Stop Saying Adoptive Parents Aren't Real Parents

Stop Saying Adoptive Parents Aren't Real Parents

Being a parent is about so much more than being biologically related.

USA Today

Simone Biles has taken over the Olympics with her bubbly personality and her gold medal abilities. The gymnast has been open about her adoption by her biological grandparents, though she wholeheartedly sees them as her true parents. Sadly, Simone was subjected to some of the stigma that many adoptive parents and children face. NBC announcer Al Trautwig, while covering the gymnastic qualifying rounds, continually failed to refer to Simone's parents as her parents. When later called out by viewers of the competition on Twitter, he responded: "They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents".

Though the tweet was later deleted, it represents a common (and quite offensive) overlook by many people who aren't familiar with adoption. Children in the system can come from a variety of backgrounds, abusive, neglectful, or just biological parents who weren't ready to take care of a child. The people who adopt them may be related to the child or they may have never before me them, but one thing is generally true. The child becomes a part of the family and most adoptive parents love the child as if they were their own. However, there can be lots of identity conflicts with children that are adopted and having people publicly questioning the validity of adoptive parents can be damaging.

Many children have trouble understanding why their birth parents didn't want them despite the many reasons their biological parents may have given them up. While they may love their adoptive parents, they may still question their adoption. Some try to find their birth parents, some have trouble accepting a place in an adoptive family and some fit into their adoptive family as if they had always been there. No two adoption cases are the same but more than likely parents would agree that the adoption process is difficult enough without having to worry about if they're considered "real" parents.

The belief that some parents are real and others aren't is slightly ridiculous. Giving birth or contributing in the conception of a child doesn't make you a parent. Unconditional love and the willingness to sacrifice anything necessary for your child's happiness is what makes you a parent. The validity of parents isn't defined by some news anchor or the general public, it's defined by the love those parents have for their child. That's why even if they may have no blood relations to their child at all, the adoptive parents are truly the child's parents.

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