People Still Don't Get That Adoptive Parents Are 'Real' Parents

As shown by the questions facing US gymnast Simone Biles
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2016 5:50 PM CDT
People Still Don't Get That Adoptive Parents Are 'Real' Parents
US gymnast Simone Biles was raised legally and emotionally by her grandparents. So why do people keep insisting they aren't her parents?   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Adoption isn't a rare thing—approximately 135,000 kids are adopted every year in the US. So why is it still so hard for people to understand, Jenn Morson wonders in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. NBC Olympic announcer Al Trautwig is currently apologizing for a tweet in which he said gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles' mom and dad "are NOT her parents." Biles' grandparents have raised her as their legal child for 16 years. And he's not the only one. Reporters keep bringing up her parentage, even correcting her when she says her mom's name is Nellie. Morson argues they actually ARE her parents. "They changed her diapers," she writes. "They signed the report cards and permission slips."

Morson and her brothers were adopted and raised by her aunt and uncle after their biological mom died when she was 3. "From the moment I arrived, I was their daughter, no modifiers necessary," she says. And yet people kept insisting that she wasn't "really" her mom's daughter, she wasn't "really" her sister's sister. Morson says it left her feeling like she and her brothers were "rain-soaked kittens that had been discovered in a cardboard box on the side of the road." She wants to know why it's so hard to accept that the people who raised a child and did all the things parents do are that child's parents. "Ask yourself what tethers you to your own parents or to your own children," she says. Read the full piece here. (More adoption stories.)

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