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Birthmother dilemma

  • 26-07-2009 6:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3

    I have 3 children aged 5, 7 & 9. I also have an older child who was placed for adoption 17 years ago. When is the right time to tell my young children about their older sibling?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav

    Moved to Parenting from Newbies & FAQ...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,546 ✭✭✭Enii

    Maybe someone on this forum could assist........... Good Luck

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 43,045 ✭✭✭✭Nevyn

    Moved from parenting.

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

    Ann Onymus wrote: »
    I have 3 children aged 5, 7 & 9. I also have an older child who was placed for adoption 17 years ago. When is the right time to tell my young children about their older sibling?

    If it is any help, I am the older sibling in your case. I have recently made contact with my birth mother, and she has children who are currently now aware of me; they are a little older than yours.

    Tell them as soon as you can, please. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be. Disclosing something like this is not the life-changing issue you think it will be for kids of that age, children are very resiliant, and you make it normal by telling them at a young age. It is a completely different matter when the kids are older.

  • Registered Users Posts: 324 ✭✭kathy finn

    i have to agree with elfa, i would tell them a.s.a.p , children are very understanding what will happen if u don,t tell them and in the future your first born comes looking for u they will not be happy you kept this to yourself.
    i was adopted and my parents where very honest with me and my mother always told me i had two mothers, she talked about my birthmother a lot and told me that she loved me but could,nt keep me.
    two years ago i made contact with my brother who knew nothing about me and i felt he was very shocked , don,t let that happen to your kids the longer you keep this from them the harder it will be ...kathy

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Ann Onymus

    Thanks to Efla and Kathy for replying to my query. It's my first time doing this kinda thing. Your opinions helped and I told the lads this morning. They were delighted to discover a "cool" older brother. I feel as if a weight has been lifted from me as I was dreading their reaction and thought they would wonder what kind of a mother they had that could give away a baby. Those thoughts may come yet......we'll see. But at least it's out in the open. Thanks again. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 121 ✭✭MaryMagdalene

    I am/will be in the same position - mine are currently 1yr and 3yrs old. I have not yet met my daughter who is 24yrs old but we are in contact.

    I am lucky in that mine are younger so it won't be as much of an issue but at least you have all boys. I am dreading the inevitable throwing back in my face when I am warning my daughter not to get pregnant :rolleyes:

    Delighted that it went well for you tho' - it must be a weight off your mind.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭Crea

    We're in a similar situation too. My DH has a child who was given up for adoption 20 years ago. We are in contact with the birthmother and she has been in touch with the adoption agency trying to contact the child on behalf of both of them. The child (young woman) isn't ready to get in touch with her birth parents but knows that they want to meet her. I don't know whether to tell our kids (5,4 &1) cause I know they'd wonder why they couldn't meet her and i'd worry if she never wanted to meet us they'd be really upset.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭martinf

    Hi Crea,

    I would be inclined to tell them anyway - at least the older ones. I don't think they'll be wondering when she'll turn up because if they're anything like my oldest they have so much going on in their lives between playing spending time with you etc that they don't have time to think about it. It's as likely that they'll forget about it until something reminds them later and at least you'll be able to say that you did tell them. I believe that secrets that could come back are a bigger issue than the chance of them being upset at not meeting her.

    Best wishes


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭Crea

    The main problem there is that they may tell other people. My DH hasn't told anyone in his family and none of my family know about it because DH asked me not to. He's not ashamed of his daughter, he's ashamed of his own behaviour and thinks people will think less of him. I'll have another chat with him.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭martinf

    Hi Crea,

    It's an understandable concern alright but I suppose it may ultimately come down to what would happen if his daughter came looking for him in the future. Would it be any easier for him to tell his family or yours at that stage? Alternatively will he only feel free to meet her if noone other than yourself finds out at the time? The fact that you are aware of it suggests to me that he is willing to take a chance to face the issue when it really matters. Un fortunately there are no guarantees as to how people react but if it did all work out well then it wouldn't be hanging over him in years to come.

    Wishing you both good luck whatever the decision.