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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: “Do you ever want to meet your ‘real’ mom?” The people who raised me are my real family.


“Do you ever want to meet your real mom?” “Are you going to meet your real family?”  

These are two questions I get quite often. Most people don’t see an issue with any of these questions, but as an adoptee, these questions never sit right. The “real” part of the question is what bothers me. I understand what they mean, but I continue to be bothered by it.  

I’m not exactly sure why when people put “real” in front of words like mom and family it leaves me feeling upset. I know they don’t intend for it to leave me feeling uncomfortable, but it does. It comes off as ignorant in a way.  

At this point in life, I usually respond to their question with, “I’ve already met her, I live with her.”  

My real mom is the one who I live with, the one who raised me. She is the reason I’m the person that I’ve become. She got me through all my rough patches and has nurtured me through everything. She put a roof over my head and always made sure I was fed. She put me through elementary school, high school and now college.  

There’s nothing about her that makes her any less real than my biological mom. My mom has done way too much for me to not be considered my real mom by some.  

What should be asked is, “Do you want to meet your biological mom/family?”  

For me, the answer is no.  

It would be like meeting strangers. Just because we’re technically related doesn’t mean we have an emotional connection. While my biological mom is the one who gave birth to me, she didn’t contribute to who I’ve become. She gave me up when I was born, and I was adopted just a little over a year later. She has not been there like my real mom has.  

I don’t believe that family is necessarily something you are born into — it’s something you create. You build relationships with people throughout your life to the point they become more of a family than the family you were born into. I know some people have their blood related family with an additional second family full of people that they’ve built relationships with.  

For me, the family I was born into is full of people I don’t consider family. Rather, my true family is the family that took me in. Growing up, I’ve also had people I consider second parents or friends I consider siblings. I grew up an only child, my best friends growing up were like my brothers and sisters.  

Being blood related doesn’t make someone your “real” anything. Sometimes people find their real family through friends or others who have no blood relation to them. Those I consider my family are nowhere near blood related to me, but they are more of a family than my biological one will ever be.  


Faith Badgley (she/her) is a freshman studying media advertising.    

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