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How Adopted Children Are Treated Differently Than Biological Kids

Parents treat adopted children differently than biological children, according to the comments on this article and research on adoption! Parenting styles, methods of discipline, and even mealtimes are different for adopted children.

“[When you’re adopted], you suddenly have twice as many people to blame for all your problems.” – Alison Larkin – an adoptee and author.

Hopefully you’re past the point of blaming other people for your problems! Below is a summary of research on adoptive and biological children, and how they’re treated by their parents…

Research shows that adoptive parents treat their children differently than biological parents do, in numerous ways. Parenting methods, styles of discipline, the amount of time spent together, and even meals as a family are different depending on whether the kids are adopted or biological.

That said, remember that the results of one study don’t indicate that all adoptive parents invest more or treat their kids better than all biological parents.

Traditional Thoughts on Adoptive Parents and Children

Most current legal and academic arguments state that children are best off with their biological parents. Evolutionary psychologists argue that parents dote on biological children more than their adoptive children; it’s about ensuring your genes survive long after you do and making your mark on the planet in a healthy and socially acceptable way.

Current Research on Adopting Children

However, a recent study conducted by sociologists at Indiana University at Bloomington and the University of Connecticut revealed that adoptive parents invest more time and money on their adopted children than do biological parents. Two-parent adoptive couples read and talk to their kids more. They discuss problems and are more likely to eat meals together.

These findings make sense on several levels. Adoptive parents are generally older and wealthier than biological parents, so they have more resources to invest in adopting a child when they can’t get pregnant. They presumably can’t or choose not to have their own biological children and may perceive their adopted kids as rare and precious gifts. The adoptive parents feel so blessed with their children and wanted them so badly in the first place that they treat them exceptionally well.

Adoptive parents may also have strong innate or learned tendencies to nurture a family – that’s why they pursue adoption – and this makes them more motivated to spend time with their children. After all, they endured the lengthy, expensive, and energy-draining procedures that occur before and after adoption. They filled out paperwork, provided references, underwent interviews, and invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the process. Some even flew halfway around the world to appear in court and do battle in foreign justice systems.

Perhaps people who want kids that bad are predisposed to invest more of everything in their children.

What this Means to Same-Sex Couples

The results of this study could affect how often and easy it is for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. A contemporary argument against same-sex marriage is that biological children are better off with their biological parents. This may no longer be the case (if it ever was).

According to Professor Brian Powell of the Indiana University at Bloomington, past studies didn’t include two-parent adoptive studies in their research on parental investments and interactions. Instead they just compared biological parents with stepparent households or single parents. This current study forges new paths into parenting, marriage, and raising kids – for couples of all sexes.

The study also challenges the traditional view that adoption isn’t normal and kids are better off with their natural parents. This could dramatically change how the courts and adoption facilities handle future adoptions – both in North America and overseas.

Another interesting article about adoption is If You Feel Depressed After Adopting a Baby, You’re Normal!

Do you think parents treat or even love their adopted kids differently than biological children? Comments welcome below…

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67 thoughts on “How Adopted Children Are Treated Differently Than Biological Kids”

  1. My husband was adopted at birth and I can tell a difference in the way him and his brother are treated. His brother is treated like the golden child and he’s treated like he’s stupid and can’t do anything for himself. They have had to control every aspect of his life. When he started doing drugs in high school his parents used it to justify their control. But they didn’t realize he was doing drugs because no one respected him or took the time to truly get to know him. Sure they had money and did everything for him and took him places, but they treated him like he couldn’t be trusted.

  2. I have always sensed something was amiss and heard from behind closed doors. relations and school and truth came out late in my life that I am Greek and adopted. Was told by both parents after years of denial and my sisters who werent adopted denies it. I have proof too of recorded conversation that i have had for many years parents and relations talking on it. An aunt told me the names from biological family and more secretly. Adopted parents didnt seem to treat me the same as their own.

  3. The idea that children are better off with their biological parents is silly. Children are only adopted when they are NOT better off with their biological parents. I was lucky enough to adopt my foster son who had been with us since his birth. He was not exposed to his bio parents’s violence, drug use (except in utero), neglect, etc. His older biological siblings were not so lucky. They are in a better place now but have years of work ahead of them to get past their trauma induced issues. I believe my son was always meant to be with us. The only reason I feel any desire to tell people he is adopted is because I want to promote it and help debunk any stigmas associated with adoption and foster care. This is just my personal experience with adoption and I know every situation is unique.

    1. it’s still your* desire to tell his story………..it’s not yours to tell, your history is a private thing so should his be by rite. it’s private. wouldn’t anyone needing information on adopting perhaps come to you and ask you about it ?” The only reason I feel any desire to tell people he is adopted is because I want to promote it and help debunk any stigmas associated with adoption and foster care” Don’t use your son’s emotions and bond with you to promote anything at all, at least not without his permission and perhaps involvement if he is old enough. I am a 33 year old adoptee whose parents blasted “my story” all over our small town and it destroyed our relationship. I know what can happen here. It’s horrible and wouldn’t want to see it happen again.

  4. I was adopted, and I will say this. My adopted mother treated me like a whipping post. Even if I didn’t do anything wrong, or I miss pronounced something, it got me a beating. Every time I wanted to do a sport, it was either “No, it’s to expensive.” or “No, it’s to dangerous.” Along came their biological son, and everything he wanted he got. Needless to say that ended up generating a great deal of resentment towards them. Even today I still can’t see eye to eye with my father’s wife. Yup, the resentment towards her grew to the point where I called her by her first name one day during one of her insane tirades when she found she couldn’t intimidate or control me any longer. Thank you US Army for giving me what I needed to fight off an unjust person like her.

    1. I was adopted at age 3 and suffered physical and mental abuse to this day by my adoptive parents. They have 3 daughters yet treat me like garbage. Anything they wanted they would get, if I asked for something they say “buy it yourself”. Majority of clothes throughout my life were handed down from strangers and until I got myself my own job. I’ve had to secretly hide my pay from work just to stop them from taking my money saying I “owed them my life”. In general anything I put my mind to they instantly would turn me down and say “you won’t make it” than when I would no longer take the negativity they would tell me how life ain’t perfect.

  5. Im adopted child my mum adopt me when I was 15 years old but one thing that I know is that I know my god is still cover me with his mercy and his blood that he was die for me to forgive my sin but I miss my real mum in my own country and my dad they both Christian and I am im turning 18 this year. But thanks foe helping

  6. Dear Lynne,

    One of my favourite things about being an adult – as opposed to being a child or even a teenager – is how much power I have over my life! I don’t have to succumb to what my parents or friend say. I love being a grown up 🙂

    It sounds like you feel helpless and powerless to change your life — or be happy. I’m glad you’re willing to get counseling! How about you call 3 counselors, and ask for a “get to know you” interview? Sometimes this is free — it’s just a 30 minute session to see if you can work together. Or, just talk to a counselor on the phone, and see if you can work together to help you become a happier woman.

    Here’s an article on choosing a counselor:


    I hope one day you don’t have a fake smile…one day, it’ll be the real thing!


  7. Hi Laurie

    I have never had counselling, would so love to have some. I need to be able to heal, just not sure on how to go about it. I have found my real mum who listens to me but as she had no other children she doesn’t understand what I have been through. I know there are others far worse off than myself but I am getting old now and so need to have a chance of being happy. Its like this big heavy weight on my shoulders that I carry everywhere. I put on a fake smile to the world but i am so not happy 🙁

  8. Dear Lynne,

    I’m sorry your experience as an adopted child were so horrible! It sounds like you’ve been mistreated terribly – and that’s not fair. A child deserves to have a home with loving, caring parents. It’s especially sad and frustrating when those parents chose to adopt, and then mistreated their own child.

    But, there has to come a time when you start to use what you experienced to somehow make your life better. I wasn’t adopted, but I was in foster homes for much of my childhood. It was hard. But it’s the past, and I got counseling to deal with it so I could move on.

    What are you doing to resolve the past? You can’t change your parents or how they treated you…but you can change your present and future.

    What do you think of this?

