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Adoptees Are Reminded They Are Adopted When...

Updated on June 8, 2013

You Know You Are Adopted When....

Most adoptees do not think of themselves as adopted during there day to day activities. However, there are times the 2x4 adopted plank hits the adoptee right over their head reminding them of their adoptive status. Here are some situations that jars the adoptee to their adoptive identity.

When an adoptee goes to the doctor and they ask for their medical history.

Any time an adoptee sees someone in the medical profession they usually ask, "What is your medical history?" Especially for closed adoptions, most adoptees do not know the answer to this question. This question is asked at the following:

  • Doctor's Office
  • ER
  • Dentist Office
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Gynecologist
  • OB
  • Massage Therapist
  • Wanting to apply for life insurance
  • Joining the military
  • Tattoo Artist (ok, they are not a doctor, but they do ask for medical history. Why? Because they want to know of any clotting disorders before they start inserting ink in you through a needle.)

Sometimes the doctor writes in their notes, "Does not know medical history." What is bothersome about this statement is that it infers that the person can not remember their medical history.

I wish on forms, when you have to fill them out before even seeing a doctor or nurse they have a check box for the adoptee. It can simply say 'Adopted.'

When the adoptee is being introduce to a new friend of the family and they are standing next to their siblings or parents. The new family friend says, while looking at the adoptee, "You look nothing like your sister."

  • Remember this Seaseme Street Song? "One of these kids is not like the other, one of these kids is just isn't the same."
  • There is this uncomfortable silence and usually the adoptee says, "That's because I am adopted." Or the adoptive mother says, "That's my adoptive child."

When an adoptee tells someone they are adopted. The conversation continues as the adoptee talks about their mom and dad. The person they are talking with gets this confused look and says, "you mean your adoptive mom and dad."

  • When an adoptee says mom or dad almost always they refer to the parents who raised them
  • Putting a disclaimer in front of an adoptees adoptive parents seems to discredit the work and loyalty between the adoptee and adoptive parents
  • Because the adoptee was raised the majority or all their life with their adoptive parents, it feels and is their parents. They do not go around and say my adoptive parents when talking about their mom and dad who raised and cared for them.
  • Most often an adopteee will put the disclaimer in front of the birth parents when they talking about both sets of parents to make the distinction.

Every year on their birthday.

  • Birthdays are a happy occasion for any child. However, adoptees may also think about their birthday as the day they were also relinquished. Most will not tell anyone that this is on their mind.
  • The adoptee may also wonder if their birth mother is thinking about them on this day.
  • When someone asks the adoptee what was their birth like? Adoptees most often do not know their birth story.

Watching TV and a genealogy commercial comes on. The commercial talks about the great joy of learning about one's great ancestors and lineage.

  • Genealogy is "the study of one's ancestors--parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on back through history."
  • The adoptee is stumped. Some might really want to do a genealogy or family tree, but who's family does he research? The one he was raised in and it feels like his family and history? Or the one he has the blood connection to and the genes that connect him to his blood ancestors.
  • If they find they are related to Paul Revere from the adoptive family line, does that mean they are also related to Paul Revere?
  • The stories, holidays and family traditions are absorbed by the adoptee from their adoptive family, and yet the question remains, where do I come from?

When someone says, "Blood is thicker than water." Referring to family strength.

  • Most adoptees feel their family bond is just as strong and yet it hit's them they are not from the same blood line.
  • Blood IS thicker than water, but LOVE is thicker than blood. ~ Garth Brooks

When a family member needs a stem cell transplant, organ transplant or blood transfusion and you can not offer yours.

  • My dad went into kidney failure. He was on dialysis for over a year. He was in desperate need of a new kidney. I was not a match. Luckily, my parents gave birth after they adopted my brother and I. My sister was able to give my dad ten more years of quality life because of her gift of love given in a kidney.
  • Cancer, a body that is so ill and needs a new organ does happen. Adoptees can feel helpless when the family they love and where raised in is in need and they can not offer their tissue.
  • It also goes the other way. An adoptee can become seriously ill and needs a stem cell transfusion or the like. The adoptive parents can feel helpless longer to give their child anything that would make them better, but they are not a tissue match.

© Copyright Carly Sullens 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Submit a Comment
  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Everyday Miracles, wanting my medical history for my children was the reason why I sought and found my biological family.

  • Everyday Miracles profile image

    Becki Rizzuti 

    5 years ago from Indiana, USA

    The medical thing is always what hit me the hardest. I have a child who has had some medical difficulties and I couldn't explain my history to the doctors. I might need to get on finding out as much as I can, now that I have contact with my birth mother.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Hi Becky, Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment and I know you understand. Being adopted is something you 'get' by having the experience. You must be a fantastic mom to your daughter. Look forward to getting to know you more.

  • Rfordin profile image


    6 years ago from Florida

    I loved it. As an adopttee and and adoptive mother. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned how as adoptees were reminded every day. When I had the oppurtunity to adopt my oldest daughter I "knew" what she was up against to speak.

    Thanks for putting it all together in an informative hub!


  • fpherj48 profile image


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Carly.....WELCOME TO HUBPAGES!! I found you via your recent hub, "Bill Holland...."........Immediately followed and fanned you. I am eager to read all of your work.

