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Expected reaction from adopted children?
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Expected reaction from adopted children?

In my future I plan on adopting four children. Though from what I'm reading it seems like a majority of people who had been adopted do a complete 180 once they find out they were adopted. As if their adopted parents don't mean anything because they are not biologically their parents. I can't believe that some people call parents strangers when they raised them a majority of their life, that excludes unfit adopted parents.

Now I wouldn't expect gratitude or praise and worship just because I adopted. But god would it be hurtful to be thought of as a stranger or not a real parent after all of those years of nurture and love.

As an adopted parent how did you handle the situation? Did your relationship with your children change? Did they gain a stronger bond with their biological parents?

As a future aparent, how should I deal with this if my children react in such a way?

I do plan on gaining as much information on their biological parents as I can, or as much as they will allow, for medical and personal reasons.


My husband and I have adopted two siblings and having been around adoption all of my life I have had an advantage to learn from those situations I have witnessed.

The way I see it is I get to choose my own attitude about how important I am in the lives of my children.

I have watched my former mother-in-law Push her adopted children away, and cause them to exclude her as a part of their Discovery and Reconnection with their biological families. Her intolerance and unwillingness to allow her children to Have an Interest has left her Out of something she could have been part of. Granted she adopted in a different day and age.

As her children were raised she was simply unable to give them information, or allow them to have positive feelings at all about the mother that gave them birth. From the outside looking in I SEE just how much this attitude damaged her children--primarily her son. He developed a negative feeling toward women in general and could never look at a pregnant woman without disdain. Even me, his wife and the mother of his children. He NEVER heard a word about his birth or a story of his life starting. It hurt him and his hurt caused damage to his wife and His Children.

It's very sad that She is Not a part of the Reunion her son has had during the past 3-years. She has no knowledge of his discovery and there is a huge family secret from Her. She has no clue her grandchildren have found both of their biological grandparents and another fully biological Aunt and cousin. It is sad.

My cousin on the other hand was raised with floods of information and parents who did not discount her interest in learning about her biological family. When she became an adult she didn't have a huge Need to fill in the blanks but, as often happens one of her biological siblings found her. The reunion with her biological family has been a Shared family event! We are all part of it and all interested in how she is learning about her family. She has had exciting adventures and shared holidays with Both of her Mothers in her home--with her husband and three children.

I feel that the mother of my children is No Threat to me. She is part of my children she gave them the features they have, their personalities, their natural athletic and music talent! She gave them life! Aside from the fact she was found unfit and Hurt them by her own inability to parent--I have Nothing to worry about.

When the time comes for my children to be ready and want reunion I don't intend to get worked up about it. I know that IF I do a good job with my children No Matter the Attraction to anyone else, they will come back to me and form the Adult Relationship WE end up having.

If I make this all about Me and How I feel--I will Lose something! When my children grow up I expect they will Love More then Just Mommy and Daddy--they will hopefully love their own spouses and children and I trust them enough to have room to love Me and their biological Mother for the relationships we each have with them.

There may be periods of time when they become adults where I am more or less important to them. BUT the fact of the matter is that this happens no matter what with children who become adults.

My biological son (a former mama's boy) has reinforced my feelings even more! He has become a Man, been college educated and is IN LOVE with Another Woman! My son's girlfriend is no more a threat to me and my relationship with him then any other woman--unless I make if one!

If we are the best parents we can be--if we give our children the truth and if we give them Permission to Love other people Whats one More Mom or Parent going to matter down the road? It will only matter If I make it matter otherwise I pray to God my little ones grow up and Want to have Me in their lives.

Lori A
I have been in reunion for 9 years with my daughter. Her parents were concerned at first that they would be left behind. I may be my daughters mother but I am not her mom. Together we have found her father and again this is his title, not dad, father.

My daughter loves her parents. She has no reason not to. But that has nothing to do with her ancestry, medical info or finding siblings.

Just because people are angry about their secret lives that only they can't know, does not mean they are angry at their parents. It's the system, and the lies told to everyone. Huge difference.

The system needs changing, the practice of adoption itself needs reform. At some point adult adoptees need to stop being protected by the state from their lives as if they are children. SOME Future adoptive parents need to understand that babies are not blank slates, or the latest fad.