  9. I was adopted as an infant. I had 2 older siblings who were my adopted parents biological children. I have no idea why I was adopted. I was treated badly, abused, also introduced as the adopted one. Eventually they threw me into a childrens home at the age of 12. Was never loved cuddled or treated with any respect. They even had a xmas where I was given nothing, but made to watch them open their presents. Also sexually abused by my brother. last year my adopted father died, I was told after the funeral. Like i wasnt important enough to be told. It ruined my life, theres not a day that goes by where I wish i had never been born and i am 44 now.

  10. My bio sons are 14 and 11 the child I would like to adopt is a 13 year old girl, who happens to be my student. How can I make her fell part of our family? For years the boys have wanted a sister and we have hoped for a young daughter. How do I make sure that she knows she is the answer to our family’s prayers

  11. Dear Becka

    You are not alone. I have experienced everything you have just listed and am now convinced that something is missed in the adoption process. Take heart though. It is possible to find a place with someone. I am now married and we have a little girl who we both dote on. It is worth waiting for.

    I found the following good ways of dealing with being adopted:
    a) don’t tell people, even your doctor: simply explain you don’t know what the family medical history is. This means you don’t have to deal with the pain of having to explain things.
    b)The consequences of telling people you are adopted means they feel obliged to ask the FAQs which are painful.
    c) you are under no obligation to explain yourself or your origins to anyone.You are free.
    d) Once you have enough friends who do not know you are adopted you will find that your identity is a good one and you are not treated as a problem.This may mean you have to gradually faze out people that know….this is what I did. I now have a completely new circle of friends who relate to me as me……..

    it is very comforting to be related to as a normal person.

    Plus, if you do meet someone you may want to build the relationship first and then when things are really established then say………it may not have to be done for a long time…….

    d) there is hope for you to be free

    e) there is freedom in admitting that one is different…..but keep it to yourself!!!!! Others cannot cope with it and do not know that it is painful. If you share too much you get treated as if you are a problem or that you need counselling. This is where it gets painful. Be aware of other people’s limitations.

    I found the only thing that takes the pain and the sense of isolation and exclusion away is how God my father sees and thinks of me. I can recommend Neil Anderson’s book ….Who I am in Christ…..as your key to being free and absolutely comforted.

    Plus, being in contact with other adopted people……it takes one to know one…..

    most of all I want to thank you with all my heart for sharing what you have….I am 50 this year and have struggled with the whole issue since I was told at the age of 8……I too was introduced as the adopted child….I think my parents thought this would make me feel special but it had the opposite effect and also caused my brother’s to resent me. This is only starting to mend……..

    I do hope that some of things will be of use……above all, know that you are not alone……..

    take care

    warm regards


  12. Becka,
    I get your perspective. I am in the same position as you are.
    I’ve been for tons of counselling but it doesn’t get rid of the pain.
    Email me if you want to discuss this further.

  13. My mom was adopted into a family who had an older biological son (Doug) and a few years later another biological son (Tim) was born.  This made my mom the middle daughter of two parents who were practicing physicians in the late 1940’s. Later her younger sister (Cindy) was adopted into the family as well.  Her parents kept it a secret and denied that any of the children were adopted, but living in a small cotton mill town in Lancaster, South Carolina made it impossible.  My mom’s first realization that she was different from her family was when a young boy at school teased her about being “adopted.” Coming home that day upset about what that word meant she asked her mother (Helen) who quickly denied that was true and to never speak of it again. My mom’s adoptive mother was very harsh insisting that she was brought up in a proper household with strict rules as an upper class family. Everyday when coming home from school my mother would ask (Emma) the help who was the real woman who raised her, if she was going to be in trouble. Emma would cry softly and tell her everything was fine. This was much different than my mom’s younger brother who was treated with a more affectionate kind of love.  He also caught onto the fact that my mother was different and teased her to the point of many tears growing up.  My mom’s older brother was 9 years older and left before my mom could develop a relationship with him and to say it lightly he tolerated the family dynamics for image purposes. Although, I don’t know much about Cindy I can’t imagine her life was not much easier. I believe she acted out in rebellion versus my mom who internalized her feelings.  Cindy committed suicide leaving her children behind who also have felt what it was like to be in their mother’s shoes.  My cousin, who was a young girl when this horrible life changing event happened and was told by her uncle’s wife many terrible stories about her own mother calling her sick. This was her experience of what it felt like to be compared to someone else, feeling different and not being accepted. When all the Llewelyn children grew up, the boys became a successful actor (Doug) and doctor (Tim), who often told by my mom’s adoptive mother were her “claim to fame.” My mom and sister did graduate from nursing school and married each having two children. My mom divorced when I was 10 years old had a terrible time raising me and my sister leaving us broke through our childhood with many sad memories. As I grew up, I watched first hand how my mom’s mother treated the grandchildren and never forgetting her state in front of us “my favorite grandchildren are Timothy and Alison,” who were the children of a successful doctor. I then felt what my mom experienced as a child, not good enough were the words that poured through me over and over. They were the children of the biological 2nd son, who today are in their 30’s and never had a job in their life nor have capable of buying a car or house without their parent’s help. I wish my grandmother could be here today to bite her own words. My mom was never considered successful and stayed depressed throughout my entire childhood with her adoptive mother constantly telling her how to live her life. I do know that her adoptive parents indeed loved my mom and her sister, but not a normal affection that one needs. Now that the Llewelyn parents have passed on and the children are grown living less than two hours apart, only the biological sons spend holidays, special events and the regular phone calls.  So, the real question is blood more important in the upbringing of a family to make an adoptive child become alienated from the only relatives they know?

  14. I personally did not ever feel like I was part of my adoptive family. I don’t think it was their fault, but I was treated very differently from their bio children. I was adopted at age 2. I was always introduced as their adopted daughter, and for some reason that really stung. To this day I still harbor resentment for the said and unspoken differences that I experienced as a child. I still can’t have a normal relationship with anyone, and I haven’t spoken to my adopted family since I moved out at 17. I am now 44 and am actually quite tired of blaming everything in my life on this issue. I have gone to college, graduated with a masters. Raised two wonderful children, and live very independently. Still, I never feel like I am good enough and try to accomplish more and more. I am tired of my dysfunctional relationships and low self esteem. I am starting to think about counseling for these issues, but I hate talking about my adoption even more than I despise growing up adopted.

  15. Megan(who wishes she was never adopted)

    As an adoptee (and I dare you to print this comment and if you don’t then you abuse adoptees to as far as I am concerned) it is my view, due to life experiences of BEING adopted that all adoptive parents who want closed records or forgo on an open adoption are as bad as abusive natural parents, because the closed records system IS abusive in itself to all adoptees. It is also wrong for adoptive parents to take a child manipulated away from the child’s real mother and it is wrong for ALL adoptive parents to want and expect another woman’s child to consider THEM his or her only mother. I do not think it should be legal that potential adoptive parents should be in the delivery room or should see the new mother at all, ditto for any social worker or adoption agency employee, so NO pressure is put on her to relinquish. My adoptive mother abused me and still would and that is why I do not talk to her anymore. My adoptive father has been horrible many times to. I have to honestly say I would rather of grown with my real family as I have not benefited at all from being adopted and we all know adoption is about giving infertiled the title of parent, not to do what is best for a child. Adoptees are TIRED of being oppressed, not having our birth certificates, hearing the lies from the adoption industry and adoptive parents, especially about how WE feel and facts about our real parents, being discriminated against and being forced to feel guilt from adoptive parents who we never gave our permission to take us from our bloodlines. I do not think adoptive parents are better, or more generous, my adoptive mother NEVER gave me anything and bought herself everything. I know so many adoptees too, that the minute their adoptive parents are not happy with them end up in a psych ward. If they feel they can not control them, then they give them to another abusive fprm of authority. And it is then so many adoptive parents SAY oh he’s adopted, he is CRAZY from THEM (real parents) not us. The adoptees that are over represented in psych wards aren’t even crazy to begin with. But it is amazing how many adoptive parents think adoptees are disposable..So many adoptive parents are tyrannical control freaks and are spoiled because they think they can buy the right to tread on adoptees and their real parents. You need to see both sides of the issue lady, not just yours before you write another post.

