She wants contact with birth siblings

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I was adopted as an infant and blessed with wonderful parents and an ideal childhood. The only thing missing was a sibling -- I've always wanted a brother or sister. My parents always told me that my birth parents were a married couple who didn't want to have children. After my parents' deaths, I found my birth parents. They are still married. I wrote asking for family medical information. They responded with a short letter giving me some basic medical information, which I appreciated. They said they were relieved to know I'd had a good life and mentioned that less than two years after I was born, they had another daughter, followed by two sons. This was a shock. Because of the undertone of fear in my birth mother's letter, I do not believe my birth siblings know of my existence. Many of my family and friends believe my birth siblings have a right to know they have a sister. I am not so sure. All of us are in our late 50s or early 60s. I do not know these people, and we have no history. I am satisfied to have some questions answered and blanks filled in. I don't know this family's dynamics. I have no desire to do anything to hurt my birth parents. Do my birth siblings have a right to know about me?DQDEAR DQ: I do believe that these siblings have a "right" to know that they have another sibling out in the world, and I also believe that you have a right to know, or not know, these people if you choose.

No one else in your world has a "right" to tell you how to feel or what to do about such a complicated issue, and you will need to affirm this, firmly.

The most logical and compassionate way to approach this would be to contact your birth parents and pose these questions to them. After all, they volunteered information about siblings.

Obviously, there are some risks, but the rewards are potentially wonderful.