Adoption: To Tell or Not To Tell?

August 4, 2000
Pam's grandson believes that Pam is his mother. Pam's daughter, his true biological mother, was in trouble with the law, and when the state offered Pam custody, she took it. Though her daughter has always pushed her to tell him the truth, he still doesn't know. Pam is trying to decide whether to live with this secret or to risk everything that's important to her.

Dr. Phil's Advice

  • Don't ever burden children with adult issues.

  • Never ask a child to deal with something over which they have no influence or control.

  • If other people know, you have to assume he's going to find out. The question becomes "Do you want to tell him, or do you want him to find out from someone else?"

  • Who should tell him and when? The answers are "you" and "now."

  • Motherhood is genetic, but it is also a concept. You are that boy's mother.

  • Don't be afraid for one split second that he's going to regard you with any less love, any less appreciation, any less bonding, any less caring when you explain to him that you are his grandmother.

  • Explain to him that you wanted to raise him. Most mothers don't get to pick their kids. You picked him. You are his mother every minute of every day.

     


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