Adoption

Offensive friend

So, I was just chatting with a male friend of mine.  He's not married yet, but made some comment about needing to settle down and have kids eventually because he was the only one who could "carry on the family name" to give the family grandkids and great-grandkids.  I said, don't you have a brother?  He said, "He doesn't count, because he doesn't have our French Canadian genes.  He's adopted, you know."  My jaw dropped, so I attempted to get him to clarify this a little (hoping that he didn't mean it as bad as it first sounded), but he just dug himself more of a hole and tried to persuade me that his younger brother is not really his brother, and that his brother's kids wouldn't really be part of the family, since his brother is adopted.  He actually told me that he doesn't really consider his brother to be his brother, because he's adopted.

Indifferent

I told him that was really offensive, and he couldn't fathom why it would be.  It really makes me sad that he thinks that about his brother.   My younger siblings are adopted, and I've never thought of them as anything other than my siblings.  Sure, we're not genetically related, but we're still siblings... I feel so sorry for his younger brother. 

Re: Offensive friend

  • That's so sad and wrong!


  • That is so sad. I have a coworker who always points out that her niece is adopted. I guess it is because her niece makes bad choice. I finally told her it was offensive to me and I would appreciate it if she would not longer say that in front of me. She and I are somewhat close so she understood and hasn't done it since. 
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  • That's awful. His brother has just as much right to carry on the last name as he does. Eesh. When I was younger my cousin made a comment to me about I wasn't really family because I was adopted. I never quite forgave him for that. He really hurt my feelings. I never felt that I was any less a family member because I was adopted.
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  • That is terrible!! My adopted cousin was never looked at twice when it came to family matters! She IS and will always BE my cousin!
  • That's just...messed up.

    How did his parents never bash his head about this?  Mine would have if it had been a cousin, let alone a brother.

    (I mean, sometimes it is important...I've had the health history conversations w/ dad..."wait, didn't both Cousin C AND Cousin M have heart-attacks in their 30's?  do I need to put thta on my medical paperwork?"  "no" "but...that's not normal"  "they're adopted, remember?"  "why would I remember that?"  "from when they came home..."  "they're older than I am; I don't remember them coming home.  In fact, I don't think I had any idea they were adopted"   "oh.  Well, it wasn't important.  Except for the medical stuff" )

  • imageGBCK:

    That's just...messed up.

    How did his parents never bash his head about this?  Mine would have if it had been a cousin, let alone a brother.

    I'm certain that his mother *would* bash his head if she had heard him talking like that or knew he thought that about his brother.

  • On my dad's side of the family, there are 3 grandkids - me, and two cousins.  We're all only children.  One of the cousins and I were both adopted, so only one grandchild is a biological grandchild.

    When my grandmother died, she left her entire estate to "her only grandchild" - the bio one.  Apparently, she never thought of my other cousin or me as her grandchildren.  FWIW, I was 25 when she passed away, and I'm the oldest of the grandchildren.

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  • imageMichelleL1118:

    On my dad's side of the family, there are 3 grandkids - me, and two cousins.  We're all only children.  One of the cousins and I were both adopted, so only one grandchild is a biological grandchild.

    When my grandmother died, she left her entire estate to "her only grandchild" - the bio one.  Apparently, she never thought of my other cousin or me as her grandchildren.  FWIW, I was 25 when she passed away, and I'm the oldest of the grandchildren.

    OMG.  That's so sad and wrong!

  • imageGBCK:

    How did his parents never bash his head about this?  Mine would have if it had been a cousin, let alone a brother.

    I have a strong suspicion this type of thinking may be BECAUSE of his parents.  Makes you wonder how differently the adopted child was treated growing up. . .

    I think adoptive parents have a humongous impact on how children grow up to view their adopted siblings, so I bet this attitude permeates throughout their entire family.  How sad.

    I hope that our (hopefully) more enlightened awareness of this issue will make those of us adopting now (versus years ago when attitudes about adoption were quite different) much more sensitive to the lasting harm that this type of thinking engenders.

