This topic contains 38 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by What?! 1 week, 5 days ago.
January 7, 2019 at 11:22 am #814766
I don’t think knowing some details makes this legitimate. It’s so backward and wrong to go about it this way, regardless.January 7, 2019 at 11:43 am #814767
LW Looking up Somali customs shows that in times of need an older daughter is often “sold” for a dowry. The family gets money from marrying their daughter. Often the daughters are young teens. I don’t believe they are sold for adoption.January 7, 2019 at 5:55 pm #814813
Agree with the chorus of folks thinking scam. A good therapist should never do this, so this lady is either a quack or a scam artist.
Also doing the math on ages, this “therapist” contends that your mom was sold at age 3… I think by 3 you’re old enough to remember significant trauma, which I imagine getting traded to a new family would qualify as, so I don’t see how this would be a surprise to your mom if true. (Although it could be a secret mom ketp from the OP– my mother was adopted and while she knew her whole life, she didn’t tell my siblings and I until we were older so that we would be old enough to understand that her adopted parents are our “real” grandparents in the way that matters.)
I’d tell the therapist not to involve you in this, strongly suggest you think this is a scam, and then hope it goes away. Maybe tell your mom (as if making conversation, nothing too pointed) that you heard about this scam going around affecting Somali-americans giving some general details about alleged adoptions and long-lost siblings as a way to protect her if these people contact her directly.January 7, 2019 at 8:24 pm #814828
children who often are involved in serious trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, being sold etc) may often block out the events. the brain subconsciously does this to protect the person. a lot of people, however, have ‘recovered memories’ as they get older which can be triggered by smells, places, etc although they aren’t always accuarate. that being said, you should research the therapist intensively first. then get a DNA test done. don’t put your mother through any pain before you know this can 100% be true. it may take a while and a lot of research. or just don’t tell your mother at all. however, you can be holding her back from what can potentially be a good experience in meeting her sister. that really depends on your mother’s personality. and again this all depends on what your research etc says.January 7, 2019 at 8:35 pm #814829
She would not be holding her mother back. It is not her responsibility to research this person or tell her mother.
Can you imagine having looked for and found a sibling? Why on earth would you have a therapist contact that person’s child? It’s so preposterous it must be a scam.January 7, 2019 at 8:48 pm #814833
This cannot be legit. I mean the letter could be fake, but the “therapist’s” story definitely is. Therapists don’t operate like that, but a young person may not know that, and that’s why they targeted the daughter. Do NOT go to your mom with this nonsense.January 7, 2019 at 8:59 pm #814836
I’m not saying that it’s not a scam. the daughter obviously feels some responsibility to be coming here in the first place. the therapist is definitely in the wrong and is most likely a scam. doing research about it still won’t hurt.January 7, 2019 at 9:02 pm #814838
It’s a waste of her time and energy.January 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm #814921
This has all the markings of a sophisticated online scam. No therapist would reach out to you to get to your mom. This screams all kinds of ethics and even hippa violations. Don’t engage with this person further they’ll only mark you in their books as a potential mark for future scams. *i was a Bank fraud investigator for years.January 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm #814922
I’d only proceed if you feel conflicted and will regret not checking this out. The only way to really know is to have her submit a DNA test to a company and you would have to submit a sample to the same company and then wait to see if she appears as your aunt.
The DNA companies do list relatedness. My dad comes up listed as father, my sister as sister, my kids as son and daughter, my aunt is listed as an aunt and my cousins are listed as first cousins. At that degree of relationship the relatedness estimate is very accurate. The only way they could make the match at the level of aunt to niece is if they had DNA from an aunt. You won’t need to know how much DNA you would have in common with an aunt.(It is 25% with a slight variation up or down) The test will tell you the relationship if you are related. Not only should you come up as aunt/niece if you did a test through 23andMe you should come up with the same mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is comes only from the mother so your mom and any full sister would have the same mitochondrial DNA and that is also the mitochondrial DNA you would have gotten from your mom. They call it the maternal haplogroup.
I bet if you mentioned needing a DNA test they would disappear or suddenly start mentioning things like they weren’t full sisters or in some other way diluting the relationship. It is possible a distant cousin or former neighbor in Somalia knows about your mom and figured they could scam you.January 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm #814923
If a DNA test is mentioned, the scammer will probably ask for money to be transferred to cover the costs. I really think this is a scam. This reads just like a typical advance fee fraud scam (ie Nigerian Prince scam)January 8, 2019 at 5:12 pm #814929
@Bek7bek the only way this could violate HIPPA is if her mother is a client to the therapist. If this is in fact legit then the therapist had permssion by her client to contact OP. Also @skyblossom is not talking about giving a DNA test to the therapist, shes talking about another resource to help provide family history with DNA results. My sisters therapist has contacted us a few times to discuss some issues but has permssion by my sister, her client, to do so. Of coarse she isn’t personal or opinionated but strictly matter of fact. We Also can call her if we have concerns. Thats the privacy waiver my sister signed to allow this to happen. So yes, therapist can reach out or help intervene.