Miss Conduct’s advice (Love Child, October 28) was callous. Yes, the writer and her family should protect themselves from potential con artists or manipulators. But the opinion that this biologically related outsider (not through choice, but because of the actions of his father) deserves only to be blocked is a perfect example of the prejudice adoptees and others like them are faced with in this country every day. The fact that his existence makes the writer uncomfortable does not excuse her from the moral responsibility to treat him with kindness and tell him that she feels he is putting her in a difficult position [in contacting her for information about her mother and grandfather, who he believes was his father].
Yes, she should be careful, but those things don’t change the facts of his existence. Think about the health ramifications. Wouldn’t you like to know your family history? Wouldn’t you want to know if you had a half brother out there? Rather than easing her burden, [this response] increased it tenfold.
Newfields, New Hampshire
A person born of an affair or outside the family is still a person. Please quit perpetuating the idea that they are less than or somehow less deserving for actions that were no fault of their own.
Greenville, South Carolina
Look at this from the man’s point of view. He did nothing wrong. Naturally, particularly in these days when DNA testing allows us to learn more about our heritage, his desire to know more is legitimate. I see this as an opportunity to encourage a family to be open-minded and inclusive rather than small-minded and limited.
She should at least make it known to her mom that this relative exists. Let her mom decide. It has been said that adoption shares some story with The Ugly Duckling. You are picked up and placed with a family that you maybe wouldn’t even choose for friends and may never feel like you completely fit. The kindness of strangers helped me find my birth mom. The love she had for me has made me a stronger person today.
Pamela R. Akin
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