1. DO YOU HAVE ANY REAL CHILDREN?
All children are real children whether they are biological, fostered or adopted.
They are all equal.
2. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS REAL PARENTS?
His birth/bio parents decided to have him adopted. We are his real parents.
3. HOW MUCH DID HE COST?
If the parents want to divulge that information, that is fine. However, that is a personal question.
There are plenty of websites that list costs for adoption whether it be local or international.
4. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH HIM?
Just because a child has been adopted, doesn't mean he is a reject or second class goods.
If he does have any issues, they are nobody's business unless a parent chooses
to divulge such information.
5. CAN YOU HAVE KIDS OF YOUR OWN?
Maybe yes and maybe no. Some parents want to offer a loving home when they already have
biological children. Some adopt when they cannot conceive. If you have to ask, then
you don't know the family and, therefore, it is an inappropriate question. This can be a very
sensitive topic and is best not to bring up.
6. I BET THAT NOW YOU HAVE ADOPTED, YOU WILL GET PREGNANT! IT ALWAYS
I don't know how many times we have heard that statement. In some cases, adoptive parents
do get pregnant after adopting. However, it is infuriating and sad to have to explain that you could
get pregnant, but kept having miscarriages, or have some medical condition that prevents you from
ever getting pregnant. In the same vain, it is never a good idea to say, "See! You adopted and got
pregnant. I bet it's because you relaxed and weren't so stressed out." This is assuming that the
mother couldn't conceive at all, when a large majority of adoptive parents have endured multiple
miscarriages. So, saying that she was stressing out too much previously only makes her feel like
she was at fault for losing her babies. And that is unfair and medically unsound!
7. HAVE YOU HEARD THE HORROR STORY ABOUT MARY'S ADOPTION?
Is this a little tid-bit of information that is going to be uplifting and helpful? I think not. Keep such
information to yourself.
8. HE IS SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU!
A statement like that to adoptive parents often sparks a feeling that the child has been given a
massively huge favor. Every child deserves to have a happy, loving and secure family. They are
not rejects. They are precious little people who, given the right environment can make a huge
contribution to the world around them. Adoptive parents will often say they are truly blessed to
have their adoptive child as part of their family, not the other way round.
- As an observer, you do not have the right to know the intimate details of a child's adoption.
- Adoptive parents are happy to tell their adoption story when they know someone is genuinely interested. Ask open-ended questions, thus allowing them to tell you as much as they want and no more. The same prying, boring, inappropriate, pointed questions become frustrating and 'old' to adoptive parents, especially coming from people they do not know well. Be respectful and read the signals when adoptive parents have shared all they want to for now.
- It's also important to avoid discussing adoption around an adopted child. That topic may not have been discussed with the child yet and may lead to a very uncomfortable and premature conversation with the parent and child.
If you are interested in adoption or adopting a child, there are lots of great resources on the web and also local agencies that can take you through the process. Please feel free to ask Kristee any questions as she adopted her son internationally a couple of years ago.
Written by: Sally Burgess and Kristee Mays