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Old 10-02-2012, 09:13 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,643,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Seems to me that adoption is the root of feeling like he doesn't fit in & the different name just causes him to be aware of it/face his feelings. There is nothing wrong with him processing those feelings, in fact it is good for him to acknowledge that while he is part of the family he is also different. Perhaps families should help support adoptees in working through those feelings, rather than encouraging denial?

The difference here is that you are an adult that consents to marriage, with the choice to retain your identity rather than having the government seal it away from you as a child with absolutely no choice.
I'm sorry, I just can't relate to the idea of retaining your birth surname. Not only that, but do you really think your name is your WHOLE identity? People keep equating their names to their identities, and this just doesn't make sense. Don't people call you all kinds of different things throughout the day? Aren't you still the same person inside, even if you're sweetie to your spouse, Johnnie to your parents, dad to your children, sir to the stranger telling you you dropped your wallet, John to your colleague, bro to your best friend, etc.? Or does your identity completely change every time someone calls you something different?

I'm not saying he wouldn't have had those feelings if he had the same surname as the rest of his family, but he himself has expressed wanting to have the same surname, and has wondered why his family didn't do that for him.

Honestly he is not the only person to feel alienated in that family. The sister in that family is the only deaf person in an all-hearing family that doesn't really know sign language well, so she often feels alienated from the communication barrier, despite sharing a last name. Feelings of alienation aren't unique to adoptees, but I can't imagine that being the only one with a different surname in the family helps him to feel less alienated.

 
Old 10-02-2012, 10:00 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 988,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I'm sorry, I just can't relate to the idea of retaining your birth surname. Not only that, but do you really think your name is your WHOLE identity?
I don't think anyone is saying their original name is their whole identity.

Quote:
Don't people call you all kinds of different things throughout the day? Aren't you still the same person inside, even if you're sweetie to your spouse, Johnnie to your parents, dad to your children, sir to the stranger telling you you dropped your wallet, John to your colleague, bro to your best friend, etc.? Or does your identity completely change every time someone calls you something different?
Pet names & terms of endearment are not the same as an adoptive parent changing a child's name because who they were prior to the adoption is not important enough to preserve, or because they believe their name will somehow prevent them from seeing the child as part of their family.

Quote:
I'm not saying he wouldn't have had those feelings if he had the same surname as the rest of his family, but he himself has expressed wanting to have the same surname, and has wondered why his family didn't do that for him.
Well those are very difficult feelings to process either way. We don't like to feel different, but we are different & I believe it is important to come to terms with that so we can completely accept ourselves. If they helped him work through feelings of being different, he might come to accept he did not need to be changed in order to be a part of the family.

Quote:
Honestly he is not the only person to feel alienated in that family. The sister in that family is the only deaf person in an all-hearing family that doesn't really know sign language well, so she often feels alienated from the communication barrier, despite sharing a last name. Feelings of alienation aren't unique to adoptees, but I can't imagine that being the only one with a different surname in the family helps him to feel less alienated.
Oh, I agree with you there... it didn't help him feel less alienated. But changing his surname, adopting children who look just like you, all this does is encourage denial -- which does nothing to help the root cause of the problem (literally being different). Having the same surname may not help him feel less alien, only make his reason for feeling that way less obvious & so harder to identify.

What's important is that he comes to terms with being different & comes to a healthy acceptance of who he is.
 
Old 10-02-2012, 01:44 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,643,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I don't think anyone is saying their original name is their whole identity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayTreeArk View Post
No piece of paper can change my DNA. As for my surname, my surname is whatever name it would have been had I been kept. Why? 1. Because my father would have kept me if my mother had let. 2. Because surnames are about who you are related to.
...
You may even go so far as to say, I cannot emotionally separate identity and blood. My blood IS my identity.
My blood IS my identity + my surname is whatever name it would have been because surnames are about who you are related to = ????
 
Old 10-02-2012, 03:19 PM
 
16,668 posts, read 14,103,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I beg to differ. How are taking on adoptive surnames any different than taking on married surnames? Surnames to me are about being part of a family unit. When you marry, you create a new family unit by love, not by blood. Same goes for adoption.

Not to mention, from a logistical perspective, I know that I would never be able to function in the US if I kept my original last name. My original last name was 12 letters long and 6 syllables, with lots of "ye" and "ya" sounds that are hard for American ears to grasp. I am part of my adoptive family unit, and it is therefore appropriate for me to take on my adoptive family's surname. They retained some of my Russian heritage through my first name, which I felt was appropriate.

I have a friend whose brother was adopted and he kept his pre-adoptive surname. He has a major complex about it today because he feels like he doesn't fit, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that he literally has a separate last name from the rest of his family. Personally I think it's just absurd to let your child stand out like that. I can understand retaining a first name or part of a first name from pre-adoption, but surnames should definitely be changed IMO, to show that love makes a family, not blood.
I am confused.

