Hospital forms and non traditional families

36 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780
Hospital forms and non traditional families

A few weeks ago I took my 11-year-old son Ben to the doctor. He had been snoring so loudly that his brother refused to sleep in the same room, so we made an appointment with the best pediatric E.N.T. in the entire world. (Yes, that's what it's like living in NYC.) When we checked in, the nurse gave me some forms to fill out. I was a bit taken aback when I noticed that the forms said "Mother's Name" and "Father's Name," given that we live in one of the most socially progressive cities in the world. I did my customary sigh and cross-out and wrote "Parent/Guardian 1" and "Parent/Guardian 2," as I had done scores of times before. Ben watched as I handed the papers back to the nurse, mentioning that the forms needed to be updated. He had seen me do this way too many times.
The nurse perfunctorily agreed and walked us down the hall to the examining room, where we waited patiently for this highly acclaimed doctor, who was indeed warm and smart and had a great bedside manner. He informed us that Ben needed sinus surgery and his tonsils removed. As we were checking out with the nurse, she suggested that we schedule the surgery immediately, because the doctor gets really booked up. (When the hell am I going to get booked up? Oh, different doctor. Let's move on.)
The nurse phoned New York-Presbyterian Hospital to make the arrangements while we stood at her desk. At one point during her conversation, she seemed a bit uncomfortable and kept looking up at me while saying into the phone, "Sure... well... uh-huh... OK...." A moment later she covered the phone with her hand and asked me, "Um, who's the real mother?"
Now, I have been asked that question many times -- too many times -- and when I was with my children's other mother, we would say, "We forgot," or, "What do you mean? We both are, of course." But that was when the kids were little and didn't comprehend the ignorance of that inquiry. It would happen at airports, in food courts, basically in places where people are more likely to come over and tell you how cute your kids are. But this was different. I was at a doctor's office, and I had already crossed out the words "Mother" and "Father" on the forms, and my son was standing next to me and knew exactly what the nurse was asking. I responded firmly yet kindly, "We are both his real mothers. If you are asking who is his biological or birth mother, that would be me. Don't ever ask that question again -- especially in front of a child."
A few days later I received paperwork from the hospital that the nurse had called. I was blown away when I began to fill out the forms: "Mother's Name," "Mother's Home Phone Number," "Father's Name," "Father's Work Phone Number." Hello?! Is it 1957?! I did my usual crossing out, but this time I used a sharpie and a lot of fury.
The day before the surgery, as I was walking to get on the bus, my cellphone rang.
"Hello?" I said.
"Hi," said a voice on the other end. "May I please speak to Benjamin's mother or father?"
"Is this the hospital?" My blood pressure was rising.
"Yes it is. We are calling to confirm Benjamin's surgery tomorrow. It will be at 3:30. Please arrive by 1. No food or liquids after midnight."
"Benjamin doesn't have a father. He has two mothers. All your forms say 'Mother' and 'Father.' Is there someone I can speak to about this?"
"Oh, I totally understand. Yes, there is. Here is the number you can call to file a complaint."
"Thanks. This can get quite infuriating."
"I bet. I get it. I really do. It's ridiculous. Have a nice day."
"Oh, it's going to be a delightful 24 hours, especially tomorrow morning, when my food-obsessed child can't eat or drink until his surgery is over."
I hung up and called the administrative office to file a complaint. I left a message with my name and phone number. Nobody called me back.
The following day the three of us -- Ben, my ex (Ben's other mom) and I -- arrived at the hospital. The first person who greeted us gave us more paperwork and asked if Ben was on his mother's or his father's insurance.
"Ben doesn't have a father," I said. "He has two mothers. The forms should all say that."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Can whomever's insurance he's on sign here?"
"Sure. And, you know, this paper work should really be updated."
"Yes, ma'am."
I don't know if I was more pissed off at the customary blowoff or that fact that she called me "ma'am."
We sat on the couch, and the social worker came over to speak to us about what was going to happen and to put Ben at ease.
"Hi," she said. "I'm Karen, the social worker. And you are Benjamin, right? And this is your mom?"
"We're both his moms," I said. There is no mistaking that I am Ben's bio mom: At just 11 years old he's already 5-foot-7? and 150 pounds, wears a size-12 men's shoe and has a face identical to mine.
"Oh, OK. Great."
Moments later another nurse handed us one parent-sized hospital gown, so we assumed that only one of us could accompany Ben to the operating room. We asked Ben whom he wanted with him as he fell asleep and whom he wanted with him when he woke up. As usual, he said he didn't care and asked us to decide. Then I noticed a mom and a dad in hospital gowns exiting the operating room. I summoned the nurse and asked if only one parent was allowed to accompany Ben.
"Oh, no," she said. "Both parents are allowed into the operating room."
"Then we will need another gown," I told her. "We are both his parents."
"Absolutely! So sorry."
I can go on and on about how many more times that day we had to "come out" as a family. I can also tell you the palpable guilt I felt as my son had to witness our inequality over and over again. But there was one last straw. The following morning the hospital phoned to see how Ben was doing. Ben answered the phone, because I was out getting him some soup, and the person asked, "Can I speak to your mother or father?" And now it was his turn. His turn to come out. His turn to explain his family. I was incensed and simultaneously disheartened. I needed to scream from the mountaintop, so I tweeted. Some hours later I got a tweet from Dr. Robert Kelly, New York-Presbyterian's president, asking me to email him. I sent him an email with my phone number, and shockingly enough he called me soon thereafter. He expressed how mortified he was and mentioned that he brought it up in the executive staff meeting that morning. He also assured me that changes were going to be made immediately, and that it was going to take some time, but that he was going to get this done. I thanked him and reminded him that this issue doesn't just affect LGBT families but families that lost a parent on 9/11 or in Afghanistan or Iraq or in any other awful way. It affects all those families that don't fit the mold, and there are a lot of us. And even though President Obama's recent inaugural address demonstrates that minds are changing, they can't change quickly enough for this lesbian mom with a sick kid.
Before I hung up with Dr. Kelly, I suggested that his employees take just a few seconds to look at the paper that I crossed out with my large black sharpie so that they would know exactly who they will be talking. It might just be the son of a frustrated and angry lesbian mom. Ben or any other child should not be burdened with explaining that their families are just as valid as everyone else's.

