Am i adopted?

Dear Suzie,
(I’m spanish so i don’t know if i write correctly)
I don’t really know if this is for teenagers but it’s really urgent and i can’t find the right web.
I don’t look anything like my family and my friends at school say I’m adopted behind my back i’ve tried asking my parents but they go all wierd and just say it’s all nonesense. Please answer me I need some proper advice for once!

You write very correctly – better English than some UK teenagers! And yes, I answer anyone, no matter what their age.

Some people look a lot like their parents and brothers or sisters. Some people do not. What often happens is that you get your looks from members of the family who are no longer around – a grandparent or a great grandparent. A sister or brother may remind you of your Mum or Dad, or your grandmother of grandfather. But you may be the image of a great grandparent, and nobody remembers what they looked like.

You’ve also got to remember that people at school often think it’s fun to get a reaction from you. If it makes you sad when they say this, they may do it even though it’s not true just because you react.

Teenagers often rather like the idea of not being a son or daughter of their parents. It feels mysterious and exciting. If you’re going through the usual teenage phase of wanting to be different and separate from them it makes you feel this explains why you feel that way.

You say your parents go weird when you ask if you are adopted. This could be because they think it’s a weird question and are offended.

But, yes, it might be true. Sometimes people think it is best to pretend an adopted child was born to them. Maybe they feel it would make you feel more loved and part of the family if you believed you were born to them.

Personally, I don’t think this is so. Telling the truth may be difficult and awkward but it needs to be done. If you are adopted, unless the laws in Spain are very different to those in the UK, sooner or later you will find out the truth. In the UK you can ask to see your original birth certificate when you are 18.

And keeping such a secret is doomed. After all, anyone in your family older than you will know the truth – grandparents, aunts, uncles and also family friends.

Finding out when you are older can be very painful. Not only do you discover that you weren’t who you thought you were, you also find out your parents have lied to you.

If I were you I’d sit your parents down and tell them you love them. Explain this situation has made you very confused and upset and you need to talk it through carefully with them. If you are their natural child, you need proper reassurance and for them to help you understand why you look different. It might be comforting – and fun! – to seek out some old photographs of their parents, and their grandparents, to see who you do look like.

If by any chance you are adopted, you really need to know this now. If they kept it a secret even when you are asking questions, explain it will be far more painful to deal with later.

Do you have a friend or family member who will understand your feelings and support you? It would help you talk to your parents if you had someone you trusted.

I hope this helps!

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