Okay, if you’re reading this, it means you might have seen my first Instagram Reel! Hopefully I’ll get better at this!
So, some of these questions and comments are totally personal, some feel harmless or are meant as a complement, but all are not recommended for the following reasons…
Why didn’t her parents want her – just because a birth mother places her child for adoption doesn’t mean she doesn’t want her. She gave her life but made a choice to break her own heart to give her child opportunities she couldn’t provide for her at the time. Most adoptive parents feel like the child’s birth family is extended family and holds them in very high regard for their decision, so don’t be surprised if some adoptive families get offended or protective when asked this question. Read more about the respect and empathy necessary for women who make these tough decisions here.
Your child is so lucky! – so this one might feel rather harmless and most who say it feel like they are complimenting the adoptive family. However, that child is not lucky to have been separated from her birth family and eventually experience trauma, loss and questions about her identity due to her separation. That doesn’t mean the child won’t have an amazing life, loving parents and access to more opportunities than she would have had (if that’s even true), but if they are adopted into a different home, they aren’t “lucky” to experience the pain that usually goes along with it. Read more about that here.
Don’t you want kids “of your own”? – Absolutely a personal question that should never be asked. That mom could have wanted to have children biologically and couldn’t and you could be opening up a deep wound when asking this. See some of these posts on infertility to understand that better. But this question also implies that the love a mom feels for a biological child is somehow different than the love for their child through adoption. I can personally attest that there is no difference being a mom to a child through adoption and a child biologically!
How much did your child cost? – No, absolutely not. I’m still appalled every time I’m asked this. My child didn’t cost anything, I paid attorneys, agencies, social workers, birth parent living expenses and other fees to make an important legal process happen, and that amount is absolutely none of your business! If you are just curious and want to know more about the costs of adoption, click here.
Was her “real mom” on drugs? – First off, I’m her mom, I’m very much real. She climbed into my bed last night when she had a nightmare and I’m the one who cleaned up her accident when she didn’t make it to the bathroom. Her birth mom’s history is also none of your business. Birth families are making the choice to place for a variety of reasons. Some expectant moms are making it due to addiction, but there’s typically so much more to that story and there’s countless other reasons an expectant woman (or family) makes an adoption plan. Adoptive parents should do everything to protect their child’s story and so expect not to get an answer to this or other questions like this!
Stay tuned for round 2 as it will take many reels to get through all the strange questions and comments that get made to adoptive families! I’ll also share some ideas on what to say to adoptive parents instead!