“They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents,”   Al Trautwig


Semantics has gotten this NBC Gymnastics announcer in some huge trouble because he tweeted that Simone Biles’ parents were not her real parents.  Simone was adopted by her biological grandparents. Legally and morally, Ron and Nellie Biles are her PARENTS. The reporter should have stuck to the sporting facts and focused on Simone’s achievements and talent instead of who is who on her family tree.

As a fellow adoptee, if I were Simone, I would feel disrespected and violated to have had such personal information spread all over the news and social media, (especially with distorted facts). When I was a teenage adoptee, those kinds of details about me were very personal and not for anyone else to share. As a teenager I refused to let adoption define me. If I were Simone right now, I would do my best to only focus on my goals at hand, (being a gold medal-winning gymnast on Team USA in the 2016 Olympics), and to not let this reporter’s comment annoy or embarrass me. Has anyone asked Simone how she feels about Trautwig’s remark?

If I were Simone’s parents, (yes I mean the mom and dad who has raised her for all these years), I would try not to take offense and instead try to laugh off the ignorant statement. I feel bad for them having to cope with the publicity caused from Al Trautwig’s hasty and thoughtless words. They don’t deserve that.

Her birth parents should also not be shamed for past events. It’s over.

As much as I am for adult adoptees having full access to their truthful birth information, I do not believe that adoptive parents should be slighted or discredited, especially if they have faithfully dedicated their resources and efforts to raising a child. I believe Ron and Nellie Biles did / are doing this. I don’t think my mom and dad would have appreciated Al’s phrasing either.

Yes, I mean the mom and dad who raised me.

Finally, had this commentator stuck to the actual news story, many folks in the adoption community could just enjoy the Olympics and focus our wishes and efforts more on adoptee rights and concerns like accountability of governmental and other adoption services and congresspeople when it comes to laws, citizenship issues and family preservation.

Al Trautwig maybe was trying to make a technical point with his sentence. (It wasn’t a total lie, but it was tacky the way he said it.) However, we should all be focusing on and celebrating this young woman’s skills and success above anything else.

Congratulations, Simone! You make the USA proud!


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  • marciamacinnis  On August 10, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve stopped watching sporting events on TV because of the irrelevant “color” that announcers compulsively interject. I agree with you: MYOB.

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