Hypothetical question regarding adoption

sorabji.com: Do you love me?: Hypothetical question regarding adoption

By Spider on Thursday, July 3, 2003 - 01:24 pm:

    GIVEN: You are married and have a four-year-old son. You and your spouse have very good jobs with ample free time, are financially comfortable, have a comfortable home, and just basically have good, happy lives with your immediate family. You and your spouse both have many (4+) siblings, who are married and have children of their own.

    GIVEN: You have a twin sister, who has an 8-month-old daughter. She is a single parent, not in contact at all with the father of her child. She's also very troubled (imagine drug problems, severe mental illness, etc) and hoped that having a child would settle her down, but now it's been 8 months and she's as bad as ever. She wants nothing to do with her child and wants to give her up. You and your spouse decide to take the baby and raise her yourselves. (And if you're thinking "no way!" just pretend, okay?)

    OK, so my question is this...how do you deal with the truth of your baby girl's parentage? Here are some options:

    1. Never tell your daughter she's adopted and trust your family to keep shut about her "aunt" being her biological mother?

    2. Wait until your daughter is a certain age before telling her she's adopted and
    a. say nothing about her bio mother
    b. tell her her aunt's her bio mother

    3. Start telling the child from very early on that she's adopted, but
    a. keep her parentage a secret
    b. wait until she's certain age and then tell her about her aunt

    4. From the very beginning, let her know who her bio mother is

By wisper on Thursday, July 3, 2003 - 07:19 pm:

    i'd say tell the kid it's adopted, like any adopted kid, but don't tell the rest. That would probably be ideal. Except that the way families are it might get out eventually. And who'd want to learn that their fucked-up aunt is really their mother? Especially if the aunt only continued to get worse. Maybe just say they were given up by a very fucked-up too young druggie mom and leave it at that.

    Probably best to keep the aunt as far away from the kid as possible.

By BIGKev on Thursday, July 3, 2003 - 08:13 pm:

    out of presented scenario, and given options I would go with 3.B. BUT it all depends on the child... children (as you probably know) have there own personality from the getgo... so,

    I would say that the best way to deal with the situ. would be to ensure that the rest of the families know that they arent to say anything at all, until you have said something to the child, and that after that they are not to give opinions or pass judgement, or provide more info than the parents have.
    I would lean towards still telling the child the whole truth, but that would have to be a call made after decideing how the child would react to the news (some couldn't/wouldn't be able to deal with the info)
    Honesty is the route to go here IMO.

    And deffinitly keep the mother/aunt away, make the adoption papers with a clause that covers visitation and such. (also, maybe a writ (or whatever legal thingy needed) to make sure the mother/aunt wont say anything to the child herself)

    I have a very good friend that is adopted, (and an ex-gf,) and they both knew from a very young age that they were, and they new the circumstances of their adoptions and fostercare (at leaest as much as the parents new) and both were/are none the worst for the info, actually one was quite happy as she knew that the situ she had been removed from would have been disastrous to her life.

By agatha on Friday, July 4, 2003 - 12:07 am:

    4. without a doubt. Keep it simple, and explain that (kid's) bio mom loves (kid) very much, but is not able to be a good mother, and that she found a new home for (kid) with people that she loves and trusts because she loves (kid) and wanted a better life for (kid). I believe very strongly that kids should be allowed to know the truth whenever possible, but that's just me.

By Rowlf on Friday, July 4, 2003 - 06:49 pm:

    the longer you wait for a kid to know he's adopted, the more likely he is to think its a bad, shameful thing.

By Vilnius viper on Friday, July 4, 2003 - 09:00 pm:

    rowlf,again, i must agree with you,get that shit out the way,then boost the kids ego so he or she can take on the world.

By eri on Saturday, July 5, 2003 - 01:29 am:

    OK, I haven't "adopted" any kids. So my point is slightly off issue, while my point is very similar. My oldest daughter was born out of my first marriage. I was 19 years old, pregnant and married to an abusive alcoholic. When she was two months old I kicked his ass out and divorced him....NOW, Spunky has been her "Daddy" since she was 18 months old. And we were friends a long time before we were involved in a relationship. He has known her since she was a baby and has been the only father I ever knew.

    She doesn't have his last name. This became a big issue for her when she started school. Not knowing why they called her by her grandparents last name. She still doesn't want this name. I tell her the truth. Tom is her biological father, we got a divorce when she was a baby, and Daddy has been her father since she was a baby. She loves Trace, and he is her Daddy, but she knows who Tom is. She knows the truth. Sometimes it messes with her a little bit, cuz she wants to know Tom and can't, but that's it, and it isn't a really huge deal to her. I don't tell her details, I don't tell her about his abuse, or his drinking problem, or his many visits to prison and jail both. I don't give her details other than what she needs to know. I don't badmouth him, and I don't praise him, I just give her the few facts that she can handle.

    Bottom line is that it is the best thing that I can do for her. Sometimes she feels a little different cuz her last name is different, but it is a very small thing. It's the healthiest thing I could do.

    Were she an adopted child I would handle it the same way. She is an intelligent little girl and deserves the truth, but only enough that she can emotionally handle or understand at her age.

    I wouldn't say we adopted you cuz your momma was a crack whore fucking all the neighborhood for drug money and neglecting your physical needs, but just that she was adopted. Any more questions would be that her biological mom wasn't in a position to take good care of her, so we adopted her to take good care of her.

    Hayley knows that we love her unconditionally, and that she isn't more or less of a person because Tom was the "sperm donor" as I like to call it. Not that I say that to her, that's just how I refer to it when she isn't around. She is a normal happy healthy child who is intelligent a beautiful.

