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Contacting adopted children. Leave it alone?

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  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    Poppie68 wrote: »
    In regards to birth certificates, myself, husband, 3 children and grandchild all have full birth certificates, all original, never knew short ones exsisted?

    The short ones were free and some parents chose just to have that one rather than paying for the full entry in the register.

    As the short one doesn't list the parents' names, it was also used by the mothers of illegitimate children because it was less embarrassing than seeing the line through the father's name.
  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Any child born to a married women is presumed to be the child of her husband but, as both the mother and her husband knew that wasn't true, of course it would have been a lie to name him as the father.

    I think, legally, if they married, she would have been 'a child of the marriage', which isn't the same as lying.
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  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    It hardly warrants being called a secret, does it?

    Before DNA testing became available, masses of people were brought up in this and similar situations and nobody thought anything of it - it's all modern day angst and first world problems.

    The mother was already pregnant when she got with the new guy, her friends and family and his friends and family and the biological fathers friends and family are all likely to know the story. If the daughter hasn't been told the truth those people all know a secret that she doesn't know and at any time the secret could come out.

    I know two instances when this sort of thing has happened One is from long before DNA, an illegitimate girl being brought up as her grandparents child, her "siblings" all knew, the neighbours knew, the people in her small town knew. She found out when her boyfriend decided to tell her. The other case is more recent, young man concerned is now mid 20s. His mother had finished with his biological before he knew she was pregnant, she started going out with someone else and baby registered as his. I don't know if he knows the truth but I know, my kids know, the mothers family know, the father who has brought him up knows, his biological father doesn't know. Lots of people could tell, I understand he has some problems in life and I hope if someone decides to spill the beans they do it in a way that he can cope with.

    Secrets can be very dangerous and hard to keep over an entire lifetime. I can only imagine how angry I would feel if I found out that all the people close to me and who I cared about had been keeping a secret from me for 20, 30, 40, 50 years.

    If you don't think its a secret what do you think it is? If it isn't a secret wouldn't she know? Of course it might not be a secret because she does know so not a big problem then, she just needs to be asked if she would like to meet him. I think the angst might be coming from you not me.
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  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    I think, legally, if they married, she would have been 'a child of the marriage', which isn't the same as lying.

    It is a lie if the married woman knows that her husband isn't the father.

    In this case, the mother must still have been married to the OP's partner when the child was born so it would be worth getting the certificate to see whether a father's name was declared.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    Reading my story here may help. I traced my birth mother in my 60s and I have a good relationship with her.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3871947

    I would find out first if she knows about her birth father. If she doesn't, leave her alone. If she does, give her the choice of whether she wishes to have a relationship or not - if she doesn't then leave her alone.

    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?
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  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    I think, legally, if they married, she would have been 'a child of the marriage', which isn't the same as lying.

    That's exactly what I meant - thanks for putting it better than I did.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    Person_one wrote: »
    With respect, I think that you have raised fostered/adopted children haven't you? So I think it's natural that your perspective will be slightly skewed towards thinking biology irrelevant, which is perfectly understandable.

    Not every adopted/fostered/raised by stepfather person feels that way. Many do want to meet and know about biological relatives. Plenty of us have experiences in our families that have shown this clearly. Some happy endings some less so. If you could see my relative sat around a table with his wife, children and grandchildren chatting and eating with his new-found siblings, nieces and nephews and see the happiness it's brought after 60 years of ignorance, you would never want to deny him that even though he'd have died perfectly happy none the wiser.

    None of us know how this woman feels, and whatever she wants to do with the information about her parentage is entirely up to her, no rights or wrongs, but nobody has the right to deny her the chance to make that choice for herself. She's a grown woman, she is owed the truth about her self and her life.

    I take your point and there's an element of truth in it.

    However, looking at a more typical situation where an adopted child finds a birth parent, all the sentimental newspaper stories never mention the adopted child's real parents or show the misery that this search may have brought to them and how it may have torn their family apart.

    There are always at least 2 sides to every story.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    I take your point and there's an element of truth in it.

    However, looking at a more typical situation where an adopted child finds a birth parent, all the sentimental newspaper stories never mention the adopted child's real parents or show the misery that this search may have brought to them and how it may have torn their family apart.

    There are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    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:
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  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    mumps wrote: »
    If the daughter hasn't been told the truth those people all know a secret that she doesn't know and at any time the secret could come out.

    I had a phone call from a very upset friend one day - she'd been to see an elderly auntie and said something about "Mum" only for auntie to pipe up "Oh, she isn't your mother, dear, your oldest 'sister' is your Mum".

    It wasn't unusual for an illegitimate child to be brought up as a child of the grandparents but it felt like a betrayal to her - as her 'parents' and her 'sister' had all died, she wasn't able to talk about it with them and it affected her for ages, added to which she hasn't been able to find out anything about her birth father.
  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    edited 3 December 2015 at 10:56PM
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    I take your point and there's an element of truth in it.

    However, looking at a more typical situation where an adopted child finds a birth parent, all the sentimental newspaper stories never mention the adopted child's real parents or show the misery that this search may have brought to them and how it may have torn their family apart.

    There are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    I don't doubt that it can be extremely painful for non-biological parents when children seek out birth parents. It's one of the reasons I always argue against the glib suggestions that adoption is a simple solution in debates around abortion and around fertility treatment etc.

    I still feel strongly though that competent adults have a right to know where they come from, the circumstances of their birth, and if they have biological relatives out there they may or may not want to contact. It's up to the individual what they do with that knowledge and how they handle it with family members, but it's still not right for other adults to withhold it for what are essentially selfish (though not unsympathetic) reasons.
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