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Contact adopted step brother?

(54 Posts)
TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 21:01:00

My mother had a son before marrying my father - he knew about the child who was adopted at a few months old. Neither I nor my brother were aware of this brother until recently. I asked my 86 year old mother about it and she flew into a rage totally denying it, however before I asked her I traced the birth certificate to confirm the news we had come across while searching for something else for her in old correspondence. My father died many years ago.
I have tried to put this brother - who would be 64 now - out of my mind but I wonder about contacting him as a sibling (which I can do legally through an agency) My mother no longer speaks to me (she was always a difficult woman and not a kind mother). Would an adopted person want to meet a sibling and understand that it wouldn’t be possible to meet his mother? Or is it best left alone?

janeainsworth Thu 29-Nov-18 21:10:33

Oh what a difficult one and I really feel for you.
I too would want to reach out to a half-brother, but you have to face and accept the fact that he may not want to meet.
Would the agency act as a go-between?
If you contact him through them by letter in the first instance, that would give you an idea of how he feels. You would have to let him know the position with your mother.
Good luck.

TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 21:19:02

Thank you janeainsworth! Yes, agency would find him and send a letter. Just worried how he would receive the info that his mother does not want contact - don’t want to upset him. Although both myself and my brother and our families would like be in contact we have no further info on his background to give him. Like you say, best to send this in a letter and let him make up his own mind.

MissAdventure Thu 29-Nov-18 21:25:52

I think as long as you are honest enough with yourself to accept that you may get no response at all, then you should contact him.
If you could cope with silence, should that be the case.

Bridgeit Thu 29-Nov-18 21:32:32

Doing it through an agency gives you both an option, but be prepared for any outcome.
If you don’t do it you will always wish you had. I hope it works out well for you.

Anniebach Thu 29-Nov-18 21:37:38

Will he feel rejected twice by his birth mother ?, such a difficult decision for you x

agnurse Thu 29-Nov-18 21:45:41

I would suggest sending him a letter and making it very open-ended. Explain that you would like to meet him but you would understand if he is not comfortable with that. Don't bring your mother into it.

This way you're ultimately leaving the decision to him. I'd also suggest telling him that if he decides that he's not comfortable to get in contact you'll respect his decision and not contact him again.

TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 21:45:49

Thank you ‘grans’ for your thoughts and empathy - it’s so good to get your views as this is something I can’t talk freely about elsewhere. And yes Anniebach that could be hard for him to accept knowing she still rejects him.

Grammaretto Thu 29-Nov-18 21:50:30

You should approach an agency definitely. Someone I know did just that and the agency made the contact.
The person was shocked and said no which was a terrible blow but at least an answer.. If you don't try you may regret.
I had a foster mother for a year while my DM was sick but I only tried to trace her after about 40 years. I managed to speak to her widower on the phone. I'd missed her by a few months.

Anniebach Thu 29-Nov-18 21:53:02

TLlulah, I am so sorry if I put more doubt in your mind

janeainsworth Thu 29-Nov-18 21:58:19

anniebach I have no personal experience of adoption, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that every mother who gives up her child for adoption does so because they are ‘rejecting’ that child.
60 years ago there was very little, if any, support for single parents and the pressure to give up a child born to an unmarried mother, very great.

TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 22:02:30

Anniebach your comment was thought provoking and just the sort of comment I need to help me make the decision. I want to be able to be able to weigh up all the pros and cons but as I can’t discuss this outside of family (we all agreed best not) I need to hear your opinions x

TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 22:06:45

Janeainsworth good point! Sadly my mother won’t talk about it so I don’t know how she felt. But I guess even if she was pressured into having him adopted the child would not know that and may feel rejected?

Missfoodlove Thu 29-Nov-18 22:07:55

My husband was adopted at 3 weeks old, he had a fabulous upbringing and had no desire to know his real parents.
One day a letter landed on our doorstep from an agency acting as an intermediary.
He was in shock but after a lot of discussions and heart searching he met his mother.
Initially it was like a fairy tale but turned sour.
I would approach this with caution.
You have to be prepared for someone that may be needy,mentally ill or perhaps with a whole different set of values than your own.
Once contact is made it’s very hard to withdraw.
Approach with caution!