From the comments:

Stop saying the kid doesn't have a father. I get his father may not be or never have been in his life but he wouldn't be here without a biological father. She's upset that the papers say mother and father. What would you like them to say. Sorry but the medical professionals don't care about the second mommy. They care about the kids family medical info. Usually they ask about famiy medical history. The medical history of the second mom isn't going to matter when you're talking about the dna makeup of a child.

While I can empathize that this must have been frustrating for her and her family, I cannot help but think she's over-reacting. These changes will take time to be more widely supported but we are getting there. And why the frustration with the receptionist for showing respect and calling her "ma'am"?

Honestly, she's not the only parent to feel 'discriminated' against or rebuffed or disregarded....change takes time! She assumes that anyone looking at her and another woman standing beside their son 'obviously' must 'know' that they're gay! Most of the time people I know, and myself, aren't wondering what someones sexual orientation is, let alone if they're widows or not, for pete sake! She sounds perturbed that no one seems to notice her lesbianism! lol

I thought that the article made a valid point, and was surprised that these three comments were the ones with the most "likes" on FB. What say you? Is this Mother making an issue over nothing, or is this a valid and important issue?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

I think it's a little of this and a little of that. In NYC, I find it especially surprising that they don't have updated forms, but on the grand scale, I can't even get my kids' school or doctor to stop calling and asking for "Mrs. H_____", which is my husband's last name that I didn't take. They are looking at a file with my number and my name next to it and they STILL just automatically assume I'm Mrs. H_____.

