Biological kid is an "outcast"? (edited title)

I had my WTH moment this morning when I read that Angelina Jolie referred to her biological daughter, Shiloh, as an “outcast” because

I have an adopted daughter and don’t feel like I have to make my biological son feel like he belongs or is as much loved as her. They are individuals with their own unique personalities and needs but I never felt like he needed special reassurance that he was loved, just as she doesn’t need constant reassurance that she is a member of our family. They both know that they are loved equally and that our family is not complete without either one of them.

So, to all dopers with adopted children or who were adopted: Do you feel that biological children feel like “outcasts” in comparison to the adopted child(ren) or do you feel it is the other way around?

Not me, but one of my best friends growing up was in that situation and confided to me that she was always just the teensiest bit insecure, because her parents had chosen her brother, but she was just the luck of the draw. When things were going well, it wasn’t a big deal, but during those inevitable times when things were strained between her and her folks, she’d wonder if they wished she hadn’t been born, or if they would have chosen her if she had been placed for adoption by other people. She was the one they *had *to parent, he was their *choice *to parent.

My SIL is adopted. It barely registers as relevant most of the time. Neither one of them has ever felt like an ‘‘outcast.’’ The only time it really comes up is when we’re joking about family resemblances.

Or the classic:

Cashier: My goodness, what an adorable child. Does she look like her father?
MIL: ‘‘I have no idea.’’ :smiley:

I have to say that this quote of hers is one of the most offensive things I have read in a long time. Calling one of her children an outcast because they look different is horrible (what if only one of her children was non-white…would it be ok for her to say that child was an outcast for looking different?) Saying that you don’t feel as much for one of your children because of the circumstances of their birth is beyond horrible. She may feel that way, and I understand that she can’t help how she feels. But to SAY so is totally unacceptable for a parent, IMO. That poor child.

In regards to your question, In my family, none of us feel like outcasts, I don’t think. Two of us are adopted, two of us aren’t. I’m the one who doesn’t look like the others (they are all blonde, and I have very dark, almost black, hair), but it never made me feel like an outcast, because no one in the family made me feel like an outcast. And my parents always told us they wanted a big family, so the youngest one (who may have actually been an “oops,”) wouldn’t feel like she wasn’t wanted. Parents have to make children feel loved, whether they are adopted or not.

I missed the edit window, but I wanted to point out that your title is backwards…it’s the non-adopted kid who she is referring to as the “outcast,” not the adopted kids.

Rat’s! Good catch. Can a mod fix this for me? Thanks.

I would try to make both my adopted and biological children feel like outcasts in their own special and unique ways.

That’s the kind of answer my mom would give! :smiley:

I reported the OP so a mod is aware of the sitch.

I have a bio daughter and an adopted son. Neither are outcasts. Both are very different children - but my parents had three bio kids and we are very different people as well. My son is Korean - looks not a whole lot like the rest of the family - on the other hand, she ended up being blue eyed and much fairer than the rest of our family. To some extent, my daughter gets “baggage” my son doesn’t - I see in her things I don’t like in myself - she is much more a reflection of me.

All kids are “surviviors” in that childhood isn’t easy on kids - adopted or not. My kids are currently watching a classmate die of cancer. Last year another classmate lost his family in a fire. Jolie adopted her kids as babies or toddlers - it isn’t like they have vivid memories of six years worth of abuse in an orphanage - or years of an inadequate foster care system which followed being removed from the care of physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive parents.

Adopted kids are sometimes described as having a “primal wound” - I think some do and some don’t. But Jolie’s kids are going to be wounded with or without adoption in the picture - their parents lives - their own lives - are far too public to avoid getting hurt - and I suspect that will be more an issue for them than how they arrived in the family.


Gotcha covered. Title edited.

Rico, the outcast moderator.


I suspect, or at least strongly want to believe, that the “outcast” phrasing was unfortunate and un-thought out, and Jolie meant something more along the lines of “odd one out” than truly “outcast”.

I also suspect(same qualifier) that some of what she’s describing as feeling more for her other kids because they were survivors is really more a case that she appreciates her other kids more because they are older, have more personality, she’s known them longer, etc.

I could be wrong. But I don’t think that this interview is a good predictor for how well Jolie will balance the needs of all her children in the future, and bring them up to be normal human beings (tricky for the children of celebrities, regardless of how they arrive in the family).

