Dear Barb – Adopted

Dear Barb:

I am in my early twenties and just found out I was adopted. I had a very happy childhood and felt loved by my parents, but since I never looked like anybody else in the family, I always felt different. In the back of my mind I wondered if I was adopted because I was so dark and both my parents are fair, but I just put it out of my mind. Despite my suspicions, I was shocked when my parents sat me down and told me. They felt it was best that I didn’t know until I was old enough to deal with it. I can’t say I agree with that. I think it would have been better if I knew and could grow up knowing the truth. This revelation just put my whole world into chaos! Also, when my parents told me I was adopted, they presented me with my birth parents names and contact information. Apparently they have kept in touch with them through the years, even sending pictures to them. My parents said it is up to me if I want to contact my biological parents and they said they would support whatever I decide to do. I am so confused I don’t know what I should do. I feel that since my birth parents gave me away, why would I want to reconnect with them, on the other hand, I’m curious, and if I have siblings I would want to meet them. I love my adopted parents, but I am kind of angry that they held this information from me for all these years, especially since they were in contact with my biological parents. I just feel totally confused! Help, Sally.

Hi Sally:

Thank you for writing and sharing your story. I’m sure there are many people who have, and are, feeling what you are feeling. I completely understand your confusion; your whole world has been turned upside down. Some parents choose to tell their adopted children that they are adopted from a young age and others decide to wait, as your parents did. Your feelings of abandonment by your birth parents are normal, but you may want to find out why they chose to give you up for adoption. Because she kept in touch with your adoptive parents she obviously did not want to abandon you, and probably felt she was not capable of providing you with a good home and wanted to give you an opportunity to have a good life. Undoubtedly it is a difficult and painful process for a birth mother to go through. You don’t really know the circumstances of your birth and surrender, but you will never know the truth unless you take a chance and meet your birth family. Perhaps you should join a support group in your area for adoptees that are reuniting with birth parents. Ask your doctor for information on support groups or check online for more information. Good luck Sally.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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