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Jamaica Informal Adoptions - Please Explain

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  • Jamaica Informal Adoptions - Please Explain

    As I did not grow up in Jamaica, I don't really understand this informal adoptions business. A friend of mine is having a run for his money and asked me for advice but I am not sure what the usual protocol.

    His parents helped many families and young people with school fees, living expenses. A couple of them they helped get student visas to finish high school and get college/university education.

    One girl was in her mid teens and elected to call his parents Mom and Dad and they were okay with that. My friend does not have any particular bond with this girl but wishes her well. Fast forward 20 years. Now this lady is trying to interfere in his family's business, expressing unsolicited opinions about him and his brother and how they relate to other family members.

    Their mother has a relationship with this individual but some of the other family members are now feeling that her influence is negative and would like to put boundaries around her without upsetting the mother.

    Under a Jamaican scenario, what rights, if any, does this individual have. There has been no formal or legal adoption of any kind.

  • #2
    Shi hav no legal rights unless di mom draw up papers. Shi is treated ah ah dawta, an spiritually an morally shi may bi, but legally is not. It is noh different dan di very close family friend dat yuh grow up calling uncle, or auntie. Dem hah all di privileges of ah blood relative, but dem noh legally related tuh yuh, by marriage or legal means. Mi could bi wrong, but mi noh even tink common law wi covers dis situation, caa is not like shi is wan outside pickney fi di puppa or mumma?
    JA.com member #946 for LIFE!

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    • #3
      Got it. This clarifies it within the Jamaican context:

      It is noh different dan di very close family friend dat yuh grow up calling uncle, or auntie.
      I know I have close family friends who I grew up calling Aunt and Uncle and I regard them and their children as being closer to me than some blood relatives with whom I did not grow up.

      I must say some of these so called informally adopted children need to step back and know dem place. Some of them seem to take a lot for granted and make a whole heap of assumptions. They should be grateful that people stepped in and helped them out when their own families failed to step up to the plate.

      I will pass on your feedback.

      Thanks.

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      • #4
        I must say Jamaican family relationships are quite complex. For example, in North America people refer to half brother and half sister. In Jamaica, this has no meaning as sometimes all or most of the siblings don't have the same mother and father.

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        • #5
          Doa bi too harsh wid dem, caa if dem noh act like family, an did distance demself, den wi Jcans wi bi di same wan whe wi call dem ungrateful.
          JA.com member #946 for LIFE!

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          • #6
            Das correct. Wi jus refer tuh dem ah wi breddas an sistas, noh half, quarter, one-eight, or one-sixteenth noh in deh.


            Originally posted by Tropicana View Post
            I must say Jamaican family relationships are quite complex. For example, in North America people refer to half brother and half sister. In Jamaica, this has no meaning as sometimes all or most of the siblings don't have the same mother and father.
            JA.com member #946 for LIFE!

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            • #7


              There is a difference between being grateful and wanting to take over. Also there is a difference between a baby and toddler who was raised with the family and someone who knows their own family and was just helped out to finish their high school and get a college education.
              Last edited by Tropicana; 06-09-2015, 07:41 PM.

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