Mostly Cloudy   62.0F  |  Forecast »

5 Things to Avoid Saying to Adoptive Parents

Questions about infertility and 'real parents' are definite no-nos, says this mom of an adopted daughter. Get her two cents on not what to say.

Deciding to adopt is a very personal decision. Many couples and individuals research and ponder the possibility for years before committing to the process. My husband and I chose to adopt our daughter from the foster care system because we wanted to parent a child who needed someone.

Once we started talking about our plans, I was amazed at many of the question and comments we received. Here are some comments to avoid making to someone adopting.

1. Are you infertile?

I was shocked the first time someone asked about my fertility. It was my hairdresser. My father-in-law's girlfriend asked soon after. They weren't the only ones to ask this very personal question.

2. You're such a saint!

Strangers often heap praise on my husband and I for adopting. My husband eats it up. It gets on my nerves. I wanted to be a mother to a child who needed one. That doesn't make me a saint.

3. What if ... ?

Questions we have been asked include:

  • Are you sure you want to raise someone else's child?
  • What if they are mentally ill?
  • What if their real parents want them back?
  • What if you don't love them like you would your own child?

Yes, there are lots of unknowns in adoption, but the same is true of having biological children. We're committed to our daughter no matter what, just like any other parent.

Where are her 'real parents'? Do you have children of your 'own'?

These phrases drive me nuts. My daughter is my own child. I am her real parent. She's my real child. We're both very real! Yes, she had other parents before us. They are real, too.

Did you hear about the adopted child who murdered his whole family?

We've heard tons of adoption horror stories. I've heard this often happens to women who are pregnant, too. I once had a casual acquaintance tell me a long, drawn-out story of a friend of her cousin's neighbor who adopted three children "out of the goodness of her heart" who then brutally murdered her in her sleep when they grew up.

I got really upset by these comments at first. Our adoption has been finalized for over two years now, and the bizarre comments still happen. I am able to blow it off now – except when they speak up in front of my daughter. I still need to work on shrugging off those comments. Adoption is complicated and requires thick skin.

Nov 6, 2012 02:40 pm
 Posted by  shannon2818

We get "you're such a saint" a lot. I feel the same way you do. My husband and I adopted two children through foster care and I write about our experiences at www.oneinchofgrace.wordpress.com. In fact, we're featured in this month's story on older child adoption.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Passport Rules for Kids

Passport Rules for Kids

If you're planning on traveling with your family outside of the country, they'll need a passport. Find out what you need and how to get passports for children.

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Find out how your family can save money when flying abroad and in the country.

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Thought about taking your kids for a trip abroad? You should! Here are tips to help make your cultural excursion easier – and cheaper – than you might think.

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Whether you just want to run an errand or need to hit the gym for a break, it could be time to let your tween stay home alone. Here are a few ways to know your kid is prepared.

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Whether you're hitting the pool or lake, southeast Michigan is packed with watery summer fun. These projects are inspired by (and ready for) this very topic!

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

At each stage of development, there are things parents can do for their kids to help them with social skills and making friendships.

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

If you haven't seen the wonder that is the Grand Canyon, you owe it to yourself and your kids to go.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement