I'm not a Lawyer | Main | Carnival of the Recipes #51

August 06, 2005

Is it time to discuss adoption again?

Since the children of Judge and Mrs. Roberts are being discussed around the blogosphere because they are adopted, it seems like a good time to discuss common misconceptions, misunderstandings and mistakes about adoption that I have run into as an adopted person.

I have actually had people say the following things to me from the time I was a little girl:

1. Don't you wish you were a "real' child.

2. Adopted children are "unwanted" children. What was wrong with you?

3. Not enough people want to adopt children, so that makes abortion moral and okay.

4. Haven't you looked for your "real" parents.

5. You must be abnormal if you don't want to find their "real" parents.

6. Are you like The Bad Seed?

7. Being adopted must make you feel like you are worthless.

8. Why don't pro-life people adopt children?

9. Adopted children are not "really" part of the family.

10. Adopted children cannot inherit anything from their adoptive parents..

Most of my readers will agree that these are stupid-ass statements. However, I know that I'm not the only one with a relative who insisted that adopted children are not part of a family, and therefore, cannot inherit everything.

My Aunt Jean Carr was such a person. Awful woman. My mom's only sister, and therefore, my godmother. Aunt Jean sold World Book Encyclopedias when I was in grade school. Rather than buy me a Christmas gift each year, she would give me one of the free World Book Year Books that she got for selling so many books. Fortunately, I love to read, and I'd read them from start to finish.

I was the first granddaughter on my mom's side. My Grandmother gave me her sterling silver tea service when I got married because I was the first to marry and the oldest granddaughter. Because my husband and I lived in a small apartment, Grandmother let me store it at her huge old house in St. Louis.

Grandmother died.

Aunt Jean stole the Tea Service and let my mom know that it belonged to her daughter, as she was a 'real' grandchild.

Fortunately, her husband, Uncle Dick, disagreed and took it from Aunt Jean and returned it to me.

I didn't realize the full extent of my Aunt's hatred of me and my sister until Mom died. Aunt Jean stole several items that we were to inherit from my mom that she had inherited from our grandmother. She never returned them.

Some years later, when Daddy died, Aunt Jean threatened to protest the Daddy's will - which left everything to my sister and I (we were his only children, after all). I was livid and I have not spoken to her or any of her children since then.

People like my 'evil Aunt Jean' (as we call her) are responsible for many misconceptions about adoption.

Adopted children have the same inheritance rights as any other child. Adopted children have birth mothers who cared enough about life to let their child have one. Adoptive parents have to go thru hell and back to adopt a child - the checks they have to go through are very difficult - unless, of course, you are a movie star and have a ton of money.

Well, I'll let the rest of you discuss this subject, I have got to get out of bed (John brought me brunch in bed and we have wireless and I'm spoiled) and get dressed (yes, I am bloggin' nekkid!) and do stuff.

Update: I almost forgot this one - my mom's family, the LeMaster family, goes back to the American Revolution. My Aunt Jean let me know every time she had a chance that I was not eligible to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) because I am not a 'blood' relative.

Heck, I wouldn't want to be in the darn dar anyway!

This is what their website states about membership and adoption:

Q. I'm adopted can I still become a member?
A. Yes, but only through your birth parents' lineage, not that of your adopted family. All lineage for DAR membership must be bloodline descent.

I suppose all DAR members are the equivalent of an AKC registered dog, eh?

Posted by Beth at August 6, 2005 01:19 PM