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A Half Truth is a Whole Lie in Adoption

Do I have biological siblings?  

Modern adoption has layers of emotion, grief, and beauty all mixed up. Adoption affects more than just the birth mom or the parents that adopt the baby. Society leads one to believe that once the papers are signed, everything and everyone is happy and goes on with their lives. The truth is the real journey is just starting. The journey of learning how to go on living with decisions that cannot be undone. 

Adoptive parents have control over what an adoptee knows of their story and how it unfolds.

For instance, do they share if the adoptee was conceived in rape, molestation, family incest etc. Do they share if their bio mom used illegal substances during the pregnancy? Do they share that the biological mom had other children that she chose to parent? Parents want to do everything they can to “protect” their child and sometimes this ends up doing more damage than protection.  

Should you tell your adopted child everything you know about their story and family of origin? The simple answer is YES. If you can put yourself in an adoptees’ story, it may make sense. You live your whole life assuming your parents are honest and have shared things throughout your life that help you connect the dots. Why did my birth mom choose to place me? Why does she not respond when we write to her? Do I have siblings? Do they know about me? What we hear is that adoptive parents have withheld these answers and tucked them away trying to protect their children. 

This is Kates’s story:  

Today, Kate is a collegiate athlete curious about her birth story and family of origin. Her birth mom chose adoptive parents a week before she started labor and made an adoption plan for her baby. From Kate’s parents’ perspective it was a whirlwind once they got the call they were chosen. They travelled to pick up their new baby girl and were given all the information they had on the biological family. Kate’s biological mother did not desire to know the gender of the baby and did not want to have any contact with the family long term. She did, however, fill out all the necessary medical history documents outlining her family and social history. It was then up to Kate’s parents to share or not share what they knew. They chose to share limited information stating it was Kate’s birth mother’s desire to be private. They told Kate the half-truth her whole life, as they did know some answers to her questions as she grew up. 

Did Kate’s parents withhold information to protect her? Did they purposely hide Kate’s siblings that were listed in the medical form? Kate will see this as a Whole Lie when she finds out her parents had this information all along and chose to “protect” her instead of being transparent and up front about her family of origin. 

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