Al Trautwig and Parent Labels

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I actually kinda sympathize with Al Trautwig. Let me tell you why.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m adopted.

And we need to talk about it.

Not just my adoption, but adoption as a whole and family dynamics.

I’ll start with my story, for those of you who are new to me.

My Mother had MS. This was back in the 80’s when there weren’t very many medical advancements like today. My Father wasn’t in the picture. I was put into foster care at the age of 7 and adopted by the same people at the age of 12.

I’m now in my 30’s. When I talk about “my parents”, I’m referring to my adopted parents. My Mother is my Mother. My Father is my Father. It has always been this way for me. It was my normal.

Did I have 2 sets of “parents”? For me, the answer is yes.

Growing up, kids would ask questions about my “real” parents, as if my foster/adopted parents were fake or something. It is a concept not a lot of people really and truly understand. It’s hard to explain those things to kids. I knew my situation, but when you’re younger it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around.

Other than having to tell my friends, I had to tell my daughter. When Mini turned 7, she finally started poking into my history. She had never questioned anything before and thought it was normal to have seven grandparents. At first, she was very confused at first and had a ton of questions. She understands it all now.

When I heard the comments by Al Trautwig, I shook my head. I chuckled a bit, too. I understand what he thought he was saying. His words were not completely unique to me.

Mr. Trautwig is one of a big bunch of people who feel like they need to differentiate between biological and adopted parents.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t.

If a child has your last name, you’re their parent. It doesn’t matter if your name is on the first birth certificate or the second, you’re still their parent.

I could sit here and say things like “being a parent is more than just the name on an original birth certificate” or “if a child lives in your home and you have agreed to be responsible for them, you’re a parent”, but people know that already.

I hope that people who have already commented about this online are right and this opens up discussions.

Mom. Dad. Mother. Father. Adopted. Foster. Biological. Birth.

Whatever your “label”, we’re all parents.

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