Do you keep it
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Thread: Do you keep it

  1. #1

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    Default Do you keep it

    a secret? Does your adopted children know they are adopted?

    I have never kept it a secret, I didn't want my kids to think it was something that was bad, or had to be hidden form others. I always told them how lucky they was, for most kids get "stuck" with the family they have. But they were very lucky as they got to be "picked" from all the kids in the world to make our family a real family.

    I just didn't like the idea of someone coming up to them and asking if they knew they were adopted and making it sounds like it was something awful. I wanted them to be proud of who they were and who they are. Nothing dirty or awful about it unless it is not talked about and always hidden.

    How do you feel about it?

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I tell my guys (who weren't picked) to tell kids who were adopted that they were chosen by their parents and that they got stuck with their parents and that it was cool that they got chosen instead of being "stuck".

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    DD knows she is adopted. From the time I brought her home, there have been books in the bookshelf. The usual Disney etc... and a few international stories as well as books that the family happens to an A-fam, Happy Adoption Day (love that book), books from Sesame St. about how we all look different but we are all the same, etc.

    I raised her to know that 'Adopted' is not a word that needs to be hidden or whispered. She doesn't tell people I am her 'Adopted Momma'... she just tells them I am her Momma... but she is NOT ashamed of the fact that I am not her tummy-mummy.

    I think it does more damage to the psyche and relationship if it is hidden. The parents live in a constant state of fear of having the secret discovered. When the child (or adult-child) does find out... it seriously messes with their heads... who do you trust when your parents lied to you your whole life?

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    Registered User IntlMom's Avatar
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    From before my kids could even walk or talk, they were looking at their scrapbooks and I would point oiut where they lived before Mommy and Daddy came to bring them......like LadyV, we have a good selection of adoption books, not of which I can read without crying!!!
    Our kids love tell ppl they were born in Russia (and tell ppl their sister was born in China) - it;s just normal in our house. Our kids know that some ppl where born to their parents, and some we chosen by their parents.......we've never given it a second thought.

    Our kids think it's super cool that God planned our family just the way it is!!!

    on a side note - we don;t refer to the 'birth-mom" as "birth-mom"....we refer to her as the "lady whose tummy God made me in" (just a personal decsion of ours)

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    My mom is my biological mom but my dad adopted me at a very young age. I would have been very hurt and felt deceived if this information had been kept from me. My dad and I are very close and my brother (who is his biological child) often complains that I'm dad's favorite.

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    Registered User Cricket1's Avatar
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    Both of my kids know--they are Asian, my husband and I are Caucasian. It would be kinda hard to hide it. I, too, think it would not be a good thing to keep it a secret.

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    Registered User PennyWise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricket1 View Post
    Both of my kids know--they are Asian, my husband and I are Caucasian. It would be kinda hard to hide it.
    Yes it would! lol! Your boys are adorable BTW...


    I was adopted and I have known since as far back as I can remember...it was just a normal topic in our home. I would also have been devastated if it had been kept a secret.

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    Registered User Starlight9803's Avatar
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    I was told that I was adopted from so early on, that I don't remember a time not knowing. My situation is a bit different, since my paternal grandparents adopted me, but they are still "mom and dad" to me. I would have been terribly hurt if it had been hidden from me.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    I was adopted at birth, and can never remember a time when I didn't know that I was adopted.

    Maybe it was just me, but I never wanted to find my birth parents. I never felt the need. Knowing that my mom and dad were my mom and dad by choice from very early on, I never wondered who I was or where I came from.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    I was adopted at birth, and can never remember a time when I didn't know that I was adopted.

    Maybe it was just me, but I never wanted to find my birth parents. I never felt the need. Knowing that my mom and dad were my mom and dad by choice from very early on, I never wondered who I was or where I came from.
    Me too... never a desire to know my biological father, I guess because I was so secure in who I was anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by asimplegirl View Post
    My dad has a son from another marriage. His name is Davin. Here is his story:

    Davin's mom was a very promiscuous girl. My dad actually met her in (please don't judge this) an :cough: orgy when he was much much younger. She became pregnant, and no one would help her. She was going to have an abortion- she was in a corner, she didn't know who's it was. It wasn't my dad's, that's the only thing anyone is 100% certain on. So, my dad married her before the baby was born and signed the birth certificate. They got the marriage annulled (sp?) because of her drug use after only a few weeks, but my dad treated Davin as if he was his real dad. He paid child support for him for 18 years and paid for him to go to college. He looks nothing like my dad, but my dad has always stood behind the fact that Davin is his son. Davin has never known about the situation with my dad and his mom, but my dad felt it his place to protect him from his mother's past, and the fact that no one knows who his bio dad is. As far as any of us are concerned, he is our brother, and my dad is his dad.

    Dad didn't feel it would do any good to tell him that he was adopted because it would lead to other questions that the answers to (he felt) would fix anything. It may even make his opinion of his mother worse.

    I say you know your child. It is definitely nothing to be ashamed of. But, if you feel you don't want them to know, that's your job as a parent to judge, you will do the right thing.

    Yet he felt it okay to share this with the other kids? That to me seems dangerous as Davin could find out all on his own. And there are medical issues to take into consideration. A person doesn't need a complete medical history but a doctor needs to be aware that the medical history is not from a biological parent. I respect what your dad did and I think we all do the best we can. My mom for example probably shared a little too much about my biological father but she felt it was important to be honest (at times gowing up I wished she'd held back more). Now, as an adult with kids of my own I think there is a balance where kids can be protected from the details and still know the facts. JMHO.