I think she's overreacting a little. Yes the forms needs to change and A+ for her for being proactive about it and complaining, as that is the only way they WILL change. So I think that part is great.

But I think her level of emotional distress about it is overplayed. Two of my siblings have two dads, this happens a lot, they just correct people and move on. It's annoying but it doesn't have to be such an emotional trauma.

It absolutely needs to change though.

When my dad married his husband, the MARRIAGE FORM said "bride" and "groom" so one of them had to be the bride. STUPID! The world is slow to change, I'm all for pushing things along, but it sounds like this woman found nothing but understanding from the people she spoke to about it and that is a good sign. Now if we could only get people to READ the forms they have with contact info before making assumptions, that would be a great step.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

Asking about the bio dad is a valid point. If the bio dad has any legal connection to the child then the hospital or doctor has to have his permission as well. The forms can change to reflect different family make ups, but they will still need to cover their bases and aske the question.
I can see why this mom is upset, I think it is great she is trying to get this resolved.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I can understand the frustration in having to re-explain a family situation repeatedly because someone won't look at the form. It really sucks to have to do it in front of your child.

My friend is a single mom with a 5 year old. Her DD hasn't realized yet that there is a man out there who is a bio-father. She has no dad and never has. But when people ask about her dad or insist that she write christmas cards to her dad at school (thanks parent volunteer!) instead of her grandpa who was listed on the form, it creates a really crappy situation for the family. And what if a family has just broken up due to an abusive father? How does that affect the mom and kids to have him repeatedly asked for? What if it is a widower dad and kids and the hospital keeps asking for the mom? How would that feel? I don't think this is just a LGBT issue. It affects all kinds of families.

When institutions are dealing with families they need to actually read the paperwork and ask appropriate questions. What is the point of filling all of that out if they aren't even going to read it!?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"mom3girls" wrote:

Asking about the bio dad is a valid point. If the bio dad has any legal connection to the child then the hospital or doctor has to have his permission as well. The forms can change to reflect different family make ups, but they will still need to cover their bases and aske the question.
I can see why this mom is upset, I think it is great she is trying to get this resolved.

It's not a valid point. It's an assumption people make that's unfair. When a straight couple adopts kids, no one asks about the biological parents. It shouldn't be any different for gay couples. They are the parents.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

It's not a valid point. It's an assumption people make that's unfair. When a straight couple adopts kids, no one asks about the biological parents. It shouldn't be any different for gay couples. They are the parents.

They don't? Of course they ask about the bio parents, especially in times of serious illness.. Haven't you seen the forms you have to put medical issues your parents and grandparents have? I had to even do it at the eye dr.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"Rivergallery" wrote:

They don't? Of course they ask about the bio parents, especially in times of serious illness.. Haven't you seen the forms you have to put medical issues your parents and grandparents have? I had to even do it at the eye dr.

I'm not talking about their medical histories, I'm talking about contact #s and permissions, which is what I think the post referred to.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

I don't think this is just a LGBT issue. It affects all kinds of families.

When institutions are dealing with families they need to actually read the paperwork and ask appropriate questions. What is the point of filling all of that out if they aren't even going to read it!?

This I agree with 100%.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I read it as complaining about any forms with that information on it. But I do see your point and the difference.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I agree with Laurie. I think it is great that she is going through the proper channels and getting the change because families have all sorts of different make ups. It's not always just mom and dad.

I don't think I would react this way though. I would be furious to have to keep explaining everything I wrote down to people because they can't read the form. This wouldn't be my priority before my child's surgery though.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

It's not a valid point. It's an assumption people make that's unfair. When a straight couple adopts kids, no one asks about the biological parents. It shouldn't be any different for gay couples. They are the parents.

