You Could be a Late Discovery Adoptee
What is a late discovery adoptee? Sometimes referred to as LDA this is when a person does not learn until they are a teenager or an adult that they were adopted. It’s shocking to learn when you’re eighteen or nineteen, and still late, but it’s a lot more shocking when someone say in their fifties discovers they are adopted, not to mention much worse because searching when you’re middle aged or elderly means you’re very unlikely are going to find your biological parents alive.
Nearly anyone can be a late discovery adoptee. You may read this and think, no way, not me. However, read the list at the end and see if it raises your eyebrows at all. I personally know people or have heard from coworkers about people who didn’t learn they were adopted until they were eighteen, thirty, in their sixties,etc. It happens and it can happen to you.
You might even think well I wouldn’t care if I found out I’m adopted and I’m already twenty-two, thirty-six, fifty-nine, eighty-one but trust me just like it does to all late discovery adoptees it will give you the shock of your life and be traumatizing. My hope is that my blog can soften the blow somewhat.
Once you discover you’re a late discovery everything changes. Let’s take the life of the most famous late discovery adoptee. Moses.
First, before I tell the story of Moses let’s clear something up. I often hear well meaning Christians say all people are adopted by God. Being adopted by God is not the same as being an adoptee. Being adopted in a closed adoption or an open adoption that quickly closes means losing your family roots, not growing up with siblings, not knowing your original family name, not knowing who you look like, not having your biological medical information, not knowing your heritage, and more. It’s a life of being a second class citizen.
The life of Moses is told in the Exodus, one of the five books of the Old Testament, one of the stories of the Torah. Each year Christians read the story of Moses and Jewish people read the story and celebrate Passover. Moses was born a Jew in Egypt. At the time Jewish people in Egypt, called Kemet back then, were slaves who worked in the fields. The pharaoh at the time was afraid that the Jewish people were overpopulating too much and so he had his soldiers murder baby boys and male toddlers just like Herod would do thousands of years later when Jesus was born. Moses’ biological family were Jewish slaves. Moses’ biological mother had an older son named Aaron and a daughter named Miriam. Moses was at -risk for being murdered so she placed her baby son in a basket, put a lid on it and sent it down the Nile with a prayer (and I’m sure many tears).
Moses’ basket floated past the palace where one of the Egyptian princesses picked up the basket and saw, to her shock, a baby inside. She raised Moses as her own. Moses grew up truly believing he was Egyptian. He dressed like an Egyptian. He believed in their polytheistic religion. He thought enslaving the Jewish people was normal. He thought the princesses’ other children were his blood siblings. The diseases that befell the Egyptian royal family, he probably thought would affect him too.
As a young man Moses got the shock of his life. He learned he actually is Jewish and was born to a slave woman and had two older siblings. Moses then felt he must stop the enslavement of his own people and became more and more attached to Jewish culture and Jewish ways, and to Judaism. Eventually, Moses rescued his people from slavery and got them out of Egypt (Kemet). He also married a Jewish woman and had Jewish children. He did love his adoptive Egyptian mother and she loved him, but he had to know his own people.
That is what it is for adoptees even today. You can love your adoptive parents, but you have a need to know your own people. Whether you learn you are adopted when your three or sixty-three this feeling does not change. For those who say they have no desire it is nearly always denial, feelings of rejection, or pressure from self -centered adoptive parents to supress wanting to know more.
For late discovery adoptees, learning you’re adopted will turn you on your head. Don’t be surprised if you feel dissociated and suddenly don’t know how to act around those you grew up with you’re whole life thinking they are your mother, father, etc. Even in-family late discovery adoption can be a major blow. For example, learning your parents are actually your grandparents. While I won’t say this is easy, because it’s not, it still is much better than being a late discovery adoptee and not knowing your natural family whatsoever. Let’s look at the example of Moses.
Imagine you thought you were Egyptian and suddenly learn you’re Jewish.
Imagine you thought the heart disease that effects your family doesn’t effect you but now you don’t know your natural family and are totally unaware that epilepsy and parkinsons disease effect your family and can affect you. You’re an adoptee, you’re not allowed to know this valuable information about yourself.
You don’t know your actual name you were born with.
You thought the siblings you grew up with were your blood siblings. Still you love them a lot but now you learn you have an older brother or sister. Perhaps you don’t know if you have siblings but now you wonder do I?
You wonder, like Moses had, why you weren’t told you were adopted as a little boy or girl. You might even be furious you found out from someone other than the mother or father who raised you. I want to make it clear, keeping it secret nowadays that an adoptee is adopted is very wrong, but back fifty, sixty years ago adoptive couples were told to never tell their child he or she is adopted. It was just another way for the adoption industry to cover up their sinister tracks. My adoptive grandfather, who passed in 1999, had a best friend, who passed in 2015, who adopted. There was no way, being the 1960s, his natural mother could have kept him considering she (Polish American) was fifteen, unmarried, and gave birth to a baby with some Native American ancestry. Unmarried and an interracial relationship was a huge no go in the 1960s, forced adoption was sadly what happened in that decade. He told his, along with his wife, that he was adopted when he was nine years old. Back in those days they received a lot of criticism for doing so.
Here is the list to tell if you could be a late discovery adoptee:
*You ask for your original birth certificate and hear things like we lost it in the flood.
*You ask for your original birth certificate and the state says you can’t have it.
*There are no photos of your mother pregnant with you.
*People in the family keep deferring you from doing an ancestry DNA test.
*You don’t look like your family. Everyone is light skinned while you have a dark tan. Everyone has blue eyes and dirty blonde hair while you have brown eyes and curly brown hair. Please note genetics is not always a dead give away. I have a biological sister I have yet to meet (I pray for the day I get to talk to her) and her and I look absolutely nothing alike. Do not assume you will look like your natural family. Prior to November 2015 I didn’t know she existed. Had I passed her in the street anytime before November 2015 I wouldn’t even do a second look. We look 0% alike.
*Your parents become defensive when you ask for stories about your birth, pictures of you when you were just born, etc.
*You have overheard talk.
*You vaguely remember being two years old and playing choo-choo train with some lady at Christmas but don’t remember seeing her again.
Unfortunately, due to many adoptive parents of the twenty-first century being self-centered entitled jackwagons we are going to see an upsurge in late discovery adoptees because many couples are tricking young ladies in a pregnancy crisis to give away their babies with the false implication that they’ll do an open adoption. Since open adoption is not legally enforceable, and even if it were the natural parent (especially natural father) gets no say if the adoptive parents want to up and leave and change their contact information without telling the natural parent they can do that, and many are. I personally know people who got tricked. These adoptive parents can enjoy their time in the sun for a while, but that sun soon is going to badly burn them, when their children learn they were adopted and nobody told them, and that they lied to their natural parents just to get their hands on a baby. So look through the list and consider if you could be a late discovery adoptee. Do a DNA test with Family Tree DNA or Ancestry DNA this Christmas with another sibling of yours or if you’re an only child a first cousin. If your results come out very different you’ll know something is up.