I understand the need for disclaimers in advertisements. They are done to clarify so that the company is not accused of misleading the public in their ads. The disclaimers are little asterisks or other symbols in a less that full disclosure statements in the main part of the ad and at the bottom of the page in small font the disclaimer symbol is first and a description follows.
Ads from car dealerships, mobile or land line phone companies, health industry ads, special offer ads of all varieties use the disclaimers. These disclaimers are required by law and help companies avoid lawsuits…
So why must adoptees use disclaimers? I have come up with a couple of common mild statements made by adoptees that seem to require disclaimers and have included hypothetical reply statements to show the need for the dreaded disclaimer.
First disclaimer: This is not aimed at any person and I readily acknowledge that there are many adoptees and parents who regardless of their feelings think adoptees should have the right to know their family and would never make statements like this.
Many adoptees feel a loss of their family by birth
Reply by adoptee: I don’t feel a loss but I had good parents, can you provide research that backs up your use of MANY ADOPTEES? I know other adoptees who did not feel loss.
Reply by parent: My child is happy and well adjusted so she/he does not feel a loss, you must have had a bad experience.
Reminder to self – unless I want to use disclaimer detailing out how many MANY is by means of the dictionary definition of MANY, I should always use the term SOME.
I always wanted to search for my family
(note I changed to singular to avoid the “MANY” comments – self censor works well)
Reply from adoptee: I never felt the need to search because I had great parents and never felt the need to search because I was loved and made to feel special and chosen. ~ OR ~ I only searched to get medical history before I had children but I had no desire to search for other reasons.
Reply from parent: My child has said she/he has no interest because I am her mommy and we are her family.
Reminder to self – either note ‘for medical history only’ or include disclaimer detailing out how much I love my family and would not ever ever ever wish to replace them.
And remember that if using the add on ‘for medical history only’ be ready for a parent to state they have two pages of medical history taken from a teenager that obviously is complete and includes knowledge of what has yet to happen to any family members…remember that there is NO NEED to SEARCH FOR MEDICAL REASONS.
I want to know who I look like and who I got my traits and mannerisms from
Reply by adoptee: I don’t need to know who I look like because my parents made sure I developed a strong sense of my own identity.
Reply by parent: Lots of families don’t look or act alike. My sister looks nothing like me and neither of us resembles our parents.
Reminder to self – whatever…perhaps use the disclaimer I have always been curious if I look like anyone else, not a big deal, just curious. Better still always include the disclaimer sentence regarding how in both mom and dads families you can tell they are related because they all look ALIKE…that may help…or not…nothing really seems to change some ones mind.
I want to know my roots and where my family comes from, the nationality of my ancestors
Reply by adoptee: My adoptive family is my family and besides I am American – what is the big deal.
Reply by parent: I don’t know anything about my family history – why can’t you be happy with your families history.
Reminder to self – apparently ancestry is not really necessary or important and there are no genealogists or family history websites and no one should create family trees or keep family stories alive – history is not important – what is important is family. I must be just mal-adjusted and angry and lashing out. Cannot come up with a disclaimer because it is so obvious that I am not in the minority here but being subjected to a closed minded person.
I want to know my family and who I was supposed to be
Reply by adoptee: I was meant to be with the family I am with now. ~ OR ~ God meant me for me to be placed with my family.
Reply by parent: I am sorry you had a bad experience and must have had bad parents. What did they do wrong?
Reminder to self – always include the disclaimer that you love your family and cannot imagine a different life than what you had. And if the parent asks the question of why you wish you were not adopted, regardless of the disclaimer you used – respond with yes and no, and that it is possible to love your family and realize the loss that would be to you, and still desire to have not been adopted and to have lived the life you were born into.
I want to meet my mother and father and know my story
Reply by adoptee: I have no desire to meet my birthmother or birthfather and my parents told me my story.
Reply by parent: I am sorry you had a bad experience, what did your parents do wrong?
Really – why can’t we simply have the right to feelings of pain, loss of identity, loss of family, grief over what was meant to be but was not. Why is it so necessary to make adoptees feel that they are mal-adjusted, ungrateful, mean and hateful for wanting a biological connection to them? Biological connections make us who we are – how can that desire be a bad thing when we did not choose it? We were born into one family and raised by another but we still are part of the first and by default part of the second so why not acknowledge both are who we are? Why are we the ones stuck in the middle? Why is it that our placements were ‘in the best interests of the child’ but once we become adults those ‘best interests’ are denied? Why?
Why is it that the adoptees who claim no interest or loss or need to know are the most adamant and vocal? Why is it necessary to repeat over and over that I am not like other adoptees who want to search, etc. Sometimes I think of that old saying “he doth protest too much” and wonder if they ever feel the need if they will deny that need to save face…
Why is always and either/or – why can’t we have both?