    2 years TTC with 5 losses, 1 year recovering, 6 months applying for adoption approval, and almost a year waiting for a placement. Then, a miracle BFP at age 36!


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  • Ok, I'm going out on a limb here.. it is possible he was adopted much later in life and your friend was older and already out of the house? (not that it makes it better...)

    My FIL had a sister who was adopted at the age of 13 but he was already out of the house and thousands of miles away, so he had a hard time "connecting" with her.  Well she has since died, but no one keeps in touch with her kids.  Their family is JUST fil and his bio sister (who never married and has no kids) and we never have family get togethers, but I always thought it was strange.

    FIL loved this sister of his, but just never really knew her or her family.

    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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  • imageMichelleL1118:

    On my dad's side of the family, there are 3 grandkids - me, and two cousins.  We're all only children.  One of the cousins and I were both adopted, so only one grandchild is a biological grandchild.

    When my grandmother died, she left her entire estate to "her only grandchild" - the bio one.  Apparently, she never thought of my other cousin or me as her grandchildren.  FWIW, I was 25 when she passed away, and I'm the oldest of the grandchildren.

    oh my gosh!!!!! that is awful! I am so sorry, that must have made you feel terrible...

    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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  • ps I am not in ANY way suggesting your friend isn't being offensive or hurtful, I was just wondering if there was more to the story.
    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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  • imageMayDayGirl:
    ps I am not in ANY way suggesting your friend isn't being offensive or hurtful, I was just wondering if there was more to the story.

    It's a fair question.  As far as I know there is nothing more to the story....  My friend was 6 when his brother was adopted -- he wasn't older or out of the house.  His brother was 6 months old when adopted, so they are 5.5 years apart in age.  I've known the family for ages, and the adoptive mom has never treated her sons any differently that I know of (adoptive dad passed away years ago and I never met him).  She's a great lady and loves both her sons very much.  I strongly suspect that the mom doesn't know exactly how my friend feels toward his brother... she knows that they are not very close now that they are adults, but I doubt she knows the full story.

  • I'm a regular on the IF board and a lurker here as my DH and I are trying to decide between IVF and adoption if our next two IUIs are both BFNs (enough acronyms for you?).  Anyway, I had to come out of the lurker closet to agree with all of you that this is a ridiculous and offensive attitude!  My mother's sister married a man with 2 children.  Although my aunt never legally adopted the children, she and my uncle had sole custody.  They were, are, and always will be my cousins.  Family is family, and sometimes genetics and even legalities have nothing to do with it.  
  • My guess is that he meant that his brother couldn't pass on the family genes.

    This makes me flash back to DH saying that about himself (only child) when we first started discussing adoption. I reminded him that is parents had illnesses quite young and that he's balding with skin issues (not as bad as it sounds in writing) - I asked "are those the genes you're looking to pass on?"

    So if that's what he meant and he's a perfect health specimen as is his family tree then maybe he is right (but what's the chance of that?)

    Stick out tongue

  • That sucks...

    I'm adopted (not adopting, just browsing posts). I had a cousin tell me once that my other cousin was her only one left and I said, "what about me?" she told me I didn't count because I wasn't her "real" cousin. We don't talk anymore... That was the only time anyone's ever said something like that to me and I was very very hurt.

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  • what a heartbreaking post.  one of the most hurtful things i've ever heard. 

     

    After 7 years of marriage and 5 unsuccessful IVFs, we have been granted the gift of adopting a baby boy, born 4/21/11.
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  • Now I'm all frightened someone will say something idiotic to my future child ! This is horrible the first story and the others that have been told ! Seriously what is this the middle ages passing on of "family name" like some royal clan or something ?! I mean yeah it's cool to have a name carry on, but really it lives on through other branches and it's all 6 degrees of separation anyway. 

    IMG_1373 Cool Winston
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