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Old 08-01-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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It seems today it's generally accepted that you tell your adopted child about their adoption from the very beginning. Why is this considered the best approach? Is it detrimental to never tell a child or to wait until they're an adult?

This is pure curiosity, I don't have any close friends or family who are adopted. I work with a woman who didn't find out she was adopted until her 20s when her parents passed away, she is well adjusted and only wishes she had had a chance to talk to her parents about it. I've only known her as a woman in her 40s, maybe she's grown to accept it over the years, but it seems a lot of the adopted people I've known have had behavioral issues and just general poor life decisions and I wonder if there's some correlation.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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well keeping it from them would only work if they're the oldest and/or an only child. i guess there is also the idea that they will find out sooner or later so its best to be open about it
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by brocco View Post
well keeping it from them would only work if they're the oldest and/or an only child. i guess there is also the idea that they will find out sooner or later so its best to be open about it
You'd think so, but my coworker had a few older siblings who were adopted around age 10 so they knew, but she and her couple other siblings who were adopted as babies were never told, though they are around 15 years older and have never been close.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:33 PM
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Location: Cushing OK
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One of my mom's cousins was adopted. They went to great lengths to hide it. They went to another area on a 'job' while she was supposedly pregnant. She returned after he was born. It was likely it was someone in the family who was the mother, since despite all the drama, people knew.

He was a jokester and different than most of the family. One day when he was fifteen someone told him as a taunt that of course they should be ashamed of him since he wasn't really 'theirs'.

They admitted it and he ran away, coming home later, but he never had the same sense of family, and felt betrayed. It faded some later, but its very hard to keep secrets and someone might use it as a weapon.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Years ago people thought there was a great deal of shame around adoption. Usually because of the "unwed mother" issue. Also if a woman couldn't get pregnant idiots surmised there was something "wrong" with her, never considering it was a couple problem.

To keep something secret surrounds it in shame. There is nothing shameful about adoption.

you cannot take one person's experience to represent every adoption experience. I once knew a blue eyed boy who robbed a bank and stabbed his mother. Does that mean all blue eyed boys rob and kill?

A lot of people have behavioral problems and make poor life decisions regardless of their birth circumstances. Of course there is no correlation!
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Years ago people thought there was a great deal of shame around adoption. Usually because of the "unwed mother" issue. Also if a woman couldn't get pregnant idiots surmised there was something "wrong" with her, never considering it was a couple problem.

To keep something secret surrounds it in shame. There is nothing shameful about adoption.

you cannot take one person's experience to represent every adoption experience. I once knew a blue eyed boy who robbed a bank and stabbed his mother. Does that mean all blue eyed boys rob and kill?

A lot of people have behavioral problems and make poor life decisions regardless of their birth circumstances. Of course there is no correlation!
I'm not generalizing, I'm sharing my experiences and observations. There's already a thread about the higher incidence of behavioral problems in adopted children, just because that hasn't been your experience doesn't mean it's invalid.

With the stigma of adoption largely removed today, what other reasons go into the decision of telling a child or not? Others have mentioned practical reasons, that there will still be those around them that know they're adopted who might slip up or tell in spite. What about the child's emotional perspective? Obviously the teen years are a challenge for everyone, I wonder if saving the knowledge of adoption until after those emotionally precarious years might keep a person from using their adoption as an excuse for the failings in their life.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: where people are either too stupid to leave or too stuck to move
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if you wait til their an adult to tell them, it could turn every feeling they ever felt to be a lie and its really damaging to find out the truth after so long, it will most likely mess with their psyche.. it would destroy everything they ever believed in if they find out too late
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:22 PM
 
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This is too big of a lie, to hide from someone. Truthfulness in all things...best practice.

One thing I found sad, was an adopted child went to find her birth Mother...who had never told anyone she gave a baby up for adoption, and did not want this child to meet her family or siblings. That is really sad. How can anyone live a life of deciet and deception like that? The birth Mother was not welcoming at all.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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I for one am very happy there is MUCH less secrecy around adoption than there was when I was a kid in the '60s and '70s. I am not adopted, but I have a half-sister who was "given up for adoption" (that's what it was called back then) when I was about 3 years old. (My mom would have had 4 daughters under the age of 5 and no husband, as my father had died a couple of years before leaving her with 3 young kids, and the boyfriend that she found a year after my dad died abandoned her after she got pregnant.) I never knew my half-sister existed until a few years ago when she found my mom/her birth mom. She let my mom make the decision whether to tell anyone else, and that's the first I found out about her. (Talk about a sense of unreality for a few days!) It has been an amazing experience getting to know my "new" sister; we are very much alike in many ways. I love my mom dearly, but there is a part of me that is very sad that I didn't get to know my sister when we were kids.

Jasper12, I understand what you are saying about the birth mother's life of deceit and deception, but she likely lived in a time when that was the norm with adoption, ESPECIALLY if the reasons for the adoption were being abandoned by the man or something similar (as was the case with my mom). This is how I have come to try to understand my mom's decision, even though, as I said, it sometimes makes me very sad.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedError View Post
It seems today it's generally accepted that you tell your adopted child about their adoption from the very beginning. Why is this considered the best approach? Is it detrimental to never tell a child or to wait until they're an adult?

This is pure curiosity, I don't have any close friends or family who are adopted. I work with a woman who didn't find out she was adopted until her 20s when her parents passed away, she is well adjusted and only wishes she had had a chance to talk to her parents about it. I've only known her as a woman in her 40s, maybe she's grown to accept it over the years, but it seems a lot of the adopted people I've known have had behavioral issues and just general poor life decisions and I wonder if there's some correlation.
There are very important social, medical and emotional reasons that every adopted child be told of their heritage.

I was adopted being told at age 6 of my adoption. At age 10 I received a medical history from my birth parents with instructions to keep them safe for my later years.
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