    So again, I am for the truth, but not brutal truth, cuz kids aren't good at handling that. Still I believe in honesty with your kids. I think it is important. Secrets and lies only lead to heartache and feelings of misplaced trust.

By TBone on Saturday, July 5, 2003 - 08:16 am:

    Totally #4. If the kid knows the truth from the very beginning, it won't seem all that weird to the kid. It'll just be the way it's always been.

    It's when the "shocking truth" is withheld that they end up on talk shows.

By BIGKev on Saturday, July 5, 2003 - 12:49 pm:

    whats the diference between prison and jail?

By jack on Saturday, July 5, 2003 - 12:58 pm:

    generally, the length of the sentence

By eri on Monday, July 7, 2003 - 10:48 am:

    Or how "bad" the crime was, but mostly length of sentence. He used to get jail for back child support (he now owes Hayley approx $30,000, so you can imagine how he has literally almost never paid). He went to prison for bank fraud, and his 9th DUI, but only jail for the first 8 of them. Some of em he didn't even go to jail but rather to a class about the dangers of drunk driving. So I guess it all depends on the length of the sentence, and how bad the court feels your crime was.

    Either way, I still go for truth, but only enough truth that it doesn't hurt your kids. I mean, no lies, no big hidden secrets, but limited information about said truth, until they are old enough to emotionally handle it.

By Spider on Monday, July 7, 2003 - 11:17 am:

    Thanks for your opinions, guys. This is for a story I'm thinking about.

    I would lean toward #3B myself, but I'd wait for the child to express interest in learning who her real mother is instead of waiting until she's a certain age. Then I'd tell her the truth.

    Maybe Agatha is right, though, and a modified #4 is best -- I'd hate, as Wisper mentioned, for the extended family to blurt out the truth accidentally or on purpose and hurt the kid. Better for her to know as soon as possible. Personally, if this were my adopted child, I would leave it up to the girl to decide whether she wanted to call me "mom" or by my first name or whatever. I'd stress to her, though, that I thought of myself as her mother and of her as my daughter, so that she would feel secure in her place in her adopted family (and because it would be true, of course).

By semillama on Monday, July 7, 2003 - 01:16 pm:

    Eri, did Trace legally adopt your eldest?

By eri on Monday, July 7, 2003 - 02:19 pm:

    Not yet. In the process. Tom has already agreed to it (in fact it was his idea) and we have an attorney, but we can't afford the homestudy. We have to go thru an adoption agency to get the homestudy done and it's going to be over a grand to do it. So that is our hold up....aside from the fact that we would have to get letters of recommendation from like 4 friends and we don't have that many friends who know us well enough or for long enough to write this kind of letter. Only one letter is to be from family, and I am going to have Tom's mother write that one, but the other 4 have to be from friends, and we only have 1 friend close to us who can say why Trace deserves to adopt her, kinda thing. So we are stuck in a money and letter rut to keep us from getting it totally done.

    Hayley wants him to, and wants to have his last name, but we just aren't able to do it yet.

By BIGKev on Monday, July 7, 2003 - 11:26 pm:

    9TH DUI!!!!!!!!!!!! holy shit.... 'round here you get 3, and that means you never drive again (legally).

    Thats too bad about the ex, eri.... i totally understand that kind of situ. wish there was something that i could do to help...

    When i win the lottery, i'll send you the money...(even though $1000US is about all i could win here, hehehe)

By eri on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 - 12:18 am:

    He has had DUI's over multiple states so has only served time for one of them (cuz he was up to 3 or 4 in that state) he can't drive in Virginia, and Washington at all. He doesn't care. He calls me with pity parties about how he was sleeping in the gutters mooching money off of his Grandma for food (when he had a job but blew his money on booze) how he got his ass kicked by this girls boyfriend cuz he was caught smoking pot with her alone in the dark (duh). I just laugh my ass off at his own stupidity. He knows he is doing this to himself, but he doesn't want to change, so it's his fucking problem and I really don't care anymore. I call that the joy of a divorce.

    Thanx for the offer BigKev. I appreciate the support. I have been fortunate that all who have known me or this situation don't give me shit about ditching his loser ass. It took me a long time to see that I couldn't make him care enough to change, but a man tries to hurt me (physically) once and then he is out the door.

    He tried to beat me up (wuss) and threatened to shoot me (couldn't find the gun) and then threatened to shoot Hayley, and then threatened to shoot himself. Idiot. It didn't take much to get him out of the picture.

    One day we will get the adoption done. But he isn't in the picture anyways, so it is basically documentation of what already is. I think it is bullshit that we have to get the adoption agency to do all these homestudies and shit like that. I mean, if it's Tom's idea, and he consents to it and I am Hayley's mother and I consent to it, and Hayley consents to it, then why the fuck do we need to deal with all of the drama and money? It just seems ridiculous. I mean, whether they granted it or not, she would still live under his roof, he would still provide everything possible for her wellbeing, so it wouldn't make any difference other than paperwork and a last name.

    You know....since this whole thing started out on the idea of adoption....I must admit that I go through phases where I want to adopt more children. To have a son. To give a child a decent home and a loving family. Sometimes, seeing what kids are put through these days, I want to take them in and show them what the true meaning of unconditional love is, and help to guide them to be the best people they can be. Most times, though, I realize I don't have the patience to deal with extra kids. My two are more than a handful as it is. There is a reason I couldn't have a large family, somewhere, there is a reason. It wasn't meant for me, and it would probably be too much for me to take on and do right.


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