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Teenager wanting to know about birth family

terraced house February 12, 2022 22:21

Teenager came to us as a baby. Will be 18 in 2 years. Asks a lot about "real"parents. Has always used this expression towards us when angry. We are dreading when teen finds out, as the birth family only live a few miles away and have been in/out of prison. Wider network of troubled family members that we worry will teen will reach out to. Teen is so easily influenced (some SEN) and would definitely be drawn to them. This is so worrying, as they have chaotic lives.

Anyone else had this ?

Edited 12/02/2022
Serrakunda27 February 13, 2022 11:12

well its perfectly normal for all adopted children to want to know about birth family and teenagers in particular who are exploring their identity

Have you never done any life story work with him ? I’d suggest you get in touch with PAS and request an assesment of need for life story work which would be funded by the Adoption Support Fund.

Donatella February 13, 2022 11:31

How much does he already know? My three know all there is to know about their birth families as we’ve always been open and honest with them. I’ve one approaching 18 and we’ve had the conversation about bps maybe wanting to make contact. He has very clear views on this and we all - including SS - will have to respect them.

if your lad hasn’t had good quality therapeutic lifestory work then I’d recommend you request it as soon as possible. Without the facts it can be easy for teenagers to have a rosier picture of a fantasy rather than the reality

chestnuttree February 13, 2022 11:37

I think you need to tackle it openly and head-on. Like Serrakunda says, in case he is willing to engage, get him some therapeutic life story work urgently. If you are not already doing so, regularly talk about the birth family and try to stay neutral. Don't demonise them, but don't sugar-coat things either and make it clear why he could not stay with them and why they struggle so much (mental health problems etc, do not demonise). Explain that it is normal for teenagers to explore their identity and that that is more challenging for adoptees. Share your concerns with him, but also let him know you will support him if he wishes to meet them, so he doesn't do it secretly. What comes up when you google them? Does he know his birth surname? The easier you make it for him to talk to you, the better for all of you.

chestnuttree February 13, 2022 13:29

They should know everything, before they hit puberty and before they understand it all, so that once they understand it, they feel they have already known and the impact isn't as strong.

Edited 13/02/2022


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