On Yahoo today (Oct. 25th), there’s an article about two girls who were switched at birth. After reading this article, there are a few things that I want to point out.
1. GMA/Yahoo’s characterization of parenthood.
The article reads like it’s surprised that these girls want to stay with the mothers that raised them as opposed to their “real” parents. Let’s break this down into two things.
A). If I were to find out that my parents were not my biological parents, I would still consider them my parents. Sure, I’d have a new set of parents to send Christmas cards and to visit, but my parents are the ones who raised me. Wouldn’t my parents feel the same way with me? I’m still their child.
B). The use of the word “real”. If the biological mother is the “real” mother, what does that make us, wrong parents? Yes, according to the actual web address of the article “http://gma.yahoo.com/switched-birth-girls-want-stay-wrong-moms-160048481.html”.
2. Switched at birth is probably the easiest way for a non-adoptive parent to understand how an adoptive parent would feel about an adoptive child. By that, I mean if you are a parent, and you were told that your child was switched at birth, would you consider them any less of a child? Hopefully not, but it goes to show that parenting runs deeper than blood.
3. The legal case of the father. If you didn’t read the article, the reason this was discovered was because the father didn’t believe that the girl was his, so he shouldn’t have to pay child support. The tests proved him right, but also proved that mom wasn’t the biological mother either. How will the courts decide this one? He did father a girl with her, just not their girl.
4. You wonder if part of the reason for the split was the suspicion that the girl wasn’t biologically his, thus she must have had relations with another man, yet that wasn’t the case. They may split anyway, but a seed of suspicion like that can be devastating.
5. The legal case against the hospital. Both families are suing for $180,000 in damages. I’d look at the situation and believe that God intended me to raise this girl, and vice versa. It would feel odd to sue because you made me raise my girl. Yet, the hospital will only correct the problem when motivated, and money is usually the biggest motivator.
Anyway, this story is not directly an adoption story, but it does bring some interesting discussions on what a real parent is.