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Contacting adopted children. Leave it alone?

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  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    mumps wrote: »
    There are two sides and not all adoptive parents would feel misery about this, I can remember seeing a programme where the adoptive mother met the birth mother and she was thanking her for the chance to adopt the child and the birth mother was thanking her for being a wonderful mother to her child. I know an adoptive mother who is quite comfortable with her daughter seeing her birth mother, she seems slightly more concerned about who is the real granny though.:rotfl::rotfl:

    I agree, that's why I said "may".
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Posts: 36,755 Forumite
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    edited 3 December 2015 at 8:41PM
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    mumps wrote: »
    I know your circumstances are a little different but I just wondered how you would feel if you found out now that your adoptive parents hadn't told you that you were adopted and you found out too late to meet your mother? Do you feel they had the right to decide whether or not you should know or do you think it is your right to know?

    I feel it is my right to at least be given the choice of whether to find out about my birth mother/father. Given that choice, I may decide to exercise it or not. As it happens, I personally didn't exercise that choice until I was in my 60s.

    I don't ever remember not knowing I was adopted. It would be awful, as someone else has said, to find people you loved and thought you could trust, had been lying to you for years, or at the very least being economical with the truth.

    I had wonderful adoptive parents who told me what information they had. I found out more for myself later on, in my forties, although I did nothing about it until my sixties. By this time, both my adoptive parents had died, although they would nave understood. I still have my adoptive sister around (their natural daughter)and she understands and is supportive.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
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  • seven-day-weekend
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    It isn't her background - apart from possible medical issues it's irrelevant to her life.

    In many cases adopted people feel incomplete and rootless because they don't know where they came from, however much they love their adoptive parents. It's not irrelevant and should be her choice whether to contact her birth father or not.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    edited 3 December 2015 at 9:34PM
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    In many cases adopted people feel incomplete and rootless because they don't know where they came from, however much they love their adoptive parents. It's not irrelevant and should be her choice whether to contact her birth father or not.

    But adopted people nowadays know, as you did, that they were adopted - this girl isn't adopted and all she knows (probably) is that she has two parents who, presumably, love her and her family is complete.

    I'm not adopted but I can just imagine getting a letter from somebody who says he's my birth father and wondering why the hell would somebody tell me something like that when I'm happy just as I am. I'd think it a very selfish thing to do, I'm afraid. I really don't think you can compare this situation with an adopted person seeking out their birth parents.
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,637 Forumite
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    The only reason for making contact could possibly be to check whether there has been any genetically inherited disease or condition that might have been passed on via yiur husband' bloodline.
    But even in that casem contact should first be made through her mother.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,208 Forumite
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    tea_lover wrote: »
    Why should she? That's a genuine question. I know the standard response is "she has a right to know" but I just don't see how that is automatically a good thing. Loads of people are brought up by people who are not their biological parents. I don't see that the more-recent desire to drag all skeletons out of closets is really doing them any favours.

    She has parents who have brought her up and is part of a supportive family. Why would ripping that apart to provide contact with someone who abandoned her before birth be in her best interests?

    Why assume that learning the truth would rip apart her existing, supportive family? There is not a limit on the number of people you can have relationships with, it's perfectly possible to be part of of more than one family; in fact, if she is part of a supportive and loving family she is probably far better equipped to deal with the unexpected news than if she wasn't.
    Quite apart from which, none of us, nor the OP, can know the details of her relationship with her family. It may be that there are or have been strains or difficult issues and it would help her to be able to put those in context.

    And it is certainly possible that the outcome isn't beneficial, but the bottom line is that that should be her choice. Not her mother's or her step-dad's.

    I also think that using words like 'abandon' I misleading. On the basis of the OP's post the father made a difficult decision not to fight his wife's decision to try to exclude him from the child's life. It may or may not have been the right choice, but on the face of it wasn't his idea, and he did what he did with the hope of providing his child with a stable childhood.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,208 Forumite
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    In many cases adopted people feel incomplete and rootless because they don't know where they came from, however much they love their adoptive parents. It's not irrelevant and should be her choice whether to contact her birth father or not.

    I agree. And it *is* her background. It is half of her genetic and family history. A child who is placed in care at birth and adopted at a very young age will not have a relationship with his biological parents but they are still a part of his background, and that is about so much more than genetics and possible disease.

    That doesn't diminish the role played by her step-dad, many people have three or more parents. My step niece has 5, plus 7 grandparents.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
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    I think abandon is absolutely the right word.
  • GlasweJen
    GlasweJen Posts: 7,451 Forumite
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    For all the OP knows the daughters been through a time where her family has been in poverty and she's been sitting thinking "I wouldn't need to watch my mum scrimp to afford a school uniform if my real dad paid maintenance". I know I had those thoughts in childhood.
  • mai_taylor
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    I do wonder if the biological father came to the conclusion by himself that staying away was the best thing for his daughter or if there was pressure and manipulation from the mother. Her leaving him for another man must have been devastating for him at the time and if there's people telling him it's best for the child if you leave her alone then it's easy to see how someone young and naive could be convinced that this is true. You can't assume that he offered no money for her it's possible that the mother just wanted her easy life with her new man and wanted the biological father out of the way, why do men always get all the blame in these situations? Where's the responsibilty of the mother? It's possible that she's chosen to lie to her daughter all her life and do what's best for herself (running off with another man).
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