    1. I agree with you, Megan. I was adopted, then my brother, then adoptive parents had a biological son. It’s been a lifetime of being told we we’re not accepted because we weren’t blood, being treated as less. Bio son could do no wrong. Just learning who I am, genetically. To me, it’s as if my life and heritage we’re stolen. The bio son and his children we’re given everything. Everyone close enough saw it. Trust is something I don’t know. A lifetime of not fitting in, and being treated as though I’m worth nothing. Years of therapy to try to find my identity. All I want is to forgive and live, and I try so , so hard, but it hasn’t happened yet. Emotionally tortured. My brother, their other adoptive child, just kept it all inside, and refused to accept that he was mistreated, and just died from a life of drinking and denial. All we really ever wanted was to find happiness. A place where we belong. Adoption should be way more scrutinized. All adoptions should be open. Adopters have no rights and are treated as secondhand citizens.

  16. Patricia, every child deserves parents no matter what you think. I think adopted parents need to look at what behaviors that they have that are causing many problems with the children in order to attach to them. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean that you are doing a good job at being an adopted parent. Every child need a parent, every adult cannot raise children….Adopted children are needing a big step up from just being born to you. The Children need to trust and if they don’t the parent is not meeting the special needs that it takes to be that kids parent and is doing something wrong. The system says that the parent is always right and that is what is very wrong. Kids do turn around, but it takes a special person that can understand it, that gets it!

  17. Dear Patricia,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences of being an adoptive parent! Adopting older kids (eg, over 8 or 9, or in their teens) must be so much more challenging than adopting babies or toddlers. Of course, it depends on their personalities, genes, and psychological and physical health.

    I really admire you for adopting kids that you already know are challenging. I’m also happy that you’re relying on God to help you raise your children.

    Can you imagine how happy and fulfilled you’ll feel when your kids are grown, and are grateful to you for the love you’ve shown? What a testimony to God, and to the depth of love and compassion for others.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


  18. We are foster parents and adopted two of our foster kids. They were 11 and 12 when we adopted them. They came from a family of no rules. We are constantly in stress over rules and lies. They push us to the limits. We have had property damaged personal items stolen or taken. They have lived here going on three years and still will hardly help around the house. They never confess to anything. They both always say they didn’t do it, though we know that most of it is done by the oldest one. They keep a secret pack with each other, covering up for each other most of the time. We have good and bad days. It is going on a year since the adoption, and we are still working on truth, trust and love. We have gotten them involved in church and youth activities, but truth is hard to find in them. I know that some of their behavior is genetics, and I know that we cannot change them that only God can, and that’s if they let God change them. There will always be the issue of free will! I don’t think that adoption is for everyone, and I think it should be something that you do after you really know the child and their behaviors. Some kids are so desperate to be adopted that they are afraid that they will age out of the system, when the truth is it is probably best for some to do so. I don’t think adoption is for every child. When you have a child with R.A.D. it is so hard to bond with them, almost impossible! You have to realize that these kids come from a survival mode and they did whatever they did to just survive. They stole. They lied. They are not the perfect kids! They will test you to see how far they can go, and then they will test you some more to see if you really want them. Being and adoptive parent is not easy. When you have a biological child you bond at birth and that relationship continues to grow. With and adoptive child, you were a stranger that they had to learn to gradually trust and, maybe love. There is no guarantee. You live each day with faith that God is going to make this family in the making, a real family! No, we are not the perfect family. We are people put together because of life’s circumstances learning to trust and love again!

  19. Wow after reading all your stories and seeing how many people suffered or never felt love it breaks my heart!! I myself come from a little different view i am a sister of a brother who was adopted by our parents!! I am a few years older then him and we have a younger brother as well.. i love both my brothers with all my heart and have gotten in to very bad fights with people over words they have said to me about my brother not being blood and saying to me how i must feel different about my one brother then my other… as a child i remember the day my brother arrived i was so excited and i guess a child love is the most unconditional love there is because he was my brother my best friend as so is my other brother.. my mom and dad gave us equal amounts of love i guess maybe in different ways as we are all our own person… my brother new he was adopted as my parents never wanted or did lie!! But maybe my parents where different as in they had a hard time having children and had many miscarriages… my mom wanted so much to be a mom and now that i am a mom realize how amazing my mom is and was to us kids … i remember as you have called us bio childern.. i remember my mom saying how each one of were a gift from god… and a while back my brother bio siblings found him.. i remember my brother talking to me and i remember him asking me if one day i would help him look if he ever wanted to find them i promised him i would if he needed to know them for himself .. well he never looked for them then when he was about 25 or so they found him… i have to say it was the most painful experience i have ever felt. He has two sisters and a brother his mother passed away years ago and they never knew who really was his bio father and his bio grandmother was alive.. i went from being his only sister to his third sister i know i shouldnt of felt that way but i was so upset and scared he would love them more… and my poor lil brother was riding with my brother one day and was called by the bio grandma just his adopted brother when she was asking my brother if him and his brother were coming over my brother automatically being that she said brother thought she my our lil brother and she quickly corrected my brother with no i ment ur real brother not your adopted brother.. it broke my lil brother heart … then his bio grandmother came to my parents to meet us and well my mother was more then happy to have them over.. and my brother bio grandmother asked my mom so how many children did you have as she looked at a picture of all three of us.. it broke my heart to see my mom be asked that she controlled her self and was very nice and answered i have three children my daughter and two sons.. she then said to my mom no i mean how many are yours.. mom looked at me and my brother and with a huge smile and a tear said they are all mine and always will be.. you see my brother is my brother weather we have the same dna doesnt mean anything i love him as i love my other brother.. a year ago i asked how things were with his sisters and brother and grandma he said they are ok i think last i heard i must of looked puzzled because he smiled and said i guess dna dont matter i mean dont get me wrong i care for them but. Your my big sister the one who let me crawl in ur bed when we were lil because i had a bad dream you the sister who looked out for me at school when i got picked on and your the sister who was there when i needed you.. i cant tell you how good that was to hear.. i asked him if he ever felt different growing up then me or our lil bro he told me that he felt that he had alot of questions for his bio family but he never felt that we made him feel different that after they found him they made him feel bad because they made us feel different about ourselves when it came to him… the other day my brother made me cry my little girl was feeling bad because her bio father has never been there for her like (my boyfriend has since she was was a baby) and she was hurting and my brother told her something that just cut right to my heart not thinking he must know how that feels he told my daughter ” well that shouldnt make you sad that should show you how special you are when my daughter asked him what do you mean he replied with your daddy (my boyfriend) loves you because he wants to not because he has to or should but because he wants to she got the biggest smile i ever seen her have and said you right uncle i am special arent i” he told her you are a special lil girl and you have a daddy who loves you because you are so special and he loves you because he wants to that means more then any love can mean.. my daughter then asked him how he knows that he replied lets just say i know someone else who was just as lucky in life to have people who loved him that way… i had to control some major tears from coming out at that moment …. god truly blessed me with a amazing set of brothers it may of been in two different ways but they are both my my brothers and i am proud to say my bestfriends..

  20. I was adopted along with my sister after our parent raised three older children and were spoiled rotten. As an adult I have both biological and adopted children, for me it is natural and everyone is the same, but there is a strong age difference between all my children and they all have special needs. My issues is constantly trying to understand why extended family on my husband’s side does not view all the children equally and love them the same. As I read the above posts, it becomes clear that I grew up in an exceptional environment.

  21. Alisha- I just read your post and though I don’t have any idea what its like to be going through what you are, I know you must be having a hard time with so many things all at once, none of which are your fault.I’m sure you have tons of friends (and you said a boyfriend) but if you wanted to get an outside perspective or anything else I’d be happy to! Sorry if this sounds weird (i promise i’m not a crazy person haha). If this is something that might help you in any way just comment back and i can give you my email. Stay Strong!

