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When do you tell(adopted child)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am asking for advice from my hubby. He got with a girl when she was pregnant by anothers mans baby. The man didnt want the child, so  my husband took on role as legal father. The child is 9 years old now. He has not been told yet that hubby is not his real father. My hubby is starting to think about telling him eventually but has no clue as to when would be a good time??? Anyone have any advice?

post #2 of 15

Ideally, adopted children should be told so early that they never remember having "the conversation." But life isn't always ideal and this situation is one of those times.

 

If I were your husband, I would slowly introduce the idea of adoption and nontraditional families through conversations surrounding books or movies. Like "what do you think about the adoption in that movie we just watched? Do you know anyone who was adopted?" Just get a feel for how he reacts to the idea of adoption. Then let that be a guide for determining when and how to tell him.

 

I think I'd choose a time where there isn't a lot of other emotional stuff going on and I'd try to celebrate the converstaion, keep it happy not sad. Have a list of celebrities who had similar childhoods and/or animal stories about love and adoption. And I'd have the conversation a couple times, not just once, to make sure he has an opportunity to ask plenty of questions and really feel comfortable with it.

 

Other thing I think I'd try to do:

- tell other people in his life that you have had this conversation recently so they are prepared for his questions

- if I could find an adult adoptee to talk to him, I might do that

post #3 of 15

Yikes, I think he is really late.  I have many friends with adopted kids (part of my infertility group) and adoption was part of the conversation since the kids were babes so they have never known *not* being adopted.  It was strongly suggested to never hide the adoption. But that doesn't help you at all!

 

I would highly recommend he tell him ASAP with the help/assistance of a counselor with experience in this field. Nine is a tough age all around and to then learn his father is not his biological father? The child, as well as the whole family is going to need some professional support.

 

Good luck

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the GREAT ideas. I know, I think it is wayyyyyy so late, but it is what it is. Thanks for the ideas mama.

post #5 of 15

 

Is there a particular reason this is coming up now? ustody issues? Ex "threatening" (not that it should be a threat!) to tell your husband's son before he gets a chance to do it in his own way? Has the biodad resurfaced?  

post #6 of 15

Definately tell him. My husabnd (adopted) found his birth families. One knew all about him (the mom's side) and the other  had no clue they had a half brother living less than an hour away. Fortunately, they are all very warm and accepting and get along great. When he comes of legal age, he may or may not be curious to find relatives. (My husband was, his adoptive brother not at all) And it IS part of his identity, nature does have a role. And to him, it may explain why he may feel or think differently than you about some things.

 

Use the terms 'biological father' and emphasize that you are his dad, who has raised him every day. Just be cause his bio dad wasn't ready for responsibility, doesn't mean he never loved him (that will probably come up, a question like 'didn't he like me and want to be my dad?)

 

 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

The thing is, bio dad didnt have a choice. He didnt know, according to the mother. That is what she told my dh at the time he got with her. So its kinda like its not even *your bio didnt want you* he didnt even KNOW, which makes mother seem like a piece of crap, which is not what hubby wants at all. Coming out now b/c mother is trying to get c/s from bio dad or so she says. So, IDK. Thanks for the replies though.

post #8 of 15

I think the sooner the better, especially if there is a chance he may find out by accident with the whole c/s thing. I agree that 9 is a tough age, but so is 10, 11, 12... and the teen years are a crazy hormonal, emotional roller coaster!

post #9 of 15

"Coming out now b/c mother is trying to get c/s from bio dad or so she says."

 

Oh. my. God. uhoh3.gif

 

I don't see any choices here that don't involve 1) lying or 2) making your stepson's mother look like a piece of crap. I'm not sure what the right choice is, but I think that it I were you, I'd tell my husband to keep on not talking about it, if and if the truth surfaces due to his evil (EVIL! Bald guy petting a hairless cat level of evil!) ex chasing down a clueless old boyfriend and sticking him with child support, then your husband can say "Yes, I knew that, it doesn't really matter to me who planted the seed that made you. I'm your Dad. If you want to meet this other guy I will help arrange that when you are older." Mostly I would just pray that it stays buried until this whim to screw over an old boyfriend passes, and your husband has a chance to talk about this with his son in a more low-pressure way. 

post #10 of 15

Eh...people find this stuff out for all kinds of reasons, at all kinds of crappy times.

 

I found out my father had another child, a son many years older than me that had been adopted.  My dad told me when he was freaking out in the weeks following my mom's death.  Not great timing, but it worked. 

 

I would tell the boy sooner than later.  Just get it out there, get the conversations going, get the question-asking going, and get through this.  He's not a pre-teen or teen yet, which I would imagine would be a REALLY hard age to get this news.  9 is still at an age when a kid can feel comfortable leaning (hard!) on a parent for reassurance and comfort.

