Like Father, like Son?

How likely are adopted children to emulate the behavior of their biological parents? Have you ever observed an adopted child with attitudes, preferences, shared traits, and behaviors similar to the birth father or mother?

Richard’s adoptive mother nick-named her son “Good-time Charlie” because he was passionate about food, wine, girls, and music. He had a big smile, and he was handsome and well-liked.

The origin of the expression “like father, like son” comes from a biblical proverb in the book of Ezekiel 16:44.

Good-time Charlie was the most distinguished boy in the neighborhood. His eyes were bright, and his smile prominent. He had pride and confidence in his work. He was always well groomed, and his shoes shined. He was known for being open, honest, and sincere. He had good communication skills and the ability to tell a good story. Good-time Charlie had a good sense of humor that made everyone laugh. He had a diverse taste in music and natural intelligence filled with random knowledge. Others admired his strong work ethic, and his passion and enthusiasm for good food, music, and true friendship were contagious. Charlie had confidence in himself and was never shy, indecisive, or weak. He was a person of integrity, honesty, faithful, with respect for others. Even at a very young age, Charlie exhibited personality traits reminiscent of a mature celebrity.

His adoptive parents owned a paint store. They worked tirelessly six or seven days a week and routinely arrived home exhausted. Their house was plain and simple, and they never went on vacation. They never ate at restaurants and had the habit of eating microwave dinners and leftovers on TV trays.

Charlie preferred delicious well-prepared meals, fancy table settings, wine, and candlelight. He was a take-charge kind of person with exemplary people skills. Without advice, consultation, or supervision, he excelled at meal preparation through hard work, diligence, and experimentation, showing tremendous natural ability as a great chef at an early age.

When Charlie was thirty, he became curious about his biological family. He discovered his father was an award-winning chef at a prestigious restaurant. Charlie and his father had many things in common, including appearance, personality, and remarkable similarities in food and dining preferences, even though they had never met.

Have you ever observed other adoptees with personality traits, likes and dislikes, and habits remarkably similar to their biological relatives?

Judith Land


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in adopted, adoptee, Adoption, Children, Judith Land, Life, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Like Father, like Son?

  1. My adoptive mom (who is my bio paternal grandmother) has told me of many similarities between myself and both of my bio parents. I haven’t spent much time with either of them, and certainly hadn’t in my teenage years when she reported several ways in which my bio dad and I were similar. It was really cool to learn those things and I’m grateful to have remained in my family so that I had a connection to my biology and origin!

    Thanks for sharing this essay about Charlie – biology, and our incomplete knowledge of it, is fascinating!

    • Judith Land says:

      My birth mother loved to spread peanut butter on chocolate and I craved Reese’s Pieces. We seemed to be able to read each other’s minds. Our voices were similar. My sister and I exhibited some of the same body language. Our similarities were overwhelming and continued to show up over the years as we got to know each other better. Scientists say that personality and behavior traits tend to favor the adoptive parents for the first eighteen years, but as the years go by heredity becomes more evident.

  2. Great post! About four years ago I discovered I was adopted! I met my bio parents and learned a lot about myself. My birth mom is a professional singer (I’m the only one in my “adopted” family that has a voice). My bio dad and his family have been engaged in activism—me also. My bio dad also had the same type of employment as me. I also have a lot of his mannerisms and so does my oldest son. He also come from a family of visual artists and writers and I a visual artist and a writer too! Also my speaking voice is identical to my bio mom’s. So amazing!

    Because I discovered I was adopted and because I met my bio parents I have so much more confidence as I was always the odd one in my family. I throughout my life I asked my “adoptive” parents why my talents and physique was different then the rest of my family. I always felt deep love from my parents but always felt out of sync with my family. Thanks again for this post. BTW- I love Reese’s Pieces too! 😋

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