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For Adoptees:Were you concerned you might date a relative?

I know when I started dating this was a concern for me and I would have been devastated if I had found that had happened after searching and finding my biological family (fortunately never happened). It is not uncommon for adoptees to find biological relatives living close by or that they already know-such as co-workers. This is probably not something people will talk about if it happened to them. There have been some cases though - for instance a couple in England found out they were fraternal twins and I believe sued the agency so it made the news. But if someone found they had dated say a cousin briefly in their teens I doubt they would talk about it. Was this a concern for other adoptees or for biological or adtoptive families?


Asked by confused969 at 8:03 AM on Nov. 13, 2010 in Adoption

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Answers (10)
  • This happened to my former brother in law. He didnt' know he was adopted (his adoptive mom knew who his family was, as his dad was his biological father and my former BIL was a result of an affair and his dad's wife adopted and raised him) He really liked this girl in high school. His mom was adamant that he could not see this girl, but refused to give him a reason. He eventually lost interest, but found out several years later why his mom wouldn't let them date. The girl was his cousin.

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:09 AM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • My adoptee son used to worry about that. Since I found his birth father (I'm his birth mother) and found out that his children are very young, my son doesn't worry any more. Of course this assumes birth dad didn't impregnate anyone else...


    Answer by onethentwins at 2:23 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • I am adopted. Yes, I absolutely worried about it. My agency made a point to choose parents for me who were far away from where my original family lived. They forgot that it's still a small world. I spent a week or so every year visiting adoptive cousins who lived 8 hours from my home. They lived within minutes of my original cousins, aunt and uncle. I had male first cousins just a few years older than me. I very well could have passed one in the grocery store or a restaurant. The idea that we could have met or dated was a real possibility.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:44 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

  • My AP's moved 3000 miles away from my birthplace when I was about 5. Dating a brother or cousin wasn't a real concern for me, but there was one special guy that I did question - are you native American (my aps told me that I was NA)
    I asked him if he was SURE he wasn't adopted (I just had a feeling that my mom wouldn't have kept any kids)
    and I had him tell me if his family had any connection to my birth state.
    Not much more a closed adoptee can do to verify that you're not sleeping with a family member

    what I probably should have considered more in a potential mate was their family medical history, not knowing mine....
    My oldest broinlaw is Mentally retarded.....I took the risk to have my children with this in hubbys family. And at 35 years old and my family complete- I learned that MY oldest brother was ALSO MR. and my nonid said mom was healthy as a horse. Rrrgh

    Answer by adopteeme at 4:54 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • My mother put her first daughter up for adoption due to life circumstances so that she could have a better life then my mom felt she could provide, I am my mothers youngest child and I always wonder, if my older sister is out there, could she have ever dated my older brother? They are close in age. Some times it gives me the heebees but I mean aside from blood testing every girl he dates there is no way to know.. I do wish I could meet her though... But my dads father was adopted... So anyone I have been with could be a relative.. though siblings is a more creepy concept then say like 5th cousins or something..

    Answer by Bribry at 5:42 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • My birthson used to wonder about that too. Now that he knows us though, it's not a concern. He had always said he couldn't date anyone in part of our state because he considers family - his aparents, my side of the family, my husbands side of the family and of course his birthdad's family. We have pretty big families, of course, he was only joking. Growing up he wonder if his bestfriend and him were half brothers because they looked so much alike. There's always that concern about family history.

    Answer by DVT at 8:18 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • We are not worried about it but dating is a ways away. But certainly I can see how this could be a potential worry or concern. I don't find it strange. It would be so random and so rare to date a sibling or close relative. But not unheard of. All I can do is hope that by the time my son is an adult that he will have the information he needs so this will not be a concern.

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:13 AM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • My bio dad was a male slut. There was a possibility of him fathering 3 children with in a year or 2 of my birth in small towns next to where we lived and all those towns everyone hangs out in Highschool. So I would not date anyone unless they where very certain of who their father was. Even than I was still scared.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:10 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • I'm glad to see that other have shared these concerns since I don't see this discussed and wonderd if I was the only one who thought about this. If I remember right (it was a long time ago-lol) on my marriage license there was a question about if your spouse was a blood relative and for adoptees from closed adoptions (and their children and grandchildren too) there really is no way to be 100% sure the answer is no unless you have been able to locate the bfamily. Even just a single date that with a quick goodnight kiss if I had I found out had been with even a cousin later on would have creeped me out. I can't imagine how awful it would be to find you had married a blood relative. Looking forward to reading more answers.

    Comment by confused969 (original poster) at 8:48 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • It's not unheard of, but it's pretty rare and not very likely. No, I've never been concerned about it for myself (I'm adopted) or my children (so are they).

    Answer by justnancyb at 6:52 PM on Nov. 21, 2010