Life Advice



Ask Amy: A decade later, age becomes an issue

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Trying to Help

Dear Trying: As world-changing as the “12-step” model pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous has been, some people are turned off by references to God, or “a higher power.”

Many programs inspired by the success of AA have adopted some of these basic truths and techniques, but have removed any religious references. is an extremely helpful resource for anyone looking for a non-religious recovery program. The site features a comprehensive list of books, blogs, essays, and a database of secular recovery programs – all pointed toward people like your friend.

Especially helpful is their “collection of alternative 12-steps,” which offers secular interpretations of AA’s 12-steps.

Your friend might be using her resistance to religion as a reason to avoid any recovery program, but you could certainly help her by pointing her toward the many secular options available.

Dear Amy: “Wondering” wrote to you with a question regarding whether she should tell her now adult children about their half-brother (who was adopted out as a baby).

Yes she should!

I have known that I was adopted since I was 10. I am now 71 and have been in contact with my 11 half-siblings (both paternal and maternal) for some years.


I found some through persistent research to determine who my birth-mother was, and some through DNA analysis, which gave me my birth-father.

As you said, this will come out sooner or later, and if she talks about it now, she will control the narrative.

– Adoptee

Dear Adoptee: Thank you for providing your important perspective. I hope that adoptive parents follow your advice.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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