Sunday, February 8, 2009

Adoption Information Curiosity

Adoption Information Curiosity

How many of us who have adopted, been adopted or placed a child for adoption have to face the dreaded questions from curious people? Some people are curious for very modest reasons such as they are interested in adding their family through adoption, but most are just plain entertained by whole adoption world. Hoping to hear the details of the Birth Mom villain or victim, the LifeTime drama’s of babies overcoming drug addicts, and who the “real” parents are. How many of us have had to face the dreaded personal questions in front of our children?!?

“Are they really brother and sister?”
“Is he a crack baby?”
Did you get her from Ethiopia?”
“Why can’t you have kids of your own?”
Aren’t you afraid his real Mom will want him back?”
“How does he like having two Moms?!?”

We’ve heard it all and not just from strangers in the check out line, but from our own family members, neighbors or health care professionals. A child’s adoption story is their own. Their history, their genetic family members and their life stories are their own to share with whomever they are comfortable. They may be just one year old now but someday they will an eleven year old with a best friend they may chose to confide in, a twenty one year old with a serious boyfriend who should learn her history from her, a fifty year old getting ready to have grandchildren herself and information shared years earlier is still circling the family gossip chain. It’s the child’s story to tell. Even the smiling four year old before you comprehends more than you know. Having to see her Dad grope for a polite but appropriate answer to nosey questions is uncomfortable.

The Adoption Manners Rule for asking adoption related questions is 1st: Ask yourself why you want that information. 2nd: Don’t ever ask in front of children. 3rd: Review Positive Adoption Language before talking about adoption. 4th: Trust that the parent/s will share information with you that they feel you should know.


  1. Excellent, excellent advice...those questions while understandable are often awkward and can be just crazy in front of a child...this is coming from an adoptee and an adoptive mom...

    miss you guys, maybe one day i will have time to drop in and post.

  2. I always cap of the questions of curiousity with refering them to an information meeting at DHS. I just say if your that interested they have informational meetings and they can answer all your questions there.

  3. Ugh, the questions... they always catch me off guard and unprepared!

  4. Yep, we've had these questions time and time again. It's hard to divert them.

    Someone suggested putting the question back on the person asking by saying, "Why do you ask?" or even, "Why do you feel the need to know?"