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Does your child have an older sibling that was given up?

How have you handled it? Our son (19 months old) has a 7 year old brother that my hubby had with an ex and gave up in an open adoption. The older child knows all about us and his little brother, and we get yearly updates and pictures from his adoptive family. I am not sure how or what to tell our son, or when. I don't want to keep it from him and have him find out another way, but I don't have a clue when or how to tell him about it myself either. The last thing I want is for him to ever think he will be given up too!! Your tips or input are much appreciated.

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getrealmama

Asked by getrealmama at 2:07 PM on Aug. 15, 2010 in Adoption

Level 19 (7,818 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • wow i think the best way is to be honest and up front with him and allow him to see the pic and up dates about his brother and to find out if when the boys are older they can contact each other...
    cara124

    Answer by cara124 at 2:09 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Well, as long as you are loving your child and he's apart of your world, I don't think that you should worry any. Although, when a child is angry they tend to retaliate, so don't be too hurt if he says why don't you just give me up too. The 7 yr old is way in the past, and that wasn't you it was a different mama. All I can say is do your best, and always remember that he's 19mo old, there isn't too much that he gets and fully understands yet, so I would wait until he was 5 to really talk to him about it.
    kbishop8688

    Answer by kbishop8688 at 2:10 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I would start by showing him pictures and telling him that it's his brother, but he lives with another family. That way he'll always know about it and he can ask questions in his own time.
    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 2:15 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Yeah I don't plan to bring it up for a long time. It's just been on my mind and I was curious how others might handle the situation. Luckily the adoptive family is really nice, and I know they would welcome contact if we ever wanted it. But they are halfway across the country so it's not like we will ever run into them accidentally.
    getrealmama

    Comment by getrealmama (original poster) at 2:15 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • No but I was the older child who found out on her own at age 16 that she has an older brother almost a year to the day older given up for adoption... same mom different dad. ( mom kinda got around) No one told me.. dont know when they were ever going to tell me but I hit the roof , it was also same time I found out my mom aborted a child whom she was pregnant with after my little sister. Yeah I got the double whammy and very much hit the roof!
    I encourage you to not wait that long but possibly introduce the pictures and such letting him know that is his brother and be age appropriate and in time he will most likely ask questions.. be honest and answer them. Make sure Daddy is involved too.
    Shaneagle777

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 2:18 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • i think you should just be honest & tell him from the start. he won't really question it if it's something he's known since before he can remember. you don't need to over-complicate it. he'll be too young to fully understand for a long time. just show him the pictures and say, "this is your older brother" & answer his questions honestly whenever he asks, even if he asks years from now, he'll know it was never a secret. if you act like you're ashamed of it, he'll catch the vibe & know. just be casual & honest. it's never too early to introuce the concept of siblings. he'll just grow up knowing he has a brother out there living with a different family, & it won't be odd or weird at all to him.
    rAbella

    Answer by rAbella at 2:21 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • My mom gave up my older sister. I always wondered why she didn't give me up too. We're grown now so it's ok now. I understand what happened and why she did what she did. I almost gave up my youngest dd but changed my mind but she gave up one of her children and I worry her little girl will feel rejected since dd kept the sons. It had nothing to do with gender. It was circumstances. We all do what we think is right and hope it works out for everyone in the end.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 2:31 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • IMO, you should "tell him now"

    I don't mean explain to your tot the whole story, but he deserves to know he has a brother.
    I don't know if you already show him pictures or not, but *IMO* you should be.
    If he is exposed from the very beginning it won't be a shock all at once.
    When he is old enough to wonder and start asking questions is when you will really have to talk to him.

    Good luck!!
    ToriBabe1221

    Answer by ToriBabe1221 at 2:49 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • take your time and give your son information that is age appropriate. my 7 year old has 2 older siblings who do not live with us. one was given up for adoption. as of this last year they have now seen eachother twice and are building a relationship with eachother. it takes time and patience . sometimes your child at home might go through an anger phase or a dreaming phase etc.
    sati769leigh

    Answer by sati769leigh at 8:45 AM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • I told my children since they were very little (probably right around 2 or 3). I showed them pictures of him and his family, just like I would any distant relative they don't have contact with. My boys grew up knowing of their older biological brother, I believed this help because it was just fact and I shared with them from an early age how other families come to be. It was never secret because I didn't want them to feel ashamed or think that it was shameful. We have a picture of him and his parents hanging in our home as well. Don't be surprised however if he asks a lot of questions, like why you placed, why you couldn't keep him, why your family didn't help, then there is the sadness they go through knowing they have a sibling that is not with them. My 12 yr old will sometimes still get sad about it. My 2nd child spoke to my first son on Myspace when they were 15 and 13. I think its best to start early.
    blessedwboysx3

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 12:34 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

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