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Art of Obituary Writing, Case Study: Adoption

Art of Obituary Writing, Case Study: Adoption

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Published by sullivonne
This case study will demonstrate best practices when writing about adoption in an obituary. It will cover three sections of an obituary: biographical, predeceased, and survivor.
This case study will demonstrate best practices when writing about adoption in an obituary. It will cover three sections of an obituary: biographical, predeceased, and survivor.

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Published by: sullivonne on Dec 09, 2009
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Art of Obituary Writing
Yvonne SullivanThe People’s Biographer 
Art of Obituary WritingAdoptionThis case study will demonstrate
best practices
when writing about adoption in an obituary. Itwill cover three sections of an obituary: biographical, predeceased, and survivor. Unless statedotherwise, the characters in this case study are fictitious. Similarities to actual people are onlycoincidental.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Once an adoption is finalized, an adult becomes the legal parent, or parent, of a child. If your spouse or partner legally adopts your child, his or her role changes from stepparent, or otherwise,to parent. The reason is because an adoption establishes a parent-child relationship equal to thatof a biological child. Even if an adopted child and adoptive parent disown each other, due to astrained relationship, the parent-child relationship remains unbroken.Since there is no difference between an adopted child and biological child in matters of the law,it is unnecessary to label a child as biological or adopted in an obituary. (For example: “. . . .adopted son, Fredrick; son, Charles; . . .”) Instead, list the children from oldest to youngest in the predeceased section or survivor section.For example (survivor section): “. . . Herman News is survived by his wife,Jacqueline News; three sons, Jackson News (Elizabeth) of Columbus, Ohio,Herman News, Jr. (Julia) of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jake News of Columbus, Ohio;two daughters, Kate News and Ann Pugh (Paul), all of Columbus, Ohio; . . .”In the example above, Jackson is an adopted son and Kate is an adopted daughter of Herman and Jacqueline News. Jackson is the oldest children and, you guessedit, Ann is the youngest.If an adoption is generally known, an obituary writer may want to share the adoption story in the biographical section. Everyone loves a heartwarming story.Additional
best practices
will be explored in this case study based upon the following scenario:John Carl Moore was adopted in 1969 by James and Marlene Moore. Born CarlBridgecamp on June 11, 1968, John was about 16 months old at the time of hisadoption. Only six months after John's arrival, the Moores conceived Amber. Shewas a welcomed addition to their happy family.After John graduated from The Ohio State University, he married his high schoolsweetheart, Nicole. His best friend, Lee Silver, was his best man in the wedding.John and Nicole remained in Columbus, Ohio, their hometown. They were blessed with two sons, John, Jr. and Christian.
The joy of fatherhood got John thinking about his birth parents. He decided toseek them out. On his birthday three years ago, John met his birth mother, LucilleBridgecamp. He was told the name of his birth father, Mitch Carl Michaels;however, the whereabouts of his birth father were unknown.Lucille told John that his conception was a result of teenage love. Lucille's parentsinsisted that she abort her pregnancy. They were concerned about her future, sinceLucille was only 16 years old. She refused. Lucille secretly planned to relocatefrom Kentucky to Ohio to give birth and raise her baby alone.As planned, Lucille gave birth to John in Lewis Center, Ohio. Without financialsupport from and contact with her parents, Lucille experienced great setbacks.She decided to give John up for adoption after his first birthday. John appreciatedher sacrifice, once he understood her dilemma. He was raised by wonderful parents.The Moores supported his effort to reconnect with his birth mother. Lucille hadeven considered relocating to Columbus, Ohio, at the end of 2008. She was twicedivorced, lived in Arizona, and had no other children. She was excited aboutgetting to know John and Nicole better. She definitely wanted to spoil John, Jr.and Christian more.Unfortunately, John died in a car accident before the changes happened.Life will and does bring the unexpected – huh? Now, Nicole and the Moores are tasked withwriting an obituary for John. This is what they should consider (by section):BIOGRAPHICAL SECTION:The biographical section includes vital information about the subject, such as birth date andlocation, death date and location, employment, education, hobbies, etc. Since it is generallyknown that John was adopted, it is ideal to write about the adoption story in the biographicalsection of his obituary. It is also ideal to write about John's reconnection with his birth mother.Both life events are inspiring.For example: “. . . John Carl Moore was born Carl Bridgecamp on June 11, 1968,in Lewis Center, Ohio, to Lucille Bridgecamp. Because of his birth mother’sunconditional love, John was put up for adoption. She wanted him to live abovetheir current circumstances. Around that time, James and Marlene Moore haddecided to start a family, adopt a child. Their love for John was instant. He wasadopted by them at 16 months old. . .”PREDECEASED SECTION:The predeceased section includes the names of immediate family members (current and former),who died before the subject. Current immediate family members are defined as spouse andchildren – including adopted, biological, half, and step. Former immediate family members are

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