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Having the "Adoption Talk" with a child.. Advice

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Ok, so in a nut shell my eight yr old's bio dad has been out of his life for almost seven years. I left him when my son was five weeks old due to domestic violence. He literally ABANDONED my son, went and had another son and named him the EXACT same name as my son... told everyone that I wouldn't allow him to see my son, that he wasn't sure that my son was his. Stopped paying CS, just up and ABANDONED him.  Well, my current DH and I have known each other for six years been together for five, married for three and have a one year old together. When my son first met DH he called him by his name, "Frankie." At the time my father was the only male role model in my son's life and we all called my him Dad so my son did as well. Well one day, out of no where my son started calling DH Daddy-Frankie. My husband didn't even miss a beat and before we were ever engaged he said that he wanted adopt my son. Over the years, I have tried to address the fact that Daddy- Frankie is not really his bio dad, but he is his dad because he WANTS to be his dad and he loves him. DS would cry, say that Daddy-Frankie IS his dad and he looks just like him... that I'm lying. Well, I left it alone for a while because I figured he was too young to understand what I was trying to tell him. Well, ds has been asking more and more questions. Such as how is SS his brother but SS's mommy is J and not me... why does the baby have the same last name as Daddy-Frankie but he has to wait for the adoption to be finished before he can have the same last name? Why is SS and him the same age? I really think that I need to try to have the adoption talk with him... but DH is currently deployed. I don't know how to go about this again... what do I say? What do I do if he gets upset? What if he wants to find his bio dad? 

 I know this conversation NEEDS to be had.. my little sister is adopted, she is not related to us in no way shape or form. A child at school told her she was adopted when she was ten and she went ballistic and beat the child up... didn't speak to my parents for a month. Now at the age of 17 she is defiant, nasty... she says she loves my parents but whenever they get into an argument she tells them that they're not really her parents. ADVICE PLEASE?

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM
Replies (11-20):
dana63
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:33 PM

 My twins (who are 29 now) was also left by their BIO father and when they were almost 3 I met and married my hub. They called him by his first name until my DD was born and then a year afterwards and then she started saying "dada" and so they started calling him dad and as they years went on they knew he wasnt their dad. At 17 when their BIO and I was in court they were there and he hasnt seen them (at that time) since birth and all he could talk about was his other sons, never did he ask them anything about themselves. My sons are fathers themselves and their girls carry my hubs last name and their last name as the middle name. They said they knew who their dad was and who "walked" away so their kids didnt deserve his last name. Like I said they are 29 and the one and only time they saw their bio was in court and then he left and never looked back again.

I want to add I was always honest with my boys and never said a bad thing about him, they told me that I allowed them to make the judgement and they dont miss him or think about him.

Good luck!!

marinenonstop
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Thank you, your story is encouraging


Quoting dana63:

 My twins (who are 29 now) was also left by their BIO father and when they were almost 3 I met and married my hub. They called him by his first name until my DD was born and then a year afterwards and then she started saying "dada" and so they started calling him dad and as they years went on they knew he wasnt their dad. At 17 when their BIO and I was in court they were there and he hasnt seen them (at that time) since birth and all he could talk about was his other sons, never did he ask them anything about themselves. My sons are fathers themselves and their girls carry my hubs last name and their last name as the middle name. They said they knew who their dad was and who "walked" away so their kids didnt deserve his last name. Like I said they are 29 and the one and only time they saw their bio was in court and then he left and never looked back again.

I want to add I was always honest with my boys and never said a bad thing about him, they told me that I allowed them to make the judgement and they dont miss him or think about him.

Good luck!!



onethentwins
by Silver Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 9:20 PM
1 mom liked this

My adoption issues guru, Marlou Russell, would say "When in doubt, tell the truth and use "I" statements."

Here's a link to her website. http://www.marlourussellphd.com/ click on "articles" and scroll down to "Talking to your child about adoption and foster care issues". You might find some ideas on how to talk to your DS. She's a lovely person and if you email her with your concern I'm sure she'll answer you.

Also your sister sounds like she could use some help with her adoption issues too. Maybe Marlou can help her too, I know she was a massive help to me.

