Adoptee connections prompt – sort of…

17 Nov


November 17th prompt…Adoptee connections

Did you know many adoptees growing up? Do you know more now? How have adoptee friendships (online or in-real-life) impacted your experience? How do you generally make adoptee connections?

The prompt isn’t sparking anything that fits the questions, but I wanted to talk about something kind of related, it’s an adoptee connection – sort of.

There was an on-line conversation about adopting the children of a very close relative that passed away.  That they wanted to change the children’s names.  The advice was varied from “only do it if you really feel you have to” –  “to go for it” – but even those cautioning against it came from two different places.  The point was brought up that the children have lost so much, would be lost and confused, and then lose their names, their identity, as well.  They asked how would they explain changing the name their mother gave them – which is very wonderful and I applaud them for saying it – except for the fact that one tied it specifically that it was important because it was a close relative who was the mother who passed away…

What is the difference if the child was related or not?  Why was being related important?  Every single child who is adoptable, has also lost enough…

Why is it okay to change any child’s name when they become adoptees – if it isn’t okay to change the name a mother gave – just because she was a very close relative?  Why did just those children lose so much, and how could they take away the name their mother gave them?  Somehow because it was a close relative, it made it different, and it shouldn’t have, every single adoptable child has already lost enough and it is a tragedy. 

Every child should be offered the same respect and understanding that being adopted is a confusing time (to say the very least).  That they will be lost, and losing their name and identity may add to the loss.  It bothered me because even though denial that blood matters is predominant in the adoption community – deep inside of some – being as it was a “relative” somehow gives more status to think of the child as more worthy of respect, and that the loss was more tragic.

It just struck me as wrong – every child losing their family is tragic…every single one.


Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

10 responses to “Adoptee connections prompt – sort of…

  1. kellie3

    November 18, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I hope I don’t offend anyone with what I say, but the name changing thing gets to me, too. You make an excellent point, and I would even go further and say a child being adopted within their own family isn’t losing as much as a child adopted by strangers. They still have contact with genetic relatives.
    I don’t think it’s okay to change a name once it’s been given. I’ve never adopted a child, but I have adopted plenty of animals and I’ve never changed their names. It never seemed right to me, and that was before any human adoption stuff came into my life.


    • TAO

      November 18, 2012 at 12:40 am

      Kellie – I’m not much for changing the name either for a child unless there is a safey reason to do so and then by all means – keep the child safe – or it is a completely off the charts bad for the child name like a drug name. You are correct that the child remains in their genetic line – albeit a sidewise move perhaps – but same line.

      I kind of waiver on the newborn issue – I wasn’t legally named so of course I had to be named – Baby Girl wouldn’t be a great legal name to keep. What I disagree with – my bias is showing here – is collaborative naming. I would rather the mother name her child, and the child be renamed, than collaborative – a naming is sacred and something very intimate. Oh and sometimes that collaborative naming even includes the adopting parents last name which just makes me go ick…

      Having problem spelling so disregard typo’s…


      • Kellie

        November 18, 2012 at 5:32 am

        Maybe I’m more sensitive about it because my granddaughter’s adoption was a relative adoption, and they changed her name after my daughter named her. Granted, my daughter told them it was okay, but that was before the adoption and before she knew anything. We still call her by the name my daughter gave her because we don’t know her by any other name.


  2. andy

    November 18, 2012 at 12:58 am

    You have some great points. I was named by my birth mother,and my name was changed completely 6 weeks later when I was adopted. I’ve always felt a connection to my original name, but I don’t feel that it is “me”. I also don’t think that a child’s name should be changed once the child identifies with that name…. in the case of older children adoptions.


    • TAO

      November 18, 2012 at 1:27 am

      Thanks Andy…touchy subject to broach but seems like we agree.


  3. Luanne

    November 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    How do you feel about the fact that a surname changes when someone is adopted?


    • TAO

      November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I do think the surname needs to change unless the child is old enough at the time of adoption to have the cognitive maturity to decide otherwise. You could retain the original surname as a second middle name or other method if you wanted to…so much of it is dependent on the circumstances and there isn’t any right answer.

      It’s hard to have a combined discussion of both “child” adoption – where the child already knows their name and has an identity woven around it, and “infant adoption” which I have already stated I waiver on – but do not appreciate collaborative naming – my own personal bias…

      What my main point of the post, which perhaps I failed to explain, was the enhanced perception of loss for the child, and the conversation revolving around respect given to reducing the level of that loss by not taking away the name and how the child might feel losing the name the mother gave them. The entire context of all of that was wrapped up solely because it was a relatives child they were adopting, as in it really would only apply to relative adoption. My point was the respect of the loss and the worthiness of that recognition and mitigating the impact – should be extended to every adoptable child – not just when it is a relative adoption.


      • TAO

        November 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

        Still feel like I am not explaining my point well enough – it really wasn’t the renaming or keeping the name – it was more about respecting every adoptable child equally when it comes to what they have lost – mitigating the level or impact of that loss the best you can by whatever means – for EVERY child – not only when it is a relatives child…


        • Kellie

          November 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm

          I think you explained yourself well. Sometimes I have a tendency to hyperfocus on certain issues. The name thing has become a big issue for us within our family which is why I focused on it. I also didn’t mean to make light of any loss of an adoptee that has been adopted by a relative. I know they have lost as well. In our situation, our grandaughter has lost tremendously. All adoptees lose.


  4. lopk

    June 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I am adopted and I have not known any adoptees I use to think I was the only one in this world and still feel like it



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