Thursday, February 16, 2012

Natural or Adopted?

Originally posted on the Chicago Moms blog

I was standing at the counter scanning a routine medial form when something caught my eye. Under our daughter’s name was the line

Natural child: Insured has financial responsibility

I asked the receptionist what “natural child” meant. She said, “Oh, it means she’s really his daughter.” I gasped and said, “So, if she was adopted, you’d put that on the form?” The receptionist said, “Oh yeah. Insurance companies want to know if it’s your real kid or not.”

I stood there frozen. There were so many things I thought about saying. What came out of my mouth was “In 2012, the fact that we are still distinguishing between natural and adopted children is appalling. I cannot believe the office actually puts it on a form.”

She tried to explain why it was there, but only made it worse. This was one of those cases when less said would have been a lot more comforting.

Several hours have passed and this still upsets me. First, as a mother I find it horrifying that there’s still a distinction between natural and adopted children. Second, as a consumer, I cannot understand the difference between natural and adopted children where the insurance company is concerned.

I might be able to understand noting financial responsibility in cases of foster children or other unusual situations. Perhaps if parents are divorced and the non-custodial parent has financial responsibility it’s worth noting in a file.

You’ll see that I said “noting in a file.” At no time should a child stand there and read anything about who is responsible for his/her health care financial responsibility. This is an adult problem that children should not worry about.

Our daughter was very upset that she was listed as a “natural child.” She said, “You mean if I was adopted they wouldn’t let me see the doctor?” She’s only eight-years-old, so she didn’t quite understand what it meant. Of course, I’m a lot older than eight and I don’t understand the point either.

I’m going to contact our insurance company and ask about “natural or adopted.” I might not get the answer I want, but at least I’ll be able to register my complaint. Now that I know about this practice, I cannot let it go undocumented.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm dumbstruck... and that takes some doing. As if someone adopted isn't a REAL part of a family? From the insurance companies point of view, what's the difference between a natural and adopted child? Does an adopted parent have less financial responsiblity? I don't think so.

I have a beautiful neice who happened to be born 1/2 way across the world from the US. As my Mom was recently giving me some of her good jewelry that she no longer wears, I was making mental notes of when certain family heirlooms should pass to my neice.

Being the family historian, I've told my neice about the strong women in the family. I never met my great-grandmother, but her actions (which led to she and her husband coming to America) and the way she brought up my Grandmother and the way my Grandmother brought up my Mother all impact the way that my brother and I were brought up. We now influence her as she's growing up. It's the nature vs nurture debate.

It's the same points I made when giving my step-daughter one of my grandmother's rosaries for her confirmation. She may never have met her step great grandmother, but she is influenced by her life through me. She is a REAL part of my family and deserving of family heirlooms from my side of the family.

I realize much more is passed to us through the genes we inherit (nature) than gets credit, but the nurture side doesn't seem to get as much credit as it influences either.

As I wrote that last sentence, it just occured to me... are the insurance companies trying to track the genes we might have inherited to predict the likelyhood of us getting some condition our parents have? Will that impact our kid's insurability in the future? Hm.