Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 1 decade ago

When grandparents adopt their grandchildren .....?

and I mean adopt, not guardianship, do the children call them mom and dad?

I know in most adoptive homes, mine included, the children call us mom and dad (and of course call First mom, mom as well). But waht if the adoptive parent was already a member of that family and had a label attached, such as auntie, Grandpa etc.etc.

Just curious if you know of examples.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, I have one example that illustrates both.

    There is a family with whom my family has been friends for a long time. Since I was 4, actually, and I'm well into adulthood, so, a long time.

    Their mother had mental health issues. My mother, on more than one occasion, responded to a phone call from one of these kids (all of whom were under 7 at the time) that there was no toilet paper in the house, no food, the water was cut off, etc. There were 5 children, 3, and then a set of twins. All had different fathers, none of whom were willing to be parents. 2 were incarcerated.

    The kids were eventually taken in by their grandparents, and adopted. The first 3 were 9, 7 and 6 when this happened. The twins were 2. The older ones call them Grandma and Grandpa, and the twins call them mom & dad. They are the only parents they've known. They don't know their father at all, and their mother chose not to parent, at all. She asked her parents to adopt her children, because if they just took guardianship, the matter would have to be re-visited periodically, and she just wanted it "done with".

    The kids still love their mother very much, as do I (I've known her my whole life), but she was (and still is) in no way equipped to be a parent. Now that some of her kids have kids, those kids call her "Gram" and her parents (who raised her 5 children) Mamere & Papere (french for grandma & grandpa...they're french).

    So, in short, I think the kids usually figure out what makes sense to them. It won't be the same to every family, or even to every member of the same family.

  • 1 decade ago

    Depends on the family, and often the age of the children involved. I know families where the grandparents are called Mom and Dad, and others where they remain Grandpa and Grandma. It's really a personal thing with the individuals involved.

    I actually know one family where the grandmother adopted siblings who called her different things. The girl was around six, the boy about twelve, when their firstmom died. The girl decided on her own to call her grandmother Mom, and still does (she's an adult now.) To the brother, Grandma was always Grandma. I never saw any indication that either was a problem for the grandmother, and she seemed to just accept what each child decided to call her.

    I think it depends whether the child has their caretaker firmly pegged in another role, like grandparent, aunt/uncle, etc., or if the role isn't defined yet in the child's mind at the time of adoption. It also depends on what the individual family prefers. There's no standard, or right or wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most would call the parents who adopt them Mom and Dad. In guardianship I also know some kids call their GA parents mom and dad also. I had a teen in GA and I call him son most of the time and he is fine with that and he in turn has called me mom many times. Another relative young man we raised for 6 yrs spends more time with us and calls and relies on us more than the parents. Whoever meets their needs is the real parent to THEM I have figured out. I have told both to call and visit their parents and I was TOLD they had to put them on their schedule. So I don't believe there is any certain way to predict what anyone calls anyone. I would say whatever works for the children---I would go with that.

  • BOTZ
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    When I was a single 20-something, I dated a guy who had been adopted at the age of 8 by his mother's parents. He called (and I presume still does) his adopted parents "mom and dad" and called his first mom (now, adopted sister) "Katie" (not her real name, but you get idea).

    He told me that he made the change "naturally" (his choice of word) at the time that the adoption took place. From relinquishment to adoption was less than 5 months for him -- which seems short by the standards of the time (early 70s) -- I'm guessing because it was all done privately (one attorney and two court visits) and "in family".

    I have a good friend (lifelong and still in touch) who was adopted by an aunt and uncle when she was 5 years old. She started off calling them "Mama [Initial of last name]" and "Daddy [Dad's first name]" -- and, no, I don't have any idea why it worked out that way.

    After a while she just started calling them Mom and Dad. She also started off by referring to her first mother as "my old mom" (remember, she was only 5) and eventually started calling her by her first name.

    Here's the interesting part: She as a brother (who was kept) by her first mother that is no relation to the family that adopted her. She still calls him her brother in addition to calling all of her adopted siblings (who are ALL adopted, btw) brothers and sisters.

    Those are the only two people I know personally who were adopted "in family" and both were older children when adopted.

    It's interesting to read all the responses.

    Take care~

    Source(s): Reunited adult adoptee and social worker.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it would depend on the situation and length of relationship between the grandparents and children. If the children are older and already call their grandparents Papa or Grandma I wouldn't think they would call them anything else. If they were babies or knew little or nothing of their biological parents before the adoption I could see calling the grandparents Mom and Dad or at least Mama Jen or Papa Dave, etc.

  • Teresa
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I know a custodial Grandmother that has raised the child from birth, and she has always been Mommy

    I also know of a similar situation where the child calls grandma Mommy, and his bio mom Mama.

    I've also seen aunts and uncles who adopt their neices and nephews go from auntie pam, to pam ,to mom over the first year of adoption. The kids need to be comfortable with what they call their guardian, and mom usually comes naturally in time

  • 1 decade ago

    My friend was adopted as a baby and called her grandparents mom and dad, and her sister/mom she called her sister or her mom depending on her mood!

    I also know of a girl who was adopted by her aunt when she was school age (3rd grade). She calls that woman mom and even changed her name so it fit in more with her new sisters/cousins!! I don't know what she calls her birth mom!

  • Willow
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I called my grandparents momma and daddy, but I didn't know I was adopted until I was 9. Their son, my bio father was refered to as "Your brother Ronnie who was killed in a car wreck when you were a baby so you don't remember him" Seriously, if I saw a pic of him and asked who it was, or heard the name Ronnie that was the speech I got until I was 4 or 5 (brainwashing much).

    My bio dad was refered to as Ronnie and I had no idea he had been married until I found out I was adopted and he was my bio dad.(well ok I didn't actually know he had been marrie, I hust dorta figured)

    Later when I let them knew I was adopted my bio mom was refered to by her first name as well.

    Now that I know my first mom I call her mom. Since I never met my first father when I speak of him he is refered to as my biological father or Ronnie.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.