A realistic adoption story.:

Total posts: [11]
Southern Style Scribe
I apologize for that fiasco last time. I was having a bad day. I'm actually thinking of writing a novel focusing on an adopted teenager and his complex relationship with his aparents. Details about the plot are nebulous in my mind, but I see the boy and his aparents reconciling their differences. I don't want to avert the Happily Adopted trope, but I want to play around with it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

edited 30th Sep '11 7:30:42 PM by ConnorBible

2 Misuki1st Oct 2011 02:12:23 PM from Texas, USA , Relationship Status: Married to the job
Discworld Denizen
Can you tell me what country this is? There are different adoption practices that go on depending on the laws and such, from what I understand.

Also, what makes your character bond with his adoptive parents? Do they have a common interest, or does it go beyond that? There are a lot of things to consider (like how involved the parents are in his school, etc.)

There are tons of details you can use to show the relationship.
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Define 'complex'. Does the adopted kid have something against his parents, or do the parents have something against their adopted kid?
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Southern Style Scribe
I was going to say that, being an adopted child myself, going along with the common fictional portrayal of adoptive parents* as though it's the norm would drive me up a wall and to not do it.

This may be more complicated than I thought.

And, yes, knowing which country/countries are involved would help us get more background. Like, were the kid and parents initially from the United States? Did the parents adopt the kid abroad, and who's originally from the US? Were either of them from the US? Adopting abroad is far thornier than adopting domestically depending on the country. Depending on the situation, there's a slew of possible answers we could give you.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
Southern Style Scribe
Both parties are American. I'm debating whether it should be open, semi-open, or closed.
It should be at least semi-open. You could have the kid meet his bio parents (or more likely just bio mom) and find out that life with them would have been even more fucked up.

A related scenario that I think would be interesting to write about is one I saw on Law and Order SVU, where a man found out he had a son and pushed for custody despite the fact that the kid was happily adopted and wanted to stay.
Just make the characters realistic and complex — most people are not entirely good or entirely evil. If your character is a teenager, readers will understand him having a less-than-perfect relationship with his parents and will not assume that the least sign of conflict means you intend to avert Happily Adopted.

In the story I'm writing at the moment, the main character is Happily Adopted and, when the idea is brought up, is actually resistant to searching for her birth parents (though circumstances lead her to change her mind). All four parents are complex people with good and bad sides, and although she does end up deciding to live with her birth parents, I'm okay with writing the story that way, because it should be clear that I'm not saying they are better because of being her birth parents.
9 joeyjojo18th Oct 2011 07:38:24 AM from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
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Seeing how fiction is bipolar in depictions of adopted families members, i'm interested in how this plays out.

I can't think of any helpful words of advice other then do your homework and look into the laws on adoption.

There's are a lot of bitter wed sites out there by disgruntled adoptees. Bastard Nation is a good place to start.

edited 18th Oct '11 7:44:23 AM by joeyjojo

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Rainbows hurt.
Usually, with adopted kids—in fiction and real life—the kid will get curious about his or her birth parents even if he or she is happily adopted.

Is there any plot point in your brainstorming that prevents the character from searching for the birth parents? Like, are they dead? Or does the character just not care about the birth parents?

Personally, I think it would be an interesting turn if you kept the real parents in the picture. Like, the character is happy with the adopted parents, but still has contact with the birth parents.

edited 18th Oct '11 8:15:50 AM by PancakeMckennz

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Southern Style Scribe
The biological mother is dead.

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Total posts: 11