Would this be a Sin


#1

A close relation of mine is in the process of adopting a new born and has decided with her husband not to tell the child - I consider this a lie and a sin and harmful to the child in later life. I feel that although the child is a newborn and should of course know her parents as mummy and daddy that she should also be informed (as one would tell a child) that she didn’t come from mummys tummy but that another lady carried her etc. I was adopted (finally) at age 8/9 so no-one could hide it from me but I feel that any child should be made aware of their history and that they are in fact sinning by conspiring to create a lie which is not in the interest of the child.

Any other opinions would be great!

J

God Bless


#2

All of the people, who I have known, who have been adopted knew from the time they were very small. I imagine if I went my entire life thinking I was my mom’s natural child, only to find out later (like after she died, and I’d be going through her stuff, for example), I’d be crushed that no one ever told me that I was adopted. Although, at this point in my life, having such news would make sense, I think… :smiley:

I don’t think this could be hidden forever, so I imagine the younger you say something, the better. Lying is definitely a sin, and if lies have to be told in order to keep the child ignorant (which I think they’d have to), then I think you’re right.


#3

It’s not good to hide it. First of all, they should know their true family history, and most importantly, they should know their real family medical history. When they go to the doctor, they will be giving false family info if they think their adoptive parents are the real biological parents. It’s not right or fair to not let them know the truth all the way around. :slight_smile:

Also, I think you worded your poll wrong, the first two should say no and the bottom two should say yes. Example: you are asking if you would hide the adoption and since the first two say yes, it is saying you would hide it but you would still tell the child :confused:

hope that makes sense. :slight_smile:


#4

The sin is not in lying, but if one fails to do ones best in parenting. The child is eventually going to learn that he is adopted. I don’t know any case where he has not found out one way or another - family records, loose tongued relatives, etc. It is most likely that the child was born to an unmarried mother, and the worst time for the child to learn this is at puberty, which is when they will be wise enough to put the various bits and pieces together. This can cause real problems as the youth tries to put together his own feelings on sex. Our children knew from their earliest years that they were adopted. They had playmates who were adopted, who had divorced parents, etc. We overheard some interesting conversations as they tried to sort out which was best.


#5

As someone who is adopted from birth, I cannot stress to you how important it is to be honest with your child from the beginning. Anytime that i have seen where it was hidden and the child found out later has destroyed or hurt the child’s relationship with their adoptive parents.

I don’t know that its a sin not to tell but I think its a lack of using good judgement. Why don’t your relatives want to say anything? Is it a closed adoption? This is very rare these days.


#6

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with waiting until the child is mature enough to understand the situation to have that converstation. The majority of experts agree that the information is very damaging to children that are not yet mature enough to fully understand the nature of adoption. I highly doubt it would be possible to concel the information forever.


#7

I woudln’t lie about it. My DH was adopted and he new from the get go. He loves both his “mothers” and has high respect for his biological mother because she did it for the safety of his life.

But to lie about it could cause problems, especially trust issues later in life. If something this huge is covered up, the child will start to wonder what else the parents are hiding.


#8

I guess I am the exception then. I did not find out I was adopted until I was 18 years old and quite by accident. Yes it was a shock, but I recovered from it rather quickly. (I was actually in the midst of planning my wedding so I had bigger things on my mind.) I understood my parents reasons. I was old enough to not go through “why did my mother give me away” or “my mother didn’t want me” stuff that younger kids go through. And it spared me from saying some awful things I would have said as a rebellious teenager to my parents that I would have regretted later. It didn’t harm my relationship with my parents at all.

I don’t think it should be a secret forever though, and it’s not likely they would be able to keep it a secret. I would imagine it will be closed adoption (which I personally favor) if she has the intention of keeping it a secret.

It is probably best to let the child know from a fairly young age -otherwise it gets more and more difficult to reveal the adoption because there never seems to be a right time. I am a pretty resilient person, someone who is more sensitive or fragile could be very devastated if they found out by accident.


#9

I think it would be sinful if you held it from them indefinitely. I would tell my children from the beginning, as soon as they started questioning. This way when they are confused enough about life as teens, they will already have a secure foundation that you love them as parents, though their parents are not technically you. I am also of the opinion that if they, as teens, want to find their real mother/father, they have that right. If real mother/father is in a bad situation that you don’t want them to see, then show pictures and at least tell them about mother/father. Don’t hide it. That is as much a part of them as you are, you cannot hide that fact. :nope:

This is a very real problem for us too, as we are considering adoption in the future. :thumbsup:


#10

I would say you should tell a child he/she was adopted as soon as he/she can comprehend what it means to be adopted.


#11

My adopted daughter is only 2, but we celebrate her ‘gotcha day’ along with her birthday. She will know as soon as she can comprehend it.

I’m not sure it’s a sin not to tell them, because that is the way it was done for thousands of years, but I know that it definitely is not smart. One day someone will let it slip to that child that they are adopted, then they will be hurt. :frowning:


#12

In my opinion it is not SINFUL to withhold knowledge of adoption. I do not consider the failure to give such information to be lying. I don’t think children have an absolute right to know the history of how they were conceived, carried, and born. We seem to think people in general, and our children in particular, have a lot more *rights *to information than they truly do.