    You are blessed.....with loving parents and family, an obviously wonderful upbringing, intelligence, talent and a burning desire to use your gifts in profound ways that benefit not only your life and that of your circle of loved ones.....But, your fellow man.

    It gets no better than this, Carly. Pleased and honored to meet such a stellar young woman.......Paula a.ka. "Ef.fer" and "Gram Dawg"

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Your cousins, I am glad the title drew you in and you read on. Thank you for the follow, I appreciate it, and enjoy finding so many wonderful people here at hubpages.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Teacher, I agree, just facing the facts head on is a lot easier then beating around the bush. If someone says they are adopted... they know they are adopted. It is ok to say and talk about.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Deborah, thank you my dear. I appreciate it very much. There are many wonderful writers and more so wonderful empathetic people here on Hubpages.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Rajan, Thank you so much for understanding this and sharing. I appreciate your kind words and understanding. Love Is so endearing.!

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 

    6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    for the people that have been adopted they can really relate.. this is a wonderful hub.. thank you for sharing your heart like teaches said.. blessings and hugs


  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    How true Carly. It's a shame that we as a society do not consider the adopted child to be one of the family. They needn't be reminded about this ever so often. I like your suggestion of having a checkbox for the adopted on forms.

    Also I like Garth Brook's line "Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than water".

    Love is so endearing.

    Voted up and awesome.

    Shared it.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing from your heart on this issue. I believe that doctors can make things a bit awkward for the adopted person, but it's good to know that by facing the facts you can overcome it. Love that you share how to deal with the process and discussion of adoption with others.

  • Your Cousins profile image

    Your Cousins 

    6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    The title of this hub really drew me in. You mentioned a lot of adoption experiences that I never would have thought about. I'll be following you.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    awwww Jules, thanks so much.

  • Julie DeNeen profile image

    Blurter of Indiscretions 

    6 years ago from Clinton CT

    Great job with this hub, as always. I'm working on a few adoption hubs for the apprenticeship and I will most definitely be linking to your hubs! xo

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Shalini, that is interesting, I love Mythology, and will look up this story. If you read more hubs I write I do talk about attraction and reuniting with family members.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    I found my birth mom, and I identify with my family who raised me. A hub for another day I suppose....

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Carter, thank you. I found my biological family, birth mom and birth dad, siblings etc., it is a strangeness to meet your blood 'family.' Any yet, family to me has always been the unit I was raised in, the good, the bad and the ugly. Family is about the group of people who have meals together, share the joys together, get on each other's nerves, want to spend holidays together etc.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    MayG, it is amazing how people fell they can say anything to another without being sensitive. If I was sarcastic I would probably respond to those people, "The reason why I do not have red hair is because my mom had a fling with the milkman."

  • shalini sharan profile image

    shalini sharan 

    6 years ago from Delhi

    this was a really interesting hub, this reminded of Hindu Mythology's Lord Krishna, He was born and brought up by not her own mother, but was very attached to the parents He lived with

  • unknown spy profile image

    Not Found 

    6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

    "love is thicker than blood.." I've known a few adoptees who stayed with the person who raised them even learning about their birth mother. :) Great hub.

  • carter06 profile image


    6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

    Gosh this is so interesting Carly I love it...things I hadn't thought about sister adopted my nephew when he was a baby and he has never considered anyone else as his mum...but this puts a whole new perspective on my thinking come at it from such a different angle...lots of votes...cheers

  • MayG profile image

    May Galnou 

    6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

    Great hub, voted up and interesting. Even though I'm not adopted, when I was a kid we were always stopped in the supermarket by strangers who commented that I was a complete ring-in, because all my three sisters had red hair and I didn't. Amazing they never stopped before commenting to think that perhaps I was adopted!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thanks hub sister. Sounds like you have a special connection with your mother. It is strange not to see or hear yourself reflected in anyone around you. When I gave birth to my son, he was the first blood relative I met. It was beautiful. It was the first time I can say and see, somebody has my eyes.

  • Becky Bruce profile image

    Becky Bruce 

    6 years ago from San Diego, CA

    This is beautiful! I have never seen this variation of "you know you are ..... if....." and I just love it. I'm sure it resinates with many adoptees, and for those of us who were not adopted it really opens our eyes to a world we don't know. Thanks for sharing, voting up!

  • Janine Huldie profile image

    Janine Huldie 

    6 years ago from New York, New York

    Carly, I am not adopted, but my cousin is and pretty much most of what you wrote in this article could apply to him. I can't even imagine what it would feel like not to know my family's medical background or not to look like anyone that I call family (I look just like my mom and growing up as much as I loved her, it would drive me crazy to hear this over and over). Very informative article though and have voted and shared too.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thanks Bill! Can you think of anymore? Last year I found a lump on my breast. I had to go get a mammogram and the whole bit. I was stressing out, I knew they were going to ask me if breast cancer runs in the family, because the likely hood of breast cancer increases if other women have it in your family. Luckily, the lump was due to me drinking too much coffee and ended up being nothing.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    True words all, Carly! Well done! I finally reached a point with doctors where I make a joke of it all, but when I was younger it was awkward for sure.


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