It may be true that a name is only that – a name – and not the person. Of all the suggestions for reform in the process of adoption, I can clearly see that changing a child’s name at the time of adoption is wrong. It is taking from the child their true identity.
Now, it does happen, as it did happen with my youngest sister’s son that the true father was not who was named on the birth certificate. I do know she was able to coerce the poor man, who had some financial means, to pay a great deal of the costs of her developing an adoption plan for her son. She gave him this man’s last name at birth and named that man on the birth certificate as his father.
It came to pass as this young man began to mature that he became interested in knowing more about his actual father. DNA testing seemed to indicate that who had been named could not possibly be who fathered him. A search for the true father began.
At first I believed that my sister simply did not know for certain who the father was and so chose the one most like to be financially supportive of her effort to provide for her baby. It turns out that with the revelation of the true father, my sister actually did know. Maybe, since this man was a colleague of our father’s and since my sister was devoted to our father, she simply did not want our father to know . . .
That is my kindest interpretation. What I do know is at about 6 months, although she had relinquished her son to an adoptive couple shortly after his birth, she sent a photo after birth and a letter to the real father informing him. So it cannot be said that she did not know. What’s really unforgivable is that the true father DID want to raise his son and his wife was supportive of bringing that baby into their lives. They planned to fight for custody of the child and so informed my sister.
Then the cruelest thing happened on Father’s Day, my sister called the true father to inform him that the baby and his adoptive parents had been killed in a car accident ending all attempts to seek custody.
This young man is a fine person and given what I know about my sister’s life after giving birth to him, I’m glad she didn’t raise him. The first adoptive father left the family due to having an affair. Eventually, the mother remarried and my nephew thought so much of the man, he had his surname changed yet again to match the new father.
Also, what amazes me is that in my own adoptee father’s life, his mother had to put her abusive alcoholic husband out. Therefore, when my dad was already 8 years old, he was adopted a second time by the new husband. My paternal adoptive grandfather was a good man and he stayed with my Granny until death did them part.