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'My adopted parents don’t acknowledge my biological family.'

'My adopted parents don’t acknowledge my biological family.'


"My adopted parents don’t acknowledge my biological family"


I’m 33 years old and have adoptive parents that are 78+ years old. They adopted me when I was 4. I recently discovered my 38 year old biological sister and other relatives thanks to 23andMe. My parents are showing no interest in talking to me about this, and show no interest in my biological sister.

I feel really hurt and angry by this. They never ask about it, how I am coping emotionally or how they can support me. They just like to pretend it doesn’t exist. If I bring it up, they might humor me for 30 seconds before falling into an awkward silence. This has been happening for over a year.

I go out of my way to connect with their biological relatives and have my entire life. I go out of my way to attend weddings, funerals and other visits to support my parents. They expect me to treat their relatives like they are my relatives, but make no effort for mine.

I have a biological brother (they adopted him and me) who recently passed away, so I broached the subject by asking “If David (name changed) passed away, what arrangements would we make?” They indicated there would be no service.

I asked if we could have a service and if I could invite Heather. My mother said point blank, “She doesn’t know us and we don’t know her.” How could she be so dismissive? It was a hypothetical but I feel like my brother will not live long. I’m really struggling. Is this normal?

EDIT: I tried to just share the facts, and not use emotionally charged language to get objective opinions. I have a good relationship with my parents, and have often expressed my gratitude for them.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


Your adoptive parents, by adopting you, became your parents and you joined their family. Your bio family is your biological family but when you were four, they didn’t step up and adopt you.

Your adoptive parents apparently saved you from a life in foster care. Ask yourself why they decided to do that and how they feel knowing you see your bio family as more important to you than the people who became your family legally.

If your adoptive parents and family saw themselves as willing to basically babysit you, they could have agreed to provide you foster care. Instead, they committed to becoming your parents.

It is always wonderful when an adopted child can bring adoptive and biological family members together but there may be reasons that isn’t happening here. That you seem to see your bio relatives as real family and your adoptive family as not your parents can be heartbreaking to your adoptive folks.


Or in a few instances the system removes children for no good reason and put into awful families so they obviously live a terrible childhood life. And of course look for bio family. Not saying that’s the case but it does happen, a lot more than people think or want to believe. Also curious about where you came from is human nature.

The OP responded here:


Thanks for your input. I wouldn’t say that your opinion about how I perceive my adoptive parents is accurate - but I can understand it’s hard to weigh in on the situation with just this little context. My biological family didn’t know I even existed, and I see my adoptive parents as my parents. But still, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.


Do you have any idea how hard it must be for your parents to see you connecting with your biological family? You are their child, and their relatives are your relatives. They are the people who have been there for you for 29 years.

The people that were there for you when your biological family weren't, the people that looked after you, love you and want the best for you. The way you write about that is dismissive, and if I were your parents, I'd be feeling heartbroken about that right now.


Op it's better to have a sit down with your parents and ask them about there feelings about this situation, what you are doing is hard to hear for any adopted parents. You aren't wron for wanting to connect with your bio family but you have to understand your adopted family feelings.


Hugs big hugs you deserve to have all your family in your life and to be treated with respect. you are made up of both families - and that your adoptive parents are afraid of, angry about or dismissive of that is incredibly unfair.

I am an adoptive parent myself - i struggle with feelings of anxiety and loss and fear when my kids are in contact with and spend time with the bio families but i love my kids so much and i see how important their bio family is. i remind myself that our hearts can also hold and give more love. ❤️


I’m sorry you’re in this position and not finding much emotional support from your parents. They maybe be afraid of the doors this could open, or that they may lose you if you pursue connecting with your biological family.

You wanting a service for your bother is normal. Wanting your sister there, is normal. Them not wanting to have a service for him is unusual. They must have some explanation about this.

Have you sat them down and discussed how hurtful it is that they don’t want to discuss this part of your life? How it’s hurtful that they don’t want to have a service for your bother?

I think you should sit down and as civilly as you can (no name calling, no accusations, etc) tell them how you feel and ask them, as your mom and dad, what’s going on and why they’re reacting this way.

I would tell them how you go out of your way to connect with y’all’s family, even though it doesn’t feel reciprocated. Perhaps y’all could talk with a family counselor about ways to nurture this part of your identity and family unit. I will add that if you are going out of your way to connect with y’all’s family, perhaps think about new boundaries that may serve you and your peace.

So, if you could give the OP any advice, what would you say to help guide them?

Sources: Reddit
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