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peoples opinions

  • 09-07-2009 8:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,488 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,
    I'd just like peoples opinion on our current situation. My wife(ex girlfriend at the time) got pregnant 7 years ago. While she was pregnant we got close again and about 2 months after she gave birth we started dating again. The father of the child refused to have anything to do with her, that was easier for us all.
    About 2 years ago we started the adoption process. But we ended it a few weeks ago because we didn't agree with our case worker over certain points. The main one being that they wanted to tell our daughter that i wasn't her real father.
    I have been there since she was a baby and most of our relations, neighbours and the likes don't know i'm not her father. We are very close and i love her as much if not more than if i was her biological dad. I don't think of it much myself.
    I know someday i will have to explain everything to her but i want to wait until she is old enough to understand. I will do what is in her best interest but i don't believe ripping up a 7 year olds idea of reality is right. Am i right?:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,830 ✭✭✭✭Taltos

    Tough one - only you can really tell what is right for you.
    But maybe by trying to look at this a different way you can come to a different understanding.

    Think of your daughter - which is worse or better
    a) Later in her life she finds out you are not her biological dad and that you and her mum lied to her..... CRUSHED
    b) You tell her now - still young - and here's the clincher - you might not be her biological dad - but you wiped her ar**; cleaned up after her; took care of her when she was ill & you CHOSE to adopt her to make it official to ALL that you are her dad - not just in your mind and hers - but in the eyes of the LAW and EVERYONE ELSE....

    It all depends how you approach it. My bro was adopted. I found out late in life - was a real shock and caused me to question everything from years back. But he is still my bro. Just wish I had been told earlier. He knew, found out himself when he was a teenager - think you can imagine what happened here... not good...

    But as I said everyone is different...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,563 ✭✭✭karlog

    Yeh i agree. Your not her biological father but a father nonetheless. Waiting until she matures enough to understand this is the better idea but leaving it too late could be bad.

    So whenever you think the time is right:)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 76 ✭✭Gabsdot

    I'm with your social worker about this. I think you need to tell your daughter the truth sooner rather than later. It doesn't have to a devastating experience for you all. Just explain in an age appropriate way.

    I have an adopted son and I've been to some workshops on 'telling' and children should know all the details about their background before they are preteens. Otherwise it becomes more difficult to tell when they become teenagers and they can be resentful about finding out things. Also you say that your relatives all know so what if one of them tells her before you do.

    We've told our son that he is adopted since he was a baby and now he's 5 and he knows he's adopted and he's fine with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,830 ✭✭✭✭Taltos

    Adopted = You chose that person
    Biological = Might have intended or you might just have had an accident...

    Personally I would prefer the certainty of knowing I had been chosen :)

    All about the stories you tell yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,483 ✭✭✭Ostrom

    Tell the kid, tell her as often as you can, as early as you can, and explain it to her when she is old enough to ask further. It is one of my most fondly remembered stories as a child and not once did i not hear it and think amazing things of my parents. Nothing is going to change the fact that you are her dad, it is your actions as a parent that will shape her relationship with you. The healthiest way to do this is for there to be nothing between you in this respect. Adoptive identities are not potential crises as long as the topic remains an open issue; she will grow not knowing any different. I am in the process of meeting my extended family from my birth mothers side, she has children. Tell your daughter, dont keep it from her, it can and should be one of the most positive aspects of her sense of self

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 407 ✭✭lynsalot

    Hi OP

    First of all your daughter is yours... biology has nothing to do with raising your child. You are her father in her eyes and she is your daughter. I'm adopted... I've always known and it wasn't earth shattering to discover it. It was explained to me that myself and my brother were special. that mam and dad couldn't have children and they really wanted us so they picked us. I never remember feeling left out or unwanted. Your child is around the right age to be learning this. It doesn't have to shatter her perception of reality but you should introduce the idea slowly. Explain that u picked her and her mammy.

    It's so important that she knows who she is or where she's from. It honestly is. I really can't stress that enough. I love my parents I always will. I met my birth mother a few years back and at no point was she ever my mam or a parent. I didn't have that connection with her. Your parents are the ppl who raise you. Your family are the ppl you grow up with. Blood really means nothing - how can it? You love your daughter and she knows that. She'll thank you for being honest. This is her life afterall and she deserves to know the truth. It will come out in the end.... and if she finds out when she's teenager it just won't be the same.

    We were told we came from god's pocket. Mam and dad prayed for us and god blessed my parents with us. Ok if you're not religious use a stork... or whatever but it made me feel so wanted and really special. I never once felt like I wasn't wanted or didn't belong. I don't remember it being explained properly to me either. I just knew. She will inevitably have questions as she gets older. You could explain her biological father felt he couldn't stay and left. Felt she'd have a better life with another daddy - i'm sure this will be in a few years when she can understand it. It doesn't have to be a horror story. The other thing of course is, there's so many children in this situtation these days she wouldn't be alienated.

    I hope it works out for you anyway best of luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 nick1

    This sounds corny. I made up a song about Mummmy and Daddy being very sad because they didnt have little girl. So they went out and looked and looked and eventually found the perfect daughter.
    I sang that dopey song several times when she was 2/3 -along with that Barney song "I love you ,you Love me we;re a happy family".

