AC or BC first? Any advice gratefully received..

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Postby Montravia » Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:00 pm

My son's adoptive parents had a natural son who is 20 months younger than him. Slightly different story but they had tests done as they hadn't conceived and were told there was no reason why they shouldn't. Anyway they decided to adopt regardlessly. I have only met his adoptive father once (earlier this year) and spoken/emailed him a few times and the impression he gives off is that their natural son is the favourite. They love my son and will do anything for them but he can "do no right" and their other son can "do no wrong" which my son picked up on at an early age.

I'm not saying all adoptive parents are like that, just some are. I've got to know adoptive parents who have treated their adopted children exactly the same as their natural children. For example my dad's cousin and wife had two children then adopted a daughter then twins - brother and sister - and all have been treated the same and if anything the twins got a bit spoilt :wink: as they were the youngest.
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Postby ladyarcher » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:49 pm

My half-bro was adopted to a couple who had their own boy, and was quite definately treated as the second-class child.

It must be a strange situation - anyone with children knows that much as you love them there are times when one child will go through a phase when it is slightly less likeable than the other(s). It would be very tempting, I guess, to attribute the difficult child's difficultness to its differentness - if that makes sense - if that were the adopted child.

If you have several children you know that each is very different despite sharing their parents. You often, because of those differences, will know that you need to use a different strategy for each child, even if their problem is the same as the one their brother or sister had the year before. 'It's not fair', then says the older one, you didn't let me do that, or 'its not fair', says the younger one, you let her do that last year when she was my age. etc. If one of the children is adopted, then you have yet another layer of sensitivity to take into account. On the other hand if the adopting parent does not have a great degree of insight, then the differences are going to be multiplied in that direction too.

I wonder how it works out with children who have no idea that they are adopted. It is less likely to happen these days, I know, but it did do in the past. They can't throw at their parents the 'you are not my real father/mother' because they do not know that at the time. Or when they find out years later, perhaps they then say that it makes many things about their childhood a lot clearer.

I suppose the answer, if it is an answer, is that some people are good adopting parents, and some simply are not. They may not intend to be discriminating, but may not expect to feel how they feel. One can't actually predict how one will feel in particular situations, a person may be sure that they would be evenhanded, but are taken by surprise at how differently they feel. In a way, not actually their fault, you cannot love to order. Maybe the preparation process was not good enough, maybe you just can't judge, either yourself, how you will feel, or as an expert, if the adopting couple/person will feel differently.

I don't know - I just know that in my case I was very lucky with my second husband, who took on my two boys from my first marriage and really truly has made no difference in his feelings or his dealings with them, from those of the three we had together. Not quite the same situation as adopting, but the same in that they are not his, and the younger three are.

born 1944
adopted 1946
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