Quote of the Day

9.18.2008

own or adopted?

This just sets my teeth on edge:


When we adopt them, they become our own! That's the whole point of adoption. If my kids are not my own, what are they doing sleeping in the beds upstairs? Are they loaners? rentals? am I merely hosting them?

I sent a very polite letter to the company.

Hi,

I just took a survey from you that included this screen. Apparently whoever authored this page is a bit confused about adoption. When we adopt children they become our own - that being the whole point of adopting. The phrase "own or adopted" really makes no sense, and has some hurtful overtones. I'm sure you can do better in the future.

Best wishes,

Suzanne
I'll let you know if I hear from them. I'm going to go eat some chocolate now and try to calm down.

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11 comments:

Maria said...

Deep breaths, deep breaths. Did the chocolate help?

Tami said...

UGH! That drives me absolutely nuts!

Joy said...

While I can understand where you are coming from, I think you're over-reacting a bit. When taking a survey, they are looking for what purchasing decisions you will be making in upcoming months and what may affect those decisions. A parent who is expecting, and carrying, a baby will have different purchases and decisions from someone who is expecting a child that someone else is physically carrying. Yes, in 9 months both will be responsible for that precious life. But in the 9 months leading up, one set of parents will be dealing with purchasing maternity clothes, aids for symptoms (like morning sickness, hemorrhoids), changes in eating habits and needs for medication. The other may help out monetarily but will not be a part of the decision making of which brand or whatever to buy. Additionally, a couple physically carrying are subject to bed-rest and losing income during those nine months.

Normally, I'm with you on idiot comments differentiating between biological and adoptive children. (I have several family members who are adopted.) However, when you look at the intent of asking this question, they want to make it clear that *in this case* the decision making and monetary differences do not matter. In other cases, they may matter. They are simply clarifying. I take many surveys also and in my mind, I have to think through what the intention of any question is. Yes, I may be getting a used car in the next year; but a car that I go and purchase off a car lot is much different than buying my grandma's car from her. Adoption is much more open and common so it would make sense that they are clarifying that any form of expecting a child is a yes answer in this survey.

Suzanne said...

I agree Joy, the purchasing differs. But it would have been very easy to phrase that as "pregnancy or adopting?" I wasn't upset that they wanted to know how the child was joining our family, but that they set up the contrast between "own" vs "adopted".

Suzanne said...

This just arrived from Nielsen:

"Thank you for your message.

Your extremely valid comments have been sent to Panel Management. Please accept our apologies for our obvious lack of sensitivity. "

Shelby said...

I thought your email to them was very good (short, non-emotional, and to the point). I'm glad to see from their response that they understood what you were trying to convey and hopefully in the future they will use more accurate terminology.

Luciana said...

Ha! It is so good to be able to post again! Thankyou for making it possible again!

I think your suggestion of "pregnancy or adopting?" would be very useful for them to have. Maybe sharing this with them would help?

lucianasleiman@hotmail.com

Cheralynn said...

I agree with the well-written response! Too often folks can get "emotional" which tends to overshadow the issue at hand. Good for you - and I agree that the word "own" was a completely ridiculous descriptor regardless of what they were trying to clarify! The thought of not "owning" my adopted daughter is silly... take deep breaths and like I do, try to laugh at these things. It helps sometimes :-)

Suzanne said...

And while I am ranting, if one more person asks me, in front of my children, "are they siblings?" my head is going to explode. I always arrange my face into an appearance of confusion and reply in a confiding sort of voice, "Of course, aren't yours?"

kate said...

Excellent letter (love the "you can do better" part) and a nice response.

I was all ready for the are-they-real-siblings question. My prepared answer remains, "Well, they fight in the back seat." I LOVE that one! Since I've no sibs as yet, and we live a fair way apart, you're most welcome to borrow this response.

Suzanne said...

I got this very question again from someone last week: "And do you have any of your own?" "Yes, I just introduced you to my children."

I'm thinking of filing my teeth into points so I can just bite their heads off and be done with it.