What you read here is not about hating parents who raised you. It's about change, change to a system that is broken, corrupt, and uncaring about the well being of its very lively-hood, the people who use their services.

Cynthia T
Ok coming from someone who is adopted, i was happy when my parents who adopted me told me. They told all the kids never hide anything. It should not change how the feel or act. I love my parents to death cause if it was not for them i would be god knows where right now. As long as u are up front with them it should be fine. Cause that shows they have someone who really cares that took them in when they didnt have to. So go with your heart. And remember to just tell the truth

Heather B
You need to go into this knowing that you are/will be a parent but you are not the only parent

Understanding and accepting this fact will go a long way to cementing a loving and stable relationship with an adoptee

ETA: Most adoptees love their adoptive parents, but should not be obligated to preface every statement they make about adoption with that fact.

I've known people who were adopted and they never did that. They may have been curious about their biological parents but they never turned their backs on their adoptive parents. To me, I think the key is to be honest from the start. Don't try to hide the fact that they were adopted but make sure they know that you are their parent now and you love them just like any biological parent would.

And don't think that everything you read is an accurate representation of most adoptees. Usually the only things that get written about are bad experiences, if things go fine and normal people don't tend to say anything.

Gaia Raain II
I don't know which posts you're referring to, so I'll just speak in general terms from things I've read on this board in the last year and a half or so.

When the word "stranger" is used, it's meant to refer to the adoptive parents when they first came into the adoptee's life - not today. They are no longer strangers NOW, are they? But once, they were strangers. However, biological parents were NOT strangers. The adoptee carries his/her biological parents in every cell of his/her body. They are connected intimately. The child is born knowing his mother's voice, her heartbeat, her scent, her emotions, her personality, and he is expecting HER. So, when that child is placed in a stranger's arms, and the Mother s/he was expecting never returns, that is traumatic. At that moment in time, all the child knows is that there is a stranger present, and the Mother is gone.

It is generally accepted that you should share with the adoptee that they are adopted from a VERY young age. There should never be a moment when they "find out" they are adopted. They should simply know. If your relationship with your child is built on lies, yes, they could very well "do a complete 180". If you found out that your spouse had been lying to you from day 1 about who they were, wouldn't you do a complete 180?

Most adoptee's that I've spoken with do not suddenly develop issues with their adoptive parents - and whether or not they do develop issues with them seems to have nothing to do with the adoption itself. If the adoptive parents are abusive, if they lie or keep secrets, if they do not honor the adoptee's personhood (including, but not limited to, their connection with their first parents), then of course they're going to have issues with them. You would, too, if someone treated you with that lack of respect. But generally speaking, if adoptive parents are decent people, and put forth the effort necessary to be GOOD adoptive parents, the adoptees I have spoken to have not had issues with their adoptive parents.

That does not mean they don't have issues with adoption itself. Adoption begins with the loss of the child's entire family - his/her entire WORLD just suddenly up and walks away. That's traumatic. And children do not have the ability to explain what's happening to them. It can take a lifetime to work through those wounds, and if you plan to be an adoptive parent, you might do well to learn as much as you can about what exactly happens when an adoption occurs. It looks very different from the perspective of the child - and the first parents - than it does from the perspective of the adoptive parents, who are really the only winners in this scenario.

This is how you handle it: You do not hide the fact that they were adopted. If they know from the beginning, they will not react in such a way "when you tell them" because they will already know. If you can be open with the mother and father and their family in your adoption, then you should. (if it is legally allowed as many children through foster care do not have that "privilege".) You do not state how you plan to adopt, but I will assume foster care adoption. If you do get an infant or very young child from foster care adoption, just be open about the situation. Pretending they are your own children for ANY amount of time is just a bad idea and there are numerous studies out there that back me up on that.

Rachel M
don't believe everything you read and raise your children knowing they are adopted. My friend was raised this way. It was very helpful for her.

