Jan 26, 2009

Adoption Woes

Merriam defines adoption as adopt: to take by choice into a relationship ; especially : to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child.

With that you would think the courts would have a slightly different perception on adoption. Here in my state it's only a recent change that allows step parents to adopt directly. I've heard horror stories of adoption proceedings first hand from others and hope that my case doesn't hit the same kinds of bumps in the road. But the process does seem to be one that is exceedingly lengthy. It's tough for me to blog about this topic now because so much is still in the courts hands but it has been such a point of frustration for me that I feel it should at least be mentioned.

I just wish that the courts would look at each case with the initial perception that the adopting party is doing so willingly. This is often done out of love and compassion for the minor(s) involved. And in what I've seen always done with the child's interest at heart. But the stories I've been exposed to thus far seem to indicate that the perception of the court is that the child's biological parents are in some way superior just because they produced a child. While I don't want to indicate that it should be a trivial thing to separate a child from it's parents. I do think that the court would serve the public better if it truly viewed the case in the best interest of the child.

I absolutely despise the prefix "step", as it relates to defining family relations. Step parent seems to degrade the role to something less than what a parent would perform. The title step child seems to indicate that the individual is some how outside the borders of what a child is expected to be. The prefix "step" seems to lower the expectations of what ever title it precedes. I take great pride in the fact that people can't detect which of my children is a so called step child without being informed. And I never use the term step child unless it is absolutely necessary (as in legal proceedings) to properly define a relationship. So to all the people out there in the role of parent, accept your title as it should be. Defy the prefix and outperform the perceptions it drags along with it. God has no step children, why should you?

1 comment:

  1. My eldest son is a product of a step-parent adoption and like you, i despise the term "step". The prefix does have a way of degrading the role, especially in the situations where the step parent IS the PARENT, far superior in responsibility than the the biological counterpart who actually created the child.

    In contrast, not all step parents even want to "defy the prefix and outperform the perceptions". For the ones who do; out of love, out of desire, out of necessity, there should be a term different than for those who simply opt to marry someone who happens to have prior children and really only wants a sidekick-STEP-parenting role indefinitely.

    Kudos to you for being more than a *step*dad. keep jumping through the legal hoops, no matter how ridiculous they seem (and wow do some of them seem ridiculous, eh?). in the long run, the courts mean nothing - you are that girls FATHER. that's what matters. keep on keepin' on. :)