Author Topic: To tell or not to tell?  (Read 1213 times)

Offline Lisajb

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #9 on: Saturday 22 June 19 15:29 BST (UK) »
A close family member had a child adopted back in the 1960s. Her oldest child had a vague recollection of this child being born.

All went well until the 1980s. She’d never said a word, and all kept quiet. I suppose back then it was “you can have a new start, and it’s the best thing for the baby.” She could have had no idea that laws would change and give the child the right to seek her out, which he did, and that a family member would tell her oldest child, “of course, there was another one after you.”

She had a call from an intermediary agency, the call came while she was at home with her second husband. Somehow she lied her way out of it. And then with the advent of social media, her other children came to know of the existence of another sibling. A few of us scrambling around to stop this child, now grown, from contacting her - she didn’t want to know. To the best of my knowledge, her husband went to his grave not knowing about this, and quite a few other things too - she basically lied her way through life.
Mullingar, Westmeath Ireland: Gilligan/Wall/Meagher/Maher/Gray/O'Hara
Bristol: Woodman/James/Derrick
Bristol/Somerset: Saunders/Wilmot
Gloucestershire:Woodman/Mathews/Tandy/Stinchcombe/Marten/Thompson
Wiltshire: Mathews
Carmarthen: Thomas, Davies, Lewis, Humphreys, Williams, Jenkins

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Offline what0101

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 22 June 19 15:44 BST (UK) »
She had a call from an intermediary agency, the call came while she was at home with her second husband. Somehow she lied her way out of it. And then with the advent of social media, her other children came to know of the existence of another sibling. A few of us scrambling around to stop this child, now grown, from contacting her - she didn’t want to know. To the best of my knowledge, her husband went to his grave not knowing about this, and quite a few other things too - she basically lied her way through life.

I feel very sorry for the adult child that this woman's desire "not to know" (about a choice she made) is somehow more important than the desire of the child (who had no choice in the matter or about whether to be born in the first place) to know where they came from. It's too bad for her that times and technology have changed, but treating adopted-out family members like this seems cruel.

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Offline Lisajb

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 22 June 19 16:05 BST (UK) »
She had a call from an intermediary agency, the call came while she was at home with her second husband. Somehow she lied her way out of it. And then with the advent of social media, her other children came to know of the existence of another sibling. A few of us scrambling around to stop this child, now grown, from contacting her - she didn’t want to know. To the best of my knowledge, her husband went to his grave not knowing about this, and quite a few other things too - she basically lied her way through life.

I feel very sorry for the adult child that this woman's desire "not to know" (about a choice she made) is somehow more important than the desire of the child (who had no choice in the matter or about whether to be born in the first place) to know where they came from. It's too bad for her that times and technology have changed, but treating adopted-out family members like this seems cruel.

Yes, absolutely. I feel for him so much, that he was rejected not once but twice. Secrets will always come back to bite, and this did
Mullingar, Westmeath Ireland: Gilligan/Wall/Meagher/Maher/Gray/O'Hara
Bristol: Woodman/James/Derrick
Bristol/Somerset: Saunders/Wilmot
Gloucestershire:Woodman/Mathews/Tandy/Stinchcombe/Marten/Thompson
Wiltshire: Mathews
Carmarthen: Thomas, Davies, Lewis, Humphreys, Williams, Jenkins

Offline Ayashi

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #12 on: Saturday 22 June 19 16:21 BST (UK) »
As far as the examples in the OP goes, I wouldn't consider a "gay past" to be anybody's business but those who were involved at the time... The prison event would depend on what crime was committed (petty theft as a teenager or something is one thing, but certain acts or behaviour involving drugs, injury or children I'd be horrified to have kept from me)... but a secret child affects the whole family (current and adopted), especially if constant lies have been told to cover it and if it comes back to bite later on in life.

Offline what0101

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #13 on: Saturday 22 June 19 16:28 BST (UK) »
Yes, absolutely. I feel for him so much, that he was rejected not once but twice. Secrets will always come back to bite, and this did

I have to ask, then, why did you scramble around to stop the child from contacting her? Sounds like a very stressful situation for everyone, including you!

I have found several adopted-out family members through DNA tests and have helped many of them make contact with my distant family members whom they are related to. I am lucky because in most cases, everyone was very happy with the result. One man in his 70s met his half sister and now they talk on the phone every day. Whether or not the parents who gave him up wanted that to happen is completely irrelevant.

