Tag Archives: open adoption advice

A Surprise Sibling? Here’s How to Come Clean.

Letter Writer: Do you have any resources for a birth parent who has both parented and placed children? I know of a situation where the birth mother has an open adoption but she has never included the children she is parenting in the visits with the child she placed.

Now the parented children are 8, 10, and 15. How does she tell them they have a surprise sibling? As much as I’ve searched, I can’t seem to find such a resource to help her figure out if and how to come clean.

— Shanna

surprise sibling come clean
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I am a Product of Rape & Incest. Should I Contact Birth Family?

Letter Writer: Hello, Lori. I just read your post about rejection by a biological mother, and I was hoping you might be able to give me some input. Recently I discovered I am a product of both rape and incest.

In the early 1970s I was adopted as an infant. Three months ago a geneticist confirmed that my biological parents are either full siblings or a father and daughter.

I had always known I was adopted, but had no idea this was my story. In fact, my adoptive parents had been given a social history about my biological parents that was a completely fabricated. The truth? My birth mother was raped and got pregnant with me.

A Shock, To Say the Least

The geneticist used public records to put together a family tree. I know my biological mother’s name and where she lives. Using this information, I discovered that my birth mother worked at a sexual abuse support center and even participated in a board of inquiry into sexual abuse in her community. That was about 20 years ago.

I am seeking input on whether a woman in her situation would want to hear from her child. As well, I found out she has children who aren’t much younger than me.

If I make contact, it could feel like a lot dumped on the plates of my birth mother and for my siblings (who are also my nieces/nephews). A complicating factor is, as I said, that their community was the site of a governmental inquiry into systemic sexual abuse in religious institutions and in families. Their mother (my mother!) has been public with her story of abuse.

I’m in a Facebook group for NPE adoptees ( Not Parent Expected — people who get this type of unexpected DNA results). This happens more commonly that anyone would think. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many resources. So let me ask:

Is it okay to reach out to my mother and siblings? I’m not sure what to do.

— Millie

Much to Integrate and Navigate

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I’m Ready for Open Adoption But My Parents Are Not

Letter Writer: My name is Jeannine and I have just begun the journey to adopt. My husband and I have just submitted our application and will tell our families of our plans within the next month (we have a big family wedding coming up and we don’t want to upstage the bride).

We are beyond excited to adopt. This was a first choice for us. We have always known that we wanted to adopt a child, and have not even attempted having any biological children. We may some day, but right now that is not our intent.

My concern is my parents. I am incredibly close with them. While my mom has expressed that she would be happy with an adopted grandchild, she will then make comments about how I will have an easy time conceiving a child, because she did. I have assured her that I will be getting pregnant and giving her a grandchild that will look like us and share our genes.

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