  22. I am not adopted..just looking over this website because I am planning on adopting now and I was curious about the downsides. Newsflash: families are not perfect institutions,I have a lot of insecurities and my life is shaped the way it is shaped because of the abuse that went on in my family as a child.
    People treat other human being like garbage be it their own flash or not. Depends on the person. My mother, God bless her will always have my utmost admiration for the human being that she is, caring and loving and nurturing.My father,on the other hand was an asshole, always looking for himself and not caring at all, abusive. People that adopt are human beings with bad and good traits. One will never get a perfect pair.
    One lady above me was asking about the study that showed that adoptees are subjected to more abuse. She thought that because of personal experiences. The same abuse happens on a regular bases in biological families, maybe not out there for everyone to see.
    So if you think that your life would have been different if you stayed with your biological parents: not necessarily true, people are bad. Or good, you never know what you’ll get.
    I promise to myself to do everything in my power for my future kid .God bless me! And I know that he’ll hate me at times, hey, if I was that perfect person I’d be married , with kids and maybe president of USA. But I’m shy and not always the one to fight for things. Some kids will hate that. Oh well…

  23. I am a 23 year old female, I am from the U.S. and I was adopted when I was only months old (so my adoptive parents say). I always knew that my brother and I were adopted and even recall my adoptive mother telling us about another little girl they adopted that later died of pneumonia. I began saying how if she were here there would be 3 of us and how I would want a sister and she told me that if she were here (if she wouldn’t have died) I wouldn’t be here. All I remember was how weird that made me feel. Growing up we were never a close family. We never showed emotion and I never remember saying “I love you” very much at all. Also, we always had at least one foster child living with us. I started to notice the difference between my relationship with my parents and the relationship my friends had with their parents. It was very weird for me. I remember being about 13 or 14 hanging out at a friends house and as 13 year old girls all we talked about was boys. Her mom often chimed in to our conversation and we’d talk about our favorite members of n’sync and blah blah. She would tell us what she was like when she was our age and even told us that she waited until she was 19 to lose her virginity and gave us the whole “wait for the right guy” speech. I decided I wanted to ask my mom about when she was young and actually talk to her and when I asked her about when she lost her virginity she said, “that is none of your business!” in a not very nice tone. A great way to get your adolescent daughter to open up. My dad was okay while I was growing up but in my opinion they were both pretty verbally abusive. They would say things like “what the f**k is wrong with you”, “are you a f**cking retard?”…long story short, about a year and a half ago I began to put some thoughts together. When I was young, I remember going to the bank with my mom and her showing me a state treasury check that said paid to the order of “my name” and also her name. she said it was money she was saving for me for college. When I graduated high school and enrolled into college, my parents told me they had no money for my college. I couldn’t afford this on my own. I worked ever since I was 15, but the average minimum wage job. I asked about the “money they had been saving for me” and they brushed off the question. they always told me I was born a couple months pre-mature which was why I had asthma. My adoptive brother was born with a heart murmur and the other girl they adopted had horrible asthma as well. Turns out my parents were getting money for me, my brother, and countless other foster children. I feel like I never had parents. I honestly never had a strong connection to them throughout my life but I feel so empty. I feel guilty that I don’t want to see them. Unfortunately, I have to continue living with them because I couldn’t find a job in over a year and now they are charging me rent. I now found a job and I am going to school full-time I know I’m 23, but they have never charged my brother anything and he is 5 years older than me, in and out of jail and now in prison, and never had a real job. I feel like it is unfair. The are all about money. They have borrowed tons of money from me and took a year to pay me back. They are ridiculous. I feel empty inside that I was adopted for a measley state check. It is very embarassing for me to admit. When I tell people I pay rent they are so confused how people could charge their daughter that works and goes to school full-time. I have also recently admitted it to myself that my adoptive brother molested me when I was little. I always made excuses until the past couple months. My boyfriend came out and told me that he was molested when he was young so I wanted to be honest with him. I am now depressed and pushing my amazing boyfriend away because I am dealing with to HUGE life changing situations. ANY advice would be great. What on earth do I have to lose?

  24. I have a god mother who adopted a child wen she was new born, she thought she could have kids but a year later she had a Lil boy now the adopted child is 6 and her blood child it’s 5 I’ve been living with them for 2 years now and she treats them very differently, don’t get me wrong she buy for the both but she treat the differently in much more important ways like she show love to the Lil boy she plays with him kisses him hugs him etc.. She never does that with the Lil girl and I know she must feel left out…she lets the Lil boy do whatever and as soon as she does something or makes a mistake she flip out on her I really feel sorry for her because she treats her like she’s a step child, and that’s wrong! I even tried to tell her she have favoritism between the two but she doesn’t see everyone else does though! Sometimes I think she really feels as though that Lil girl disgust her or something, she say she love both of her kids the same if she do I just wish she show it more she treat the Lil boy the way she should be treating her, I mean she is her princess and he is a boy!

  25. Catherine – I understand what you are saying, and my heart goes out to you. I did the same thing – adopted 3 teens from eastern Europe. The boy turned out to be dangerous and insane. He has returned to his home country, as he wasn’t happy in the US. If he were still here, he would be in jail. The other two kids are doing better, but they absolutely do not understand the idea of parents. They chafe at rules and restrictions, and I have very few interactions with them that feel genuine. Most interactions are information downloads, manipulations, or start with “I vant [some material item].” Adults for them are entities to be monitored, manipulated, shaken-down, gotten around, and lied to. It’s definitely more like social work than parenting.

    I struggle with the issues that Jamie brought up. I am the adult – I recognize that, and I realize that I have resources that the kids aren’t old enough or mentally well enough to have. But does that make this a rewarding experience for me? No. I just keep digging deeper and deeper and deeper for strength, energy, and kindness.

    One thing I’ve noticed about my situation (international adoption) is that there is absolutely *no* support for parents. We are expected to deal with kids who are extremely mentally unwell – and in my case one dangerous criminal – with very little support. I’m stretched super-thin, working 3 jobs to pay for the adoption expenses and the extra expenses in having kids, and I don’t have any time to recharge my batteries. It’s like our health system, which does make an effort to provide health care to children, but not to the parents they rely on.

    I hope you can find some support, Catherine. I really do understand where you are coming from!

  26. My brother and sister were adopted when they were newborns (they only have a few years age difference) My parents adopted them in the late 60’s and early 70’s because they were informed they could not have childern. 9 years later, i was born in ’80. they have always been my brother and sister, i consider them blood. i even gave my sister a ring that was engraved “eternal flesh and blood” – i worshipped them both. after i was born; things went south with the fam (long story) – eventally, when i 19, my brother let it rip and informed me in very brutal words that i should have never been born, i wasnt suppose to exist and when i was born, i ruined everything. we no longer have contact.
    now, yesterday my 40 yr old sister informed me that mom doesnt care about her or her kids because they are not blood. nothing is further than the truth. my mom worshiped my brother and sister. so now, i do not believe my sister will be in contact any longer.

    sad to know that they wish i was never born.

  27. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with Cathering sharing how she feels! I wish she could “vent” without being judged or criticized. She’s going through a really hard time, and the last thing she needs is to feel worse about herself and her life.

    Catherine, I’m not an adoptive parent and I don’t know how you feel or what you’re going through. But, I know you’re not alone — I’m sure many, many adoptive parents experience feelings of regret, frustration, pain, and hopelessness! You’re one of the brave ones, to come forward and share your honest feelings. I commend you for that.

    I do agree with Jamie, that perhaps you need to talk to a counselor — perhaps someone who has experience with adoption and teenagers! Preteens and teens can be very difficult to deal with, especially ones who are adjusting to a whole new way of life in a brand new country.

    Another option is a parenting group. Find parents who are dealing with preteens, and get support and advice from them.

    You’re NOT a bad person for feeling this way….and chances are you can turn this around so that it becomes a difficult stage you and your family went through. It’ll just take hard work, energy, time, and discipline…and acceptance of the fact that teenagers can be some of the most difficult kids to parent!

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. I just want to thank you for sharing your experience here, and encourage you to seek support in person.


