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  1. #1

    Default Grandchild adoption

    We adopted my husband's biological grandchild because at the time the mother was incapable of raising a child. She has had mental challenges all her life. We have always talked about adoption with our child and have every intention of telling the child who the birth parents are. The birth mother has visited many times and we have referred to her as our child's sister right now. Everything was fine for 4 years. Now the birth parent has had another baby and has kept that baby. The maternal grandmother was in a better position to help raise this baby. So she is getting a lot of help with the baby which she needs.
    Does anyone have any advice on how to tell our child about this? This is a full sibling. Our child is 5. I'm concerned our child will be upset when it comes to light that there is a full sibling and the birth mother kept that one and not our child. The pediatrician thinks we should just tell our child what happened. The doctor thinks it will be more upsetting the older our child gets. Am I making too big a deal of this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    near the mountains


    While every adoptee is different and has a different reaction to adoption in general, I find that most adoptees share the common opinion that the truth is very important.

    I can see the dilemma you have, and your daughter might have some feelings about not being raised by her bmom etc., but I think if she finds out now, you'll be able to help her deal with those feelings much better than if she finds out later.

    If you keep it from her, when she does find out (and she probably will), not only will she deal with her feelings on her bmom/sister, but she very well may be angry with you for not telling her the truth and feel betrayed by you.

    There have been many studies that show the more open and honest you are about adoption, the better off the relationships are and the more confident an adoptee feels. If it's kept a secret, they can feel ashamed or that they are not worthy.

    Age 5 really is a good time to start talking to your daughter about it. You can start by reading kids' books on adoption themes in general. Talk about how all families are different and different doesn't mean bad. Once you lay that groundwork first, then you can start telling her about more details. So it's nothing you have to lay on her all at once overnight, but I do feel it's necessary that she be told.

  3. #3


    I'm new to this site, but my best friend was adopted by her father (not biological) as an infnat. She never had any idea that he was not her biological father until we were 17 when she found out by accident. It was a horrible situation for her and she spun out of control for a while. I think it is best in every situation to tell the child from the beginning. I think it lessens the overall hurt. They will know they are loved by the way YOU treat them, and hopefully that will be enough.
    I doubt that helps, but I hope it does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I live in South Florida


    I felt at least in family that it was easier if we always talked about our little one being adopted. She has grown up knowing most her life. She is 7 almost 8 now. Her biological mom is my biological daughter. I have to find way to be om to both.
    With another child involved now things may get a little sticky. I can tell you our case there is a half brother involved and he is who my little one wants to see more than see her mother even. We get why him and not me. We tell her in a good way. WE do not want to ever give her negative answers. If we can tell her the truth about her mom and why she was adopted without destroying what ever Ana thinks of her mother then we did good I hope.


  5. #5

    Question Help with Grandparent Adoption

    I need some help with questions about Grandparent Adoption. I need at least a starting point. I have read that you can buy do-it-yourself kits, is this a real option? Please I just need any help.
    Last edited by kristil; 04-13-2007 at 11:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    near the mountains


    Kristil - what kind of info are you looking for?

    Every state is different in their process, some states require you to have a homestudy and a foster care license to adopt a family member, and some don't.

    Is the child currently in the foster care system, or is the child living with you without being in the system?

    As with any adoption, the parental rights of the bio parents have to be terminated (either voluntary or involuntary by the courts) before an adoption can occur.

    I don't know about the "do it yourself" kits, unless you mean a situation where one adopts someone who is legally an adult. This process tends to be much different and "independent" than a child/minor adoption.

    I would suggest your starting point be your state's laws/process on kinship adoption. If you google kinship adoption your state, a lot of information will come up on the process. You could also contact your local children's services or an adoption attorney.

    Even in kinship adoptions, there are laws and a process, so it's important to know what they are.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA


    You're not making a big deal out of it - I adopted my husband's bio-kids now ages 24, 21, & 19. Their bio-mom abandoned them at ages 6, 3, & 9 months. She subsequently went on to have 4 more daughters. All 3 of our kids have had counseling because of abandonment issues, self-esteem, their worthiness to love and be loved. Even after 18 years of stability with their father & I, they still wonder why she gave them away and kept her other 4 daughters. Ironically, her daughters have said several times over the years that they wished they could live with their siblings. Patricia moved multiple times, uprooting her daughters. She has been involved in many relationships that didn't work out; this brought people into and out of their lives. Now Patricia lives out of state and has had very limited contact with our kids. She has shown all 7 kids that nothing is permanant; even people are disposable. All kids have difficulty with relationships.

    Holly (our 19-year-old) had a son in July'06 and a daughter in June'07. The babies' father still wants her to give up both kids for adoption - now - the babies have lived with us since birth. There has been very little interaction between bio-dad and babies. Don and I have once again stepped into a parenting role by providing support and caregiving.

    Bio-dad is using emotional blackmail on Holly; he keeps telling her if she gives up the kids for adoption, he'll stay with her. Should this become a real issue for all involved, I know we will pursue adopting our grandchildren.

