Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dear Abby Gets Schooled by Adult Adoptee

In a June 27 Dear Abby column, Abby sided with the adoptive dad (stepparent adoption) who was upset that his adopted son wanted to take back his biological father's surname:
Dear Real Dad: I strongly believe that the people who raise a child are that child's "true" parents, regardless of whether the child meets his or her birth parents. Is there any ill will between you and Noah? Could there be money or prestige connected with Noah's birth father's name, which could account for what's happened?

After investing 34 years of yourself in that child, you have reason to feel hurt. Family counseling might smooth some of this over. I am sorry for your loss.
Sheesh, nothing like attributing the worst possible motives for wanting a link to biological relatives, huh?  Well, Abby has now published responses she got to her advice, and here's one that's bang-on:
Dear Abby:

May I weigh in on the letter from Noah’s Real Dad in New York (June 27), whose adult adopted son wants to reclaim his original last name? I am an adult adoptee who searched for and found my birth family.

* * *

Unless you walk in an adoptee’s shoes you cannot judge their actions. After all, the adoption decision is made without the consent of the child. We also resent being treated like children after we are adults. Noah is a 34-year-old adult able to make his own choices and decisions.

Noah is fortunate that he knows his birth father and didn’t have to search a bureaucratic maze to obtain any information. Laws have been passed in several, not all, states allowing adoptees to get important information about their birth families that is necessary for taking care of ourselves and our own children. — Debbie In Florida


Rebecca Hawkes said...

Kudos to the letter writer. And thanks to you for posting this.

Amanda said...

Ah yes, I wrote into that one. And grumbled about it on my blog too lol (I am an ungrateful perpetual child who is planning on changing her surname too *insert evil laugh here*).

Were there more than just the two responses? No more than that are showing up for me. It just says adoptees and their families wrote in and one response from an adoptive parent below.

This guy was asking about his adult son and she got responses from adult adoptees, hope she publishes more comments than just the one who is a parent of minor adoptees.

Amanda said...

*I wrote to her about that one, rather

Anonymous said...

The AP response was perfect! But I do am disappointed she did not post more of the responses as her wording indicated there were more.

malinda said...

It's always possible that a particular paper will edit a syndicated column like Dear Abby, so I went looking for other online Dear Abby columns for that day -- here's the only one that I could find that had more than the adult adoptee's letter and the AP letter, and that extra letter supports Abby:

Look quick, because it's not a permanent URL -- just under "Most Recent," which will, obviously change!

Ashley said...

I have such a mixed reaction to this. While I think that Abby's response was terribly ill informed, I can also see how the father was feeling. As someone who became a mother through adoption, I can see how the father would feel rejected by his son reclaiming his birth name. I can also understand why the son would want to do so. I in no way agree with Abby's response, and I can see what a sticky situation this is. I hope that both Noah and his father can come to terms with this in a way that makes them both happy.

arlette ross said...

I'm an adoptee. I think there is one really important ithing missing here. We as aopteeshave feelings deep seeded feelings that no one can possibly relate to or understand as we are unable to process them ourselves. hen my parents adopted me I quickly learned it was all about me and choosing to give me a great life which they did. They selflessly never hindered or questioned any of my intentions or motives because they truly adopted me picked me knowing one day I may not be able to explain my feelings or the decions or choices I would make whether right or wrong in their eyes. They had faith in me that because they loved me so much and were truly selfless in adopting me that one day I would recognize any errors of my ways because they knew they raised me the best way they were able to with unconditional love. Meaning accepting me and my choices without condition because they truly loved and believed that I would always find my way. And you know what? After call the bad choices and self destructive behaviors that may have been so painful to them at the time I grew up just great. They are proud of me for the fifty year old woman I've become and trust me when I say it took me long after thirty to understand my choicesbut they had faith and together with their faith and unconditional love they know I love them back. Unconditionally. Have faith.... be selfless and unconditional because some of us who are adopted don't understand our own feelings let alone have a grip.on our identity. With all that's in my heart I sign as arlette Sanchez Ross a very grateful and imperfect adopted from Albuquerque nm.

arlette ross said...

And I am educated so I apologize for my spelling. I'm typing on a cell phone....