Q & A

 So, I am wondering could kids that were raised with Mother's that placed a child for adoption grow up resenting them and thinking that they had the better life?  This is what birthmothertalks asks here

It's an interesting thought.

As I said over there, I could see a young child being jealous of material things, in fact I think it's pretty normal.

Kids are notorious for saying, "but so-and-so has one" and "so-and-so's parents give them money for passing" and, in their lack of maturity when it comes to what's really important in life, can even wish they lived at so-and so's house. Of course when it comes down to it, they don't usually really mean it. I guess they might if the parents suck but that's something you certainly don't have to worry about!

This post really made me think about the reality of finance between the two families in adoption. I guess when we're adopted would have much to do with it. The amount of money my parents had to cough up in my sister's and my adoptions way back when was minimal. We were never rich growing up. Coupons were cut, no designer jeans, second hand hockey equipment, mandatory babysitting jobs, etc. so not impoverished but the purse strings were tight.

With the amount of money that seems to change hands nowadays in adoption, I would think the average person wouldn't necessarily be rolling in the bucks after, possibly even living beyond their means.

I think the only way kept children might be truly jealous of adopted kids might be for their newness, the novelty of them so to speak. Jealous of sharing their own parent(s) time and attention with the "new kid". Hey, in tact families have sibling rivalry right?

Picture this long lost child that mom and/or dad has been waiting their whole life to reunite with, a child who's never lied, stolen, skipped school, said I hate you.

I say, jealous of material things when they're little, possible. Jealous of parent's affection when they're older or grown, also possible.

And if your bio dad happens to be Rod Stewart...look out!


  1. Campbell, yeah, I can see all answer this for me. Why do adopted children, at times, resent other children in their natural parents lives? I have seen that a lot and it makes me wonder. I mean I know that kept children and adopted children sometimes have these issues simply because of the abandonment and why me stuff, but what about the children that are not the natural parents children, but say, cousins or other children that are close to the natural children?

    I really am curious and maybe it could help me to understand some things better.

  2. You know what Lori, I think one of the factors is history with the parent and there are many dimensions that can exist.

    Here's one for you. It's a little complicated but I'll do my best.

    I have an uncle whom I'm very close to. He has a son, who I am also quite close to. I spent much time with this family when I was growing up. The son, my cousin, became a step father in adulthood, I think even adoptive father to one or both kids. My uncle, the step-kids' step-grandfather, had reservations about assuming the role of grandpa wholeheartedly, initially. In the struggle over this between father and son, my name came up.

    It was kind of like, well, you have no problem seeing Campbell as family and she's adopted. It was hard for my cousin to understand what the difference was between these new, beautiful children and me but the difference was 40 years of history. So, to make a long story longer, my cousin, who thinks of me as family, was jealous of me (an adopted yet solid member of the family) on behalf of the newly adopted kids.

    Not exactly the scenario that you refer to but an example of how intricate relationships can be, how unique every situation is.

    Those kids, whether they're cousins or close family friends, have history with the parent in question, and history is quite often something people are envious of, in all kinds of relationships.

    Maybe that's it?

  3. I think it probably depends on the mother and siblings and the situation. The reasons for the relinquishment, the openness of discussion, the circumstances of the adopted sibling (if known), the stability of the families, etc.

    I know that there is often a lot of confusion and resentment when it comes to sibling relationships, adopted and otherwise. Some succeed and some founder.

    In my own particular situation, which is very complicated, I have a brother five years younger than myself who was kept. He only found out about me last year, when he was 35. Our mother had lied to him about me and then fought to control our relationship. There is rampant alcoholism and not a whole lot of love in my first family. At one point last fall, my brother told me. "You are lucky not to have been brought up in this family."

    Sadly, we are estranged at this point, thanks to my fmom giving him an ultimatum ("It's Kara or me!") so I can't have an in-depth conversation with him about his feelings. Maybe one day.

    From the conversations we did have, however, I think that the financial and emotional disparity between my adoptive family and first family have given my brother an easier time in deciding not to continue our relationship. When he broke off contact, he said, "You have your family, and I have mine. They're both wonderful, but they're not the same family." Sounds like mental gymnastics to me. He's staking a claim to something that I can't have, and saying that it's not mine. When it may not be mine emotionally, but is certainly mine by birthright.

    It's interesting that he and I followed pretty similar educational trajectories and ended up overeducated with multiple doctorates between us (he is also a physician). Although our mother was a foreign language teacher (and I inherited her facility for languages), he never lived abroad. I did. I went to name-brand universities and colleges. He didn't. He had to fight a lot harder to get what I got because I had my aparents' financial situation behind me. I can imagine that that would be hurtful for him. I spent my 20's traveling around the world and having fun. My brother married at 22 and struggled to gain his father's approval.

    From where I stand, though, even though our mother is decidedly toxic, I also envy him his relationship with her and his knowledge, from birth of who he is in terms of his roots. I am still trying to figure it out.

    Sorry to be so long and rambling. This is a very interesting question.

  4. Don't be sorry, great comment! Not rambling at all.

    It certainly reinforces what we already (or should already) know that every circumstance is so unique. I hope someday you and your brother hang out again. I'm sure it will happen.

    I've not forgotten you talking ages ago about having him your life. My little brother's death 5ish years ago likely contributed to your situation staying in my brain. I remember being the tiniest bit envious but also very happy for you at the same time.

    I in fact did have a half brother when I was born, my bio dad's son, and have thought about him over the years. Sometimes wondering what he might be like, if he knew about me, and sometimes hoping he wasn't the guy I was dating....*shudder*.

  5. Ironically, my birthfather makes a heck of a lot more money than my adoptive parents. My biological sister is materially ...equipped in more ways than I ever was growing up.

    However, she did grow up essentially without a mother. And in our early reunion, she expressed a certain amount of envy in regards to the fact that I had a dad AND a mom. But that never stopped her from reminding me often that she was the loved and kept child, and that she was so happy HER daddy kept her.

    Well..I suppose we can't have it all.

  6. In fact I didn't have a half brother when I was born. The man referred to as my bio dad in my non identifying info had a son when I was born, but turns out that that man is not my bio dad, just the guy my bio mom wished was.

    We can assume he still thinks he is, and the real one doesn't have a hot clue I was even conceived.


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