    The idea is to convey that one enters a family by all sorts of way -through tummies or by going and out searching and choosing the bext little girl.

    #Later of course they query a bit more about the birth mother thing ,but by then they should be pretty well content with the happy family part.

    the sooner you tell them the better -especially when done in a fun way.
    It helps that the likes of Bradd Pitt and joline, Madonna etc re doing it.
    Its "cool" to be adopted.

    My 16 year old seems quite happy about adoption. Has expressed vague interest in knowing her birth mother is. Loves to tease me when I do something embarrassing ""thank God I'm adopted" she laughily shouts.

    I asked her recently what would her reaction have been if I told her just now that she was adopted. "Quite frankly looking at you, relief" -I really laughed and ws proud of her confident attitude.

    there can be so much love,pride and joy in having an adoptive child.
    Tell her as now -even if it means singing stupid songs.

    (yes, there are insecure difficult adopted children that may pick on the adoption as a stick to beat themselvs, you and the birth parents - but they'd be like that anyway.
    Its the same with some of the manic depressive birth-Mums in these threads going on about feeling so bad about giving up a baby 20-30 years ago.
    They'd be depressed about something else.)

    Sorry -have gone off track as I'm a happy adoptive parent and regret not adopting more(too old). My daughter says she would love to adopt a few kids.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭gfmason


    Just read your thread. Children are much better at dealing with facts than adults. A simple explanation to a child is enough for them until they get older. Then you deal with the next question at that time. I'm not a fan of social workers but your social worker is right in insisting the child is told now. It seems to me that, perhaps, you might be upset at having to tell her that although you are her Dad, you are not her father. I'm no psychiatrist but perhaps separating Dad from Father might help explain it to her. Of course you can't go into details with a 7 year old but I am sure there are books out there that you could read that would show you how to talk to her. Anyone can be a father, but not everyone can be a Dad. By the sounds of things you are a good Dad. And that's what you have got to remember.

    Whatever the outcome. I wish you the best of luck. Being able to state that you are legally her dad and guardian is something to be proud of. Don't stop the adoption over something that is really not that big a deal to a child.

    Best wishes


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭gfmason


    Just felt I had to comment on Nick1's thread. Two points I would like to respond to:-

    1. Her comment about "insecure difficult adopted children...". I'm adopted. I am not insecure or difficult. I do not go about beating myself with a stick about it. I am, however, very angry with the State for the way in which they treated 'illegitimate ' children and their birth mothers. Being adopted has made me a stronger person. I have had to go through many years of being verbally abused by Nuns, being called a 'bast**d' , told your own mother didn't want you, you're unclean and worse, so, if there are some adopted people out there who are a little insecure, I can understand. Unless you are adopted I don't think you have the right to say how adopted people feel, should feel, or are feeling.

    2. Her comment about "manic-depressive birth-mothers"... is disgraceful. To actually give birth to a child and then have to hand it over immediately (in some cases without even seeing the child or holding it) must be the hardest thing to do. I have two daughters and when each of them were born I cried at the thought of my own birth mother having to give me up. If these poor women are depressed then they have every right to be. Many of these girls were 14,15 or 16 and given no help, support or counselling. They were shipped off to some institution (usually run by Nuns) before the pregnancy started showing and came home after the birth and expected to fit back into their old lives. They were told how wicked they were and were made to earn their keep. To make a comment about something as serious as depression I feel is totally inappropriate.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭martinf


    To be fair to Nick1 I think the first point was that there are insecure adopted people out there (not to mention insecure non-adopted people) rather than all adopted people are insecure.

    You could also concede that there may be birth mothers out there who would have suffered from depression whether they had given up a child or not but that doesn't mean that their suffering is any less - maybe the fact that it was state and society sanctioned makes the pain more keen. I am a father of two boys, 2 years and 3 months and sometimes I think what would it be like if someone took them away from me forever and I have to say it's a physical pain (at least for me - I don't know if anyone else thinks about or feels it that way). Maybe I'm an overly sensitive father but I would like to think it gives me a tiny sliver of what it was like for some birth mothers - even though I didn't carry the boys for 9 months or go through any of the physical affects of pregnancy and childbirth.

    Unfortunately it's almost impossible to be objective about adoption as we all bring our experience, knowledge (or lack of it) and influences into any discussion. The sooner that they invent an empathy device where we can all perfectly understand each other the sooner we might sort the whole world out - or maybe go mad!:)

    Regarding the original post by coincidence it's my father's 82nd birthday today. I'm celebrating my father's birthday not my "adoptive" father's birthday. The only time I ever describe or think of him as such is when talking to other adoptees or in messages like this just to distinguish who I am talking about. For me this shows that there's a lot more to being a Dad than DNA. Even more than that if I ever get to be 82 and my son's think of me the way I think of him as my Dad then I'll be a very happy man. While a piece of paper may legally make you a parent it's the little things that make you a "real" dad.

    If you don't tell her until much later it may actually be more difficult. if you wanted to be really strict about it which would be worse - telling her and she reacts badly or her finding out years later that you didn't adopt her, and legally become her father because you wouldn't tell her the truth. Maybe that's a bit too blunt but it might be worth thinking about.

    Anyway best of luck to you whatever you decide.

    Best wishes


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