  28. Catherine, you are the adult/parent and she is the child. Blaming her for something she had absolutely no control over her whole entire life is so unfair to her. Taking a 13 years old child out of her native country and a foster home of familiarity…it must not have dawned on you that this young girl would most likely flounder and have big issues. I find that many, many adopted Mothers and Fathers adopt for themselves and not for the present child at hand and when issues come up the parents pull away and the child senses it and acts out because they are “CHILDREN” with no sense of security or identity. You took her as your daughter and she is your responsibility. She knows you hate her that is why she acts the way she does! You need to go to therapy for just you with a therapist that will not be a yes person to you with someone who understands adoption dynamics so you can parent her and be a better person for you and her…and stop making this about YOU! She is just a child and a teen no less…Find a way to give her the security and love that she needs and understand that she is in the teen years which is hard to begin with. You cannot treat her like your biological child nor compare her at all because her life has been totally different. If you talk to her about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING and open up about you and who you are she may start to open up to you. SHE KNOWS YOU HATE HER and you wonder why she acts out. She is the wounded soul here not you. You must rise to the occasion because you are the adult here and her Mother.

  29. My husband & I adopted a 13 year old girl from Ukraine almost 3 years ago. During our adoption journey, I could not tell you how excited I was to become a mother, as we could not have our own children. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t love her the same as I would my own biological child, because that idea seemed ridiculous. That’s like saying I wouldn’t love my in-laws because they were not my blood family (as it turns out, they’re much more like my parents than my own). Now comes the “however….”

    During our 3 week stay in her country, visiting her every day at the orphanage, getting to know the other children there, we would have just died if she’d have said she didn’t want to be our child. Now, I really wish that she would have done just that. I don’t know what happened, but the love that I felt (if it was even love at all, or some other emotion disguised as love) is not the same. Let me explain…

    Once she arrived here in the states, she was very sad, missing her friends and life back there (she had no idea about what “family” meant other than her friends….they were her family). This caused her to pull away from us, and when we decided that maybe she should return there for a visit during summer break, she thought we were giving her up, even though we were trying to be kind to let her return to see her friends. This made her pull away from us even more. And then started the ups & downs of her emotional baggage that she brought with her. Then, after about 6 months with us, we were introduced to her RAGE!!!! When she didn’t get what she wanted (her freedom to roam the streets, unsupervised & with other (older) teenagers, like she did in her own country), she would go from being Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in a nano-second. We decided to try therapy. She thought we were trying to have her committed (apparently, her bio mother did this same thing to her, and left her in an asylum for over a year). Therapy has been a no-go.

    We’re now 2-1/2 years into her being with us. This sweet girl that I met in Ukraine, who I might add, shows this side of herself to everyone else, is nothing more than an emotional, energy, life-force sucking vampire that I feel stuck with. I am so exhausted from the roller-coaster ride with her that I just don’t care about her anymore. I just want her out of my house. And, I feel guilty as hell about feeling this way.

    Honestly, I feel like we’ve done a great disservice to her by adopting her. She is not really happy here. I know that she feels like a lot of the other adopted children’s comments here…like we’re the devil, narcissistic, evil parents who abuse her emotionally. But, in truth, she is doing this to herself. Her actions toward us, her cold, unemotional, non-empathetic, uncompassionate, selfish, the world revolves around me, you OWE me attitude has driven me away. Now, I can barely stand the sight of her, the sound of her voice, and I cannot wait until Monday morning rolls around so she will be at school most of the day. How sad that I hate weekends because I feel “stuck” with her, and so physically & emotionally exhausted from her.

    I’ve tried everything I know to form a bond with her. I just cannot make my heart feel something that is not there. And I am sad for her because of this. If there are any other adoptive parents out there who can offer some advice, I would love to hear from you! Please!!!

  30. It makes me sick that people adopt children only to treat them like dirt. Especially breeders who decide to adopt and have there own children and favor the bio kids. I personally was raised by my step dad who later adopted me and he did treat me wonderfully, though there was sone favoritism toward my brother ( his bio child) but I honestly just believe that’s because my bro was his only son and my dad already had daughters.
    I personally never want ‘bio kids’, I feel no inclination to breed/give birth and I know that love has nothing to do with biology, how many parents abuse their bio kids everyday?
    If I ever want my own children, I will adopt one and yes, study will be my own, despite not having my DNA. I will love my child, tell them everyday that they were the best gift I ever could have received, and I will never give birth to a child ( getting sterilized ASAP) as I will not want my adopted child to ever even feel the slightest niggle that they are loved less because they do not carry my DNA. I am so sorry to all the adopted who are having a crappy time of it, make sure you do brilliantly in your adult life and rub it in there faces xxxxx

  31. I’m an adoptive child from bolivia who now lives in sweden with my adoptive mother and adoptive father and my brother who also comes from bolivia. However we aren’t related at all.
    I was a smart kid when I was younger and knew I wasn’t their blood relative.
    However I realized that to know early didn’t work out for me at all.
    Now I’m 16 and I don’t trust my parents cause I don’t see them as my real parents at all.
    Nor do I see my birth parents as relatives.
    I know my adoptive parents take care of my but I don’t feel it. I know they give me clothes, food and a place to live but I don’t feel anything.

  32. my adoptive parents are flat out wicked people. I wouldn’t wish it my worst enemy. They are both severely neurotic narcissist/sociopath, and histrionc all mixed and jumbled up. I grew up believing I was insane from the constant gaslighting and verbal/physical abuse. CPS doesn’t watch out for kids who have wealthier parents so I was screwed on more then one level. I think there should be laws or extensive psychological testing of the adopters before they are allowed to adopt. My sibling was allowed to run wild and took after the folks in their gaslighting ways. She would do things like cut up all my clothes with scissors then the people who call themselves my parents would punish me for her behavior.l So they rewarded her every time she was cruel to me. Then they would tell a shrink that I cut up all my own clothes. I pray every day for god to take them out of my life forever.

  33. I was adopted at birth to good parents but even getting lucky enough to have good adoptive parents there is always their family their family resents me, my siblings (their blood children) resent me, my biological mother hates me and sends me hate mail. My adoptive parents aren’t long for this world they are in their mid seventies and I’m in my mid twenties I have a three year old who’s father is absent and his family is adoptive as well Its just gonna be me and my boy never knowing anyone but each other the worlds smallest family no real ties to any family loved only by eachother

  34. I’m 22 years old, I have a three year old daughter who I love with all my heart. Personally I would never adopt a child even if the adoption would be right away after the birth, I don’t think I would feel him or her as mine, sure I would love the baby but there is just a connection to bio children that I would probably never feel with the adopted one, that is just the way I feel, adoption is not for everyone. My husband is one year older than me, he is adopted, an illegal adoption that happened in Mexico, he doesn’t know, he has asked his mom but she denies everything, many people that know my parents have told them that his mom was never pregnant, that he was given to her as a ”gift”, it is a very weird situation because at the time of his birth she had a mayor job position as a director of the mexican adoption center, so of course everything was made illegal, my husband is her only son, and in a way I think she just adopted him to say she has a son, she never paid attention to him, always left him with the maid she had, growing up he had no rules, he was never abused but not giving your child correct rules, advise, discipline will affect on the rest of their life. Maybe this happened because she felt like he is not hers, or she thought having a child was just like having a new puppy. This makes me sad in a lot of ways, he has the right to know the truth, one day it will eventually come to the light, its a small town and everyone knows about it, it would be better for her to tell him than someone else.

  35. I am a 57 year old women who was adopted at the age of 14 months old. I was blessed by them for taking me home and nuturing me and giving me a wonderful life. They always made me feel special and told me later on I was chosen. Simply she could not have children and I was placed for adoption. My mom’s quote was “you were placed here for me. You are so special for you were chosen. Always made me feel so loved and cared for. I was the apple of my dad’s eye also. I speak often to people who ask, dont you want to know who your biological parents are? I say no, for I only knew my adoptive parents and nothing else. My life with them was so complete there was no void whatsoever. If the rest of my life is not good, my childhood was…. I feel adoption is a wonderful blessing.
    To my wonderful parents who have since passed….I love you and miss you.

