Adoptee wanting to find out who a biological parent is faced with concerns with fear of upsetting the adoptive family. I grew up without my biological father in my life and I know what it feels like to want to know who that biological parent is. It is not about replacing the adoptive family member or members, it is about filling some parts of yourself that you feel is missing.
I am hoping with this post that I can help people who did not grow up without their biological family gain a better understanding of why it might be important to try and find a biological family member. I know from talking to other adoptees that they faced very similar feelings that I had before I found my biological father.
Curiosity is one of the biggest motivations. I can not tell you how many times I wondered if I looked like him. I grew not to know the entire story of why my biological father was not in my life and my mother felt that I did not need to know. When you do not know the story behind why they are not in your life you develop stories inside your mind that might not even be true. When we know the why of the situation it takes away the desire to find out what happened that led to that biological family member not being in your life.
I also felt that I was not a complete person because I did not know anything about my biological father. Without that opportunity to know who he was, I struggled to feel like a whole person. I felt cheated in my life because there was an entire side of my family that I would never know. I had a great life full of adventures and experiences, but I could not stop wondering about him. There were holes in my life because I could not fill in the information I needed to feel complete. If that even makes sense.
I struggled to bond with my biological mother. Whenever I asked about my biological father she would come up with different stories so I knew she was keeping secrets from me. Secrets can destroy relationships and bonds. I grew up not trusting anyone because I felt that I had to be careful because the person I was supposed to trust the most could not be trusted to be honest with me. While sometimes the entire story can not be shared with a young child, it is important that you at least be honest and let them know when you can tell them.
The final reason for wanting to find a biological family member is important to learn about your family's health history. Answers to doctor's questions about health history are not possible to answer unless you know the answers. The doctor can not watch for potential hereditary health risks if they are not aware of them.
Finding biological family members is not about replacing anyone. It is about an adoptee satisfying a curiosity, understanding who they are, and gaining access to family health information. Not every story is a happy ending, but it is worth a try.