Man Telling Nephew He's Adopted and Revealing Who His Parents Are Applauded

A man has come clean and told his nephew that he is, in fact, his biological dad.

In a two-part Reddit post, u/wfthrowaway8513, said he "couldn't hold" his secret in anymore and told his nephew, 20, that his sister adopted him as a newborn two decades ago.

He wrote: "My wife got pregnant when we started dating at 16. We decided to give the kid up for adoption once she had him. It was a tough decision, but we weren't ready to be parents at 16."

Teenager and dad
A stock image of a man speaking to a young man on a park bench. Newsweek reached out to a Reddit user who admitted to being his nephew's biological father. iStock/Getty Images Plus/digitalskillet

Around the same time, his older sister married and discovered she had fertility issues. She proposed adopting her brother's son and has raised him ever since he was born.

"We agreed that none of us would tell him until we all agreed he was old enough to understand it," the user said.

Kyle, who didn't wish to reveal his surname, 36, from Kansas, spoke to Newsweek about his Reddit posts that have racked up a combined total of 12,200 upvotes.

"He's a great kid and I'm glad that I can further my relationship with him even more. My wife always says it's scary how much more he looks like me as he gets older and especially how much he acts like me.

"To any other families in similar situations: just tell the kid early. We kept it a secret for way too long and are incredibly lucky he took it the way he did. Adoption is nothing to be ashamed of and your kids deserve to know where they came from," he told Newsweek.

Initially, the family agreed they would tell him when he was 13, then 15, and then 18 but it never happened. Until February 1, when the young man accidentally called Kyle "dad."

Recalling the moment, Kyle wrote: "Today, he came to the shop to do some work while I was out there working on something else. Then I hear, 'Hey dad... I mean [my name], can you hand me a rag?' That was when I knew this kid needed to know. I mean, he's almost a grown adult. He can handle it."

"I told him I needed to tell him something. So we sat down at the table in there and I just flat out told him '[wife] and I [are] your birth parents.' He looked confused because his mom has said she gave birth to him so he would never think anything was up. He had lots of questions and I answered them as honestly as I could," he wrote.

Later, Kyle told his wife who was "livid." However, the next day, she thanked her husband for telling their biological son.

Kyle updated Redditors on February 2. He wrote: "My wife and I never 'abandoned' him at all. We've been in his life since he was born and for every major life step, helped with financial decisions like college, sports, and buying his first car, and helped in any way we could.

"The main things that came out of our conversation were that my sister will always be his mom since she raised him, we will support him with whatever decision he makes, and will always be his family. He asked if he could call my wife and me his parents and we happily agreed."

What Is the Best Age To Tell a Child They're Adopted?

Ruth E. Freeman, founder and president at the parenting hub Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, told Newsweek families should be open and honest about adoption as soon as their child starts listening to stories, aged two or three.

She said: "This story illustrates the problem with family secrets. Kids love to hear about how they came into the world and for adopted children, that story can include the miracle of parents who couldn't give birth biologically and meeting a child whose birth parents could not care for that child.

"People often mistakenly think kids have to be a certain age to "understand," but this example of a unique arrangement illustrates how disruptive it is to learn that the story you always believed about your family is untrue.

"It can disrupt trust and feelings of belonging—both essential to good mental health. Underneath these secrets are typically a sense of shame or inadequacy, which then gets passed on to the child rather than celebrating the gift of this unique open adoption where this young man is surrounded by the love of both his adoptive and his birth parents throughout his life."

What Do the Comments Say?

In total, over 595 people have commented on Kyle's posts so far.

One comment racked up 4,600 upvotes. It said: "I don't get why people play hide-the-ball with adopted kids. My parents have told me since I can remember and my 3-year-old brain processed it fine. He's plenty old enough to know and at minimum, for health records, he should know."

"One of the reasons is insecurities with the adoptive parents. Thinking they will love bio parents more," said another.

"Uncle Dad! Aunt Mom!" wrote one commenter.

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