TLlulah12345 Thu 29-Nov-18 22:12:38

Missfoodlove - oh my goodness! Hadn’t thought of that. Thank you for sharing this.

BlueBelle Thu 29-Nov-18 22:33:35

If I was the possible brother I would want to know whether it was good or bad but I agree let the agency do the initial introduction then he can make his own decision whether to take it any further or not many will want to meet and know but some won’t
I have got experience of this but won’t go into details on a public site
As your mother is having nothing to do with you he won’t hopefully feel any worse than you do he ll have nothing to be envious of anyway
I couldn’t let it go I m afraid but that’s just me

M0nica Thu 29-Nov-18 22:34:22

Could you leave it until your mother dies? You do not say what her state of health is. You would then be able to avoid saying anything to him about his mother denying his existence and not wanting to see him.

harrigran Fri 30-Nov-18 07:32:47

I would 'let sleeping dogs lie' unless you know the circumstances regarding the birth of the baby. The fact that your mother is denying him could mean that he was conceived outside of a loving relationship.
Sixty plus years is a long time and would you really have much in common ?

Iam64 Fri 30-Nov-18 07:42:16

TLl, make use of the agency as you continue to ponder the pros and cons and contacting your half brother.
A few years ago, a friend was contacted by a half sibling she hadn't known existed. They took it very slowly, using letters, then phone calls before meeting for the first time. In their case, it has worked very well. They found they have a lot of things in common and are developing a close relationship.

In my working life, I knew many children who were adopted, for many varied reasons. I also have close friends who adopted. My experience is that meetings with birth families can be very good or very bad, with lots in between. Take your time and the best of luck.

Riverwalk Fri 30-Nov-18 07:49:13

Someone close to me sought out his birth family when aged 50 - what a can of worms it opened up, and 20 years on he's still dealing with the repercussions. His birth mother had died just a few months earlier; I can't imagine how he would have felt had she declined to meet him.

As your mother has made her feelings clear and is unlikely to want to meet your half-brother, he wouldn't be able to 'square the circle' so to speak.

Anniebach Fri 30-Nov-18 08:27:39

Janeainsworth i said ‘will he feel rejected’ and not ‘he was rejected ‘.

GrandmaMoira Fri 30-Nov-18 08:33:34

Often in adoption reunions there are difficulties with the birth mother and child relationship due to issues from the past and feelings of rejection, but sibling relationships can often be very good as there are none of those issues.
Your brother must know he is adopted and may welcome a new sibling. As long as you are prepared that he may not want to know, you would be no worse off then, but potentially could develop a good new relationship.
I have experience of an adoption reunion and know it is not easy but for me I would rather know.

felice Fri 30-Nov-18 08:42:17

I traced my birth Mother a few years ago, it is the best thing that ever happened to me. We have a wonderful relationship and I now have siblings and other family.
I went about it slowly and carefully, sending a letter giving my DOB, place of birth and birth name and asking if she was related to me.
The ball was in her court totally, I posted the letter on a Wednesday afternoon and she called me on Saturday morning.
But I have a dear friend who traced his birth Mother, flew across the Atlantic and just knocked on her door,,,,, she told him she had not wanted him then and did not want to know him now. He was devastated she just slamed the door in his face.
It can go both ways I think the soft or agency route is best.

sodapop Fri 30-Nov-18 08:44:58

Missfoodlove surely your husband's 'real' parents were those who cared for and loved him all his life. The others were just birth parents.
Why do you feel the need to do this TLulah ?

felice Fri 30-Nov-18 09:58:16

Sodapop you are assuming all adoptions are happy ones, my adopted Mother hated me, she never wanted children and was persuaded by my wonderful Father.
She did the basics, and I was clean and fed but there was never any affection from her at all, and quite a lot of verbal and emotional abuse when my Dad was not around.