Adoptee Tips

If you have found out that you were adopted and you never knew, you will certainly have mixed feelings. This is totally natural.

The stages you might go through can be compared with the stages of grief – Shock and Denial, Pain & Guilt, Anger and Bargaining, Depression, The Upward Turn, Reconstruction and Working Through, Acceptance and Hope. You might follow these in this order, or skip a stage and go on to the next one directly, or come back to an earlier stage. As long as you know that this is necessary and you do need to go through some or all of these stages to finally accept your extra-ordinary inheritance.

Some adoptees are not interested in finding their biological parents, some will drop everything and start the search. Whichever you choose, think about it carefully. Be 100% sure this is the road you want to travel. You might find that it ends in a fairy tale, but it can end in a disaster. Get the help of a social worker to assist you, I cannot emphasise this enough. Do not rush into searching. Give yourself some time, one thing at a time. Once you are sure that you want to continue and you feel confident to go forward, then you will know the time is right.

You will probably ask me how long this will take until you get used to the idea of being an adoptee? I cannot tell you how long this will take you, every person is different and will deal with trauma in their own way. Do know that it will take time and do not rush it. Try not to criticise either of your parents, we all make decisions, some good, some not so good, some we make because we feel it is the best decision at that point in time. Do not reject your adoptive parents, or say things that might make them feel you are rejecting them. Remember, what they fear the most – Rejection! If you need time without their assistance/interference, tell them that and assure them of your love. Try to be open about your feelings so that they get an idea of the rollercoaster of your emotions. If you want to start searching for your biological parents, get a social worker to assist you if you haven’t yet. Do not try to handle contact in your own way. They are trained for this task and it helps to have an objective person outside the triangle to guide and support you.

If you find your biological mother and she does not want to accept the contact, be patient. This will probably come as a huge shock to her, give her time.

Whatever you decide and do, Be Honest, Be Patient, Be Considerate and Accept and Respect whatever the outcome. Some things are meant to be, some not. If it is not meant to be for you to find your biological parents, or they are not willing to reunite, then it is not meant to be and probably for the best.

If you stick to these important guidelines, you will be fine.