HOWEVER…

I think failing to tell a child something as significant as that he is adopted is a rather stupid plan. We live in a world where the details and information about births is considered information to be shared with others. People take it for granted that they should know their family medical history. (A child of a closed adoption very likely won’t know this anyway.) I have no idea how many people out there might be adopted (by at least one parent) and never find out but those who *do *find out are generally very upset with their parents for failing to tell them.

Most adopted children I know about are told from the time they are infants. They might not really understand what adoption means until they are older but they usually get the following sort of explanation: “Most parents get the children God gives them; in your case God thought we should do the choosing ourselves.” I

If this is told in a matter-of-fact way then the child will hopefully learn that adoption is like many other things in life: there are some pluses and some minuses.


#13

Kids that find out as teenagers tend to take it H A R D.

I personally was impressed with how my one friend handled it in her family. Once in awhile she’d tell her boys their “Birth Stories.” One boy heard all about how they planned to have a child, how he grew in her and how he was born in the hospital. the other heard about how they prayed for a child for so long, how they heard about him being available for adoption from China, how they wondered about him as they completed all the adoption hoops, and all about how excited they were when they went to the airport to pick him up the first time. for both the focus was on the great joy that they had been added to their family.

Once the adopted child asked her why his birth mother didn’t love him enough to keep him. She told him he had it backwards… that his birth mother must love him 100 times more than she does. When he needed an explanation of that she said “Your birth mother knew she couldn’t have taken care of you and given you the best so she loved you so much she gave you up. I’m not that strong… I love you but I could never give you up.”

Her son never felt bad he was adopted as he might have if it had been hidden and/or treated as a bad secret.


#14

What reason does your relative give for wanting to keep this from the child?

(A friend of mine didn’t learn that she was adopted until she was well into her 40’s and then learned about it in a most unpleasant way after the death of her adoptive mother and was devastated by this revelation.)


#15

Honesty is the best policy, but that doesn’t mean brutally honest. I’d say, make it clear that the parents love the child very much, and adoption only made the child officially theirs in law, though the child was already theirs in heart. In fact, I ran across a book while shelving at the library that tells you how to go about it properly:
Telling the truth to your adopted or foster child: making sense of the past
by Betsy Keefer

Those who found out only by accident then resent their parents and feel hurt, lost, outcast, etc. Even if the birth parents are murderers, tell them (but save the rest of the information for when they’re ready)


#16

I think calling it a sin is a bit harsh, since obviously they are doing what they think is best for all concerned, but surely it is going to backfire if you and other family members know about, sooner or later the child is going to hear the truth, and it will come as a shock in later years if she has not grown up with this knowledge, that she was chosen by her parents. Perhaps you could gently point out the negative effect such a disclosure had on you, but if you tell them it is a sin, they probably will get their backs up and won’t listen to you.


#17

I’m adopted… if I found out that my parents held that info from me until I was older I would have been crushed and felt very betrayed… a complete false sense of security.

Instead, they told me as soon as I started asking questions, along with celebrating my “gotcha” day.

God had His hand in things, because it was a very specific instruction I had to meet my birth mother. (An amazing story, I’d be glad to share if anyone wants to know). If I didn’t know I was adopted, I couldn’t have done that. It alleviated my birth mother’s pain.

I have to say that I don’t understand this comment. I know its not meant this way, but it comes across offensive. Exactly why would this news make sense? I understand that you are kidding around probably about yourself being odd in your family or something, but why use being adopted as a the means for the joke?


#18

Truth will ALWAYS come out in the end…I’d say, tell the child little by little so it won’t be too much of a shock. If it comes out when the child is 16, 17 it tends to be far worse.

Anna x


#19

It was such a wonderful experience for my wife when at 17 years of age a woman approached her in the hallway of the parochial school she attended and announced, "I’m your mother."
If you are not ready to tell the child from the outset that he/she is adopted, then you are not yet ready to adopt.
Intentionally withholding information which is important to another is a form of deception. It is a lie.

Matthew


#20
  1. The kid will probably find out as soon as he/she gets a driver’s license/state id card at age 16-18 when mom and dad aren’t on the birth certificate and he/she needs to use the adoption certificate.

  2. It may come out sooner via wondering, say, “why do I not look like my family”, etc, or via previously mentioned loose-lipped relatives.

My stepsister was not adopted, but she was given the impression that she had a different paternity than she did. She is now 18 years old, and her biological father is not aware of her existence. She found out about it when she was 12 and going through some depression issues and having suspicions when a counselor suggested revealing it - which in hindsight was probably the worst possible time for her, due to the depression, puberty, etc. Lots of uncomfortable conversations about adultery, paternity laws, etc - while my stepdad later divorced her mom, this also affected her opinion of her mom.

She knows and understands that her only real father is the one who she was told was her father(my stepfather). Interestingly, she later said she would have been happy never knowing even though she knows she would eventually have found out about it. Just remember that it would be difficult/impossible to keep it secret indefinitely, and that it would probably be best for the parents rather than outsiders to control the timing - the older the kid is, the less likely this info is to end up coming from parents.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.