I received a call that Eve was being transported to a nearby emergency room due to a seizure that happened on the way to school. I rushed to the ER from home, grabbed my purse from the counter and pulled my still wet hair in a pony tail. I was told she was unresponsive and that concerned me greatly.
I stopped at the registration desk and I was told Eve had not arrived yet. I gave all our information for billing purposes since this facility was not one we normally used for Eve’s healthcare. Once Eve arrived, I was told we would continue registration in the room.
After seeing that Eve was coming out of her seizure, we continued the registration in the room. Out of nowhere, I received questions about my relationship with Eve. She is black and I am white so the registration staff began to wonder the nature of our relationship. And then, the dreaded request came: “I need to see her adoption decree”. And then, this Momma bear lost her cool. Well, sorta. I know it’s happened to families before and I hold a firm position to no one needs to see my adoption decree when it comes to delivering (emergency) medical care. If this happens to you and you don’t want to share those documents, let me offer my favorite ways to explain this. I used all of them yesterday.
- My child’s name is on my insurance card, that is all the proof anyone needs on how to bill this medical visit.
- “Are you asking because my child is of different race than me, or do you ask proof of guardianship of all families?” I don’t recall being asked this question when I take my white children to the doctor. It’s just assumed we are related.
- I am not in the habit of taking random children off the street for medical care. Has that happened here before?
- Please have your office manager or billing manager get in touch with me if any of these charges are denied. But I doubt that will happen.
The main reason I push back against this policy is because an assumption is made just by looking at our family. My children who are able to understand the questions feel bad that their relationship with me is questioned. There is very little sensitivity to a child’s feelings and it just gets old after a while. We are a real family that should not have to prove anything beyond what I have done for my children whose skin color matches mine. I hope my children see my responses as advocating for them and validating their feelings.
Thankfully Eve is ok and recovering at home. We were in and out of the ER and they took great care of us overall. This topic does come up from time to time in adoption groups so I felt I wanted to address it. I would love to read about your experiences if this has ever happened to you and how you responded to these questions.
Now on to the Adoption Talk Linkup!
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