ASK AMY: person placed for adoption by DNA


dear Amy: When my mother was a teenager, she gave birth to a son and put him up for adoption.I only found out when I was a kid because my grandmother got quite mean in her later years and told me about it to embarrass my mom. My mom and I never discussed it, and honestly, I almost forgot about it.

Several years later, I bought one of these DNA test kits and later, I also got one for my mother. A few days ago, we both received a “pedigree sharing request” from someone DNA service identified as my half-brother.

I asked my mom via text message (I am currently living outside the country) if she would answer him, but she did not answer the question.

I don’t really know if I should push the subject further with it.

Also, do I have the obligation to answer this half-brother? My instinct is not to answer at all. I found him on Facebook and saw that his messages were far too political and religious for me.


Half brother wonders

Dear you wonder: Depending on what you report, family members may have a habit of picking up on tough topics and then burying them again when they strike too close to the heart – or just become too uncomfortable to face.

One of my favorite quotes is from poet Robert Frost: “… the best outcome is always through.” I guess that means that almost all difficult situations are improved – in the end – by going through them rather than bypassing them.

Yes, you can take your half-brother’s social media posts as (weak) justification for ignoring him. You have the right to ignore it. But he has a right to factual knowledge about his own biological and medical history, and you should be able to contribute to this without necessarily entering into a relationship that you obviously don’t feel inclined to have.

Also be aware that if your brother’s values ​​and worldview are so different from yours, he may also not want to bond with you.

Yes, it would certainly reveal very difficult truths for your mother. Given the way her own mother treated her, she may not be able to cope with this reality. You can assume that when she and her family put her baby up for adoption, they did it knowing that this chapter was closed – never dreaming that one day DNA would allow people to bypass adoption contracts . It would be best for you to contact your mother (perhaps by phone, not by text) and ask her, gently and without judgment, if she would like to talk about it.

Dear Amy: Before the pandemic, I took care of my grandson at home.

My son-in-law “Bart” dropped him off and picked him up in the afternoon.

When he came to pick up my grandson, he often had alcohol on his breath.

Once I commented on the risk he would put his son, he downplayed him, saying that he had just had a drink.

My daughter is aware of this. She works in the healthcare industry.

Ever since they got married, things should always be her way or the highway … and although she’s the mainstay, she doesn’t seem to be able to change their dynamics.

Help me!

Anxious grandmother

Dear Grandma: If you resume your caregiving duties, it would be good to start with a new understanding. In reality, you will not be able to change the dynamics of this household, so you must focus on the safety of the child.

Be very clear and calm and say, “I cannot knowingly put it in a car with someone who has been drinking. I couldn’t live with myself. Bart, if you want to stop and have a drink on the way home, let me know and I’ll bring it myself. Otherwise, I think it would be better if someone else came to pick him up in the afternoon. That way it won’t be a problem. ”

Dear Amy: I appreciated the letter from “Shylingual”, who wondered if practicing Spanish with Spanish speakers would be offended.

They just need to say / ask, “I practice my Spanish. Can I speak to you in Spanish? Or: “Are you going to tolerate a little bit of Spanish so that I can improve?” ”

I can’t imagine anyone saying no or being offended.


Dear Edie: The many answers to this question generally encourage Shylingual to be less shy.


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