I am adopted; unless bureaucratic process is more important than love, security, and caregiving. I was adopted when I was 17 years old, a few months before turning 18. I found a stable family at a time when, traditionally, kids are leaving the home for the first time, off to start post-secondary adventures. Since I was taken in so close to being a legal adult it was decided by all parties that paperwork and the legal process wasn’t necessary. The story of how I found my family is sweet and pure and made for a really nice church play (Long story short on how said play came to be: I will do a lot for my drama kid). However, that will be a different post. stay tuned, it’s a good one.
Most people understand that these folks are my family, but not everybody. My most recent psychiatrist didn’t count my family as family, making it hard to answer their questions about my home life. A family law professional told me that my family doesn’t count, because they are not blood. An old therapist told me not to have my child call my parents her grandparents, because only blood counts.
The only criticism I would openly listen to would be from folks who were adopted without knowing their birth parents, as the term may be precious to them, and I would respect the thoughts coming from these experiences. Otherwise, these professionals whose ideas are too antiquated to be working with or talking about families, clearly value paperwork and regulations above caregiving. That is how undervalued caregiving is within neoliberal structures. I fear for the lack of care and compassion in the world. But I do not fear from the care and compassion in my life, because I have my family.
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