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Old 05-23-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
It is true that kids don't really notice the physical characteristics of other kids, but I think they notice in themselves. My kids are biracial, and they do comment on their features, and compare them to the other kids, and to mine and my DH. To assume they are not going to notice is a bit naive.
I agree. As I said, that's the way it works in my family. Though the adults are VERY open about talking about our differences. So I'm assuming it affects how the kids see things. We're pretty loose in joking around about it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:04 PM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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I have a friend whose child was born with a surrogate mother's egg and her husband's sperm. The child is school age now and does not know about either the surrogate or that he is not related to her by blood. Now, she is divorced from the child's father and he threatens her that when their son finds out he will reject her. No way would this happen, since he barely tolerates his father, but loves his mother.

Everyone else on the planet knows the situation except the child, so you know it will come out eventually. I think she has had many windows of opportunity to ease this information into the child's consciousness, but has chosen to miss them all. Big mistake, IMO.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:19 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Well this is a sticky situation and not like adoption. IMO
How can you explain donor insemination and surrogate mothers to a child? I'm not entirely sure a child needs to know that and I can guarantee you this is not information that should be spread around. Seems to me it is between the couple and only the couple. Not that there is anything shameful about those procedures. I don't know about this at all.

We see on TV teenage kids who have found they were all the result of insemination from donor XYZ.

But most of those were with single mothers. I just don't think something as intimate as artificial insemination and surrogate mothers should be anybody's business but the couple. I may be wrong.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:57 PM
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My nieces and nephew were the products of lots of fertility treatment. My nephew is 7, and understands that "some moms and dads have babies really easy, but my mom and dad had to go to a bunch of doctors so they could have me." (He might also add "and they paid a lot of money to have me!")

The girls are younger, but will probably get the same message. I think this is pretty much what a parent who used artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization with donor egg or sperm, or surrogate motherhood, should tell the kids. They can know that fertility treatment was involved, but not all the details, unless the parents choose to disclose it, and definitely at an age-appropriate level.

I think that this kind of thing is different, not as major, as adoption; a kid learning that he was born to some other people somewhere, and was then "given away" to Mom & Dad. My sister and her husband went through a lot to get their kids, but unlike with adoption, they don't have to have the discussion that "someone gave you up" and the abandonment feeling that might arouse. By the time they reach an age where they could even understand that some "cells" might have been donated, having that knowledge wouldn't really be much of a shock to them in my opinion.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
sad story. that girl will find out sometime and will be devastated. not by the fact she was born out of wedlock but because she had been lied to.
She's grown now and married and has children of her own. I am no longer in touch with her mother, but she surely knows the truth by now.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:52 AM
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All I can say is...I am glad that my parents told me I was adopted from day one.

Why add shame and stigma to adoption by keeping it a secret?

I can barely talk about it to the parents I know who are keeping it a secret from their child. Why would you lie to your child like that? What are you protecting them from? Yes, some people have told me that my family loves me less cause I'm adopted, but I know in my heart that's not true.

Some ex-orphans have memories too. I have some memories from the orphanage, and I wouldn't be able to explain those if my parents had never told me. They aren't pleasant memories, and I may have even thought my parents did those things to me if I didn't know any better.

I think parents are doing their children a great disservice by not telling them the truth while reassuring their child that they are loved no less because they're adopted. Whether or not it's your intention as a parent, it basically teaches your child that 1) adoption is shameful 2) if something is shameful enough, it's okay to lie to your own child.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:51 AM
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I always sort of hated my adopted cousin, she always had a big mouth, and ran around saying how wonderful she was because "of all the babies in the world, her mama and daddy picked her, and my mama was just stuck with me" . Yes, it is great to give adopted kids self esteem, but not to make them feel so wonderfully special above bio kids.
I'm going to say that your cousin was being a jerk & her parents probably did not convey the right message. Reminds me of a bitter adopted gal; bitter because the parents adopted a few kids 1st then had 2 bio kids. Bitter adopted gal who is now an adult; has the nerve to say that a cousin is using their step dad (who he's raised since age 5) because the step kid has a good relationship with their step dad. Actually had the nerve to say she's not part of the family; when technically; she's not either.

Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
Does the neighbor child know/understand that your children are adopted? I would think that would raise questions for her. I wonder if the kids have talked about it amongst themselves - like if your kids assume that she knows that she's adopted and discuss it with her since it is something they have in common.
This is my thinking & one day; the kid will come out & say something & they won't be able to play any more.

How sad.

Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
My co-workers (other therapists) and I used to talk about this, and between us, we probably had 35-40 adult clients who had been adopted. They were all in therapy for various reasons, some had an actual mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression, but many were just in therapy for time-limited issues like a loss, family or couples therapy, or acute problems with anxiety.

We all had agreed that none of us ever heard an adult have problems with the fact that they were adopted, if they were told about it at a young age, and grew up knowing. But the ones who had parents who withheld the info from them, and they learned about it at a later age, or God-forbid from someone outside the family, invariably had problems, and even felt traumatized by it. We even considered publishing somethng jointly about this, but never got around to it.

When they found out about it, they were not only dealing with the fact that they were adopted, and that there are birth parents out there (the usual stuff) but they also had to deal with feeling betrayed by their parents who had kept this secret from them. I had one client whose parents had kept his adoption a secret and he accidentally found out about it in his mid-thirties, from a former childhood schoolmate. The sense of betrayal that this guy went through was immense. He actually experienced PTSD-like symptoms and a severe depression directly as a result of this.

I wondered why anyone would do this to their kid. The man's one parent was already deceased, but the remaining parent thought they had done nothing wrong, and that the guy was over-reacting. What they didn't realize is that we develop our identities as we grow up, and by the time we're an adult, our identity is pretty much formed. While the info could have been integrated when the guy was still young, and his identity not fully formed, but the time he was 35, this was a huge blow, and it was like the rug had been pulled out from under him.
My co-workers had a few clients who had not learned they were adopted until their teens, and they were similarly traumatized. I think the teens are when your sense of self is the most fragile to begin with, and you are already dealing with emotional separation form parents, and figuring out about trust. Then bam! you learn that something you've relied on as fact all your life is not true. .
IMO; it's that generation. Good at secrets. Not to sway the convo but imagine finding out at 40 that the person you think is your bio dad very well could not be because of cheating. He has terminal cancer; the only reason it came out was because of a slip. Then neither would talk about it. Dad says; doesn't matter when begging for DNA test. The 40 year old looks like dad; so does her 20 year old son. There is huge resemblance.

Then one is done on their deathbed & mother & other kids accuse said child of making results on computer & pushing them out of the family. The mother makes it seem like she never birthed the kid.
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