I dont think it is an assumption. I think the hospital is just covering their butt. There is not really a way for the hospital to know by looking at the form if the other mom (or dad) has legally adopted the child. Since this laws governing this are different in ever state it leaves a lot of grey area for the hospitals to figure out.
I agree with you that it is not okay that it is easier for straight couples with adopted children to deal with this, it should be easy for all parents to make medical decisions for their children. But I do not see this issue becoming more clear anytime soon. With the American family changing all the time there will always be questions that have to be asked

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"mom3girls" wrote:

Asking about the bio dad is a valid point. If the bio dad has any legal connection to the child then the hospital or doctor has to have his permission as well. The forms can change to reflect different family make ups, but they will still need to cover their bases and aske the question.
I can see why this mom is upset, I think it is great she is trying to get this resolved.

This isn't true. Either one parent has sole legal custody or the both have shared legal custody. For documents such as passports and committing to the military early, you do need both parents to agree. But not for medical decisions. It would be ridiculous for the doctor to have to call DD2's father when she needs a breathing treatment at urgent care. Likewise, if she was injured while at her father's house he needs to be able to get her seen without delay.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

This isn't true. Either one parent has sole legal custody or the both have shared legal custody. For documents such as passports and committing to the military early, you do need both parents to agree. But not for medical decisions. It would be ridiculous for the doctor to have to call DD2's father when she needs a breathing treatment at urgent care. Likewise, if she was injured while at her father's house he needs to be able to get her seen without delay.

Learn something new everyday. I thought both parents had to sign for surgeries and any major medical decision.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I had to fill out some forms for Robbie for some testing. On the forms it asked for the "natural mother" info (and father for that matter). As an adoptee I got so angry about this! I have had friends who are adoptive parents get mad for the same reason. If the forms had said birth or biological parent then fine but "natural" is so wrong. I totally get where this woman is coming from. It also reminded me of kindergarten in 1975 (I am so old, lol). My adoption had just been finalized 2 months before and I had lots of memories of my birth mother. We were making mother day's gifts. I insisted that I had to make 2 as I had 2 mothers. The teacher (and the school) knew of the situation. They could have made things so much easier then fight with a 5 year old about whether I had 2 moms or not.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

The other day I had to call on DD1's bank account. She spoke to them and then I did. For a security question the guy asked me what month my husband was born in. I had to think...what month could I have possible pick since I don't have a husband and why would I have that as a security question. I got it wrong and then he said he just assumed I was married to DD1's father and the actual question was what month was her father born in.

I can't remember the last time I filled out a form but I'm pretty sure it still says mother and father. It's never bothered me though; I haven't even thought about it.

The one thing I did have a problem with in her story is bringing only 1 gown for the parents and having the child choose. (Good response on his part BTW.)

CA birth certificates now have "mother/parent" and "father/parent" but other states and the federal government don't have to recognize a same-sex couple who are both listed on the birth certificate.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

Our forms at school now just say PARENT and PARENT. But that's rare. And they still get my last name wrong when they call even though they have the file handy.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

CA birth certificates now have "mother/parent" and "father/parent" but other states and the federal government don't have to recognize a same-sex couple who are both listed on the birth certificate.

The thing is, I am in Canada where same-sex marriage has been recognized federally for a long time and they still have not changed the forms.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

CA birth certificates now have "mother/parent" and "father/parent" but other states and the federal government don't have to recognize a same-sex couple who are both listed on the birth certificate.

The thing is, I am in Canada where same-sex marriage has been recognized federally for a long time and they still have not changed the forms.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I would be irritated that apparently no one is actually reading the forms they made me fill out, and I think it's great that she is proactively trying to change the forms to be more reflective of the society we live in.

But on the other hand I agree with Laurie that it seems to me like a relatively minor thing to put so much emotion into.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

The times I have had to fill out information, they want as much of the biological information as possible. The last time I went to a new doctor I had to call my mom and get HER life history. I will agree that this situation would be relevant to to many people that did not have a traditional family, not just GLTB. Divorced, widowed/widower, adopted. That said, it is normal in a surgery situation to answer the same questions several times. It is also normal that each new person asking you questions is not going to have communicated with the previous person asking the questions. When DH recently had his kidney transplant I had to tell each new person that he was allergic to one pain medicine. I am sure it was on his chart, but each new person that talked to him asked if there were any allergies.

