Dear Savvy Auntie,

My brother died years ago and I've done my best to be a support to my sister-in-law.

One of my nephews is adopted and he confided in me that he has contacted his bio family.  He hasn't told anyone else in our family including his mother although I have urged him to. It has been months. What is my responsibility?

He is nervous about how his mother will react; that she will be hurt. I know our other family members will be angry at me for not telling them. I've told him I will give him money to take his mom out to lunch and buy her flowers, but he's just not ready. What should I do?

His Loving Auntie

Dear His Loving Auntie,

You are in a quandary!  I agree with your decision not to tell your sister-in-law and think your offer to have your nephew buy lunch and flowers is so lovely.

Keep encouraging him to tell and ask him what his apprehension is and how it influences his decision. You might suggest he speak with a counselor who specializes in this issue and see what they propose; it might be a meeting with he and his mom.

Your worry about your family’s anger is a burden to bear, keeping in mind that your respect and loyalty to your nephew is admirable. They may take some time to see it that way.... that is their short sightedness. He is a lucky guy to have you as his loving auntie!
I wish you the best,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


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