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I just found out, I have a 30 year old daughter, from 23 and me. I am the father. I am all new to this, so I apologize if any of my words are not correct/proper.
This is not a total surprise, as I was in a college relationship back then, and I had heard rumors after our relationship ended, that she was pregnant, but the birth mother never said anything to me. I contacted the birth mother several times through 1-10 years later, and she never mentioned it. Obviously she did not want me to know.
In 23 and me, my birth daughter by chance put her name there. The name was pretty unique, so I was able to do some quick internet searches, and found some sites, face book etc. I had to look, and sure enough she looked like myself and her birth mom. The daughter stated in 23 and me that she would like to meet birth family. I am not sure how long she has been on 23 and me. I have been on for several years, just to check medical background ( no concerns :) ). I am not sure how long the function was there, but I selected the area you can connect to relatives, and this is how I saw the close relative match.
If I reach out to my birth daughter, should I reach out to her adopted parents first, or just reach out directly to my birth daughter?
Maybe there is a reason the adopted parents would not want me to reach out, that they could fill me in on. Current concerns, or other issues from past. The quick look on facebook (I hope that does not sound like I am stalking or something bad), seems like the have had a nice "normal" life. Not sure whose choice it is to meet birth parents, the adopted parents, or the adopted child.
I am not sure if I will reach out yet. I am not sure what (if anything) my birth daughter has seen on 23 and me. I do not know what the adopted parents know about the birth parents. If by me reaching out, it opens up the possibility of her finding out the birth mother, maybe birth mother does not want contact. And of course, my current family (wife and grade school age son). No way of knowing the reactions there. Not sure they would even believe me, let alone understand.
Sorry I just have a lot of questions, and thoughts flowing around I am thinking about now, and was hoping to starting getting some reactions/thoughts/helpful hints from others. To start getting some perspective on what I am working through.
thank you
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Millie58....I think you are my new best friend...This is really hard...there could be no good answers to apply to anything here. I do like the idea of reaching out as a connection with out saying I am father. Really sad, as so much I see is about the birth mother not birth father. Sometimes the birth father is not given a choice, is not part of the process, for what ever reason the birth mother views as bad. Maybe sometimes birth mother view is wrong???
I have lost 30 years of a life, I will never know....because everyone is focused on birth mother...
Could I have influenced....maybe
Could I have taken her in a different direction...maybe
would she still have my soul....yes, and she always will....my hope is there...
Hi Timmy timmy,
It's been a few months since you first posted. Have you made a decision?
I am a birth mother who placed my son for adoption when I was in college. I met him and have been in reunion with him since he was 33. In the early years (of reunion) I was also a moderator on adoption.com. What I learned from talking (and listening) to many adoptees was that they preferred the parents to contact them rather than their adoptive parents. That said, I couldn't find current location or phone for my son because he had just moved. I did contact his adad. In my case it worked well. They told him, gave him my information and he contacted me when he was ready.
I hope you do contact you. We can't change the past, but we have today. The fact that she said she was open to contact sounds like an invitation to me. Just remember to take it slow. It's a bit like a roller coaster especially at first.
Blessings, Kathy
So I did reach out through 23andme. Said I was a close relative, and it opened up the door. She wanted to know how close, so I eventually let her know (by opening up the connection in (23andme) that I was birth father. We started very strong with background info etc. I honestly was not sure about birth mother, was she open to meeting, was it open adaption, etc. So I took it slow, without giving up too much information. All contact via e-mail. Mostly just the back ground I knew from college. She shared some things with me about adaption, and always knew she was adopted. The birth mother stayed in touch a little, but I am not sure exactly how much really. Birth daughter said she did not know anything about me, and I told her, I did not know I had a birth daughter, until I got the surprise on 23andme. She told me of course she always wondered about this mysterious person. After about a week of pretty deep e-mails....it just stopped from her. I am not sure why. I have this bad feeling she contacted birth moth, and maybe said something. Or maybe some one else told her to stop. I am just not sure why. I am college educated, live a normal life. nothing bad I can think of, so not sure what would push her away. I gave her my cell number, etc, if she ever wanted to reach out. but she has not since some initial e-mails. I tried e-mailing a few times to ask her to please give me a why of the stop in contact, but nothing. I of course what more, but do not want to push, or push her away. Maybe she just needs time? Maybe I should reach out to birth mother? I am not sure if birth mother wants contact form birth daughter, or me for that matter. these things are not easy. I have not told anyone. So now I have this "secret" part of me, that no one but me really knows about....Yes this is hard in so many ways....I just want to be a good birth father, on my birth daughters terms, what ever those may be. But, the sudden silence is so confusing.
Dear Timmy,
That is a difficult position to be in. (I said it was a rollercoaster ride!) It's always possible that she has gotten the information she sought and that's all she needed. There are, of course, several other possibilities: she may have talked to her aparents and they are hurt, or she may worry that they will be hurt; she may have contacted her birth mother who got upset that you had found out; she may just need time to process. I'm not sure it's the best idea, but I would be tempted to contact the bmother to find out why she never told you she was pregnant. I never told the bfather of my son that I was pregnant for a number of reasons (including the fact that he got engaged an married to another girl before I gave birth.) I did tell him before I signed the final papers because I wanted the family medical information to be as complete as possible. [I asked him one time in later years what he wanted me to do if I was contacted by our son and he wanted to meet his birth father; he said he'd leave it up to my judgment. Unfortunately, he had died before I reconnected with my son.] I doubt that you did anything to push her away; contacting you has undoubtedly brought up strong emotions that she is not yet willing or able to share. Try to patiently (!) give her time. Send her emails that are welcoming but not demanding. Tell her about her extended family; stories about yourself - now and growing up. Unless she tells you to stop emailing her, keep writing. I think sometimes adoptees have difficulty trusting their birth parents because they feel the parents abandoned them originally and don't know if they will stay this time. Some adoptees will cut off communication because they fear the parent will do so, so they end it on their terms. Unfortunately there is no precise timeline for any of this. She may come back soon or not for years. I encourage you to keep the door open.
I understand the "secret" part. While my husband and family knew about my son (I told my children when they were teenagers), it was not something I shared with many people. Since our reunion it is out in the open although it's still difficult for me to talk about it with some people because I don't know how they will respond. Do you have someone in your life that you can share the news with? Her existence is not something you've been hiding - you didn't know about it. Conversations here can be helpful, but it's probably even more helpful if you can talk to some one in "real life."
Blessings, Kathy
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