Best of luck :)

MessedUpMama
by Bronze Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:53 PM
1 mom liked this

DS #3 is in reality my step son, he knows that I am not his birth Mom. He knows that she is out there somewhere and that someday he can look for her if he wants to. At this point he knows that she left him with DH and I when he was a baby because she didn't feel like she could be a good parent to him at the time. He will learn that she preferred to party and do drugs rather than be a parent, so she left him with us, when he is old enough to understand that it wasn't because he wasn't lovable or cute enough or anything. When he is able to understand that it's not his fault he will know more of the details.

I also have 2 older sons, their Dad was abusive to me too, I took them and left him when the were 2 and 5. They were raised by my second DH, to them he is their Dad, They know their Father and they know what kind of person he is because they found out on their own. So I can relate some to your situation.

Your DH IS your DS's Dad. He's the one who is there all the time, who takes care of him, who celebrates with him and who sets up rules for him. He might be old enough to understand that someone else "Fathered" him, but that the man who is raising him is his Dad in every way that matters. And once the adoption is finished he will be his Dad legally too. Tell him that he won't ever have to see his birth father if he doesn't want to, especially once the adoption is done. Answer his questions about his birth father as honestly as you can, but try not to talk bad about him. That's going to be hard since the reason you left was because he hit you. I told my boys that their Dad and I didn't get along any more. That he wanted to do things I didn't want to do and that I wanted to do things he didn't want to do. Which was true, but left out he part about the emotional and sexual abuse. They learned about those things ironically from him. They learned what kind of guy he was on their own just by being around him. (My ex-husband wouldn't give up his rights so they had to go on visitations until he moved out of state and seemed to forget he had kids.)

coala
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

We just adopted a child.  She was 6.  We have explained how she is special b/c she now has 2 mommies.  She is ok with this explanation.  She understands that she has a "mom" who gave birth to her, and a mom that is going to raise her.  Not only this but she has 2 daddies.  She has the one that is raising her and her bio dad hasn't seen her in 2 years and before that he was a POS.  I will fill her in on the details as she gets older.

ms-vero
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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pamelax3
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Just be up front and honest, keep your answers short and if he has more questions answer them. That is how we handled it,

AMBG825
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 5:08 PM

 I was adopted by my step father.

 

That being said, there is a difference between a "dad" and a "father." My "father" is the man that provided the genetic material to create me. My "dad" is the one that taught me to ride a bike. Taught me to drive. Was at my prom, my graduation and every deployment I went on while in the Navy. He is the man that gave me away at my wedding. My "dad" and my "father" are 2 different people.

 

Sounds to me like your DS has a "father" and a "dad."

MamiJaAyla
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:25 PM

remind him again that Daddy-Frankie is not his bio dad etc.

I've noticed that this seems to be typical and that they will go round and round on it and have to have it explained to them over and over.

My ds (now 9) n I had ANOTHER talk last week explaining that just b/c C was his 1/2 sibliling mother that did not make her HIS mother nor did it make them my children... they were related to each other not to me... its hard for kids to grasp.

I wonder if the fact that thety don't see each oher on a reg. basis (my kids have never met their siblings and we all live in diff states along the East coast - us, dad, and them) makes it harder b/c its an ABSTRACT concept.

marinenonstop
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:31 PM
I think it may play a role in it. Ds has no memory at all of his bio father. I mean he was barely two yrs old when his father left. When we saw him in the street ds was four and it appeared that he had no idea who this man was...just another random person walking in ths street. I think because he has no memories of his bio father and no photographs at all of him its hard for him to grasp that there is this mysterious man somewhere out there that has nothing to do with him, is actually his father.


Quoting MamiJaAyla:

remind him again that Daddy-Frankie is not his bio dad etc.


I've noticed that this seems to be typical and that they will go round and round on it and have to have it explained to them over and over.


My ds (now 9) n I had ANOTHER talk last week explaining that just b/c C was his 1/2 sibliling mother that did not make her HIS mother nor did it make them my children... they were related to each other not to me... its hard for kids to grasp.


I wonder if the fact that thety don't see each oher on a reg. basis (my kids have never met their siblings and we all live in diff states along the East coast - us, dad, and them) makes it harder b/c its an ABSTRACT concept.


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