And Your Daddy Is ...

How have I not heard about the new Who's Your Daddy? reality show? Apparently, this show's premise revolves around an adopted woman trying to identify her biological father from a group of eight men.

Ack! Sounds fun and interesting, if you're a Jerry-Springer-audience type. If you're not the woman on the show. And if you're not an adopted child who has the natural curiosity to know who your "real" parents are.

As an adoptee who was found by my birthmother and later met my birthdad (both after I'd become an adult), I could write volumes of first-hand stuff on this subject. Having read a lot of literature on adoption, I could write lots of second-hand stuff on this subject, as well. And maybe I will.

WRAZ-TV, the Fox affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, NC, will air an adoption documentary in place of "Who's Your Daddy?" Makes me wish I lived a bit east of here. I'd like to see it.

Meeting your birthparents is difficult. It is life-changing. It's wonderful, but it can also be very disturbing. I am glad that I've met my birthparents. I'm thrilled that I have a relationship with my birthmother and with some of her family. I'm glad we met in private, and not on a national television show.

I'm a little curious about the "Who's Your Daddy?" show, though. Maybe I'm a Jerry-Springer-audience type and am in denial. Should I watch it? Will it be entertaining, or is it going to "freak me out," as I would have said circa 1983? Part of me wants to watch it because I feel a certain bond with anyone who is adopted and has gone through life wondering who their biological parents are.

I think I would have been able to pick out my biological father from a group of men. When I first met him, it freaked me out a little bit (there's that term again) because he was the spitting image of Neal Rankin, a character I had invented in a novel (now collecting dust in its second draft) that I'd written ten years earlier. It was also strange that my birthfather wore the same hair-do I'd been sporting on the Appalachian Trail--braided pigtails and a bandanna "do-rag."

I never imagined that my Neal character was actually my birthfather, though. I always figured (in my adopted-child fantasyland) it was Paul McCartney.

Turned out, it wasn't. It was the twin brother of a character in my imagination instead. What a surprise. Back to work for me. After I call my real daddy (Mr. Hugh) to tell him I love him.


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