  36. Please don’t lie and tell adoptees that were abused it might have been worse with their real parents. You don’t know their situation at time of adoption or now. My D was adopted by couple…the AF was an alcoholic and she had to watch him destroy his health and ruin his business because of it. The “mother” concealed the fact that she has RA, and would up in a wheelchair by the time my D was 13. She had to cook and clean and got to do almost nothing outside of school. She lives in NJ now and her “mother” is still in Louisiana. She just found out from me that the state falsified her birth certificate changing the date of birth, and that mommy dear knew about it from day 1. So yes, adoptees are treated differently in that they are lied to about their origins. How dare you speak against birth parents. The baby scoop in the 60s and 70s was all about the money, and I don’t see much changed now…except it is worse than ever. Wake up and stop feeling entitled and better because you happened to have a healthy checkbook and took another woman’s child.

  37. Thank you – I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with adopting children, and how adopted children are treated differently by their parents.

    I think each family is different. From the stories here, I can see a huge range of families and situations!

    My friend adopted two boys, and says that she loves them just like they were her own. She says she couldn’t love them more. I believe her.


  38. Hi ..I would like to speak for my adoptive son who cannot speak for himself. I gave him up for adoption 33 years ago so he could have what I could not give him: a normal home life with two Christian parents who would love and care for him. Unfortunately his mom turned out to be a serial killer and murdered him before he was three. In this case she treated all her previous and later born natural born children and him the same. She killed all seven! She is still in prison, considers herself a ‘a bad mom’ and believes all their deaths (all under age 5) were due to illness.

  39. I was adopted from russia and i fully believe that they are treated differently……..i for sure am treated differently..im 13 but there is an obvious difference in the way they treat my brother who is 15 and not adopted to me…they abuse me emotionally and physically but i cant do anything about it…i wish i wasnt adopted and i hope to on day find my real parents..the ones who could not financially support me but theycould have loved me unconditionally. i have to say i hate them but oh well i know its not good but i cant change my feelings…so yes from what i have always know they do…but i know i will become a better person when im older because of this.

  40. hi there

    this is on a bit of a tangent…

    my husband is adopted, from birth. his mum and dad (adoptive) are amazing parents – they gave him everything. maybe too much. he became an adult that does not seem to have coping strategies for taking responsibility for his actions. every time he mucks up in life they swoop in and save the day. to the point where earlier this year he started an affair with a work colleague and within weeks was ‘in love’with her. our marriage was ok, no different to anyone else with 2 small children, both working parents, the general pressures of life etc…but he has been able to walk away from me and his 2 daughters (age 5 and 8). it beggars belief that he has been able to do that. they are his only flesh and blood. his adoptive family gave him a wonderful stable home life and yet he has denied his own children that. his sister is adopted too. she has had issues with her adoption. my husband on the other hand says hes cool with it and glad he was given a good home. i cant work out how he can just walk away (and move over 200 miles away from us). his parents went on to conceive a child after 11 years of trying. they in no way ever treated either of their adopted children any differently – they were fair and totally loving. in fact, as the eldest i am sure that my husband is the apple of their eye (golden balls – thats what they call him). but i think they have loved too much – no tough love, even when he got kicked out of the police, they offered to down size their family home so we could continue to pay our mortgage. and now he has walked out on his wife and children his father calls him a ‘confused little bunny’. FFS – he’s a 40 year old man!!

  41. Dear Kim,

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about adopting your daughter! It’s great to hear a positive story from adoptive parents, and I am so glad there are people in the world like you 🙂


  42. hey there….my husband was adopted and he was surely abused in many ways. we are in the process of adopting a little girl and we love her dearly. we also have a newborn baby girl and our little girl loves her dearly. i am here to tell you that i do feel differently about each one. but i really think it is something to do with our need to survive . something that was hard wired in us. we love our children equally and treat them the same. but deep down inside i just feel differently. and that is something i cant help. and i resent her bio mom for being a dug addict and not being able to even try to clean up her act. i resent that our poor toddler has to go to another family because there are people out there who dont take responsibility for their own children. i am saddened that my husband suffered the same fate and that he never knew the love he deserved. that deep unconditional love. i want to give everything to my children and make sure they know they were treasured equally. but i know there is a difference in the kind of feeling between them both. not a bad difference but a difference none the less. and i would never tell my daughters the difference unless they come up to me one day asking for advice on adopting children of their own. i believe adoption is great and sometimes necessary. not everyone beats their children or abuses them in some other form. and i really hope there are more people out there who will be like us 🙂

  43. Thanks for your comments on how adopted children are treated differently. I think it differs from family to family! It just depends on the adopting parents, and even the adopted kid. Personality, lifestyle choices, genetics — all these things change how adopted kids and adoptive parents interact.

    I don’t think a study can fully assess something as complicated as whether or not adopted children are treated differently by their adoptive parents.

  44. Mother dearest suffered from infertility issues,that resulted from her own stupidity(she got some kind of surgical contraceptive that caused inflammation -> infertility when she could’ve just used condoms) instead of anything biologicaly. Well deserved in my opinion,though I’d never say that to her.

    Throughout the years I picked up on her resentment that she couldn’t have her own biological children. She admitted to me once on the phone that she still hadn’t gotten over not having her own bio kids,but that she was starting to come to peace with that.

    I still remember once in high school when she said there are many people who are smarter than me, and gave me this evil eye. Just another thing she liked to say along with the “You won’t admit you’re stupid” and “I have a genius IQ”.

    I want to adopt one day though. I,personally, don’t have any big deal with not having my own bio kids or see why having bio kids is a big deal. To me “being a reproductive success” in Darwinist terms seems over-rated and over-hyped.

  45. I think this study,conducted by “sociologists”,who aren’t exactly the cream of the crop in quantitative ability, a bit offensive as an adoptee myself.

    I really think this study really patholigizes and hurts adoptees who were subject to abuse in any form.

    How do they feel when they read this study?

    And this study contradicts with many other findings by the govt like CDC that adoptive children are abused at much higher rates than biological. It doesn’t have to be physical,sexual abuse there’s also verbal,emotional,passive aggressive abuse which is difficult to prove.

    I don’t this study considers anything other than blatant abuse. Despite my adoptive mother’s PUBLIC pretense of caring for me, she was often verbally, emotionally, and passive aggressively abusive.

    Eg. She lied to me about financial aid for college,telling me that my tribe would pay for all of it,when in reality they only paid a portion. She made me believe,throughout high school,all of it would be paid for.
    I stupidly believed and trusted her.

    Then one morning she tells me,they only pay a portion,and that I would have to spend 4 years in the military to finance college.

    Thankfully,fall senior year, I accidentally stumbled upon a state public university that would actually finance my entire college education.

    She tried to screw me over by lying to me,thankfully and luckily she didn’t. Of course she won’t ever admit her intentions were malicious though I’m sure they were.

    She made sure to remind me on a daily basis(since I was 7) that I was average IQ at best, she constantly bragged to me about her apparent 140 IQ. Throughout high school she reminded me that I was average at best,even hinting that I was retarded. She would ask me why I couldn’t admit that I was stupid.
    She told me often I was too stupid for college and that I needed a “structured environment” because of that.

    I thought it was funny, I didn’t realize until college that I had much better math ability than her.

    She finally admitted to me she had C’s and D’s in high school math,she also started very late in the math course sequence,whereas I had calculus down by fall senior year of high school, and I learned that I had noticeably outperformed her.

    Of course she never admitted that it could be partly b/c I’m smarter than her. She belittled everything by using every excuse under the sun other than I might be smarter than her.

    When I ask her about the things she said over the years,she denies it. Says she never said it although I remember.

  46. I have been reading these posts and feeling such a connection with many of the adopted children who have been abused. I too was abused, along with my two biological brothers, by my adoptive parents. The abuse started on the first day we lived in their home. The thing that is different about my experience than the other posts I’ve just read is that my parents did not have biological children of their own. We were it for them. I cannot say why my mother, in particular, was so abusive to us; I truly think she has some psychological issues that prevented her from treating us lovingly. I do not have a relationship with my adoptive parents anymore – for my own sanity. I could not allow myself to continue to be emotionally and physically abused. Reading everyone else’s posts I’ve noticed some similarities to my situation. I was also made to work very hard, cleaning the house and doing endless chores my mother didn’t want to do. It was hit almost daily and on many occasions beaten with household objects and my mother’s hands. She was severely obese and I was thin and attractive growing up, which made her hate me even more. She called me ugly and stupid constantly. My mother’s famous words to me were, “I don’t have to keep you. I can put you back under the rock I found you under.” To this day that hateful comment causes me pain. The good news is, there’s hope. I’ve been taking psychology courses for two years now and will graduate with a BS in Psychology in February 2012. Learning about how the mind works and studying different types of therapies has really helped me. Although I cannot undo the damage that has been done to me, I can choose to fight its effects every day and learn to treat others better than I was treated. I say this to all of you who have laid your hearts bare in these posts ~ YOU HAVE WORTH, YOU MATTER IN THIS WORLD, AND YOU WERE BORN FOR A REASON. Make your life count!

