Dear Abby: My brother was adopted at birth through an agency, but he was never told. He’s in his mid-50s now. We have no other siblings. Our parents never felt my brother was emotionally strong enough to accept the news of his adoption. Our father passed on years ago, and our mother is now elderly.
From a health care point of view, I think my brother should know, but I don’t feel I have the right to tell him while Mom is living (she is adamant that he must not know, especially after so long). It seems wrong, however, to tell him after our parents are both dead and they can’t explain anything to him, and it may be too late for him to contact his birth parents. I’m sure he will be very angry, and I would prefer to keep the secret. Should I tell him he is adopted after our mother passes away? – In A Quandary
Dear Quandary: No, you should tell him NOW – while it may be possible for him to get the answers to the many questions he is sure to have from his mother.
Dear Abby: Many households no longer use landlines and rely on cellphones. It could save someone’s life if they would enter the phone number of the sheriff’s office of the county in which they reside to ensure there’s a backup to the frequently overloaded 911 system.
This is important, especially if you have two homes. However, it’s also a good idea for people who own a single residence. In rural areas, it can take a long time to locate someone calling from a cellphone, which is no replacement for a landline in an emergency. – Be Prepared
Dear Prepared: Thank you for the suggestion. Many people forget that cellphones – unlike landlines – are not connected to a network from which their location will automatically appear on a screen when they call an emergency number. With cellphones, the caller must VERBALLY give the dispatcher the location of the emergency.
–Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.