Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't Say That to Adoptive Parents

When we first decided to adopt, we too, had pre-conceived notions about adoption. We used what is considered negative language. Since that first meeting with our social worker, our ideas about adoption and families have evolved.

There are several lists out there of things that should never be said to adoptive parents especially in front of a their child. I have already heard a few. Most of these comments are made innocently and not meant to be hurtful. People don't realize they are being insensitive or intrusive. Questions about adoption are always welcome, but it's best never make assumptions.

Here are my top 10 no-nos:

1. Now You're Sure To Get Pregnant!
Adoption isn't a method to get pregnant nor is it a consolation prize.  Great! Our baby will have a sibling.

2. I Have This Friend Who Was Adopted And [Insert Horror Story Here]...
I watch the news, Dateline, and see drama story lines on TV. There are just as many good adoption stories they just aren't sensualized.

3. Wouldn't you rather have a child of your own?
An adopted child is my own child. There was a legal process.

4. What problems does the child have?
What problems does your child have? Any child may experience issues and parents work through problems with them. Being adopted doesn't mean there is something wrong with the child.

5. Adoption is so much easier than having the child yourself.
Were you finger printed and background checked before you were pregnant? Did you have to submit financial records and references? Did someone come to your house to make sure it was a safe environment? Did you have to wait for months and months without knowing when you'd be selected? Definitely not easier.

6. I could never give my baby away.
You don't know what circumstances a person might have when they decide to choose adoption for their child. It is a heart-wrenching decision. This person wanted the absolute best for their child and knew that someone else out there could provide them with that.

7. Wouldn't it just be easier if the adoption were closed?
Maybe it would be easier not to have to maintain a relationship with the birth parents. But having some contact with the birth parents can benefit your child by helping them understand where they came from and why they were placed for adoption.

8. That child is so lucky to have you.
Any child that is born into a loving home is lucky. Maybe we are the lucky ones.

9. How much did you pay for her/him?
Our baby will not cost anything. I am not buying a child. I will pay adoption fees, legal fees and travel expenses for the adoption process.

10. Who is her/his real mom?
I am. Period.

There are all kinds of families out there.  Our baby is currently growing in our heart.

Here are some links to other lists on what not to say to adoptive parents.
Top 10 Things Not To Say To An Adoptive Parent
Top Ten Things NOT to Say to an Adoptive Parent
Our Journey of Faith

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