I learned about the differences in social classes as a child growing up. My grandparents were the people who adopted each of my parents. Yes, both were adoptees.
On my mom’s side, her adoptive father was a banker and her adoptive mother a socialite. There was opulence and wealth in their household. My grandfather died relatively young. My grandmother then did whatever she wanted to – traveling the global and doling out charitable largess.
On my dad’s side, they were entrepreneurial and poor. They lived modestly. The contrast was always obvious.
In the family I grew up in, my dad was a union worker and my mom held jobs outside the home before I even entered public school. Eventually, she was able to talk my dad into letting her get a degree in music, supplement the family income by teaching music lessons and working on her own compositions. Though she never sold the sheet music she offered for sale, she died doing what she loved and was passionate about.
In learning about my original grandparents, there wasn’t really any wealth there. One of the first stories I heard was that my mom’s father’s family existed in such poverty that the chickens under the house could be seen under the floorboards and sometimes her half-sister went to bed hungry.
My dad’s mom had a hard life. Both grandmothers lost their own moms to death early in their childhoods.
Many of the children who end up adopted are surrendered due to poverty and a lack of financial resources. While some extended families actually do assist a vulnerable mother, that was not the case in any of my family’s experiences. As a society we could do much better and even fewer children would end up relinquished for adoption.