Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things Never to Say to an Adoptive Parent

I saw a list on another blog written by an adoptive single dad. I thought I'd make my own list since, like him, I get so many stupid or very personal questions from people who should know it's none of their damn business. I have no problem talking to people who are polite and don't ask questions that any sane person would realize are offensive but damn! why are so many people so damn rude?

1. How much did she cost? We did not buy a child. We paid legal fees, agency fees, and government fees much like my insurance paid for all of the medical fees involved with giving birth to my son. Do not make my child feel like an object. Do not tell me the story about how your aunt's cousin's best friend's step brothers mother's niece was made to pay extra or any other horror stories. Ever play telephone - chances are the details you have are not totally accurate.

2. You're going to get pregnant now that you've adopted. If I do, I'm going to be asking the Yasmin manufacturers for my money back. I know this is shocking to some, but not everyone who adopts is trying to get pregnant. And, if the person has been dealing with infertility and treatments, do you really think you're helping her? Statistics show that the number of women who get pregnant after adopting when they had trouble doing so before is very, very small.

3. Can you get pregnant? Is that why you chose to adopt? Unless you are my spouse, that is SO not your business. Again, refer to #2 - not everyone who adopts wants to get pregnant.

4. Do you know who her real mom is? I am her real mom. You are referring to her birth mother and if you're not close enough to us to already know the answer, you have no business asking.

5. You're just like Angelina Jolie (or any other famous person who adopted). I don't tend to be influenced by celebrities for fashion or hair advice; I certainly did not look to them to see how we should grow our family.

6. She's so lucky. We are the lucky ones. We cannot imagine our lives without her.

7. Don't you want to have your own children? Jessica is my own child. The term you're looking for is biological and please refer to #2 of this list. (When Jason is present, I get "Didn't you want to have more of your own children?)

8. I could never give up my child. You have no way of knowing why the parent(s) were not able to raise their child. I imagine that it must have been a heartrending decision to make.

9. China doesn't like girls (or any other disparaging comment about an internationally adopted child's birthcountry). I want my child to be proud of her birthcountry and would appreciate people not making disparaging comments about it in front of her especially when they really don't have all the facts. Does that country have its problems? Of course it does just like every other country in this big wide world. I love the USA but honey if you think it doesn't have its own share of problems, you're living in a fantasyland.

9. I could never love a child I didn't give birth to. I'm sorry your heart is so small.

10. Why didn't you adopt from the US? We made the choice based on what was right for our family. If you're so interested in domestic adoption, I'd be happy to give you an agency's name and number to call.

11. I love this one - Are you going to tell her she's adopted? Considering we adopted transracially, this question is pretty inane when asked of us. However, if Jess were caucasian and it wasn't readily obvious that she was not our biological child, yes I would still tell her. I think keeping a secret like that is a horrible thing and will backfire badly at some point. I think the fact of being adopted should be addressed matter of factly early on and not saved for a BIG TALK when the parent feels the time is right. We read stories about all types of adoption (as well as different ways families are formed) and look at her scrapbook frequently.

1 comment:

Michele said...

Ah #9... Would you believe that I sometimes hear this when people find out I'm adopted. REALLY?? Who ever thinks that is okay to say!!!

I for one can say that I am thrilled you adopted! She is a beautiful addition to your- and to our- family!