September 28, 2017 at 7:32 am | Posted in adoption books, Adoption differences, adoption information, adoption insight, adoption issues, adoption loss, Adoptive parenting do's, Differences - adoptive parenting and biological parenting, Differences -adopted child and biological child, Is this forever? | Leave a comment


You are not my real mother—

You are not my real father.


The words, “You are not my real mother” or “You

are not my real father” can cut like a sharp knife. After putting

in years of love and sacrifice, these are not the words adoptive

parents like to hear.


Of course, the first reaction on the part of the parent is

strong anger and resentment. Once their anger wears off, the

resulting hurt can devastate a parent. To make matters worse,

often, a child will add “I hate you” to the above insult.

Even though adoptive parents know they may hear these

words one day from their child, it is not easy to hear them.


If we just get inside the head of the other

person, we usually learn we are just the target of someone

else’s problem. We are not the problem. We just happen to

be in the way. We are there and provide a convenient target.

The denouncement of parenthood by an adopted child

almost always is said in anger and frustration, and is a

reflection of low self-esteem.


What the child is truly asking is, “Are you my parent?” This

confrontation comes when the child is unhappy about himself

and needs reassurance that his parents will stick by him and

always be his parents. He never had this guarantee from his

birth parents, and when he feels unworthy, he needs this

reassurance from his adoptive parents.

Unfortunately, when a child verbally attacks, the adoptive

parents are reeling from the insult and don’t feel much like

saying comforting things to their child. However, this is what

needs to be done.


People who stay in a birth family know that is where they

will always be—like it or not. People who have had their birth

family taken from them can actually think that no relationship

is permanent. Their trust factor has been shattered. If you can’t

trust your own birth parents, then who can you trust? An

adopted child can verbally attack his adoptive family when

he feels insecure, and how his parents react will tell him a lot

about his security and the trust factor within his family.


There is a huge difference between, “You are not my

mother,” and “Are you really my mother and will you always

be, no matter what?” The words as stated are opposite from

each other, but the issue involved is the same, no matter how

it’s stated.


An upset child who is down on himself may not consciously

understand what he is doing, but the adults in the situation

should see the underlying message. It is essential parents get

their own egos and fragile feelings out of the way.


Childhood is not an easy time. Trying to figure out just who

you are and what you will become can be quite intimidating.

If your birth parents have already given up on you (or so the

adopted child might think), what security do you have? If the

adopted child attacks his adoptive parents and the parents

respond to him in a loving way, a strong message is being

sent. The child feels angry with himself, attacks his parents,

yet gets love in return. This cycle helps to reinstate trust

between the child and his world. He needs to hear that he is

a worthy person even though he may not feel or act like he is.


Excerpt from “Insight Into Adoption”, 3rd edition


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