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Secondary Rejection - Next Steps

  • 14-04-2020 1:41pm
    Registered Users Posts: 851 ✭✭✭

    Hi folks, I posted about my situation 9 years ago and got some great advice here on searching for my BM.

    In short, I am an adult adoptee and 9 years ago, for the first time, I did some digging to see if I could trace my BM. This ended up being easier than expected and I found that she had married in England and found an address for her. I decided to send a letter by registered post. I followed the advice on Adoption Rights Alliance and the letter was done in a way that did not reveal who I was to anyone else who might read it - but would have been clear to her. I left my home address for her to get in touch, but never received anything.

    Since New Year, I have started to think about it again. I have recently been able to find my half siblings on social media - who are now 21 and 18. I can even find her husband on LinkedIn. But nothing about her, except an updated address.

    I am now completely unsure of what to do. I think back about that letter I sent and in some ways regret that it was not more personal. I am not sure if that would have made a difference. It seems likely that she has never told her family about me and that she does not want to be found. I am torn now between thinking do I respect her privacy or be selfish and demand my right to meet my blood relatives. I'm also aware that I provided information to her about me that means she could find me on social media etc.

    Until I found my half siblings on social media, I had not really considered the prospect of meeting them or anything like that. Now that I can see them and in someways see that they have personalities and are real people, it has made me wonder about the possibility that I could have a relationship with them. It is a weird feeling that I could quite easily send a message to them. This is not something that I am considering. I do think it is important that the first contact I make is through her - but what do I do? Should I send another letter. This time more in detail and perhaps explaining what I want (need to figure that out completely too!).

    From the research I did 9 years ago, her parents are dead and her only brother too. So there are no threads to follow in Ireland I think.

    Any advice would be most welcome, thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Derryf5

    Every person and every situation is different but I can only give you my opinion and my situation. My mother is dead 30 years and 2 years ago I was contacted and told she had a child which she had given up for adoption 4 years before she met and married my father who is still alive and has no idea about any of this, he is elderly and it would be of no benefit to upset him with this news. If I had known about the adoptee from my mother things would have been different, but hearing the news as I did was shocking and not good for my mental health to be honest. I live my life trying to keep a secret from my father that is not mine. I have no interest in meeting the adoptee because the way I discovered of her existence was such a shock. My advice is not to contact your biological mothers children behind her back as tempting as it may be. The contact should come from your birth mother. If you went ahead I fear you would end up with no relationship with any of them. Maybe write another letter to your birth mother, she might feel different in the intervening years, I wish you good luck and I hope you have a happy outcome.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,362 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy

    Hi mectavba, welcome back to the forum.

    Like you I'm an adult adoptee and I too did some digging (a lot of digging), wrote some letters, and eventually found and met my birth mother. Sadly she had poor health and I only got to meet her the once before she died but I now have a good relationship with two half siblings and my birth mothers extended family.

    The point of all this? I made contact and the world kept turning. Admittedly there were a few bumps along the road but I have absolutely no regrets about reaching out to my birth mother, her family and my half siblings.

    There's absolutely no reason in the world not to attempt to make contact, particularly if it's being done in a thoughtful and considerate manner.

    Don't assume that she doesn't want contact too - that may be the case but it may not.

    Perhaps the letter never arrived. Or more likely she put it on a shelf waiting for the right time to act on it and that time still hasn't arrived.

    Write to her again. Let her know that you're well and that you hope she's well too.

    You could mention that you've noticed her children on social media and that you'd like to get to know them.

    This could be enough to prompt her to write you back.

    As a genealogist I regularly reach out to complete strangers trying to establish connections to various family trees I'm researching and there's no reason why this needs to be any different.

    You're not making demands, you're not being selfish - you're just looking to make connections.

    As I said already, be thoughtful and considerate but do reach out - let them know you're there.

    Genealogy Forum Mod

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭Moonbeam

    I did a DNA test on 23andme and found a half sister,they did not know about me so I just said talk to your mum and it all worked out fine:)
    It was nearly 2 years ago and although I knew her name from going through birth records that is all that I knew.
    I would write to your mother again but like an old friend this time.