Identity and Birthparents
I realize that this is going to vary from person to person, but it is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently and want to see if I am making too much of it or too little of it and how we can help our child(ren).

We are AP's to a DS with an open adoption, with contact every couple of months with his Birth Mom and her family. BF has never wanted to be a part of things. We are matched in an opportunity to have another open adoption with EM and her family. EF wanted to be part of the picture, but went onto getting involved with drugs and a murder (long story), so his relationship will not be open to visits.

From what I have read, adoptees have interest in knowing about their BP for a sense of completion about who they are. For those who have had a relationship with Birth Mom, but not BF - how has this affected the need for completion?

If anyone knows about a BP's involvement in a violent crime, has this affected how you feel about yourself? I worry that DD (the match with with a baby girl) will need to figure out if her BF murdering someone impacts how she identifies herself. If that is the case, does anyone know how we could help her with that?

I also worry about DS and how he will feel knowing that his BF didn't want any relationship with him and how that will impact him as he grows, especially given how much involvement his Birth Mom has. Does anyone have thoughts on how to help him with that as he grows?

I have a relationship with my family but my mother had already passed away...I do not have a relationship with my father.

Growing up my mother was more in my mind that my father ever was - he was more abstract in my mind if that makes any sense. When I got sick and the doctors told me that no only did I need my family health history so they could protect me in the future, but, that I also needed to advise my family of my disease to protect them - my mother and family had my primary fear/concern and only after I had advised them, did I next concern myself about finding my father. Saying all that - it hurt that my father couldn't even be bothered to provide me with my family health history or answer any questions about my story. You can't take away the hurt but you can walk along side of the child and acknowledge the hurt...

Even with that - I still wanted to know my paternal ancestors and have researched and found the answers I needed there, or almost anyway. My research into my maternal ancestors is far more complex and complete and knowing other family members has certainly allowed that knowledge to be expanded.

Funny though between mom and dad - my interest and time spent on their family trees - dad's is the one I am interested in the most and have spent far more time on probably a 1000/1 comparison.

As to how to deal with the father doing something bad. Teachable moments throughout childhood about choices in many areas. Specifically can you show his parents (grandparents), or other close family members, made different choices than the father did? So he doesn't think he is bad because he is 50% from him - not coming out right but hopefully makes sense. If not, can you show it in your family (or show it in multiple families) how choices really determine who you are?

Kind regards,
I have frequently wondered what one will be more difficult to explain.

DS - your BF is not involved because he choose not to take part in your life.

DD - your BF was supportive of adoption. Here is your medical and social background that he filled out for you. But, he is not part of your life because he made some poor choices that have led to his imprisonment.

Not sure how this is going to go.

Thanks for your perspective!
I yearned for a relationship with my bmom. We reunited in 2009 and it did not go well. I am grateful I got to meet her even though it wasn't what I had hoped for.

My birthfather should be a registered sex offender. He has committed many sexual offenses against his various girlfriends children but he has only been reported once and never charged.

It doesn't change who I am. His actions are not a reflection of me. I am not ashamed to know him or be related to him. That is his story, his life just like I have my story and my life. He was the one who pushed for the adoption and signed TPR before I was born. Never saw me after I was born and never told anyone in his family about me. I wanted to know this information. It should not be withheld. It doesn't change who I am because of choices he has made.
My sons are now almost 18 and almost 17. Their birth father is in prison until they are in their 30s. We had a lot more information about their birth mom when they were younger, and they really, really wanted info on their birth father.

When I finally convinced him to communicate with us - I will say that the boys have appreciated it more. He is more "real" than their birth mother and more communicative. They identify with him (and it was a struggle for one son around age 15) but not in a criminal sense. We have talked lots about the positives they get from their birth father -- and how his choices were a direct result of the failures of his parents, his community and poverty, lack of education and no examples in his own life. We talk lots and lots about choices and consequences -- and I really do think they have been able to separate the choices from the man.

Honestly, from the perspective of a teenager -- something that happened when they were a baby may as well have happened on Mars for how much they consider it relevant. My sons were basically tortured by their birth parents when they were infants and it really, really doesn't relate to how they feel about them or think of them today. Something that a birth parent has done to someone else (especially someone they can demonize - like a drug dealer or a gang banger) will probably not affect their opinion of their birth parent either way.
Hi Mandy,

This isn't about a first-father, but it's relevant:
[URL=""]Article: Woman searches 20 yrs for brother, finds him in jail for murder[/URL]

Zeke11 said...
If anyone knows about a BP's involvement in a violent crime, has this affected how you feel about yourself?

My first-father's life is different than mine, and his choices are different than mine. I wanted a relationship with him regardless of knowing what he did and that he had been in jail. His choices haven't reflected on me in a personal way, except for one thing which directly affected me. That part is complicated.

Part of the issue is that he was simply not well. That is another concern in itself.

Despite everything, I am glad I know the truth. That is what I wanted, regardless of what it was.

I worry that DD (the match with with a baby girl) will need to figure out if her BF murdering someone impacts how she identifies herself. If that is the case, does anyone know how we could help her with that?

If she starts wondering about that, I recommend therapy. I have not wanted to talk to my APs very much about my feelings on this particular issue.
My b-father was also in prison. I don't think my a-family knew this information. It wasn't until I started to search for my b-parents that I came across the information. I found a newspaper article about what he had done.

I had always wanted to believe the best about my b-parents, so it threw me for a loop for about two weeks. It took me a second to realize that his choices were not a reflection on who I am.

I think it is important to stress to your children that people wind up in prison due to their choices, not their DNA.
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