Sadly, in certain cultures (including Vietnamese), the non-biological parent-child relationship tends to be given second-class status, viewed at somewhat askance, with a suspicion that perhaps becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Idiomatic expressions such as “Blood is thicker than water” (or, “Một giọt máu đào hơn ao nước lã”) preserve this cultural supremacy of blood ties.

In my experience, more often than not the adopted child (con nuôi; “nuôi” means to raise or care for, and is also the word for foster) is not fully accepted. …


Coming from an Asian culture (Vietnamese, to be specific), there is an assumption of a duty to care for one’s parents, especially in their old age. Whether such a duty exists is not the topic of discussion here. For now, suffice it to say that I wholeheartedly ascribe to this cultural wisdom that has been passed down to me. Caring for one’s parents, I believe, is a sign of character, of a person with a sense of gratitude. …

Annie Vo

A Vietnamese who grew up in the US — a NYC girl. A corporate lawyer by trade, with management experience. I care about relationships, learning and being kind.

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