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Recently found out I was adopted in 1973! Confused - very complex

Community Member

So my natural father died 2 years ago and told me in a letter (which I got after his death and didn't bother reading until 2 months ago) that he was my natural father but my mother wasn't my mother.

This is the story.

In 1972 my father 33 years old at the time, got a 14 yo pregnant. Small country town. For whatever reason my fathers wife, who already had two children to him - a girl and a boy, agreed to fake a pregnancy and raise me as her own. When I was born my father and his wife were put on my birth certificate. So I was never formally adopted - my birth certificate was forged. Unbeknown to my "new mum", my father had her best friend pregnant as well. My new mother left and took the three of us away. She then tried to adopt me out but my father wouldn't sign the adoption papers! So I was raised with my "new mum" and her "new husband". I found out that he wasn't my father when I was 9. I always knew something was wrong. My "mum" treated me so differently to my older sister and all my life I have wondered why she didn't love me. I am not the only one that sees it. It is very obvious. So now I know my "mum" has lied to me all my life. I finally met my natural father when I was 16 and had an on again off again relationship with him till he died 2 years ago. I have suffered all my life with depression due to my "mums" treatment of me and abuse suffered at the hands of my step-father.

So, I have managed to track down my birth mother and have spoken to her on a number of occasions. I have also spoken to her dad on the phone - he is dying and wants to meet me but I have said no.

Over the years I have had counselling and felt I had finally resolved my "issues". Then I was hit with all of this. My relationship with my "mum" is fractured as is with my two other siblings. We went through so much trauma at the hands of my step-father that we have all built walls and I know that there is no way I can tell any of them about this.

The thought of meeting my birth mother is filling me with total dread - it is bringing up so many issues. I have had 3 terrible parents. I have managed despite that to build a life for myself and have beautiful children. I am worried - terrified meeting her will bring up all the past and leave me wide open to another break down.

I am not sure if there is other adoptees out there who have been through these mixed feelings. Reaching out in the hope that someone can give me some advise or words of wisdom!

10 Replies 10

Community Champion
Community Champion
Dear K~
Thank you for explaining. A very clear description of a complex situation, I suspect it might have been quite difficult for you to write.

Please take the below slowly, I’m raising a couple of issues that might be difficult.

A couple of things pop out at me. Your BM tried to find out about you when you were 18, but was blocked. In the last couple of years you found and made contact with her. It looks like each of you wanted, at least somewhat, to know the other.

From what you say it sounds like you have had some pretty far-reaching talks with your BM and her father already. I guess if it developed into a close relationship that would be worth a lot.

Unfortunately, as you set out, it would come at a couple of prices. The mental anguish and turmoil of bringing past events and relationships in your life to the fore. Also the contact with her resentful toxic children.

I have a feeling you would see them again anyway if you were mentioned in your BM’s estate, sometime in the future. (At that stage there may be no formal link at law with your BM to help you deal with them).

While I can understand your thinking about not opening boxes, just filing and forgetting, I’m not sure you have that choice. It may in fact be a little late for that, and trying to hold your BM at arm’s length long-term may not be effective at this stage.

You have started to think about things.

You have mentioned your children, but not if you have a partner. What support do you have in your (not your new mum’s) family?

Not much help. I do think that you are equipped to handle things though, with the same strength and love that you used to raise your own family of beautiful children.