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Someone sent me this message via FB. I don't believe this person has any idea of the current distress we are under with our adopted adult child. I recall learning in college that there is a unique and interesting relationship between mother and baby in utero. For example, often the baby will like the same foods the mom likes.

I couldn’t cut and paste it…so I’ll retype the first paragraph snd add some pieces of information. It’s called “Heartstrings.” A more intense search will likely find it. Unclear why it was sent to me. But in many of the cases here…and many I have heard about over the years…it is uncanny how the adopted children NO matter how much intervention …even colossal intervention and loving and helping parents……that adopted child when they become an adult ends up very much like the birth parent…maybe particularly the mother. Then there are the attachment issues…This sort of explains it.

From Heartstrings
“When pregnant, the cells of the baby migrate into the mother’s bloodstream and then circle back into the baby, it’s called “fetal maternal microchimerism.”

More tidbits
*41 weeks of back and forth interchange
*In some cases fetal cells can help injuries to the mom
*In some cases mother’s bodies can help the baby
*Studies have shown fetus cells inside mother’s brain 18 years after she has given birth
*Some mom’s report intuitively feeling their child even when they are not there. Might it also go the other way?

Just some food for thought. A friend suggested to me that on top of mental illness, what we might be seeing are pregnancies wrought with periodic drug snd alcohol abuse, bad behaviors, anger, fighting, homelessness, poor nutrition, fear…an entire host of horrors.

Perhaps in the “old days” when unwed mothers were sent to convents…it was actually safer for those unborn babies. More calm, little to no drug abuse, regular and nutritious meals etc.

So on top of possible , perhaps likely mental illness…the unborn child might also be subjected to an untold amount of prenatal injuries and trust me..these moms won’t be inclined to mention any of this and the adoption agencies as well. Silence.

Again…food for thought.


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Nomad, this has been my experience and I was also in a group with many adoptive parents. When they met their birthmothers it was usually "Omg, they even talk and walk alike." Genetics is more powerful than nurture, I think. So do most of the parents in my parent group.

We dis not meet Kay's birthparents but for a child who came to us so young she is us. Her loud voice, her loud laugh, her talents and interests, her problems....they are nothing at all like the rest of us. I suspect she inherited much.of her personality from her birth family.

I get it! I believe it!


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Eviction Process has slowed a bit due to holidays. Still horrible. Still no remorse. She tries to harass Hubby via text. She has blocked me. Interesting.

Busy…I have heard this repeatedly. It’s sad. Even alarming. We just found out about her birth mom not too long ago. Was shockingly bad. Super bad. Lots of mental illness on both sides of the family. Birth mom by far the sickest. Extreme. I have no words. She doesn’t eat like us, talk like us, think like us…it’s bizarre. Did we have a prayer? Did she? Do these kids? Mental illness plus who knows what in utero? Sad.

Hoping fir the best. Much concern. Starting to be able to pray again. I’ll never …whatever.
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We haven’t had behavior or drug problems with our adopted son. He has a severe anxiety disorder with depression. I’m not sure why or how he has beat the odds, but I know that could still change. I think his grandma did an amazing job with him, but considering what he went through, I’m surprised the only problems he has are anxiety and depression. As I’ve mentioned in the past, he was born addicted to cocaine. His birth mother is a prostitute. She didn’t know who his father was, probably a man who picked her up off the street. Because of how well my son does academically and behavior wise, I tend to think his biological father must have been a smart, kind, successful man. I didn’t think good men picked up prostitutes, but maybe it’s more common than I thought. Of course, I’m just speculating. Our son has a very agreeable personality. He’s a true empath. I know 50 percent of our personality and behavior is genetic, and the other 50 percent environment. Usually, nature wins out over nurture. We’ve been fortunate.


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You are extraordinarily fortunate, Crayola. 100 percent of the folks I know in my former city (we moved a few years back) who adopted have severally mentally ill adult children and interestingly , are also now divorced.

We found out not too long ago, but it was zero surprise really, that both bio parents were /are mentally ill. It’s extremely prevalent in both bio parent families, with her birth mother being the sickest. It’s profoundly sad. Some seem to be doing ok. That was nice to see.

Nature almost always wins out over nurture.Big time.

My friend got the shock of her life when she helped her adopted daughter find bio mother. Friend was super nice, husband /father had a phD, grandma visited often and lived with them at the end. She was a nurse. Always sweet. Hiwever, daughter had borderline personality disorder, shades of bipolar, prone to depression snd was an alcoholic. When they found the bio mother…she was exactly the same. We were both taken aback.

Nature vs nurture. Use to be somewhat of a debate. Nature wins. Might not be 100 percent…but larger than one tends to think.
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Crayola, you are lucky. I hope he does not ever grow into problems.
One of our biggest issues was that Kay was nothing like us and unfortunately that made her feel like an outsider. You can't change your personality. We tried to act in ways that she could relate to but she.knew we were.just acting.

