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Old 10-26-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 16,774,074 times
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my brother and i were both adopted as infants.... me in 1960, him in 1962.... our mom could not have children herself and wanted nothing more in this world than to be a mother...... and even though it was a much bigger deal then, we have ALWAYS known of our adoptions.... never was a big deal made out of the fact.... the information was just always part of our landscapes...... i have met both my birth mother and my birth father.... that is for another thread on another day.... but never considered them my "real" parents or their subsequent children (not with each other), my "real" brothers and sisters..... my mom and dad (both now deceased) are my real parents and my brother (as big a PITA as he has turned out to be) is my real brother......

that "real" this and "real" that has always been a burr under my
saddle.......

so.... imo ... the child should be told EARLY and OFTEN.... age appropriately, of course......
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: USA
1,899 posts, read 4,142,881 times
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Originally Posted by nmweatherman View Post
Before I was born, the couple that turned out to become my adoptive parents couldn't have children. Much time has passed and this couple are now both at rest, and I will never know who had the problem, my adoptive dad or adoptive mother. I suppose it doesn't really matter now, except that this fact led to me being adopted.

My adoption was done many moons ago and back then, things were done differently (and it was a different world). This much I know: my adoptive mother, a bit naive I guess, ran a classified ad the the city newspaper, something to the effect about a "childless couple looking for unwed mother, goal: adoption." This ad actually ran for one day, and then the ad editor killed it. He or she told my adoptive mother "we can't run ads like this, sorry!" But the one-day ad did attract an unwed mother, and the deal was done. When I was born, the attending doctor wrote my adoptive parents' names directly on my birth certificate. This is how these (somewhat embarrassing) things were sometimes handled back then. So far, so good? I had a very "normal" childhood and a half-brother came along, from the same unwed mother, a year and a half later. My adoptive parents adopted him too...the same way.

Well, things rolled along pretty "normal" and "typical" until I was 11 years old. We lived in a trailer at that time and I was in the back bedroom with my brother, and we were both supposed to be asleep. He was, but I wasn't. I was listening to my adoptive mother talking to her sister (my adoptive auntie), and I heard auntie say, "oh, you mean you haven't told them yet?" My adoptive mother mumbled a reply. My auntie said "oh...you should tell them they are adopted!" So...that 11-year-old learned by accident he was adopted. My immediate reaction back then was to feel a horrible tingley electric shock feeling surge through my mind and body.

Did I confront her? No. I could not bring myself to confront my adoptive mother. I was numb, scared and confused. I carried this "discovery" for years and years and pretended...for her sake, I guess. Finally, when I was much older, nearing adulthood, it came out and we talked it out. But I have found that carrying that awful knowledge and the years of pretense I went through was really a burden for a kid. Oh, I made it to become a more-or-less typical adult, but this has shadowed my emotions and thinking for years. I do not trust nor believe many people anymore. I don't know what secrets they harbor or what nasty revelations (or lies) they might hand me. I felt I got burned as a kid, really burned.

On the positive side, as an adult I rationalized that your parents aren't those who pumped you out, they are the ones who raised you and changed your diapers and clothed you and fed you and sat up with you at night when you were sick, and put up with your tantrums and triumphs and inevitable disappointments.

Long story short...adoption, tell the kids young or don't tell them at all, or tell them when they're adults?

Comments?
I would tell them when they are young, that they were special because they were chosen. That the parents picked them especially to be their own, and they love them that much more for it, because they weren't just what they got, like biological kids, but they were chosen. They were special. At what age? I guess whenever the child is old enough to comprehend, 5 or 6? But before anyone else could tell them.
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