If love makes a family and not blood than why would the name matter? Unless family and individual identity is related to names, first and last.

My daughter has a different last name than I do as I did not take my husband's name. She is no less a member of my family. My uncle is technically my mother's half brother, and they do not share a last name, they are still family.

But if you are saying that last name provides family identity (and I do think it helps support family identity) than why wouldn't first names, provide the same root to one's individual identity? And if they do that, why is it acceptable to force someone to change that even if they do not want to?
 
Old 10-02-2012, 03:26 PM
Status: "LILY DALE!" (set 7 hours ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,289,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
You didn't do the same thing with your daughter because you didn't give her a Korean name. You gave her an American name, which is the opposite of what I'm suggesting. My husband and I did pick names that sound great to us, but they are names which are names in both their culture and our culture. You also adopted your daughter as a baby, right? That is entirely different than adopted older children.
I am not doing what you are suggesting. Not at all. I don't think it's different. I don't really care what you think.

When one adopts some doors close and others open. It's a simple concept for most of us to grasp.
When we marry. a new family is formed. Many people chose to take on the last name of their husband.
Or partner. I know of a man who took on his wife's name.

I am not big on blood, DNA or any of that. LOVE MAKES A FAMILY!
 
Old 10-02-2012, 05:32 PM
 
39 posts, read 25,349 times
Reputation: 39
Taking your partner's name upon marriage is completely different to having your name replaced by adoption because you are making a conscious choice as an adult. Adoptees are rarely given a choice & when they are, it is usually a loaded one.
 
Old 10-02-2012, 05:38 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,865,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keribus72 View Post
Taking your partner's name upon marriage is completely different to having your name replaced by adoption because you are making a conscious choice as an adult. Adoptees are rarely given a choice & when they are, it is usually a loaded one.
Also most people I know when they get married don't consider one door to have closed and another open - most of them think of their marriage and subsequent children as expanding their already existing families.

There are of course those whom, after marriage, no longer want anything to do with their families of origin but that isn't the usual course of things.

Even in adoption, one finds in the more traditional and biblical forms of adoption that adoption didn't involve closing doors. In fact, we should be thankful that the so-called biblical adoptees always knew of their origins.
 
Old 10-02-2012, 05:47 PM
 
203 posts, read 200,631 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
When one adopts some doors close and others open. It's a simple concept for most of us to grasp.
When we marry. a new family is formed. Many people chose to take on the last name of their husband.
Or partner. I know of a man who took on his wife's name.
"Many people chose to take on the last name of their husband."

The key word here is "chose." You have already made it very clear that the children you adopt do not have a choice regarding their name. So your analogy doesn't really make sense to me. How is an adult willingly entering into a legal marriage contract and deciding of their own free will to take the surname of his or spouse anything like a child having no legal standing in an adoption contract or choice in having their name changed?
 
Old 10-02-2012, 05:59 PM
 
13 posts, read 9,271 times
Reputation: 23
Does no one else in the US have an "unusual" name? I'm sure they manage...

Also you cannot compare marriage, because marriage is the foundation of the family unit, upon which family names are based. Apples and oranges.


It's very simple... we are who we are. My blood is my identity, because my family tree and my ethnicity have absolutely nothing to do with my adopters :O (But it's fine for them to look up their genealogy, deny us the right to do the same, and insist we assimilate their culture!)

What is offensive or confusing about stating the truth, (and the obvious) I have no idea.


If I test my DNA, it will reveal my ethnicity, not theirs! Heritage is by birth, not association.


Of course I value outside relationships, but they don't define who I am. Plus, those responses fall into the category of "social" identity, which I was not speaking of.

I guess the part about where my natural dad wanted to keep me went right over top. If I could right now, I'd take his name and give him the right he was denied.
 
Old 10-02-2012, 05:59 PM
Status: "LILY DALE!" (set 7 hours ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,289,071 times
Reputation: 48876
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
My blood IS my identity + my surname is whatever name it would have been because surnames are about who you are related to = ????
My blood is not my identity. My person hood is more than a name. I took my husbands name when I married. Not out of any hatred or anything - out of wanting to bond with my new family and to be as one.

We say good bye to the old and embrace the new when we indulge in the exclusivly human societal conventions of adoption, marriage and the naming of a child.

We can remember the past in a name that is significant to the family. For me, a name significant to another woman that sounds bad in a new country is no gift. It's more like a ball and chain.

You have the right to your own opinions and if you adopt, to do as you wish. If you ABUSE the child - then it's every one's issue.

It is my hope that every one makes peace with themselves and the past.

You take care of your own, and I will care for mine.

"We Take Care of Our Own" Bruce Springsteen - and the theme song for the DNC convention.
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