I do understand her frustration in that it would be irritating to always have to correct people about your title or family status, but it seems that this is a raw nerve for her. The staff seemed very accommodating to her each time they told her. That is not the same experience she would have gotten everywhere.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

The times I have had to fill out information, they want as much of the biological information as possible. The last time I went to a new doctor I had to call my mom and get HER life history. I will agree that this situation would be relevant to to many people that did not have a traditional family, not just GLTB. Divorced, widowed/widower, adopted. That said, it is normal in a surgery situation to answer the same questions several times. It is also normal that each new person asking you questions is not going to have communicated with the previous person asking the questions. When DH recently had his kidney transplant I had to tell each new person that he was allergic to one pain medicine. I am sure it was on his chart, but each new person that talked to him asked if there were any allergies.

I do understand her frustration in that it would be irritating to always have to correct people about your title or family status, but it seems that this is a raw nerve for her. The staff seemed very accommodating to her each time they told her. That is not the same experience she would have gotten everywhere.

I feel like people absolutely SHOULD be reading the charts though....especially for info as important as allergies to medicine. On the chart, it is written down for them so they won't forget....assuming they actually read it.

Just curious what kind of treatment you feel she would have gotten elsewhere? They already completely ignored her repeated chabges to the paperwork and didnt bring the other mom a gown or whatever to let her go into surgery. What else are they going to do? Are there hospitals out there that would be so unprofessional as to actively treat a patient or mother of a patient poorly because they are gay?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I feel like people absolutely SHOULD be reading the charts though....especially for info as important as allergies to medicine. On the chart, it is written down for them so they won't forget....assuming they actually read it.

Just curious what kind of treatment you feel she would have gotten elsewhere? They already completely ignored her repeated chabges to the paperwork and didnt bring the other mom a gown or whatever to let her go into surgery. What else are they going to do? Are there hospitals out there that would be so unprofessional as to actively treat a patient or mother of a patient poorly because they are gay?

I think elsewhere she would not have found people who agreed with her that the forms were outdated, people who apologized, etc. She's in NY, where people will say, "I know, how outdated!" whereas in other places she might get blank stares, "what do you mean?" and things like that.

I guess that's why her emotional response seemed a little off the scale to me. I liked her willingness to take action and speak up, but in a place where people understand that these families are everywhere, she got positive reactions from most people after speaking up. In many other places in this country things would not have been like that.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Okay, that makes sense. I agree that the fact that everyone was nice about it right away (even if they didn't take note about it) was part of why I thought she was over reacting a little bit - it's not like anyone acted rude about it. But then, I wouldn't expect anyone to be rude anyway.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.

That part doesn't make sense to me. They don't know who the "biological" mother is and I don't think it matters...it matters who the legal parents are. Biology shouldn't enter into it at all (unless you're asking for medical histories). Gay, straight, adopted, biological, it's all parents wanting to do the most they can for their kids.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

This issue of "what is family" is actually why DH & I got married. He was in the ER with chest pain and they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't legally "family." Even worse, they wouldn't even tell me how he was doing or whether he was alive or dead. The hospital staff actually called his mom in Southern California, and asked questions for which she didn't know the answers because he hadn't even lived with her for a decade. I was his family regardless of what a piece of paper might say. His mom said, you need to talk to Stacey because I don't know what you need to know, and they said no, they couldn't talk to me because we weren't married. Even though I had a durable power of attorney, it didn't apply because DH was able to make his own health care decisions.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.