    Holly remains adamant about not giving up the babies, even to us, because she doesn't want her kids to feel about her the way she feels about Patricia. The stigma of being abandoned by your mother while she "replaces" you never seems to go away. Even after 18 years of a secure and loving environment, she wonders if she is worthy of love; this will overshadow every relationship for the rest of her life.

    I think the child should know up-front who bio-mom is and the true nature of their relationship; they should also know that they've always been loved and wanted. With this info and maturity, the child will decide on their own what type of relationship they want with their bio-mom. Her true colors will come out at some point in the future and the child should be prepared to face this issue.

    As for our kids, each has determined in their own way how much influence Patricia has/had in their lives. Just for the record she has yet to see either of Holly's children and they're her bio-grandchildern. Sad, isn't it?

    Time truly does heal all wounds.

  8. #8

    Default Re: grandchild adoption

    Hello. I think you should just tell your adopted child that adoption means that you chose the child as yours. The explanation for your husband's daughter keeping the next child is just that the circumstances were different. She gave up your adopted child because she wasn't able to take care of him the way you do.

    My daughter has had mental difficulties and abused drugs for the past 20+ years. She has had 6 children by 6 different men. The biological father of the oldest paid child support for 16 years to the State of Texas, but none of the others have ever paid a dime. The two older ones were taken from my daughter at age 2 and 9 months, when my sister and her husband took them in, along with their own 4 children. The state took the next two as they came along, and placed them in foster care. They were adopted together by their foster parents when they were about 5 and 3. The state at that time said they would not interfere with any future children my daughter had, so she had the last two, whom I have been raising for over 5 years, since they were 4 and 1. We see my daughter about 1 to 2 times a month, just briefly while we take her to get cigarettes and wine and/or groceries. The children call her "Mommy" and me "Grandma," but I have full custody. I have told them that their mommy loves them very much but, because she has a mental illness and uses drugs and alcohol, she is unable to take care of herself or them. I don't think they feel unloved by her or anyone, because we have discussed it and not kept it a secret. They love being with the "family" and seeing their two big brothers, and they are very curious and really want to meet their other big sister and brother (the adoptive parents quit communicating with us about 9 years ago - never found out why or gave them reason. I think they just didn't want to live up to their agreement to let the children know they were adopted when they were 12, and they wanted to make certain my daughter didn't come around them). Anyway, I think at age 5, your child is old enough to at least begin the discussion and I think he would like interracting with a sibling and being a "big brother." Just my two cents worth.

  9. #9


    I just joined this forum today in an effort to discover that, in the very least, we're not alone. Apparently not!

    My step-daughter lost custody of her three children (three fathers) after suffering a severe car accident injuring 8 people, including two of our three grand children. Drugs and substance abuse were a factor, and now her three children are living with my step-daugther's mother. A recent hearing with CPS determined that my step-daughter and her boyfriend have made no real efforts to comply with the requirements to regain custodial rights. In four months, they will lose parental rights if there is no change. Since the hearing, there has been no change.

    There is talk of splitting up the three children in the following way:
    1. The oldest (age 5)would be adopted by her maternal grandmother.
    2. The middle child (age 3) would be adopted by me and my husband.
    3. The youngest child (age 1) would be adopted by his aunt.

    Sincerely, I'm not on board with this direction, but am willing to go this route if that's what I'm called to do. (The strength will have to be provided.)

    Any thoughts on how bad it is to split up the siblings among family? I mean...I'd never want to SEE my step-daughter again! I don't want to make decisions in fear. Everyone else in the situation is terrified of allowing the children to be adopted outside of the family, and they are convinced that nobody wants entire sibling groups.

    More questions than answers...but we are certainly all facing amazingly similar situations.
    Last edited by Young Grandma; 12-07-2007 at 10:14 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Other kids involved

    We adopted our grandchild who is now 5. She is technically my husbands grandchild and my step grandchild. His son is in prison and due to be out in 2 years or so. We have two other children 12 and 8. We are mommy and daddy and our 2 kids are her brother and sister. With all of this, she has grandparents
    that have no relationship with our biological kids. This has meant extra B-day parties, Christmases, etc. It has caused resentment with the older 2 kids and there is tension because of it. Her biological
    "mommy" and "daddy" want to be involved in her life and buy her things too. We have tried to explain
    the troubles it causes, but they don't see our point of view. I want to disconnect from these extended family members and limit contact so we can focus on our family unit. Her bio dad has stated at times
    that he intends to try to get her back when he is out of prison. Her bio mom is pregnant again and live a ways away, but that concerns me. It all gets very stressful and complicated. People are angry at
    us for wanting to and don't understand our reasons, or won't. She knows that who her biological
    parents are and knows that they made some bad choices and that is why she lives with us. Drugs
    were involved and she was exposed to drugs and neglected by her bio mom. I am not as understanding and forgiving of these things as some are. These bad choices changed my and my two older kids
    worlds forever. Having one family unit with one child being involved with extended family the others
    don't have is hard. What are the right answers?

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