I’ve talked before about the stereotypes we find in adoption. Today I’m going to lay them out, Dungeons and Dragons style, so we can see what they really reveal.
- THE PERPETUAL CHILD
The Perpetual Child is an NPC (non-player character) that anyone can control. You can easily obtain one at any tavern, inn, or local gnome’s lair. They’re worth a fortune to the seller, but their only power is the Spell Of Assuaging Guilt In Adoptive Families.
- THE CRAZY ADOPTEE
Intelligence: More than expected
Charisma: None-adoptees are insignificant
Weapon: Wand Of Searching
Armor: Shield Of Origin
The Crazy Adoptee (also called the Searching Adoptee) lurks inside every Perpetual Child, and emerges when the glow from the Warm Fuzzy Orb Of Adoption fades. Any questions about adoption can bring on the transformation, so if you see an adoptee begin to ask about his or her origins, better run ’em out of town before they turn, like werewolves, into Crazy Adoptees!
- THE STALKER ADOPTEE
Strength: 18 (+20 in Berserker mode)
Intelligence: 18 (-5 when dealing with Reputable Adoption Agencies)
Weapon: Vorpal Sword Of Original Birth Certificate Access
Armor: Elven Chain Mail Of Ingratitude
Eventually Crazy Adoptees become Stalker Adoptees, haunting the shady dens of late-night news and made-for-TV movies. Obsessed with search, the Stalker Adoptee pursues any avenue to track down and harass blood relatives. They thirst for birth names, and hunger for unconditional records access. The worst ones (“Bastards”) can be found hunkered behind blogs, screaming their misshapen notions at the world.
- THE STALKER BIRTH RELATIVE
Strength: None-birth relatives have no power
Intelligence: Not as much as Kind Social Workers
Weapon: Crossbow Of Determination
Armor: Blood Ties
Like the Stalker Adoptee, the Stalker Birth Relative can be found seeking the dark recesses of reality television and horror movies. Stalker Birth Relatives prey primarily on Loving Adoptive Families, eagerly awaiting a chance to snatch away a Perpetual Child (or at least turn them into Crazy Adoptees).
- THE BIRTH MOTHER PROMISED “CONFIDENTIALITY”
Intelligence: None (or so the Reputable Adoption Agencies assume)
Weapon: The Mother-Child Bond
Armor: Shield of Ablative Motherhood, rusted
The Birth Mother desires privacy at all costs, and will immediately hide in her shell should a Perpetual Child or Crazy Adoptee appear. At the sight of a Stalker Adoptee she will scream, siren-like: “I was promised confidentiality!” to every legislator and Reputable Adoption Agency within hearing. She has never regretted her decision and has been able to move forward with her life just as the Kind Social Workers promised.
- THE SLACKER BIRTH FATHER
Charisma: 12 (+30 to Birth Mothers)
Weapon: Broadsword Of Virility
Armor: A Wink And A Nudge
All Birth Fathers are Slackers. They abandon Birth Mothers and could care less about the Perpetual Children they sire. None of them ever offered support, and none of them wish to know adoptees, crazy, stalker, or otherwise.
- THE KIND SOCIAL WORKER
Charisma: 18 (+20 with Reputable Adoption Agency)
Weapon: Rogue’s Dagger Of Half-Truths
Armor: Cloak Of Concealment
The Kind Social Worker will gladly take that Perpetual Child off your hands. She is smiling, cheerful, and full of wise sayings, like “Most birth mothers forget” and “Children deserve two-parent homes.” Like the eyestalk of a Dalek, the Kind Social Worker has one weakness: she is vulnerable in the face of Pregnant Women Who Educate Themselves About Adoption. But if you give her your Perpetual Child, she’ll disappear in a blink.
- THE REPUTABLE ADOPTION AGENCY
Intelligence: Less than estimated
Weapon: Adoption Stereotypes
Armor: Gauntlets Of Wealth
The Reputable Adoption Agency has everyone’s best interests at heart. They’re a charity, in case you can’t tell from the gold-painted walls, and they would never do anything so horrible as deal with known baby brokers or offer children whose parental rights were terminated illegally.
- THE LOVING ADOPTIVE FAMILY
Strength: Taken by infertility
Intelligence: Minimal near Kind Social Workers and Reputable Adoption Agencies
Charisma: See Strength
Weapon: The Promise Of A Better Life
Armor: Plate Mail Of Public Opinion
All adoptive families are Loving, if you missed the brochure. Adoptive parents are screened to make sure they aren’t pedophiles or murderers. They always tell Perpetual Children and Crazy Adoptees the truth about adoption, even when it conflicts with their own desires.
See, isn’t it fun playing the Adoption Game? Let’s keep playing before the Thought Police come to take away our Player’s Handbooks and painted miniatures.