doesn't affect me afterall...

I am sorry you are feeling this way - but please don't be too hard on your mum, she really may have not thought to tell you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now