DEAR DR. BROTHERS: I’m a 12-year-old
girl, and I’m adopted. I found out a few months ago when I overheard my
parents talking about it, but they haven’t told me, even though I keep
asking. I’m not upset; I just want them to tell me the truth. How can I
convince them that I’m mature enough to know? — M.T.
DEAR M.T.: It sounds like you are dealing with this in a very
mature and grown-up way, and that’s great. You have to understand the
position your parents are in, though. They most likely don’t want you
to know because they want to protect you. It may be that they’re
waiting until you’re older, or that they weren’t planning to tell you
at all. Now that you have overheard them talking, though, their
position will change if you can approach them in the right way.
You should try as hard as you can not to get angry with your
parents. I know it’s hard to imagine, but they think that they are
keeping you in the dark for your own good. Think about their
intentions, and not their actions, when you talk to them. Because you
want honesty from your parents, you should approach them with honesty.
Tell them that you overheard them talking, and explain how it makes you
feel to find out that you’re adopted. If you show them that you have a
mature attitude about the news, they will probably open up to you about
the adoption. In a lot of cases, birth parents of adopted children want
to remain anonymous, and if this is the case with your birth parents,
it can be hard to find this out. Your relationship with your parents
and the rest of your family will be very important in your life, no
matter what. As long as you talk to your parents in the way that you
want them to talk to you about your adoption, you can all preserve the
good relationship that you’ve shared for 12 years. Don’t forget that
your parents love you and only want what’s best for you.