On the other hand, I have found disturbing newspaper stories that I have chosen not to share with my family. I figure if they find them on their own I'd be happy to talk to them about it, but I don't need to broadcast it if there's no good reason.

Offline Lisajb

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #14 on: Saturday 22 June 19 16:33 BST (UK) »
Yes, absolutely. I feel for him so much, that he was rejected not once but twice. Secrets will always come back to bite, and this did

I have to ask, then, why did you scramble around to stop the child from contacting her? Sounds like a very stressful situation for everyone, including you!

I have found several adopted-out family members through DNA tests and have helped many of them make contact with my distant family members whom they are related to. I am lucky because in most cases, everyone was very happy with the result. One man in his 70s met his half sister and now they talk on the phone every day. Whether or not the parents who gave him up wanted that to happen is completely irrelevant.

On the other hand, I have found disturbing newspaper stories that I have chosen not to share with my family. I figure if they find them on their own I'd be happy to talk to them about it, but I don't need to broadcast it if there's no good reason.

Pressure, from other family members. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t  caved in.
Mullingar, Westmeath Ireland: Gilligan/Wall/Meagher/Maher/Gray/O'Hara
Bristol: Woodman/James/Derrick
Bristol/Somerset: Saunders/Wilmot
Gloucestershire:Woodman/Mathews/Tandy/Stinchcombe/Marten/Thompson
Wiltshire: Mathews
Carmarthen: Thomas, Davies, Lewis, Humphreys, Williams, Jenkins

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 23 June 19 07:27 BST (UK) »
Following on from a recent thread where the question was asked how did we feel if we were lied to about parentage family secrets etc.

I wonder how many of us keep secrets from our families/children.  A friend of mine has never told his children about the child he fathered when he was a student - another friend has never told his children that he spent time as a young man in prison - another  has never told his children about his gay past.
Perhaps some things are better not said - or are they?



No all three of those examples would not be a problem if they had not been kept a secret in the first place, the longer they are kept secret the more damage is done when the secret is revealed.

However that is only part of the problem that is created by secrets.
Who has the right to release the information or reveal another person's secrets, that is a far more difficult and awkward thing to deal with.

Here is an example I had to deal with.

In the early 1990s my mother in law (and her son) came to live with us, one morning I took her to a doctor's appointment and she came out distraught. The doctor had told her she had terminal cancer in a lung and she had three months maximum to live. She asked me to keep this revelation to myself and not tell my wife or the rest of her children; the doctor was wrong and my mother in law lived a further four years all the time keeping this secret. You can imagine the backlash when her family found out I had known and supported her during those last years, even now 21 years after she died I am still affected as a result of keeping that secret.

Would I do the same again? Yes, as it was not my secret to reveal.

Do I think it was right for her to keep the information secret? No, all secrets have consequences, in this case to prevent her children treating her differently she avoided telling them the truth. The consequences of that meant when they found out not only were the hurt by the fact they had not been trusted with the truth, they also felt they had been robbed of the chance to support their mum etc.. in addition I had to lie to my wife and her siblings.

Cheers
Guy
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Online pharmaT

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #16 on: Sunday 23 June 19 10:08 BST (UK) »
I won't broadcast stuff I find but I won't lie either.  If someone asked me outright about a specific even I'd tell them with a disclaimer that it may be upsetting.

Confientiality comes into somethings so you can't say but I wouldn't lie.  I'd say that I couldn't discuss it.
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Offline frances-b

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Re: To tell or not to tell?
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 10 July 19 00:00 BST (UK) »
I feel very sorry for the adult child that this woman's desire "not to know" (about a choice she made) is somehow more important than the desire of the child (who had no choice in the matter or about whether to be born in the first place) to know where they came from. It's too bad for her that times and technology have changed, but treating adopted-out family members like this seems cruel.
I used an intermediary to contact my birth mother.  I'd prevaricated about doing this for years but having found her still alive in her 80s thought it had to be now or never.  Her reaction was that she felt it was an intrusion and that she would not reply to any further correspondence.

I didn't find her response completely unexpected - it was some 60 years after the event and she was living in a different country with a post-me family (who were presumably unaware of me).  I don't think she was being cruel; more that she was being self-protective and therefore behaving somewhat selfishly.

I don't regret making the approach; she has since died and I would have regretted it if I had never tried.  I have also realised that I am my mother's daughter when it comes to not looking back on life's vicissitudes.
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