Confession: I will roll my eyes, and say “it’s none of our business” over celebrity gossip, but secretly I love to read about it on the internet. Maybe it’s because my own life is so blessedly drama-free, I feel the need to enjoy some drama from afar. Or because I’m bored with my life. Either way, I will click on link after link and read all about the lives of people I do not know personally, nor will I ever. I always feel a little guilty speculating on their lives, as it is a little judgmental of me, but hey – they chose a life in the public eye.
So, this morning, I click on a link about the ongoing Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise divorce saga. It’s about how Katie Holmes is basically going to single-handedly bring Scientology down. Which I doubt will happen, but if it does: you go, girl. They are nuts.
However, what really stuck with me in this article (which can be found here, by the way), was that every time they referred to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s children, they always made a point to say “adopted children”. It isn’t exactly news that one factor of the demise of their relationship was the fact that they were unable to conceive, and went the adoption route, for which I applaud them. So, why, after all these years, does the press feel the need to bring it up in every single sentence written about them? Why not just call them their children?
I was adopted, and my parents never referred to me and my sister (who was also adopted) as their “adopted children”. We never called them “adopted parents”. We are their children, and they are our parents. Plain and simple. I mean, if a couple opts for artificial reproductive technology methods, you don’t refer to their children as their “in-vitro children” or their “surrogate-born children”. Why is being adopted any different?
Family is family, regardless of how that family comes together. You don’t need to be blood-bound - you don’t even have to be legally bound. I met my best friend Shey on a vacation at Disney World. She came to visit one year for a week in the summer, and by the end of the trip, she was family, plain and simple. My extended family includes the people at my church. I am an Auntie to my friend Val’s children, and Shey is an Auntie to my niece. Family is what you decide it to be, not society’s norms.
If a couple uses someone else’s sperm to help create their baby, is it still theirs? It only shares DNA with one parent. Why aren’t those kids singled out and have a stigma slapped on them? Biology.
As long as a couple is doing something biological in nature to obtain their children, it is still considered theirs. But to just take someone out of foster care and sign some papers and take them legally into their family means that, for some reason, they don’t really belong to you. Which is total bullshit. I have had people look at me with disbelief upon hearing that I was adopted – I am a lot like my parents, especially my dad. We sing together – people from church who didn’t know that I was adopted assumed it was a family trait that was passed down. Nope. Just the right people being brought together to make a family.
So, next time you start to refer to someone as an “adopted child” (mostly looking at you, media journalists everywhere!) remember that you are doing a great disservice by perpetuating the stigma that if a child is adopted, they are not really part of their family. Oh, and fuck you.
Also? I really hope Katie Holmes manages to help bring this fake “religion” down. Religions, at their core, are not about control, exclusion and money. Those are cults. Yes, there is a difference.