I did another version of this post before I came up with the classic So Your Character ... format, but I wanted to do a redone version that's a little less rough than that other one but if you feel like looking at that mess there's a link below. In case you didn't know, I'm adopted. Surprise!
How were you adopted?
My birth mother was a teenager when she had me and gave me up for adoption to her aunt right after I was born. My adopted parents couldn't have kids so thus I came into their life. I have an unusual situation since I am blood-related to my mom. By blood, she's my great aunt, but she's my mom through and through.
Does your life differ from those who live/have lived with their birth parents?
I honestly forget that my mom didn't give birth to me. She's my mom. Not my "adopted mom." She's my mom. We do have similarities in appearance. We're the same height and have similar body-type and facial structure. My dad, on the other hand, looks nothing like me. He has dark features from his Italian heritage.
Have you met your birth family?
I know my birth mom's family since it is still my direct family. I'm very close with many of my cousins and I know my birth mom though we're not close. My birth dad's family is more complicated since he passed away shortly after I was born. I didn't meet my birth grandparents until I was twenty and I haven't met any of my extended family as of the time of writing this post, though I have connected with them online. They actually didn't know I was born until I sent my birth grandparents a letter telling them who I was.
I grew up with my sister who has no blood relationship to me, but we grew up alongside each other. I also have six siblings on my birth mother's side, who have known I was their older sister their entire lives. We look very similar. It's hard to hide the secret.
Do you feel like being adopted has affected you as a person not just your outside circumstances?
It affects my political views. I'm a conservative libertarian and I'm strongly pro-life because I and two of my sisters were "undesired pregnancies." Had my birth mother been pro-choice, I wouldn't be here today. I believe every child should have the chance to live even if it may not be convenient. Adoption is always an option.
What are some stereotypes about adopted people that irk you?
I really hate it when people call birth parents, "real" parents. My birth parents didn't have anything to do with my upbringing really. They gave me my DNA, that's pretty much it. I'm not saying that bitterly. It's just a fact. My adopted parents are my real parents because they actually raised me.
I also get really tired of seeing it be a big reveal that the character is adopted. I've known I'm adopted my whole life and I think it's dumb to hide it from the kid. It's better to grow up used to it then drop the bomb on them, especially when there's no reason for it.
What media portrays adopted characters badly be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?
I've seen more behavior in real life against adoption than in media actually. Mostly for the reasons listed above.
What media portrays adopted characters well be it a movie, a book, or a TV show?
Man of Steel: I really love Clark Kent's relationship with his parents. It was such a great portrayal of adoption.
The Missing by Margaret Peterson-Haddix: I really liked how in this novel Jonah knew he was adopted for most of his life and pointed out the "real parents" stereotype.
Gimme Shelter: This movie showed the darker side of birth parents, but still accurate.
Who are your top three favorite fictional characters who are adopted in books, movies, or shows?
- Clark Kent from Man of Steel
- Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables
- Claire Bennet from Heroes
Are you interested in participating in this project? Shoot me an email at howellvictoriagrace(a)gmail.com.
Do you have any characters who are adopted? Did this inspire you to write adopted characters? Are you adopted and you have further input? Do you have any other questions?
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