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How to address questions about birth siblings
Posted: 11 September 2009 05:11 PM   Ignore ]  
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Some adopted kids have birth siblings who still live with their biological parents. Are you or your family in this situation? Does your child have contact with the birth siblings? Or, if your child doesn’t know about the siblings, when and how do you plan to tell your child about them in the future?

Adoptive Families Web Editor

Posted: 30 September 2009 05:43 PM   Ignore ]  
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Both my kids have birth sibling and both know of them.

DD1 has a 6 month old brother.  She knew about him before he was born and met him when he was about 2 months old.  She calls him her brother.  He lives with their birthmom.  It hasn’t come up yet as to why she lives with us and he lives with C.  I’m sure it will at some point and not quite sure how that discussion will go, other than C was at a different place in her life and wasn’t ready to be a mom when DD1 was born and was when this baby was born.

DD2 has a full bio sister who is 20 month older than her.  She also has 2 half bio brothers.  One bio brother was placed for adopton at birth and one is being raised by bio grandfather.  She knows her bio sister, we have visited a couple times will know of her bio brothers as she gets older.  We have talked to her about it, but at 15 months, its not really something she understands and she can’t yet talk to us about any of it.  DD1 knows DD2 bio sister and they call each other sisters.  Again, it has not come up why sister lives with bio mom and DD2 lives with us.

Thanks for starting this.  I am curious about what others have to say.

Posted: 30 September 2009 10:40 PM   Ignore ]  
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I

Posted: 02 October 2009 06:27 AM   Ignore ]  
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We hope that in the future our daughter gets to know her brother.

The siblings weren’t kept together?

黃 美玲

Transracial Chinese adoptee, in contact with her original family for 3 years
~ reunited overseas for 3 months with a culture/language barrier

Posted: 02 October 2009 06:02 PM   Ignore ]  
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I

Posted: 02 October 2009 06:39 PM   Ignore ]  
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Ouch…

(Note: I am adoptee whose siblings were kept, which is why I enquired about it. I can just imagine a relinquished sibling saying “But why wasn’t I good enough to be kept…)

黃 美玲

Transracial Chinese adoptee, in contact with her original family for 3 years
~ reunited overseas for 3 months with a culture/language barrier

Posted: 02 October 2009 09:59 PM   Ignore ]  
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I

Posted: 05 October 2009 04:11 PM   Ignore ]  
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Iggy,

Sorry you have not gotten that question answered for yourself.

I am hopeful that with continued open communication between us and my daughters’ birthfamilies that they will get an answer that makes sense to them.  I can give them my view of why they were placed and why some birthsiblings were not, but hopefully their birthfamilies can provide a more complete answer for them.

Posted: 01 February 2010 03:40 PM   Ignore ]  
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Our situation is RARE. Our 4 girls are related. There are 3 birthmoms that are sisters, we have 4 girls (2 are half sisters) from those 3 women, so our girls are biologically first cousins. HOWEVER, all 3 birthmoms have OLDER and YOUNGER children at home. Our oldest has a full blooded sister 18 months older and a full blooded brother 1 year younger that her birthmom kept. Our next has 4! older siblings her birthmom kept and 1 younger. Our 3rd daughter has 2 older her birthmom kept, 1 placed for adoption before she met us, 1 younger her birthmom kept, and we have the baby of that family.
Our girls are 4,3,2, and 1 month.

We have what I would call an open adoption. We are friends on Facebook, we share photos back and forth with 2 of the birthmoms. I have a folder full of sibling photos, when they are older and ask I at least have that to show them.

I worry a lot about how they will feel being the one “given away” so to speak. But I will tell them as I believe now, that they were chosen for us!

I know that some of their siblings are older, 7-10 and know about my little ones, I know that their birthmoms share the photos and letters we send with the other children. I will not discourage contact when they are older, but I do worry about censoring, and when the time comes I hope I will know the right course of action.

http://lbym.lilypie.com/Qml6m8.pnghttp://lb5m.lilypie.com/hfT3m7.png

Posted: 01 February 2010 04:51 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  28
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Our children (ages 16 months and 3 months) have the same birth mother. She also has two older children (ages 6 & 5) who live with their biological grandmother. It is an open adoption and we do have contact with both the birth mother and her mother. The older children know about their half siblings and our children will know about their older half siblings when they are a little older. (They’ve seen the photos, but are too young to understand.) Eventually we will arrange to go to Florida, where the grandmother ad children live, so that the siblings can meet each other.

We do not know our son’s birth father (birth mother listed him as unknown), but we also have an open adoption with our daughter’s birth father. He has 4 older children who live with their mothers and he has not had any contact with his other children for several years. He has all of our contact information and we hope to maintain a relationship with him, but thus far he has not contacted us directly or requested information/photos through the agency. Our daughter will know about these siblings, but I expect there will be no direct contact unless the situation changes dramatically. It may be a situation that when our daughter is old enough she can track him down and perhaps meet her half-siblings then.

I believe it is vitally important that our children have as much information as we have so they can choose to have contact (or not) when they are old enough to make that decision.

Posted: 01 February 2010 06:38 PM   Ignore ]  
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I’m glad this topic came up because it’s something I’m trying to tackle right now.  My son has a birth sibling who lives with the birth grandparents in his country of origin.  The extended birth family did not know about my son’s existence at the time we adopted him, and his birthmother wanted to keep it that way.  Still, she gave us a picture of his sibling for when he got older.  We set it aside “for later” and it seems “later” has come because the topic of brothers & sisters has been coming up a lot lately (my son is now 6 years old).  I definitely don’t want to keep his sibling a secret, but at the same time I’m not quite sure how to approach the matter given my son’s age & level of understanding. It’s also a little different since the adoption is international & we don’t have any direct contact with his birthmother (we send letters via our agency a few times each year & she has yet to respond). I’m interested in knowing how others out there are handling such situations.  Thanks!

Posted: 02 February 2011 11:13 PM   Ignore ]  
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We adopted a biological brother and sister from the foster care system last year, and they have a half-brother who lives with their maternal grandparents.  My kids are only 2 and 3 and the half brother is almost 5.  He has been with the grandparents since infancy and has almost no contact with the parents.  When our adoption was almost complete, the grandmother came to our house and sat down with me for a couple of hours to give me info on their side of the family.  She did not bring the older brother, and said she was not sure she wanted them to meet.  The grandparents want to shield him from any harmful information.  Right now my kids don’t know, and are too young to be asking questions.  I do have contact with the grandparents-I send the pictures and letters to them to forward to the bio parents, but nothing is ever said about their brother.  Once my kids start asking, I’ll tell them about their brother and will talk to the grandparents about meeting.  If they still don’t want them to meet, I will just figure out some way to explain it to my children.  Maybe by then the grandparents will change their minds…

 
 
 
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