I am a late discovery adoptee. What does it mean to be a late discovery adoptee? Very simple, you learned you were an adopted child after you became an adult. I suppose learning beyond a shadow of doubt at the age of 48 years I was indeed adopted, I would be considered a late discovery adoptee or LAD.
I had strong suspensions I was adopted during various times of my life. Although every time I would ask my adoptive mother if I was adopted, her answer, “Absolutely not! Where do you get such ideas?”
I respond, “From biology class.” when I was in high school.
“My OB says two children can not be naturally born that close together.”
Mom’s reply, “What does he know?”
My mother guarded this secret ferociously. Even as a 48 year old adult and I approached my mother with the adoption, my mother was never going to tell me the truth about my adoption.
When a child is adopted into a family, regardless what age the child is adopted. They become part of a family just like every other family. People with dysfunctions, problems, different personalities and family issues. Adopted children do not automatically get adopted into the “Happily Ever After” family. We are adopted into a family and become family, most of us do anyway.
My mother and I seemed to always have a wall between us. She was not nurturing to me. She considered my problems petty and not worth her time when I was a teenager. If I had a question about boys, she told me, I would figure it out. My dad was the person who told me about becoming a woman, and about boys and about sex.
Why the wall between my mother and I?
Perhaps it was because I am very intelligent my mother and I did not get along. I showed I was a very quick learner from a very young age. I started first grade at age 5, half way through the school year. I was moved up one grade. I graduated high school, five days after I turned seventeen. Not to mention National Honor Society and straight “A’s”. Maybe the questions I asked as a small child intimidate her, as I would one day be more intelligent and knowledgeable than she was. Those reaction have happened with me in other relationships.
Then there is always the personality differences. But in truth I think she had a hard time with me for being adopted. According to aunts and uncles, my dad had to fight my mom for me to be adopted. Apparently dad really wanted to adopt me and my mom did not. There could be various reasons why my mom did not want to adopt me. But there was definitely a strong conflict concerning the adoption of me.
My sister recently learned at sixtyish, she is adopted. While she was content to believe the whispered rumors I was adopted. It was a shock to learn both of us were adopted.
Our first question: Why did my parents not tell me I was adopted?
My sister then went on the investigative journey with the family relatives asking questions and not getting any more information than I did with one exception.
The aunts and uncles were angry that we were not told by our parents. Anger is one of the first emotions learning your are adopted when you are an adult. But the family was upset with our parents for not telling us. They did not know why my parents had sworn them to secrecy concerning the adoptions… but each one felt that my parents were wrong in doing so, and upset that we were not told by our parents, but learned through non-family members.
This past week we had dinner with my husband’s brother and his wife. We were discussing my sister just learning of her adoption.
The brother said if he adopted an infant, he would never tell the child they were adopted. “What is the point of telling them, when we would be their family?”
I gave one of my very rare glares, “I would tell. The child has the rights as a person to know the truth about themselves.” But my option is bias by the fact I am adopted and learned as an adult from someone other than family. No explanations or statements of love saying you were chosen to be our family.
If you were to adopt an infant, would you tell them they were adopted? Does an adult person have the right to know?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.