What happens after…

02 Jun
I have been thinking a lot about being adopted into a family, growing up and spending family time with your aunts, uncles, cousins, and what happens after both your parents are gone. 
Are you still considered family by those same family members you always interacted with? 
Are you treated like one of them for life or do they start distancing themselves like they would for an ex?
Does it change and in reality you are only family as long as your parents are still alive?
What is the reality?

Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Adoption


17 responses to “What happens after…

  1. Dannie

    June 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    that’s creepy. I truly hope not for my kid’s sake, I would have to come back from the grave and *itch slap people.

    But again….what is the reality for most people????


  2. eagoodlife

    June 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    My aparents are both dead.I spend time with my cousins, two generations of them just as we have done for years, nothing has changed if anything it’s got better.Adoption is an open subject a the partner of one of the young cousins has a sister who was lost to adoption, now found.


  3. The adopted ones

    June 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks Von (no idea why your comment was held)…

    It’s encouraging to hear that – it just has been swirling in my mind lately. Perhaps it was the old letters I read of my grandfather’s that excluded us adoptees from his reference of his grandchildren. I guess it will be individual choices on what they feel inside that they may or may not have shown outwardly when we were around.


  4. cb

    June 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Because our family is here in Australia and almost everyone else is in NZ, then I suspect we will have the same contact after my amom passes away (hopefully a few years away yet) as before – i.e. very little. After my adad died, the only people left on his side are his sister (who lives nearby and is as mad as a hatter and always has been – we would all be happy if she decided not to keep in touch lol) and his brother’s children in NZ (haven’t seen them since early 80s). However, we have always been closer to his side than mum’s side. With mum’s side of family, I know the names of her sisters and brother (and have met most of them) but have no idea what the cousins’ names are. So in summary, it will make no difference at all. I know more about my biological cousins/uncles whom I’ve only known for one year that I know about most acousins/aunts/uncles whom I’ve “known” for 47 years.

    I did get a bit annoyed with mum last year because I had discovered via research on internet that that she was 1/16 Maori and I wanted to have a look at a picture of her grandfather (which I’d seen in the past) who would have been 1/4 Maori to see if I could see that in his photo. When I asked her about it, she said she had given all her photos of her grandparents away to her sister because she didn’t think we would be interested. I did think she could have asked us first instead of just assuming that that was the case.


  5. cb

    June 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Btw in my immediate family (2 brothers and one sister and mum), if it weren’t for my sister, I doubt any of us would have much to do with each other – I haven’t seen older brother for 3 years nor has mum – she hasn’t seen my other brother for a long time either. My sister is like the lynchpin in the family, she organises all the get togethers.


  6. Tonggu Momma

    June 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I have three cousins who were adopted. One lives on the opposite coast from me, and I hardly ever see her. Both of her (adoptive) parents are still living. My other two (adopted) cousins are siblings – their parents divorced over 15 years ago and they lived with their dad (my non-relative) until they became adults, and they still maintain close ties with him. Their mom is mentally ill and has little contact with any family members, including me.

    I remain very close with these cousins, if you consider the fact that there is over a ten year age gap between me and the oldest, and an almost 20 year age gap between me and the youngest. Our aunt and my mom worked really, really hard to maintain a good relationship with their sister’s ex-husband so that the kids could remain a part of our lives. Now that they are adults, my cousins keep up the contact, too. I adore them.


    • The adopted ones

      June 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Welcome Tonggu Momma – and thanks for your input from the flip side – it’s nice to know.


  7. cb

    June 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Just out of interest, was anyone else a lot younger than their cousins?

    Mum was youngest daughter and dad was youngest son and they didn’t adopt until they were early to mid 30s so all the cousins were already in their teens or 20s by the time we were all adopted.


  8. shadowtheadoptee

    June 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    CB, my brother and I were 10-20 years younger than all but four of our cousins. My parents were older when they adopted us. I’ve never been close to any of my cousins. I do, however keep in touch with one cousin. I was the flower girl in her wedding when I was about four or five. It’s only occasional contact though. She is the only child of my favorite aunt and uncle, who have both passed on now.


    • The adopted ones

      June 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      CB and Shadow – I am much closer in age to my second cousins than first cousins.


  9. Fran Whelan

    June 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    My reality was I was all but forgotten about by most of the family, but my adoptive parents were both only children. My adoptive sister was very different to me, and I found contact with her poisonous, so made the decision to cut all contact with her after our father died, so now it’s just me, my partner, and my three boys. I’m sad about the loss of the extended family, but there you go…


  10. Renetta

    June 5, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I was adopted by my father. My mother had been married before. Ever since she died I am an afterthought.
    For instance, I saw my niece and godchild on facebook and asked her when her graduation was. Turned out it was in less than a week. Two days later I got an announcement posted the day we spoke on FB. I then emailed her if there was going to be a celebration party. She didn’t respond. Neither did her brother when I emailed him. I’m not mailing the $200.00 check if I can’t even get an email answered.

    It’s painful and sad.


  11. Kathleen

    June 9, 2011 at 12:02 am

    MY adoptive parents are deceased. My mother’s side of family lives in Scotland, we talk every few months and I
    hope to visit, My mother’s cousins in the states no longer keep in touch since she is gone. My fathers family in midwest mostly estranged. I have my partner and daughter who we adopted internationally. Thank God I have my partners family, friends , and my godfather. It is very painful and sad, I have reached out only to be rejected. I know its there issues not mine,


  12. Suzanne Ayres Schlotterback

    June 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Wow. I never thought about it. I am a AP. I am an only child. My husband has 2 half brothers who are grandfathers and have their own lives. Of the grandparents, only my mom is still living. The only family we are close to are my husbands cousin and his family. I am certain they will remain in my child’s life after we are gone. If they aren’t, I will haunt their asses!!!


  13. Maggie Smith

    June 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I read your post with interest….my adoptive parents died in 2008 within 7 weeks of eachother. They lived in a granny bungalow attached to my house and I nursed them both. I was an only child and I think I was a good daughter. My mother was from a large Irish extended family who consider family to be everything and she was close to them all. Since her death her family (who I was part of for 44 years) don’t bother with me anymore. Cousins I spent a lot of my childhood with visit the country and never see me or even tell me they are here. Its sad but if thats the way they feel, its ok. So you are correct…in my case. I am interested to know if any others have experienced the same.


    • The adopted ones

      June 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      Maggie – that’s sad but really not suprising – no matter how much the current generation says blood doesn’t matter I think it does tie you.

      I don’t know what will happen after mom goes – I think as their generation goes the ties go too at least when the relationship is family get together level vs real friendships.



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