  47. Dear Linda ~ I’m sorry I missed your comment until now. It sounds like you’ve been one of the lucky parents, reunited with your child! I know you’ll be a positive, loving influence on her. I wish you and her all the best as you journey into this stage of life together.

    Dear Janet ~ Thank you for sharing your story! What a beautiful gift you all have in each other. I’m so glad to hear how much love adoptive parents can have for their children. One of my close friends adopted two boys, and always says she loves them as if they were own. She sees no difference between adopted and biological children. It sounds like you and her are on the same page!


  48. I am very distressed by these posts. I find it very sad that the only people posting about adoption are those people who have been treated badly by those who promised to love them unconditionally.

    My husband and I became foster parents in 2007. Our first placement was a one month old baby girl born to a drug addicted mother. The baby was so sick that she spent the first 2 months of her life in the NICU on morphine because the pain of her drug withdrawal was so painful. We never left her side. The first year of her life was very difficult but we fell in love with her and put in a plan to adopt her.

    Just before my daughter’s second birthday the adoption was finalized. We were thrilled. She is the love of my life and the apple of my husband’s eye. There is nothing that we would not do for her. Her needs and happiness always come first. Due to the damage to her nervous system caused by her birth mother’s drug use, our daughter has special needs and we are very protective of her. We couldn’t love her more if she was our biological child.

    She just turned four and is a happy, vibrant, loving child. We can’t begin to imagine our lives without her in it. She is such a gift to our family and we are grateful for her everyday.

    I just want people to be aware that not all adoptive parents are monsters and that adoption can be a very positive, fulfilling experience for many families.

  49. As a birth mother, who had her baby stolen by the system, these stories bring more tears. But I have good news and bad news for you guys. My daughter was adopted, along with 3 more by relatives. I am only beginning to find out what they did to her. I do know they deserted her at the age of 16, putting her away, then moved out of state without a word to her. Precious mementos given to her by her great grandmother have been thrown away. I only have bits and pieces. They told her I never wanted her, if I did, I would have found her long ago. This is a lie. They told her that they did not know how to contact me: This is another lie. They knew how to contact my father.

    GOOD NEWS: MY BABY is almost 19. Finally, she was given a phone number to my father a week ago. My baby is no longer deserted, or alone. I have seen her and spoken to her. Although I could not get away, she has spent Easter with my father and more family she has never met. We are trying to undo the damage done to her. I see that it is going to be a long road to travel with her. Hopefully, when she graduates from HS this year, she will leave it all behind, the best she can, to come with us. I was not allowed to raise my baby. I was not rich. But, nobody could ever stop me for continuing to love her even though she was not with me. She does know the truth about the lies that she was told. She knows that I did look for her, and that I lost a battle with the state.

    My question is, if people are going to do this to kids, why do they take them to begin with? My relatives could have contacted us anytime and said we do not want her, and we would have run to get her. They have also deserted a second child too, dumping him back into the country that he came from.

  50. Dear May Lin,

    Thank you for sharing your life and experiences here! I really appreciate your honesty.

    I suffer from low self-esteem, too — but not because I was adopted! I was in foster homes growing up, which really affected how I see myself and others. And, I have friends who say that low self-esteem and low self-confidence can happen in any family, whether or not the kids are adopted.

    I guess we all have our burdens to bear.

    The beauty of growing up and being an adult is that we can choose healthier, happier ways of living. One way is to write about how we feel and connect with others — which you’re doing, May! That’s great.

    Thanks for being here — I want to go check out your blog 🙂


  51. I have been feeling pretty low recently and wanted to read up more about the effects of adoption and compare the effects to my experience. I myself is adopted from China since birth. My parents told me at an age of 11. I do agree that my parents do treat my siblings whom are biological way better. I’m not trying to gain pity from people or dwell in the self-pity whirlpool. But I want the other people out there to realize that no matter how hard your parents may treat you, there are other things in life to look forward to. Being the middle child from a traditional Asian family did not improve things. Being a middle child, I never get the attention from my parents, since primary through secondary school, I have always strive to gain recognition for my hardwork/results but was never recognized. Yet mu other siblings were showered with praise. All children made mistakes, but when I make a mistake, I’ll get scolded ovver the slightest thing yet when my siblings did something wrong, it seemed normal to make any mistake. I was verbally abused by my mother calling me china-lady because I have not done any household chores. (Being in Singapore, it’s actually an insult to be called that way. It’s just like how you’ll be called black in America. No offense to anyone out there, I’m just creating an analogy). I suffer from self-esteem issues and no one would actually realize it cos I put an act when I’m out dealing with people. And I’m not sure if it’s right for me to actually relate my low self-esteem to the scolding from my parents and the put down I’ve gone through.
    Thanks for hearing my part. (:

  52. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for sharing about your husband’s family problems, Chrissy…I’m sorry to hear it’s so difficult for you guys. It must be a helpless feeling.

    I wish you all the best, and hope your husband’s parents get their anger problems sorted out soon!


  53. I actually am speaking on behalf of my husband who is adopted. I live through what he goes through everyday. He is 34 years old and his younger brother is biological. My husband used to work for the family business when he was much younger right out of high school, but was fired when his younger brother was ready to enter the business. My husband was promised to be helped to start a business of our own, but his parents have since renigged on their word. Now, his brother makes very good money and has it all, while my husband breaks his back and knees everyday laying flooring..barely paying our bills. My husband was a little bit more wild and outspoken when he was younger, and was treated as a guinea pig with medication because they didn’t understand him. His “dad” never tried to teach him anything and treated him like his whipping boy. This has not changed, and I see this happen everyday. His Mom and Dad entered counseling because of some major anger problems that have manifested recently and have embarressed us all- but tried to turn it all around to be the fault of my husband. His dad wanted my husband to come to a counseling session to tell him he isn’t going to help him get started in a business, because he doesn’t have the nerve to tell him without someone else present. So sad..it really makes me want to move to another country. When I see his brother and perfect little family, it makes me nauscious!

  54. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Jamie,

    It sounds like you’ve been through SO MUCH in your life! Wow. You are a survivor, my friend.

    Thank you for sharing your story here. I’m glad you have a great therapist, and I wish you all the best. You are getting healthier, stronger, and wiser as each day passes! I admire you.


  55. I was adopted after spending the first year of my life in a wonderful foster home where my foster Mother and Father were trying very hard to adopted me, but because my soon to be adoptive parent made more money I was let go from this wonderful woman/foster parents whom loved me to a very horrible man and woman. My Adopted Mother became pregnant with the her first child and only bio child, her perfect wonderful son, the child she was told she could never have 4 months after I was adopted.

    I was treated like a 2nd class citizen all my life. I too had to clean the house all the time by myself, but my “wonderful” brother did nothing. My father beat me and had locks made and would lock me in my room for many, many hours at a time up to all day. I never had many clothes, I slept on a cot til I was 10, but my brother had a new bed He had everything he needed they bought him a car and let me their daughter walk home many miles away late in the dark/snow/rain from school after the buses stopped running almost every night. I was a beautiful young woman that was creative and smart, but I was told that I was the dumb and always told that I was the bad seed every week of my life…My brother beat me up all the time and got away with it every week. He once promised to finally love me more and then molested me. After he molested me he said “its OK because we are not really brother and sister”….It was awful, it was traumatic, I was so psychically abused be 14 that I had sever scoliosis from being thrown around and against the walls etc…..

