Rethinking “Forever Family”

Thinking about terms like “forever family” are especially important to examine alongside the most recent and public rehoming case of Huxley, a Chinese adoptee. Myka Stauffer suggested that he is now with his “new forever family.” Using language that doesn’t fit the reality of so many situations undermines the meaning of both the words “forever” and “family.”

Harlow's Monkey

A picture of a person holding a white paper cutout of a a family in their hands.

Maybe it’s because we are in a time of such turmoil politically, environmentally, in our personal, social, and work lives, that I’ve seen an increase in the use of “forever” as an adjective. It seems like we are all looking for more security.

But when I started hearing this used with pets, and with houses (I’m looking at you HGTV – what is up with “Forever home?!?”) I was struck by how much our society seems to want to feel like things won’t change, that we can somehow use language to cover up our feelings of instability and uncertainty. It’s a term that’s supposed to make us feel secure and good; I get that. But like many adoptees, I’ve disliked the term “forever families” for years.

Recently, a friend of mine, a transracial adoptee, wrote on their social media page, “Adoptive parents (and everyone else for that matter), please remove…

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One response to “Rethinking “Forever Family”

  1. Pingback: Myka Stauffer: An Adoption Fantasy Unraveled | Red Thread Broken·

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