Many adoptive kids seem to leave us often forever, from the people I know. I have no stats but I guess it's probably more than biological kids say goodbye. I think k many often want to connect with their.original identity. If they can not, like Kay has been unable to, the person gets very angry inside and rejects those even who raised and love her.

Honestly. I am not sure I would have adopted if I knew this would happen. It has disrupted and devastated all of us. But we tried. Lord. We tried.

Crayola, hold your son close and cherish him, as I am sure you already do.


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I’m not sure why I didn’t think of what you just said Busy before. I suppose I did…but…avoided letting it sink in. How ?something? Of me to think some of this wouldn’t happen to me . Don’t know the word. You keep …bringing things to my attention that were there right in FRONT of my face. Omg. Several folks I know with adopted children …those kids left when they got to be adults. It didn’t matter HOW MUCH tine, attention, love, money, professional help etc was put into the situation. I never even though about it in a significant way. I know at least a few. One was a family with two adopted kids. A wealthy family. They got a divorce. Mom said she couldn’t cope. Dad was super rich.After going through heck and back, plus a divorce, I believe he got them a car (s) and phones to help them find jobs. But told them to find jobs and limit interaction with him. And they no longer wanted anything to do with their parents when the parents said “no more.” In another case …well never mind. A departing of ways. Horrible story. I’ve seen this devastation and ultimate rejection a lot. The collateral damage is profound. Tragic stuff.
PS Lord we tried. 110 percent. That extra 10 percent almost did us in.


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many of us are here because of our bio children
Often I find myself with envy of my friends whose children seem to grow up, work through problems and settle down. They become prosperous and sometimes the parents are lucky enough that the children want to be near them and support them. Of my very close friends only one has a child that had a severe eating disorder but she's now married and a stable professional. NOBODY I know has gone through what I have. In fact of my closest few friends, all mental health professionals, only one will listen at all. The others prefer to forget I have a child. I let it go.

But here is what I want to say.

My son's parents were both drug addicts, mentally ill, and were dying of AIDS when he was born. There was no way I could not have anticipated the problems my son and I would face. They were there staring in my face. Instead my relationship to him from the time I first saw his picture was the deepest love, commitment and hope. I could not have turned away from him. He was my life from the first second and it's never ever changed. I believe G-d gave him to me and that he was my destiny. I continue to believe that no matter how much I've suffered, how much I have failed him. Though I would have wished that this struggle had not defined my later years, we continue to be in relation he and I and to move through this.

The best of life is lessons. The best of life is connecting to that part of ourselves where unlimited, strength, hope, faith and solace reside. For me, this is the focus that gives me power and purpose. It's so much more precious for me to hold onto this than to search in the chaos for whys and how comes.
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Nomad, never ever forget how hard you tried and how much you loved AND still love her. I am not so smart.

Like you, I thought that if you adopted a child and loved him or her to death and treated that beloved child the same way you treated your other kids or, if an only child, as you would treat any child you had given birth to, the results would be good. 1+ 1 would be 2, not 3 or 4 or 5, right?

I did not even consider that my child may have little in common with her new family, that she may feel left out no matter how hard we tried to show her she belonged, that her academic skills would not be able to be lifted to at least average (and with our help even better) or that she would mourn her birth family. They were strangers to her. We were her family, right? Haha. She called us by our first names unless she was asking for a favor. When asking for something, she could be so sweet that I would forget how she treated us most of the time. I was played well, far more that my husband was, and Kay almost caused us to divorce. My kids looked on sadly. They both tried to talk to me, but I was not ready to listen to anyone. So my other two nice kids pulled away from me more than Dad. I almost lost everything.

If I sound naive, it's becuse I was. Before we adopted, customers from our business who had adopted, with less than great outcomes, gave us subtle warnings but we always nodded "We know it can be a challenge. We are ready. Oh, and we're so sorry your child won't be home for the holidays...."

We were not ready to listen to negatives.. And a few people had good outcomes after adopting, and we chose to focus on them, although, in our experience, they were the minority. So we were in shock once the manageable little girl, who had always had some problems, became a troubled teen who could and would hurt us, verbally and physically.

Oh, the words stung almost as much as the fact that she either could not or would not thrive in a normal way. Would not work or conform to social norms. Would not or couldn't take care of herself.We tried to keep her off the streets. She hated us for everything we tried to do for her. I'm convinced she is unable to love anyone. I truly hope she finds her birthmother who lives abroad. But I am not sure it will heal her if she does.

