Afraid of the truth coming out? Talk to me. Tell us what it's like.

"I wish I had her courage. I haven't told my kids yet about my first child, but my husband knows. Yes, I am terrified."

I just read this anonymous comment and I so want to talk to the person that wrote it. I want to ask anonymous about her story. I want to try to understand, to get a sense of what that fear is like, what it's actually a fear of.

What are you afraid your kids will think?

What are you afraid your kids will do?

Are you not afraid of them finding out before you tell them? Is it possible you prefer they found out another way?

What does your husband or wife think, want you to do? Has that changed over the years?

Have your own intentions when it comes to telling your kids changed over the years?

How old are your kids?

Would you expect them all to react the same? As in, would it be easier to tell one of them than the other because of what you know of their personalities?

Are you in communication with your first child?

Do you really even want to tell your kids and are just afraid or do you really wish it would all just go away? It's ok and best if you're honest with yourself about this one. There is no right answer, except for the truth.

If you're a first/birth/bio parent who is keeping your adopted out kid a secret, from anyone, talk to me. I really want to hear how you feel, what it's really like to be "terrified" of the truth, what you think could happen if it comes out.

Although I can't know what it feels like to be afraid of an adoption secret coming out, I assure you I have compassion for the circumstance you now find yourself in. I am completely dedicated to protecting the identity of anyone who comments here so please don't be concerned about not being able to comment anonymously.

I have helped my bio mom keep her secret for years now so know that you can feel confident I would do nothing to jeopardize yours.


  1. I, too, read the comment from anonymous and it brought be back to the time in my life many years ago when I found myself an unwed pregnant teenager. I remember being terrified and not knowing what to do. My instinct was to run away and I did. I left school and went to live with my boyfriend and his roommate who were in another city. I didn’t tell anyone but eventually both sets of parents found out and to my knowledge they kept the secret. Marriage in our state was out of the question as my boyfriend’s parents refused to allow that and their consent was needed. Bringing a baby home was not an option and not even up for discussion. I did not want my child labeled a “bastard” so I convinced my boyfriend to come with me to find a judge to marry us in another state where the legal age was 18. He went along with my teenage master plan and we did it but kept it a secret. No one knew. Following relinquishment of our child, I went back home and pretended to live life like nothing ever happened. When we eventually got married the second time everyone thought it was the first time because we never did tell anyone about the secret marriage. Why? I’m not sure. Initially, it was fear but then the question is fear of what? It's really hard to imagine this scenario in today's world.

  2. Wow! When I read that I thought, I am that "secret" first child. I reunited with my b/f-mom... sort of. I have several half-siblings that know nothing of me, though her husband knows. I think to myself, I am a good, kind person. What is there about me to be afraid of? Why am I a dirty little secret? It's a terrible feeling.

    1. I wish you didn't feel that way anonymous but I get why you do. Thanks for sharing that.

      Hopefully some parents will comment here and help us to understand why they're so frightened, what they think might happen if they tell people (our siblings) about us. Or, if they're not frightened per se, why they may just not be interested in meeting or having relationships with us, or having their other kids meet us.

      I've always pictured it's because they've presented an image of themselves to their kids and feel that image will be tarnished or smashed by being honest about us.

      Another scenario I've imagined is that the kept kids would have the kind of relationship with the parents where they would feel perfectly comfortable demanding they be told who an unknown father was or other facts the parent is withholding.

      I guess the reasons to be afraid are as unique as the adoption itself. Hopefully we get to hear some.

  3. Campbell, you are most welcome to answer this woman directly at the blog, firstmotherforum where she left the comment you quote as the basis for this post.

  4. Well thanks Lorraine, and you're most welcome to publish a link to this post on your blog for the anonymous commenter and any other closeted parents who read at your blog that may care to share their thoughts and feelings with me and other adopted people who read here.

  5. I was a secret all my bmom's life, she never told her family (i.e. her siblings and parents)about me. However, she did die young, I was only 16 when she passed away so it is possible she may have said something some day - I have no idea.

    I got my OBC almost 25 years ago and decided not to make contact at the time because I didn't want to "disrupt her life" (of course, I didn't realise the truth at the time) and when I did decide to "search", I found a cemetery record wthin 2 seconds of googling her name (in a way, I am glad it is the first thing I found out, Iwould have hated to go searching, getting my hopes up and then find out). As to how she felt about me, I have no real idea, she kept it all to herself (unless she told her husband, I've never spoken to him, he is not well enough). I do actually totally understand her reasons why she relinquished and why she couldn't tell anyone but that doesn't mean it isn't hard at times.

    Anyway, I am now in contact with her siblings and other extended family and they have been wonderful. I am also getting to know what I can about my bmom through photos and my relative's memories. She does sound like she was a lovely person and I am thankful for that :)

    1. Thanks cb, that's so cool you're getting to know her through her family.

      I see how, as disappointing as it must have been, it was better to find the cemetary record immediately.

    2. Getting to "know" her has been very emotional - I am surprised at how I have felt about it all.

      I am also getting to know the extended family for themselves - in some ways, I am closer to them that my extended afamily (geography has a part to play in that).

  6. What are they afraid of?

    Getting the response: What kind of woman gives up her child?

    FWIW, I don't believe that at all. People who give up their children aren't monsters in the slightest and I could never imagine the complexity of relinquishment. That response I typed out above is *exactly* what most of the public has been taught about a mother giving up her child - only "bad" people give up their children.

  7. To date and the best of my knowledge Lorraine from first mother forum has not posted a link to to this blog post even though I've allowed her link to fmf to remain published here.

    I would have thought Lorraine would have been interested in directing mothers to this blog post as first mother forum professes to care and advocate for mothers and adoptees.

  8. I've often wondered why your blog post isn't linked to from the fmf as it's one of the best blogs out there in my opinion. As a BSE firstmom, I've learned a lot about adoption here from an adoptee perspective. I find your posts to be thoughtful, informative, and very well-written. Just so you know, you've helped me a lot. Thanks.

    1. That's very kind of you to say Gail. Thanks : )

      It was just this particular post I thought Lorraine might link to since I published the link she left here to fmf. I wouldn't expect anyone to permanently link to my blog although I very much appreciate those who do.

  9. My husband's cousin was a secret until all his aunt's kids were adults. It was especially "sticky" for his aunt to explain because she is child #2 in the family (not #1 - who had been "here" all along). But Aunt had always wondered how she was, and it was Aunt who did the searching for reunification. Interestingly, our "new" cousin's two sisters seemed to accept her most easily; it was her younger brother who got very upset and didn't want her "splitting the inheritance" for a few years. But even he has come around for the most part, and all of us on the "cousin" side really enjoy the relationship with her. She looks the most like and IS temperamentally the most like our aunt, so it just feels like "of COURSE she is here." We didn't know she was missing till she "appeared on the scene," but what a cool blessing!

  10. It is hard and people who don't live it just don't understand...I guess that statement can be looked at from both sides of the issue; however, I write from the relinquished child's perspective. It is even hard now that Facebook has brought those you know about but have no contact with into your living room through face book. Although the birth mother has no idea her comments on photos can be seen by me, the relinquished child it is so hard to see the original bio family in tact with subtitles like, "God has been good to be me he blessed me with four beautiful children"....I want to respond..."Hello, there were five!". I have been blessed in other ways by being adopted in to a great, caring family with people who gave all their love! NJ

  11. Facebook definitely adds a whole new dimension to everything. I've seen pictures of quite a few biological relatives online tat have no clue I exist. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing but my bio mother is not on Facebook


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I'm also completely fine with good anonymous comments. I've seen some great ones!