Wrong Fam, Fam

A tale of adoptee lore

J. Eik Diggs
Human Parts
Published in
9 min readJun 11, 2022

--

Papers showing genealogy research, including a picture of a family tree
Photo: Lokibaho/E+/Getty Images

There was a point in my life when I spent more time watching adoptee reunion footage than I care to admit. I mean, I was hooked. I was equally as fascinated by the adoptee’s response to seeing their biological family for the first time as I was by the biological family’s response to their long-lost kin. Now, whenever someone mentions adoptee reunions, I see a montage of “Welcome home” banners and hands being clasped over agape mouths.

The funny thing is, as much media as there is out there of the reunions with (seemingly) happy endings, I’d venture to say that the messy and/or unresolved reunions are more common. But, since they don’t play into the hyper-romanticized reunion dreams adoptees tend to carry around, they are stories that don’t get shared as widely. I think they should be.

Growing up, I was bombarded with questions as soon as people discovered my adoptee status:

“So, do you know your biological mom?”

“But, you want to know her, right?”

“What about the rest of your family?”

“Wait, so you don’t know any of them?”

“Well, have you looked?”

“But, I’m sure you want to, right?”

--

--

J. Eik Diggs
Human Parts

queer TRA and educator who writes and scholars