  12. #11

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    My family can really throw people. They see us with our son who is blonde, blue eyed and very light. Then our two daughters are Korean, black hair, big brown eyes. The looks we get sometimes is so funny as people are always trying to figure out how this all fits in to place! If I am alone with the girls they always think Dad must be asian, or the girls are foreign exchange students.
    My youngest daughter always jokes that she is going to put on her very best Swedish voice and tell them "yes, I am an exchange student from Sweden!"

    I think the decision to tell or not tell depends on each child as an individual. Some kids may not be able to feel included if they know the truth, yet some may feel better knowing they have been picked to be a part of the family. I always wanted my kids to feel "special", I didn't want them growing up thinking that being adopted was something that needed to be hidden like it was a dirty little secret. I didn't want them hearing the truth from someone else. I always wanted them to trust me, and know that I was honest and had nothing to hide.

    Greebo, like you my son has NEVER wanted to know anything about his birth parents. I have offered many times to help him look if he is interested. On the other hand my daughters know some of their family, and still have no want to get together with them or have anything at all to do with them. My youngest daughter has the hardest time with this as she always says that they didn't want her when she was young, why should she choose to have anything to do with them now. I also think kids need to make their own choice in how they feel and what is right for them.

    I think it has to be a choice thing, and you do what you feel as a parent is the right thing. Just like with the statements from asimplegirl. Her dad has choosen not to say anything. I know we all choose what we feel is right, and hope for the best. The only comment I can make on this is I hope people will keep their mouth shut. If and when the time is right the dad will tell him what he feels he needs to know. And some kids are never able to handle the full truth. Dad does what he feels is best for this kid, hopefully others will respect the dad and not let the story be known. I for one wouldn't want this decision on my shoulders, kids don't come with manuals or guarantee's. Its hard to be a parent and try to make the right choice all the time, but we make our choice by the information we have at the time and hope that it is the right one.

    Thanks everyone for your input, I think its important for everyone that has adopted or is adopted to be able to talk about how you feel over these things.
    You can always learn something new, and it can be very helpful!

  13. #12
    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    I'll give an additional story, and this one is for those who have given up children, not those who have adopted.

    When I was 21, my birth mother contacted me.

    I got a letter from her, and the first letter simply announced her as my birth mother, and expressed an interest in getting to know me. She seemed sane enough, so I responded that I would not mind learning more about her and developing a friendship. I genuinely did not mind the idea at the time, although it was unimportant to me either way.

    Over a series of about a half a dozen letters, it became very clear that this woman didn't want a friendship, but that she wanted her baby boy back. She contacted a hotel in Texas which specialized in reuniting "lost" families, and started organizing a meeting. When they contacted me to make travel plans it was the first I'd heard of it. I declined to attend, and the hotel clearly had been misled as to my feelings on the matter of meeting my "mother".

    I stopped mailing the woman at that point.

    Some months later, I forget who, but one of us resumed the letters. This time, I stressed to her that I ONLY wanted to be friends, that I wasn't looking for another mother, and so forth. She agreed, again, and talked at length about how "last time" she "wasn't ready". Then it started again. Letters with tracings of her hand on them. Strange and inappropriate gifts. Etc.

    That was the last time I contacted her, and she stopped mailing me, eventually.

    Why am I telling this story? Because, dear mothers who have given up children for adoption, you need to let your children go. They have lives of their own, and they are not pining for you, they don't miss you, they may very well never have known you existed. The most you can hope for, particularly with a child adopted in early infancy, is a slowly developed friendship.

    If you cannot accept that, do not contact your birth children. You may very well put them through a lot of emotional discomfort, something I stress that a good parent would not want to do.

  14. #13

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    Greebo you will never know how your story touched me. As I am right in the middle of something very close to what you described. My son has never had contact, but my girls are being pressure now. I could protect them from all this when they were little, but now at 19 and 20 I can't. I always went along with what they wanted, felt and needed and handle it accordly. Now they are adults and are being pressured by their birth father. Now that they aren't little any more, and having never had contact with them (By his choice) he nows wants back in to their life. He is trying everything, gifts, phone calls from other family memebers to try and get to the girls, cards at birthday time, and all kinds of ways to worm back in to their life. Another problem here is that he is a drunk, and when he gets someone else to call they start out the with a lie of who is on the phone. They have even acted like a boy that was interested in dating the girls. My girls have told them they aren't wanting contact, but he just can't get it through his head! He is pushing to hard and to long, and it just makes it worse. The girls are not happy with the pressure and having to tell him and his helpers to knock it off.
    Your story gave me hope in that he will soon get the message that he needs to stop! Knowing that you have had this happen, and have gone through this lets me see some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully he will soon get the idea that his gifts and messages are unwanted by the girls and he will soon back off and leave them be.

    Thank you,

  15. #14
    Registered User Shoshana's Avatar
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    No reason is good enough for an adoptive parent to keep a child's adoption a secret. No reason.

    I always knew I was adopted -- and if my parents were educated enough back then to know how important it was to be honest, certainly people today should be. Believe it or not, in my years of work with adoptive families, I have known more than a few who have been too uncomfortable with adoption to even admit it to their children.

    My dd knows of course, and we have pictures of her first family displayed in our house. We send them photos every year, and hope to visit them in Guatemala in a few years (when one of us can speak better Spanish than we do now!).

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    Registered User annymoll's Avatar
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    My parents were advised by the social workers that they must be honest, from the beginning, no exceptions. They followed that advice, which I think was very wise. I do not think there is a good reason not to inform a child that they are adopted.I have no desire to meet the biological parents.I do not want them to contact me.

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