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Pet Sins November 2005

Adoptive parents have 'no children'?

Some of my acquaintances were talking about the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman divorce, and one of them remarked, "They had no children." I said, "What do you mean? Everyone knows that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have 2 children."

He replied without any sense of irony, "They are adopted children. They are not their real children."

Not the real children? Just because Nicole did not deliver the children, the 6 and 8 years the couple spent raising the children together did not count? Did not make them 'real' children and 'real' parents? And worse, in the eyes of some members of the public, an adopted child counts as 0 children. You're not even a person! You don't matter. Your parents may have had you, but they still have 'no children'.

I wonder what adoptive parents in general would think about comments like this? And what do children feel? And if people who say such things know just how hurtful such assumptions and words can be?

D.
2002