Natural or Adopted?

| February 16, 2012 | Comments (7)

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.

Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun.  Image courtesy of Stock Exchange.

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About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (7)

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  1. As a medical professional I can only venture to say if an insurance company is asking this question it has to do with money…perhaps they are interested in this fact when gathering medical information and family history. If a child is not a biological one the insurance company might want to know what the medical history of the biological parents is so that they can predict what if any conditions would be hereditary and would cost them money in the long run.
    I would be interested in knowing the response you get when you contact them…interesting experience. I am sorry that your young daughter had to get caught up in this business.

    • Shari says:

      The insurance company said they never ask for that kind of information on a claim. They didn’t know what the doctor’s office was talking about.

  2. tracey says:

    First of all, I hate the term “natural” when defining how the child came to be a part of the family. Because if a child is adopted, that would then mean that they were “UNnatural”. This is a horrible, horrible adjective to classify with. Biological is clinical and defines that there is a DNA connection. Noting that the child is adopted is beneficial when speaking of medical history, but that should be all that it is used for.

    I am with you: That SUCKED.

  3. Karen Strell says:

    Wow. That almost seems to border on either a civil rights or human rights violation. Your daughter is exactly on track with her question. The implication is that natural and adopted children are somehow different. My guess is that the doctor’s office needs to review the form and probably eliminate that question or state the reason they are asking for that information.

  4. That is so wrong and I agree with Tracey, biological is a better term if it actually is necessary information. I’m sure mothers who had a baby by surrogate would also feel the same way.

    I think you should complain to the doctor in charge of the practice personally.

  5. Tess says:

    When I first saw the headline of this entry, I did not know what I was going to read. I have a friend that lost his wife 6 years ago. He was left with 3 beautiful girls, all his. The eldest, twins, were conceived with donor eggs. The girls do not yet know this, they were 3 when she died. He is faced with the dilemma of how and when to tell him. It seems that the issue you address is further compounded with the technology of conception. What would he do if he had to answer that question in front of them. Or worse, if interrogated about it in their presence. I don’t know why insurance companies would need that info, but I have seen Gataca and it is scary.

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