 

As for how...I'd just be honest.  Your husband didn't know how to bring it up, and he's sorry for that, but he feels like his son needs to know the truth now and they need to work through it together.  As for "real" dad...he certainly is a "real" dad. :)  It's okay for a child to know he has two dads, and that biological or adoptive--those are BOTH very "real" people, real roles, real relationships.

 

I'd just get on with it.  It's not an easy conversation, but once you HAVE the conversation then at least everyone can start being honest.

post #11 of 15

I think this is great advice:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Ideally, adopted children should be told so early that they never remember having "the conversation." But life isn't always ideal and this situation is one of those times.

 

If I were your husband, I would slowly introduce the idea of adoption and nontraditional families through conversations surrounding books or movies. Like "what do you think about the adoption in that movie we just watched? Do you know anyone who was adopted?" Just get a feel for how he reacts to the idea of adoption. Then let that be a guide for determining when and how to tell him.

 

I think I'd choose a time where there isn't a lot of other emotional stuff going on and I'd try to celebrate the converstaion, keep it happy not sad. Have a list of celebrities who had similar childhoods and/or animal stories about love and adoption. And I'd have the conversation a couple times, not just once, to make sure he has an opportunity to ask plenty of questions and really feel comfortable with it.

 

Other thing I think I'd try to do:

- tell other people in his life that you have had this conversation recently so they are prepared for his questions

- if I could find an adult adoptee to talk to him, I might do that



 

post #12 of 15

I agree.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post

Eh...people find this stuff out for all kinds of reasons, at all kinds of crappy times.

 

I found out my father had another child, a son many years older than me that had been adopted.  My dad told me when he was freaking out in the weeks following my mom's death.  Not great timing, but it worked. 

 

I would tell the boy sooner than later.  Just get it out there, get the conversations going, get the question-asking going, and get through this.  He's not a pre-teen or teen yet, which I would imagine would be a REALLY hard age to get this news.  9 is still at an age when a kid can feel comfortable leaning (hard!) on a parent for reassurance and comfort.

 

As for how...I'd just be honest.  Your husband didn't know how to bring it up, and he's sorry for that, but he feels like his son needs to know the truth now and they need to work through it together.  As for "real" dad...he certainly is a "real" dad. :)  It's okay for a child to know he has two dads, and that biological or adoptive--those are BOTH very "real" people, real roles, real relationships.

 

I'd just get on with it.  It's not an easy conversation, but once you HAVE the conversation then at least everyone can start being honest.



 

post #13 of 15

 

Maybe you guys are right. My worry is not that OP's husband will screw up the conversation, but that his son's mother will add a whole negative layer when the kid goes back to her house and asks her about it, because she's currently engaged in a negative confrontation with biodad (even if she hasn't filed paperwork, and the confrontation takes places entirely in her own mind). 

post #14 of 15

nm


Edited by 2lilsweetfoxes - 5/31/11 at 1:10pm
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

I know someone in a similar situation, except that the child is the result of an extramarital affair and she and her husband reconciled.  The baby (child's--she's 10 now) biological father has not been involved at all...though it may have been due to the mother of the mother indicating that the woman may have lost the baby.   Granted the momma of the baby did consider going after bio-dad for child support at one point, but decided to go out and get a job.  Her husband signed the birth certificate as the father (knowing everything) and has been the child's legal and psychological father since the day she was born.   The mother has never said anything to the contrary.


I hope in this case that the child knows. Because if you know, as a total 3rd party, then a lot of people know, and the child will find out. Better to find out honestly and openly from your own parents, then a 3rd party.

 

OP, whatever your SO decides, I agree with the posters that mention that it should be brought up in a positive way. I was adopted and I can tell you what does not work is negativity. I remember more than 1 birthday where my mom cried and said she felt sorry for my bio-mom, that she must be really sad on this day. Not what a 8 or 10 or 12 yo needs to be hearing from their mom on their birthday. Really.

 

Also stress that your SO is the "real dad" - using those words if possible. He needs the support, and knowing who is the "real dad" goes a long way to help him see that. Not that he should not have a good, strong relationship to the other man. I am not saying that. But the one who is there for you, through all the joys and sorrows of life, atr the "real" ones. I don't know about other adoptees, but I can't stand when people ask how my "real mom" is doing. Meaning my bio-mom. I find it so insulting. She was an egg and he was a sperm donor. Actually, I know her, and she is a lovely woman, we take vacations together.... but she is NOT my "real mom". My "real mom" is the one that wiped my bum as a baby, picked me up when I fell down, gave me support through thick and thin.... Your SO is the "real daddy", and he should stick by that, imo. Good luck.
 

 

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