Thursday, February 03, 2011

Adoption Relevance

Of course, adoption is very relevant.   My question is more towards people's insistence to constantly point out that Dylan is adopted.  I understand it's relevance in his medical reports.  A lack of a medical background is very relevant.  What I don't understand is it's relevance in a behavioral specialists report.  "Dylan lives with his adopted family".  Does she write "Jane lives with her biological family" on other children's reports?  How is his being adopted relevant to the fact that he can't sit still, gets into his classmates personal space and has a tendency to hit other kids in order to gain sensory input?   Yes, I'm pissed at the overall report.   Her recommendation of positive reinforcement every 3 minutes is laughable (although I'm told that this is common with how behaviorists write reports).  It gives no real life answers to his educational challenges.   But I'm more pissed about the inclusion of how he became part of his family as being relevant to her task at hand which was to observe him and make recommendations on how to better manage his behavior in the classroom.

So... adoption friends... tell me.... am I off base here?  Is it relevant?  Am I the only one who gets pissed at this kind of thing. 

I still remember correcting a teacher who referred to my Mom as my step Mom.  I told her not to call her that and she challenged me because "that's what she is".  I proceeded to tell her about my birth mother and the abuses I suffered at her hands.  I told her that my Mom is my Mom and that she is not to label my family.

Dylan is saddled with enough labels.  How he became part of a family shouldn't be one of them.

*EDIT - Marc thinks I'm way off base.  That maybe the fact that Dylan is adopted is at the roof of his issues or a lack of medical background is the reason for the mention.  He thinks I just don't like the report (true) and maybe looking for things.  I'm standing my ground for now - I'm open to the fact that I could be wrong but for now, I think I'm in the right.


  1. I don't know. It may or may not be part of the puzzle, but I think it is worth noting in the report myself. Its true it makes no difference in your family and the love and attention you give him, however it is a very important part of his history that could play a role.

    That being said, I always bristle a bit when its noted with Gabe as well. However, I'm not sure it was ever relelvant at those times.

  2. I've been thinking about this some more and I think I've figured out what did bug me about it. I think it is the wording. It would be one thing if the report read that Dylan was adopted at the age of 6 months (or whenever) because that is relevant I think. However, the wording that "he lives with his adoptive family" seems to imply that this particular family situation is relevant. I don't think that is the case. Does that make any sense?

    Interested to hear your further thoughts.

  3. THANK YOU!!!! Yes, that's it. When I was arguing with Marc last night I asked him if he felt that they would write "Jane lives with her biological family" or would they write "Jane lives with her.... mom & dad/mom/dad/mom and mom/dad and dad/grandparents/aunt.

    I just hung up with the caseworker from school. She said in some situations, it's relevant but in this particular case, she can't say why it would be included but to ask the behaviorist (which I will do when we meet in 2 weeks).

  4. Just found your blog through Solodialogue ( and I'm amazed at how much we have in common!

    My daughter is also adopted and seems to have some of the same sensory issues as your Dylan. She can't sit still, but her coordination is poor... she's easily distracted... she's being evaluated for autism, but she's very social... wow.

    This post struck me. I tend to agree with KimN about the fact that the current family environment is not exactly relevant... But because our daughter was internationally adopted, we do not really know or understand how she spent the first 10 months of her life. This gap *could* be the source for some of her behavioral and sensory problems.

    I'm not sure what a behavioral specialist would be able to do with that nugget of information... we don't really know what went on, so we can't treat it or undo it. But those 10 months are a part of our daughter's development and growth into the person she is today.

    That's my 2 cents anyhow... hope it helps!