Legally Kidnapped

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

When ‘You’re Adopted’ Is Used as an Insult

I don’t remember exactly how old I was the first time I heard one of my classmates hurl “You’re adopted” at another as an insult. But I was old enough to know two things: First, that my parents’ process of adopting me was long, complicated, and emotionally exhausting—not to mention expensive; and second, that some kids’ parents euphemistically called them “surprises.” To my young mind, being adopted meant being desperately wanted and prayed for; some of my friends had little siblings who joined their families purely by accident, but I was a long-awaited miracle. So when I heard a kid my own age sneer at a classmate, “You’re adopted,” I was bewildered.

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