    I have searched for answers all my life. I have found my maternal birth family and they lived a horrific life of foster homes and too many children by my bio Mom. I found an agency worker that told me about my foster parents and others that helped to find my story in order to tell my story.

    My Brother went into the family business and is a multi millionaire with jet planes, and Mansions homes all over the world…his children are the love of my older adopted Mother’s life. I now live in a horrible tiny apartment, I cannot work because I’m now very ill…I have no real furniture in my apartment…I’ve picked all abusers as men In my life, all of my life. My husband beat me so I divorced him. The amount of adopted abuse that I had was monumental and above normal. I now have a great therapist and have been in therapy for 9 years…and it has helped greatly. I was just a baby child and I was their whipping child…they all took the world out on me physically and emotionally…it was horrific! I’m surprised that I’m sane at times!

  56. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dom, I’m sorry to hear about your experience with your adoptive family…that must be very difficult to deal with.

    One suggestion I have is to try to make friends at school — can you join a club or after-school team? Even making just one friend will help you feel better about yourself, your family, and your life! I know how hard making friends can be, which is why I think joining a club might help. It’s hard to go up to someone and say “Want to my friend?” — unless you’re 5 years old! But joining an activity that you’re interested in gives you a built-in opportunity to make good friends.

    You could also try making friends outside of school. Get a job — I had my first job when I was 13. Do volunteer work. Join an after-school club that’s not related to school.

    If you can find ways to break out of your shell, you’ll enjoy your life alot more. It’s risky and scary, but it’s worth it!

    I wish you all the best, and hope you make friends or try something new soon…figure out what you most like to do in life, and find other people doing it.

    Warm wishes,

  57. I do have 1 friend but she lives halfway across the world i have only seen her twice in 5 years 🙁 I did read in one of moms parenting books that the neglected child/children do better on their own than the ones that get there way so i hope i do good in my future 🙂 ps. i am only 16 do you have any tips for adoptiees for me about anything?

  58. I am treated differently (worse) than the non adopted kids 🙁 I am the second oldest (with FASD and more) out of 5 kids (1 little brother,2 younger sisters,me,1 older sister,mom and dad) none of them are adopted only me. I am always getting left out of things or mom/dad wont tell me what we will be doing then they will go do it an di wont know what there doing or where we are going. Also, when we go out people are always compairing who looks like who and i am always left out of that. If I miss doing some chores mom always gets mad at me but if my older sister forgets its nothing. If i am walking by mom she always gives me some chores/favors to do. my parents wont get mad at my little sister for anything(the one closet to my age 8 i am 16 it was recently our birthday both in July) but when she is doing things to me i get in troble for it. She will come over and kick me and they get mad at me! Lately for some odd reason she comes over to me and keeps on trying to grab my boobs and tuch me and go all kissy and things i keep telling her to stop but she wont and i have told our parents but they dont do anything now i need even more space then i did before cause of her.All the others (espically) the three little ones get EVERYTHING they want even if they were not good 🙁 Mom and dad keep ignoring me if i want then to answer me ill have to literally yell then they will ignore me when i talk or walk away or something. It does not help that i have no friends (only 2 cousins which are always busy) and at school i eat lunch on my own in the cafereria and people call me names and say i am a loner and more. I just ignore them i am used to it sadly.

  59. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for your comment…and I’m sorry to hear about your experience as an adopted child. That’s terrible.

    But, the good new is that as an adoptive parent, you are totally in control of your own behavior! You can redeem the wrongs that you experienced as an adopted child by loving your adopted child as if he or she was your biological child.

    Treating adopted children differently isn’t an automatic thing, out of our control. We CAN give our children better experiences than we had!

    I wish you all the best as you figure out if you should adopt or not.


  60. Yes, adopted children are treated differently than biological children. I was adopted at the age of 5. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Both of them are biological children. People who came to our house would make comments to me about how different I was treated. Even to this day it is quite noticeable. While my siblings were hugged and kissed, I was hit and poked fun of. It was my “job” when not in school to clean and cook. Days off from school meant waking up to long list of chores. My brother and sister got to hang out with friends. My mother’s excuse was that each child is different so that is why we were treated different. I accepted what was and moved on with my life. I am happily married and the most “successful” out of the 3 kids so I guess some good came out of it. I remember even at my wedding my dad made a toast and kept repeating how I should be grateful for being adopted. My friends were appalled.

    I am now discussing with my husband about adopting a child since we have not been able to have our own child yet. He is all for it. Due to my personal experiences and my observations on other adopted children, I am not 100% on board. I feel very strongly that adopted children are treated differently.

  61. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Kelly Marie,

    I’m sorry to hear that your adoptive parents aren’t treating you well.

    But, it’s fortunate that you’re on your own, and old enough to make your own decisions and choices! Believe me, I know how hard it is when you don’t have the financial or social support of your family. I didn’t have alot of support when I was in university, and it was tough. But, I made it through on my own, and I’m very proud of myself!

    As you said, you’re a good thing that came out of your family. I encourage you to strive to be the best person you can — live up to your own expecations — and not let your adoptive family’s actions bother you. It sounds like you’re already incredibly successful (going to college, holding down a job, etc)…don’t let anyone or anything ruin that for you.

    Thanks for being here, and I wish you all the best.


  62. My adoptive parents have always treated me worse than their biological kids. I am the youngest out of three. Growing up they always doted upon their two boys, me, I was always left out. Even now that I am 23, I need help with things. I go to college, have a job, and pay all my own bills. My ‘brothers’ (and I use that term loosely) Still live off of my ‘parents’. I ask them for help with gas, and they shun me away but they never hesitate to give their golden boys money. They even give other people gas and nothing for me. Today my dad was going to give me money to buy these girls, whom I work with dinner. I told him that the girls have food but I cold use the ten dollars for gas money. He completely refused to help me with gas. I thought I was his daughter but apparently I am not since he would rather help other people and not me. All my life I have witnessed my parents handing everything over to their ‘precious boys’, but now that I am old enough, I am apparently not good enough to be treated equally. My adoptive mom always yelled at me growing up and would always spank me for little things. She would always put me down. She would call me an idiot, fat, embarrassing, etc. The ironic thing is I am the only good thing to come out of this ‘family’ and yet I am treated like crap. I know my real family would not have been fit to raise me, but sometimes I wish I was never adopted or that I should have just been aborted. I hate being adopted, I truly hate it and I would never put my kid u for adoption and allow them to grow up knowing they were unloved and unwanted. I know that sounds harsh, but that is how I feel because that is how my adoptive parents treated me.


  63. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks for sharing this piece of your life with me! I’m sorry to hear your adoptive parents don’t treat you the same as they do their biological kids…that must be difficult to live with.

    About wishing you hadn’t been adopted, though…you never know what could have happened or how you life could have been if you stayed with your birth parents. That is, they didn’t have the ability to take care of you, so your life might have been much worse if you’d stayed with them. Who knows, right?

    Anyway, it was good to hear your story and I wish you all the best in your life.


  64. I know how it feels to be treated differnt, I have my for all my life, my parents have 5 kids them self me im adopted wish to god i never was my mother did not want me at all it was my father who did i got treated bad by her and the other kids got treated like gold trust me i am not making any of this up i got told if something went wrong it was my fault and got hit for it not the other kids they could do what ever they wanted and it was all ok i was made to clean the whole house top to bottom on a saturday morning at 6 am not the other kids they had things to do. it was so bad that when i was 14 years old on christmas eve i cleaded the house toop to bottom my mother got a bug up her butt woke me up at 11:30 told me to clean the house all over again becauce i lied to her i never touched the house work and the hit me. when my brother came down she told him that i had it coming to back to bed she is teaching me to not lie the sad part she watched me clean the house all day long. the i went to the mall to get a prom dress with my older sister and i had a friend come well my other sister told her and sure enough i got told that i was not goning to the prom at all now and tell the boy to ask someone else that i was not going no place or doing nothing no tv no phone for 3 months beacuse i never asked if that friend could go or not, i could go on but i dont have enough of room to write it all being adopted suck so bad i wish i never was over and over at 43 years old its gotten worse she always downs me and still gives everything to the other 5 i know why iam not her real child. she makes that clear thanks