The following is part of a series of articles on the rights and responsibilities of children and of families. On our site, we’ve published a Children’s Bill Of Rights, with all of the sections in the bill. You can take a look at Children’s Bill of Rights.
(To read more about the Children’s Bill of Rights, look at articles at this site, and at Homeschool Under Siege.)
Let’s look at more of the rights and attendant responsibilities. I’ll again keep the comment on each of these short. Again, the right will be stated, followed by child’s responsibility in italics. That will be followed by my comments.
Right to know the family that they came from
If a child has been adopted, they have a right to know this. Further, they have the right to know about and even meet and become acquainted with their birth family, if that’s what the child wants.
If adopted, then you have the responsibility to remember that the people who have adopted and raised you love you, have taken care of you, and are your parents in every way but birth, and you have the responsibility to treat them with the proper respect and love. You have the responsibility to be willing to not be accepted by your biological parents, even if they choose not to meet you.
This is a tough one. It is absolutely vital that the child remember who it is who raised him, cared for him, watched over him. That would, in this case, be the adopting parents. It is easy in the emotional rush of discovering one’s birth parents to forget this. It can be all too easy for a child to set aside the love and connection that has developed between himself and his foster parents, in a yearning desire to connect up with long-lost blood relations.
But the child makes a very bad mistake in doing so. He must remember that, for whatever reasons, the birth parents gave him up. They took the road of little or no responsibility. They may be quite different than they were at that time, but still, they were not there for the child, all excuses aside.
I firmly believe that a person cannot have too many people love him and care for him. And it’s easy to understand why the drive for love and acceptance would lead a child to wish to meet his birth parents. But the child must understand that they may not wish to meet him. That is, fortunately or unfortunately, the birth parent’s right. If a meeting does occur, the child should know to be respectful, but tread carefully where his heart is concerned. In the best of circumstances, perhaps the birth parents have matured and can offer the child something in the way of concern and love as the years continue. That is entirely to the good. But the child is legally in the care of his adopted parents, and that is also entirely for the good.
A child with an adopted family was chosen. He or she was selected to be loved and cared for, and that is simply a wondrous thing. The adopting parents who raise children well are to be highly commended, and are worthy of respect and love from the adopted child. This fact should never be lost sight of by the child.
More to follow!