It seems like you are talking about adopted parents that did not tell their children that they were adopted until later in life. I am adopted and always know that I was adopted, and I loved my adoptive parents, and always considered them my real parents. My hubby and I adopted 2 children as well, and told them at a very young age. When children find out later, it could come across as being adopted is something to keep a secret or to be ashamed of. Relationship with adopted children cannot change when they find out they are adopted if it is a household word from the time they are toddlers. They may not understand what it all means, but they can learn as they grow. Just make sure you share with them early. Also having as much info about biological mothers can help- but sometimes it can be confusing for the child as well. There is a balance. Good luck, and also bless you for wanting to adopt children.

As an adoptee, I believe when you tell your child he/she was adopted has a LOT to do with how they take it. Almost all of the stories I hear about adopted children doing a 180 involved them finding out when they were into their teens, or finding out by accident, like it had been a dirty secret.

I knew I was adopted from the time I was old enough to understand the concept. In fact, I don't remember ever NOT knowing I was adopted. I have a brother who was adopted as well as two brothers who are biologically my parents' kids.

As far as my adopted brother and I are concerned, we only have one set of parents, and they're the two people who raised us. My only interest, and it's marginal at best, in my bio parents is regarding their medical history.

So, my advice is to make it clear from the beginning that your children were adopted and you made a special choice to bring them into your life. Be aware too that there are a lot of ignorant people out there who view adopted children as somehow less of a child and more of a pet. My dad's (former) attorney was shocked that my parents were including my adopted brother and I in the will, because "You've done enough for them already, taking them in when no one else wanted them" as if we were street urchins caught vandalizing a car and adoption or jail was our only options. I had an old lady at church tell me that I better straighten up and act right and be grateful I had a home because my parents certainly didn't HAVE to put up with me, given I wasn't their real child. Nice huh? Your adopted kids will likely run into some of that, and they need to be pretty secure in the knowledge that they ARE your children. Otherwise, they'll likely start acting out, figuring you'll probably stop loving them at some point and it might as well be at their own choosing.

Being adopted myself, I can tell you that it WAS like being raised with strangers. I don't think that they bonded with me. I know I didn't bond with them. It isn't anybodys fault. We just had personalities that didn't mesh well. It is like having roommates. I mean, I cared about them, and them for me, but there was no real bond to speak of. When my a-mom went off the deep end when I was about 10 things got worse. I'm not saying that every adoption turns out this way, but many do. I didn't change. Our relationship didn't change. I grew up, matured, and now I'm comfortable calling a spade a spade. I never felt connected with my a-family. I used to feel ashamed about it, but I don't anymore. I tried to be the daughter they always said they dreamed of having, but it was never enough to make me their "real" child. You just have to take things as they come. Have open dialog, don't hide things... just make sure that you LISTEN. If they talk about their feelings, don't deny them. Don't placate them, or patronize them. Let them know that every feeling that they have is legitimate. That would be my biggest piece of advice.

ETA: I've always known I was adopted.

My daughter and I have a good relationship. It's probably stronger because she met her birth mom. And nothing had changed for the better in the birth moms life during the intervening years--or if so I don't see it.
Are you planning to adopt through an agency, foster to adopt, And I hesitate to say "buy a child" which we never considered. I believe children should grow up knowing they are adopted and loved.

My adoptive parents are my only parents.

If I were to meet either of my birth parents I could love them and want to know them but they would never be my family.

Don't believe that the majority feel this way.
My husband was adopted as a baby and had no desire to find out about his birth mother when he was told he was adopted. His parents gave him the opportunity and he said "you raised me, you are the only mom and dad I've known, you are my family". That was that.

If you raise a child from an infant you must tell them at the earliest possible age (where they'll understand) that they were adopted. Explain adoption, but not necessarily why they were given up. The longer you wait to tell them, the more animosity they may feel towards you for not saying something sooner. It is their right to know, even if they don't ask pertinent questions til later in life.

If your children get angry or upset do your best to talk with them. Find out why they are mad and exactly with whom they are mad. Are they angry that they were given up? Angry that they never knew their birth family? Angry because of something you did or didn't do?
Find out if they want to search for their birth parents and help them if you can. Perhaps the bio parents will be able to help them realise they are better off with you and always have been and that you ARE their mother even though you didn't give birth to them.
Try counseling as well.

Adopting older children is equally difficult but they already know why they can't be with their bio families.

I didnt really read what you said partly for lack of interest in boring typers and partly from me being a douchebag. But if the adopted child is black i disagree.

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