My biggest fear these days is that she will get pregnant again. She was an uncaring mom and should never have another child. Amy, who has full custody of Jayden, has made it clear that she is done with her family and can not raise any more kids Kay may have. Next would be a CPS case. I have offered to pay for her to tie her tubes or for Lee to get snipped. As far as I know they can still conceive. How sad is it to want your child to not give birth? But I pray she does not every single day.

Anyhow, Nomad I know you have reached out to me in PM and am just not sure I have the ability to share off forum. It is so hard for me to do even here. It is so hurtful and will always be raw.

But I am always here. I check this forum every day. And I always share prayers and love with all and I do get your situation so much. Enjoy Christmas even without her. We are again having Christmas without Kay. Honestly, she used to always cause big scenes on holidays. I just ask God to care for her now. He can. I am too old to do her drama and hate anymore. God, forgive me.

Blessings and love. Stay strong. It's hard, I know.


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I understand, Busy. It’s uncanny how similar Kay is to our daughter. It’s all uncanny. And tragic.
If this was God’s will …I don’t want to know about it. I struggle to pray lately. I just got off the phone with a very close friend. Her other close friend was , fir lack of a better word, totally abandoned by her adopted son once he became an adult. He wanted her to give him a chunk of money to but a house. She said no as she was retiring etc. She never heard from him again.
A dear relative of mine who has cancer and recuperated not too ling ago from a scary case of Covid told me my story is more stressful than anything he has been through. Geez that hit home. He taught me to look at good things in my life and quietly thank G-d fir them. Even the littlest of things like a good parking space. This is of great help. The only reason I mention it is to share something positive that has been helpful.

PS We know if a you g couple…distant relatives that adopted. They were subtly warned. WE on the other hand had no clue. They thought they could handle it. He is young, but it’s been heck. I found out a tiny bit about his background. I shared it with an older psychologist I know from where I use to live. Told her the behaviors and the little I knew from the young fella’s background. I asked fir her to tell me honestly what his chances are of doing more or less ok in life. Her answer “0.” Wth. I was shocked. I found myself almost mad at her. Not any more. Im in a strange pitiful state of unpleasant awareness…combined with shock and sorrow.
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Nomad, I was there for ten years so I get it. When I meet new people today, I tend to say I just have two kids. I really do just have two kids, actually. My long long distance possibly/maybe/probably never future relationship with Kay will never be like a normal mother/daughter relationship. I have other kids. I know normal relationships. And I'm almost happy Kay chose to live so far away.

Aren't I horrible? This is not what I had in mind when we flew overseas to adopt a beautiful baby girl. And now I don't want much to do with that baby girl who is such a puzzle to us all. I am even sometimes afraid of her. I think I have PTSD. I am serious.

Anyway I am going to leave my email in PM for you. I feel best being contacted that way.

Merry Christmas. God is always with all of you.


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I’m embarrassed to say just yesterday she was abusive and bullying to my husband via text. Stopped today. I told a few friends what she said and they almost lost their minds. Fairly sure I have ptsd as well.

Thank you, Busy.

in a daze

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Hello. Interesting thread. I have two good friends who adopted, and their kids turned out pretty ok for the most part. One of them was hell on wheels as a kid, but is now in nurse anesthetist school and is a really nice guy.

However, I was just at my aunt‘s funeral today. She and my uncle had adopted three children. One is deceased. The other two never showed up at all. One is in and out of jail/hospital and has had her kids taken by cps. The other struggled with jobs and relationships. The youngest, their bio daughter, is a social worker, and I’ve no doubt that was a career choice influenced by the turmoil in her home growing up.


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The Social Workers really should tell adoptive parents what is possible before we adopt. I think, if informed by professionals, we may have adopted anyway but been better prepared. We could have done early attachment work with Kay. She was so young but many if not most adopted kids have attachment issues. Also we would have screened her for things like fetal alcohol effects and other disorders. We had no idea how high the risk was that she would have these problems.

In the end I feel it would not have been that different if we had been one informed. But who knows? We were not told how to parent an adopted child and it is not the same as parenting a biological child. I have done both.

For us, we cared less about Kay's job, or what type of job she would have been able to get if she had been willing to get a job, as about her lack of caring toward us. That last was the worst of it.

I feel for your friend whose kids did not show up for her funeral. Certainly she knew of their lack of affection for her while she was still alive. It is shocking to think of our kids not attending our funerals, but Kay won't come to ours. I know this. I just had not thought of that before.

I noticed, when I started posting here, that it seemed, at the time, that half of the kids were adopted. Half the parents don't adopt kids. It was a shock for me to see that... the high numbers.

Well, I had a chance to vent. I don't like to overly complain. But this is a bigger overview of our story. I feel sadness and relief because I shared it. But maybe it will help somebody else at some time.

