Legally Fictional Reality?
I cracked a joke the other night with my significant other. We were discussing relationship terms and how I just generally introduce him to people by name, no qualifier. I think “boyfriend” sounds like high school. I suggested “my consort,” and he said that the “my” implied ownership, which, no matter how invested we are in the relationship, is wrong or problematic. Illegal, I said. We don’t own people. Except “them,” I said, poking at one of the cats. “A legal fiction,” he said. “So is my whole life,” I replied, in a tone that implied it was a joke.
So is my whole life.
The conversation had hit a lull, but that phrase kept circling in my mind.
After a few minutes passed, I said, I say that jokingly, but I don’t mean it as a joke. It isn’t a joke. It really bothers me. I’d just realized it does. We talked for a few minutes about options and ways for the legal fiction of an adoptee’s birth certificate not to be necessary, because it isn’t. But I can’t stop thinking about it.
The legal fiction that I was born to the people who raised me changes nothing and yet everything about my own reality. My first mother gave birth to me. My adoptive parents raised me. My biological father did not know I existed until recently, but would have preferred to be kept in the dark.
I am a 30-something adoptee, a bit of a nomad, an historian, and a seeker of my own truth. I feel like the last decade has been dedicated to correcting the skewed vision provided by a stupid fictional legal document that pretends at truth hard enough to alter everything in my life. The very first document about me in the world is a lie. It is also my reality.
2014’s National Adoption Month #FliptheScript brought out a need for me to finally speak out. This is an experiment