His second mom *IS* part of his immediate family.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 780

I can be passionate abot certain things and I would not want people to discount my feelings because it is my reality. I won't say she is being silly about it. If it is what bothers her, and what she wants to make people aware of, then more power to her. To be honest, until I read what was posted, I would have never thought twice and I'm happy she brought it to light. I also find it scary that nobody is reading the patient charts.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Quick comment about hospital staff reading patient charts.....
My daughter had a procedure a few weeks ago at our local children's hospital. We were "warned" at check-in that we would be asked LOTS of questions, many of them more than once. The nurse, respiratory therapist, anesthesiologist, and physician all asked about allergies, when she last ate/drank, was she exposed to any illnesses, etc. Pretty sure that has become common procedure in most places.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I got the impression that the fact that they were so polite and agreed with her, yet kept asking the same thing over and over, made her feel as though she was being brushed off. I am glad she persisted and something might be done about it.

I think they do routinely re-ask important questions, like about allergies etc to ensure they get the same answer every time. I dont think this fits into the same category. Especially only bringing one gown.....that was just ignorance. I do think her outrage was a bit much, but I do see how this could be frustrating, especially when everyone keeps agreeing with you, and yet keeps doing it over and over again!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Quick comment about hospital staff reading patient charts.....
My daughter had a procedure a few weeks ago at our local children's hospital. We were "warned" at check-in that we would be asked LOTS of questions, many of them more than once. The nurse, respiratory therapist, anesthesiologist, and physician all asked about allergies, when she last ate/drank, was she exposed to any illnesses, etc. Pretty sure that has become common procedure in most places.

Being asked multiple times about allergies or family history is acceptable. Being asked multiple times, who is *that* woman & why is she in here where only "family" should be, is NOT.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

That part doesn't make sense to me. They don't know who the "biological" mother is and I don't think it matters...it matters who the legal parents are. Biology shouldn't enter into it at all (unless you're asking for medical histories). Gay, straight, adopted, biological, it's all parents wanting to do the most they can for their kids.

I was not saying that is how I necessarily feel it should be, but how it is in many other States. In a situation like Stacy said where only imitate family was allowed, in the States where homosexual marriage is banned, two woman would not be allowed. There are many parts of the country where this woman would not have gotten as warm of a reception as she did when she complained about this issue. Again, not saying that it is how is should be, but how it realistically is.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

Even removing the idea that she is gay, I still think the medical forms should distinguish biological versus guardian. I work in a genetics lab and we have to be concious of the medical information of step parents, half sibblings, adoptions and egg/sperm donors. Sometimes we get results that don't make sense and then we find out that they gave us the history of someone whos is not biologically related. I even forget with my grandma who is not my biological grandma but she has been my Dad's mom since he was 4!

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

"Danifo" wrote:

Even removing the idea that she is gay, I still think the medical forms should distinguish biological versus guardian. I work in a genetics lab and we have to be concious of the medical information of step parents, half sibblings, adoptions and egg/sperm donors. Sometimes we get results that don't make sense and then we find out that they gave us the history of someone whos is not biologically related. I even forget with my grandma who is not my biological grandma but she has been my Dad's mom since he was 4!

I totally get this. Until I was reunited with my biological family my answer to family history for medical purposes was always "I'm adopted". Now my answer is "I only have my maternal side, I know nothing of my father's side". When my dad (adoptive) died of colon cancer my family doctor went to update my chart until I reminded him that I was adopted and so it would not matter to my medical info.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"Spacers" wrote:

Being asked multiple times about allergies or family history is acceptable. Being asked multiple times, who is *that* woman & why is she in here where only "family" should be, is NOT.

I DIDN'T say that it was.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I was just thinking about last year when DD3 had some oral surgery (done at the hospital under a general) they asked my Dh on 3 separate occasions who he was and if it was okay for him to be in there. With all the HIPPA laws in place now I really think hospitals have to be very clear on who everybody is.

Again, not that I think it is okay for people to ask weird questions about the relationships in non traditional families. And I am sure there is some places in this country where it would not be accepted that there are 2 moms (or dads)