This forum has helped me feel less alone, but I won't lie. Nar Anon and our therapist were necessary for me. I could not have really given Kay to God ony own. And days go by now when I don't think about her. I am usually serene now. A miracle. (Still think I have PTSD. Certain things trigger me badly).

Thanks for being here, all of you.


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“One is in and out of jail/hospital and has had her kids taken by cps”. Kid (s). Sigh .

Due to my health issues, it very likely would of changed my mind if I knew the truth of what is often (not 100percent but a very high percentage) going on.

One of my friends was either lied to or misled by the social worker when she adopted. Everyone from that agency was full of xxxx. Her daughter was about three. They said she had two other placements prior and made some reasonable excuses as why they didn’t work out. Her daughter was nightmarish with many issues and also became an alcoholic. One day her husband got on the train to go to work and never returned. Anyway, she kept on asking fir help and to her shock a different social worker told her the full story. The child had 15 placements prior because each family felt she was a danger to them or their other children. Her child was now around 16. School was a huge issue…constantly being sent home. (I had that issue too fri twelve years). She threatened to sue them for lying snd instead they worked out a deal snd sent her daughter to boarding school for a year. For free. She had a year off from hell.

In retrospect..we believed we were misled as well. Not as severe as my friend…but clearly misled as well as important info was withheld. Don’t want to go into details right now. But we absolutely were not told about the rampant mental illness on both sides of the family. And that her mother had severe mental illness and had a criminal past. The social worker indicated the father was a drug user and implied that the mother didn’t seem to be. A skeleton on the real truth. They knew I didn’t want to adopt of the mom was a drug user. It’s all surreal now.

I’m sure it’s very possible the mom lied to the agency and the agency either lied to the social worker or told her to shut up or no one wanted to investigate too deeply. And took at face value what they were told or looked the other way. They told me the baby had a perfect Apgar score. I really doubt that.

Hope and pray that there is more honesty in these adoptions today…hiwever I know of an extended relative who adopted about ten years ago…SMH. He has many issues. After adoption they found out a whopper piece of background info. Who knew this was such a risky endeavor.
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Yes, the forum is not as active as it once was. But when it was, there was a disproportionate number of parents with adopted kids. It wasn’t always obvious at first. As the parent often didn’t mention it. But then it would slip out in conversation. It might of been 50/50 which statistically is noticeably strange.

One day I asked my daughter’s psychiatrist a poignant question. Keep in mind , she has become a nationally recognized top child psychiatrist.I simply asked “ when you think of your kids in total, do you have at least a slightly disproportionate high number of kids that were adopted and are those kids at least a little sicker (for lack if a better way of putting it)?” Omg. She was silent then her eyes got big. Then she blurted out rather loudly YES! She had never stop to think about it.

My heart goes out as well to that mom whose children didn’t show up to her funeral. Our daughter has purposely missed important big family events. Yet…she will show up to big events of friend’s.

My heart goes out to you Busy. To all of us.


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You know....a lot of the adoptive parents when I first came here, none whom I think of are here now, got very upset if I suggested adoption was part of the problem. So I kind of stopped. I get this. They wanted to think that their kids were not troubled because of genetics or drugs/alcohol in utero or a lower than average IQ. God help me. I DIDNT WANT TO THINK THIS EITHER!.Those issues to me meant a lack of hope.

I am a realist, not one who sees a half full or empty glass. I see what is there. I can't think that one day Kay will be able to take good care of herself and I can't even fool myself into thinking she loves us deep inside. Truthfully she actually can not live with us because she could maybe hurt us. And the only time she ever contacted us was for help or else we had to initiate the contact.

Kay only "loved" us when we gave her comfort or money. I read that often our troubled kids, not all adopted but troubled, are truly not interested in a relationship with us until they need something. Is that a real parent/child relationship? No! Yet we will do all we can to keep what we have....crumbs. And I am not sorry that we tried to help her, but so much pain went into it. And she is no better.

Well, I am fortunate that my connection to God is strong. I could not have done this without Him. And all of you.



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The money thing applies in my case and I’m too tired to think about it…but most if not all of the other cases I’m familiar with. They will show pseudo love if you give them stuff. It’s not real. And you will get hell or be abandoned if you refuse.

But this other thing you mentioned. Omg.
“Hope.” This word! I have hated it. Still a sensitive subject. I once heard a speech, likely by MLK, and the word was used and I almost collapsed. WTH?
I think I was in some sort of internal war. I had secretly started to lose hope. Yet, I was determined. Yet, I knew intellectually there was no hope. Yet, I was sure God would not allow such a thing. Not when someone put THIS much effort into something. Impossible. But…you can’t do the work for someone else. And brain damage…well.
I wish someone had slapped me and said “Come to your senses!”

I’m kind of praying again. I’m clawing my way back.

Thank you all for this difficult conversation.
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