This isn’t the first such comment, and her children will be able to find these comments. If she were careful about her language and the presentation of her family in the media, I wouldn’t think this episode is a good predictor either. But her children have been constantly used as a PR device by her - not just for herself - she’s brought a lot of attention to third world child issues with her kids - but certainly they are too young to give their permission to being used such, and may one day resent it.

Look at Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise’s (adopted) kids - oh, wait, you can’t - seldom photographed - even during their divorce. Or Jodie Foster’s kids (bio,but with only one acknowledged parent). Jamie Lee Curtis - the child of celebrities herself - is more public with her (adopted) kids in that you ‘see’ a version of them in her children’s books, but only in a general sense. Is it hard to raise kids as a celebrity - I’ve no doubt about that. But I suspect the Jolie’s past and the choices she makes to expose her kids in the media will make it harder for her than for most - and that, in the end, she’s going to blame “adoption loss” rather than her own choices.

Well this just cements my opinion that Angelina Jolie is a freakin idiot. :rolleyes:

This has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

I don’t like her statement, either, and I usually don’t care about these kinds of things.

First off, why would Shiloh be an outcast because she’s blonde and blue-eyed? Why is she drawing a line between her and the others just because she has those features and the others don’t? I mean, you could very well say that Zahara is an “outcast” too, because she has brown skin and kinky hair. And Maddox (I think) is an “outcast” because of his epicanthic folds and straight hair. Being blond and blue-eyed is nothing special; it seems as if Jolie is implicitly saying that it is by highlighting those features in this interview. It also seems to me that Jolie sees this child as different than the others not (just) because she wasn’t adopted, but because of race.

Secondly, the comment about the others being “survivors” is condescending. It would bother me if she was my mother and kept refering to me in this way. I think I’d feel a little bit like a rescued puppy rather than her child. Hate to judge her like this, but it seems like Jolie views these kids as a means to make herself feel like a heroic savior figure. I also wonder why exactly she thinks the non-Shiloh kids are especially vulnerable. Because they’re not white? Because they come from impoverished backgrounds? How long is she going to see them in this way?

Thirdly, this isn’t the first time she’s said she feels more towards the other kids than she does towards Shiloh. A part of me thinks she wouldn’t be saying this if she wasn’t trying to compensate. Maybe she actually feels more towards Shiloh, but feels it is more acceptable to come out and say the opposite. The fact that this is a frequent talking point of hers tells me that she is wrestling with something here.


On the one hand, I’m not entirely sold on the notion that being a seldom/never photographed child of an often-photographed celebrity is the ideal for producing well-rounded normal people who happen to have been born to a celebrity.

On the other hand, you have a point about Jolie using her children as Poster Children for Poverty in Africa (or whatever/wherever) and their inability to provide meaningful consent. While ‘tis better to be a Poster Child like that than, say, Britney Spears’ kid, too much attention still does not bode well for a normal future.

As for the rest, let’s just say that obviously you pay more attention to the coverage of Jolie and adoption issues than I do, and so are more likely to recognize this interview as part of a pattern, and not an isolated instance of on-camera idiocy.

Once again, the latest celebrity outrage fails to bother me. It does sound like there’s some liberal guilt in her comments about the kids being “vulnerable” (unless they have some health or emotional issues that I don’t know about), but I imagine she loves them all. And the “outcast” part is obvious. She’s got four kids and only one biological (and white) kid. Outcast might be a bad choice of words, but she’ll stand out that way.

My impression is that people reading way too much into a comment in one of dozens of interviews she gives each month. Any parent who was interviewed that many times by interviewers asking that many questions about their children - I’m pretty sure anyone would say a few awkward or poorly worded comments. She and her hubby seem to be doing a pretty good job with those kids, give 'em a break.

I’m not outraged at what she said. It was more of a, “Did she really say something that idiotic?” She never struck me as a moron and in some of the interviews I’ve seen she has carried herself relatively well. But this comment about her biological child being an “outcast” was such a poor choice of words. Combined with the physical description she gives of her daughter and calling the adopted children “survivors” makes me wonder just what was rattling through her head when she was talking. She didn’t try to correct herself, she just dug in deeper.

Angelina has never had a brain-to-mouth filter. It was entertaining back when she was telling the world she screwed Billy Bob in a limo, but now that she has kids I really wish she’d shut up. Her statements wouldn’t get misconstrued if she simply said “No comment.”