Now that we have settled into our new home in Melbourne we decided to register with a medical clinic. Naturally, the doctor wanted to know our family’s medical history and this is where I had to face my latest obstacle.
When it came to the question of “how are your parents?” I could only tell him about my mother. You see, I am one of those people who do not know who their real fathers are. In fact, I have only recently learned that the man whom I thought was my father was not on the scene until I was about one year old.
it was a terrible shock to me to learn this so late in life. It’s as if my entire heritage has been without foundation- an object without roots, blowing in the wind without an anchor.
I feel very lost, without an identity.
The sad part is that I will never know anything about my real father because my mother has Alzheimer’s.
When a doctor asks me about my parents’ medical conditions I am reminded of my lack of genetic background. When someone mentions genetic background, I wonder what mine is and if perhaps I have some other family out there.
Nowadays, this need is understood much better than it was when I was born. Still, three years ago when I found all this out in a most cruel way, my mother and my “father” were fully aware that diseases could be inherited.
When I reflect on the whole business, it was rather ironic that I rushed to get a colonoscopy when my “father” was diagnosed with bowel cancer and subsequently died. They had the perfect opportunity to tell me the truth then but chose to protect themselves instead.
I can only conclude that they had lived with the lie for so long that they never even considered my rights. But children do have rights and the most basic one is the right to know who their parents are.