What to expect when I tell my adoptive parents
I have recently, within the last week, located both of my birth parents. I hired a search agency, and they made the initial contact to each parent, and they both indicated they did want me to contact them. The reception I received from my birth mom was somewhat "unenthusiastic", so I am unsure how much additional contact I will have with her, and I am actually completely ok with that, since I do consider my adoptive parents my "mom and dad". However, my birth father told me that he never wanted the adoption, and that he has thought about me every day in the past 42 years, and he definitely wants to meet me. I also have a half sister who has known about me all her life, and wants to meet me also. I am struggling with how I go about telling my adoptive parents about all this, and have some concerns about how they may react. I don't want to cause problems with my relationship with them, but also very much want to meet my birth father and half sister, and possibly continue to stay in touch with them. Anybody out there who has been in my position, if you could please tell me how you went about telling your adoptive parents, and how your new relationships with your birth family have impacted your relationship with your adoptive parents, I would greatly appreciate it.
Hi Cpacyndi,

It really depends on several things. Your current relationship status with your mom and dad. Their personalities and insecurities regarding searching.

If all things are good then you need to decide whether or not you feel like you want to meet your original family before or after you tell your mom and dad. That is completely up to you, some want to figure out if the relationship will continue before bringing it up - others want to go in with everyone knowing. Only you can make that decision.

What I would suggest is that you try to keep everything very neutral when talking to them. That you made the decision and had someone search and they found them. Reassure them they have nothing to fear in your new journey. You need to figure out how much or how little support you want them to provide and tell them that as well.

What I would also suggest is that you don't allow your words to bias them one way or the other - sometimes things get blown way out of context. Things like saying "The reception I received from my birth mom was somewhat "unenthusiastic"," may be taken as she's a cold woman who really doesn't want to know you so why bother. Sometimes parents do this and only you know your parents so just tread carefully. You may find that your birth mother was just kind of shell-shocked at the news and feels differently - or you may find she isn't interested but until you know more - I would just remain neutral and say it is too early to tell what they really think or feel.

If you did talk about searching with your mom and dad that is probably the best way to bring it up. Whatever is true is generally the best - you didn't tell them when you were searching because you didn't know if there was anything to tell until now - if that is the truth then say that.

Whatever way works best for you is what you need to do. They probably will be a bit (or a lot) insecure during this time so make sure you keep the same level of communication and visits happening now - it may be a very scary time for them.


Kind regards,
Dickons
I have contacted both of my b-parents. But, I have not told my a-mom. (My a-dad is deceased.)

My a-mom would have major difficulties with my contacting my b-family. Those are her issues, not mine, and I don't want to burden myself with her issues. Reunions are difficult enough to navigate.

You are under no obligation to tell your a-parents about your b-parents. You can hold off on that until you're ready to disclose it. It's entirely your choice.
I agree with L4R, you shouldn't feel obligated to tell you parents. I was lucky in the sense both my parents were supportive of my search and did meet both birth parents.

When I was going through my reunion I was involved in a support group and I would say that it was a fairly even mix of adoptees who told their parents about wanting to search. The reactions from those parents were also split in terms of support or disapointment. My Godmother is also an adoptive mother and when my mom told her I was looking and had found them my Godmother was upset and said she would be hurt if her daughter did it.

IMO....the most important thing is that your relationship with your parents doesn't get affected by you searching and possibly meeting your Biological family. I'm sure you probably have a few other skeletons in your closet your parents don't know about (I know I sure do....lol) so even though this seems, and is, a big thing for you maybe it isn't so much for your parents.

If you want my advise if you are unsure go ahead with meeting you birth father, it seems like he is more interested. Be upfront with him and tell him you may not be ready to tell your parents about what you have done. Also, and this was advise given to me from my support group when I went through it, keep everything positive if you tell him about your family. Assuming you had a good life and your parents did their best, tell him (b/f) that. This will help ease some of his guilt and possible shame he may be feeling.

If when you meet him you think you would like to tell your parents but are still unsure try dancing around it a little bit. If you are comfortable enough ask your parents some general questions about your adoption. If they query you on it you can just say you're a little curious and wondered how much information they got or knew when the adoption went through. This way you can test the waters. It is possible your parents are letting you make that choice and not saying anything unless you do.

I know it may seem like you have no choice about telling your parents, but you do. You are a grown adult capable of making your own decisions, and chosing not to share something with your family to protect them (and you) is not a bad or wrong choice. This will be one of the hardest things you do, so don't be hasty and take your time. You've waited 42 years, a little bit longer won't hurt
cpacyndi said...
I have recently, within the last week, located both of my birth parents. I hired a search agency, and they made the initial contact to each parent, and they both indicated they did want me to contact them. The reception I received from my birth mom was somewhat "unenthusiastic", so I am unsure how much additional contact I will have with her, and I am actually completely ok with that, since I do consider my adoptive parents my "mom and dad". However, my birth father told me that he never wanted the adoption, and that he has thought about me every day in the past 42 years, and he definitely wants to meet me. I also have a half sister who has known about me all her life, and wants to meet me also. I am struggling with how I go about telling my adoptive parents about all this, and have some concerns about how they may react. I don't want to cause problems with my relationship with them, but also very much want to meet my birth father and half sister, and possibly continue to stay in touch with them. Anybody out there who has been in my position, if you could please tell me how you went about telling your adoptive parents, and how your new relationships with your birth family have impacted your relationship with your adoptive parents, I would greatly appreciate it.

Concentrate on the medical history, maybe they will be giving in that area. I (66 YO) found, my birth mother and living 4, 1/2 siblings, have met 1 brother and we talk regularly with 2 overnight visits, Skyped 1/2 sister Birth Mom has dementia. Things would have been different for my grandson had we known the family medical history. Good luck, maybe 1/2 sister will open up. If so you will have the unique view of the road not traveled. I was better off adopted.
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