All this, of course, presupposes that the family situation is as you think it is. Without going into details, I will say that there are certain DNA results that link you to one of the genetic descendants of the pair, which could make it very likely. Less would be at stake if knowing about you just meant her kids found out that their mother — who, it seems, devout Catholic — was having premarital sex. (Would she also be ashamed that the son she put up for adoption is gay? Well, that’s her problem. The Catholic catechism teaches that gays are “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” So her faith is no excuse.) But the truth that your existence represents would be much more destructive, because of her profound misjudgment in keeping this secret from her husband, your biological father.
Right now you have an informant among your genetic relatives, someone whose reports you deem clearly reliable. This person has spoken to your birth mother and conveys her point of view and perspective. So you’ve already learned that your mom doesn’t want a relationship with you — doesn’t want to face the reality of what she did. I can tell you that you have the right to open the door to a relationship with your genetic siblings and father. But I can’t assure you that, all things considered, it’s the right thing to do.
If your genetic homecoming destroys a marriage and a family, it will have been her fault, but the choice will have been yours. Talking to her, on the other hand, does not lead to irreversible damage, however painful she may find it; she, like the close family member you’ve been in contact with, already knows the story. Even if she doesn’t reconsider her point of view, you may be able to learn more from her about your other family members. You could understand why she made the decisions she made. In the end, you can decide to let this woman, who may be in her mid-70s, continue with the life she’s built for herself over the decades. It is certainly a heavy burden to be the one who shatters this life. If you save her, you could save yourself too.
I was born out of wedlock and given up for adoption at birth. My adoptive parents were unhappily divorced when I was a toddler, and they both believed there was no need for me to know about my biological parents. After years of research, I now know my story. My parents were in their teens: my father was a visiting university student from Iraq; my mother an American who had just graduated from high school. (I was labeled “mixed race” when I was born.) Both my biological parents are still alive, although they are elderly, and both have families who probably don’t know about this episode in their lives.
I would like to meet them, talk to them, see them, say hello. I have had a happy and successful life and am not looking for anything from them, such as money or an ongoing parental relationship. But it would mean everything to me to meet/see/cuddle someone I was actually a blood relative with. However, I also understand that they may not want to relive this long-ago moment in their lives. I’m curious if you have any perspective on this. Name withheld
When parents have a child they do not want to raise, they have the right to give that child up for adoption. But they have no right as an adult not to be approached by that child. Even if the parents were promised confidentiality at the time of adoption, that promise is not a promise to which the child was a party.