Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • rhubarb0

    Hey Kate
    I have two adopted brothers and an adopted niece and nephew. My brothers were very different to us, they were both black and adopted in the 70s when having a black baby in a white family was really controversial. However my mother was a fervent (still is) catholic and so she felt that by adopting black babies she would get more sympathy and attention. That sounds harsh but knowing my mother as I do now, I know that would have been one of her prime motives.

    I don’t know how my brothers felt about it all. My elder brother has always struggled with his adoption but as far as we were concerned, they were our brothers just as if they had been born to my mother. We didn’t treat them any differently and both were brought up fully as part of a large family.

    I often get told that they are not my ‘real’ brothers, which really annoys me. What makes a ‘real’ brother exactly? You can have two siblings that were borne from the same womb but not have anything in common and you can have two adoptive siblings who get on like a house on fire. As far as I am concerned, they are my real brothers and as much a part of me as my other siblings. How could they not be? We grew up together and shared experiences together in the same family.

    My elder brother however grew distant in his later years and now doesn’t have any contact with me at all. I don’t know if the fact that he is adopted makes that easier for him, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier for me. I realise they have birth parents out there and possibly even birth siblings, but I wasn’t even around when my eldest brother was adopted and was only 3 years old when my mother brought my youngest brother home. So I’ve loved them all my life.

    I don’t think that anyone who has not experienced adoption can really know how it feels. There is this presumption that you somehow love them less or can excuse faults as the consequences of their adoption. This is an insult to all those who adopt and those who are adopted.

    Now if someone dares to say something to me about them not being my ‘real’ brothers I respond with a good punch under the ribs and retort “No, just like that wasn’t a real punch”. And yes, I have done that once to a male friend – he never mentioned it again!

    Thanks for writing about adoption on your blog, it was a lovely read and I’m glad people are happy to talk about it.

  • Mummy Plum

    Hello. Such an open and honest post. I do know a couple of people that are adopted, but never felt that I could ask them about it. I often wondered how they felt though. Your post gives a great insight into some of the issues and feelings adopted people and their wider families face – and I’m sure only just scratches the surface. Thanks for sharing on such a personal issue. x

  • PollyBurns2

    Hi Kate, what a brave post. I have a tear in my eye for you. Two thoughts: firstly, I am not adopted but often wonder(ed) if I was. I look like my mother so I know I’m not, but I am SO, SO different from her. Violence is not in the genes, don’t worry about it. Nuff said, as they say. Secondly, said mother had a child adopted before she had me and my sister. She never told us. I heard from one of her useless boyfriends when I was about 14. I know it’s true, there was other evidence. Nuff said there too. Hugs for you. Polly x

  • kissmeteet

    I too am an adopted child, in my mid 40’s now. So many of your feelings list hit home with me, we are a tribe us adoptees, only we know that sense of loss, even when we are found. I located all my birth family when I was 40, it has its ups and downs, but more ups than downs. There is tension on one half of the family because they didnt know of my existence and I am the result of an affair, however we are working through the issues, and the other half knew about me so the door was always open, I just wished I’d knew that, Ive lost so much time not knowing my siblings of which I found 8.

    I have to consider myself very lucky – lucky that I located both birth mother and father and was accepted immediately without condition and have built bridges with my siblings despite a rocky start. I know of many adoptees whom weren’t accepted and had a 2nd rejection which must hurt like hell, the secrets of the past just couldn’t be let go for many birth mothers and they continue to live a lie without knowing how that rejection must feel.

    rhubarb0 – your comment warms my heart, how you just accepted your brothers even though they were of a different ethnicity – God Bless you for that – if the world had more of you – what a wonderful world it would be.

    God Bless ALL the adoptees and adoptive families of this world.

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    Thank you for sharing such a powerful and honest post with us all at #TriumphantTales.
    My mum and dad split when I was an infant, I dont remember living with him, just a weekly visit. Come 11 years old, he stopped those visits, the calls slowly faded and one day he told my sister he had a “new family.”
    Now I know this isnt the same as being adopted, but that sense of feeling rejected is to an extent understood. As the youngest sibling, I sometimes wonder if I have it easier than my siblings due to the lack of memories living with him, but then I also think I had it the hardest as the man who was meant to be there for his little girl turned his back and even when I called to let him know I got into Uni (his only child to do so) I got no call back.
    Family to me is those who choose to be in your life through the hard times, my in-laws have been amazing in recent years. I guess you can choose your family afterall!!
    Hope to see you back tomorrow lovely xx

  • Alex Newton

    I took on my niece to give her a better life and although she’s not adopted, I think she has much of the same thoughts and feelings of what you have described. We’ve come a long way in helping her feel like she belongs and improving her confidence.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Jackson

    Your feelings are entirely valid. You were adopted and therefore only you know how to feel about the situation. However I do feel that there is such a large array of people who feel a sense of “loss” or “rejection” and “not feeling wanted”. I am however a little confused by this. Many children are adopted and raised incredibly well by adoptive parents, treated as though they birthed those children themselves. Those adopters wanted you, loved you and gave you everything that they could. I do often find it difficult to comprehend why so many adopted children go looking for birth families. Blood relations do not make a family. My stepfather raised me from when I was 8 years old and raised me as though I was his. I 100% consider him to be my father and have zero desire to reconnect with my birth father. I don’t have much of a relationship with my biological brother, we are incredibly different people and haven’t had much of a bond since we were children.

    In my personal opinion adopted children shouldn’t look at it as though they weren’t wanted, or abandoned. It’s rarely the case, it’s sometimes circumstances. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and that doesn’t make them a bad person (although in some cases it does). That is where adoptive parents come in, they provide that loving home to raise children, they surely allow for the adopted child to feel loved, wanted and give them that family dynamic.

    You are talking about how you feel, and you feel how you feel. Just like so many others. I guess when reading or listening to some adopted children’s views and experiences I look at it from a different perspective. So many children in the world don’t get adopted by loving families and treated with love and care. Not that this is a reward, you should absolutely be loved and raised in a wonderful family, everyone should. Many children remain in abusive, unloving homes (birth families), some remain in the care system etc. Adoptive parents are incredibly resilient and it’s fantastic when they are entirely open with their children and always support them in whatever that child decides to do, even if that means finding birth families. For me I just find it odd as to why adopted children want to find birth families. Genes, blood etc doesn’t make a family. They did not raise you, grow up with you, or shape you into the human being you are. Why not accept the family you have? This is not a judgement even though it may come across as one. I guess I just have a different view.

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