Things NOT to Say to Someone Who is Adopting

I reposted this (with permission) from a fellow blogger. Check out her blog http://unexpectedlifeevents.blogspot.com Funny, witty and going through the adoption process too!


1. How much is going to cost? If I want you to know how much money it is going to cost then I'll tell you. If I don't, don't ask. I don't ask how much your medical bills were for giving birth to your children, do I?
2. If I tell you how much it is going to cost, please don't respond by telling me how ridiculous the cost is. Yes, I am aware that private, domestic adoption is expensive. I am aware that I could easily be spending that money elsewhere. I am aware of programs that are cheaper. I have done my research. I have done a lot of research. We picked this agency for our personal reasons and we plunged in knowing full well what the costs were going to be. I do agree that the costs are outrageous in some cases. I fully support a cap on the costs of private adoptions, or giving money back to people who are adopting children, who otherwise would not have a home. It is still none of your business to tell me how to spend my money (or in our case) my parent's money.
3. Don't tell me how you could never give your child up for adoption and how you don't believe that people can actually do that. Here's a shocker - some people actually realize they can't provide the kind of life they would like for their child. They do the most selfless, amazing, loving thing in the world and give that child up to a family that can. That is the definition of loving parent right there.
4. Don't ask me if I can give the baby back if there is something wrong with it. Do I ask you if you wanted to give your children back after they were born? Even if they were born perfect and later in life developed a disease or disability, I would never ask you if you wanted to give them back.
5. Don't tell me about all the movies you have seen on Lifetime and such, about how the birth parents suddenly show up when the child is 10 and take them away from the adoptive parents. It does not happen in real life. Once the relinquishment rights are signed, that is it. There is no going back for the birth parents. The cases that movies are made out of, or that go to court usually have some kind of back story to them that has lead them to court. However, they usually forget to show you that on TV, because then it would not make for a good movie.
6. Don't ask me about what I'm going to tell the child about adoption, their birth parents, etc. Don't give me your opinions on open adoptions - how horrible they are, what would your child call you, you'll never really be the child's parent, and on and on. This is not the 1950's people. Anyone with half a brain who does research on open adoptions would immediately see the benefits to them versus a closed adoption. I don't even know if ours will be open. Would we consider it? Yes, depending upon the circumstances. The majority of the adoptions these days are semi-open (fully closed ones are rare anymore) where the birth parents get pictures/letters through the agency.
7. Don't ask me what I am going to do if I get a baby of different racial makeup than my husband and I. That is our choice and our business. If you don't support it then don't ask me questions. Simple as that.
8. Don't ask what I am going to do if the birth mother would change her mind. It does happen, but we are not even matched yet, so I'm not worrying about it. If it happens, it happens. Until then I'm not thinking about it.
9. Don't tell me stories about how people got pregnant after they adopted. I can't get pregnant without medical intervention, so I am not magically going to pop up pregnant after we adopt. It's not happening folks. I will never be pregnant unless by an act of God and last time I checked God was not in the business of creating new fallopian tubes.
10. Don't ask me why we did not try surrogacy, egg donors, or other things so I could be pregnant. Once again none of your business. I went through two traumatic IVF's and that was enough. I am done with that stuff. I admire those people who try everything they can to have a baby, but each couple is different. My body has been through hell and so has our relationship, so we are done with that route.

I'm sure I have at least ten more things I have heard about adoption lately that has pissed me off, but I'll save them for another post!


redheadmomma said...

I remember when I was 16, and I went to see my aunt when she adopted her daughter from Peru. As the baby sat on her lap, I said, "When are you going to tell her she's adopted?" And my auntie smiled and looked at her beautiful daughter and said to her, "You're adopted!" It was so loving and open, and I appreciate that she took my curiosity as that - simple curiosity.

I deal with questions/judgment too but in a different way, when my child (who looks too old to know better) has an outburst in a public place like an airport. That's one of the many problems with autism...your kid looks normal but sure as hell doesn't act that way.

And I deal with questions as well that I try really hard to see through the lens of "I can take the opportunity to educate this person". I figure they're not trying to piss me off at all, but just don't know the answers. But one time that really stung was during a wedding a couple years ago when a fellow guest said, "Have you heard about that new Jenny McCarthy book? She cured her kid." I just wanted to throw my drink at him at his ignorance that all kids w/autism are most definitely NOT the same - some respond well to certain things, and some do not. I wanted to say, "Don't you think I've TRIED? Do you think it's as easy as that? AND Do you want to guess what would happen if you took Jenny McCarthy's kid off of a gf/cf diet? Would he look cured then?" I really struggled to see that he was only trying to be helpful. He completely didn't clue into the fact that I'm an expert on autism (for my child) - just as you are an expert on adoption. :)

And there's curiosity which is inherent in all of us. Some comments relating to, say, the birth mother changing her mind - I actually didn't know that, and if I asked it, it would be because I wouldn't want you to be hurt and I would make the mistake of assuming you hadn't already thought of every possible scenario how it could go wrong. I can only imgine it's the world's biggest roller coaster, but some questions on the list I might ask because I am uneducated about the whole process. Your blog is so helpful to enlighten me on the subject and what you go through.

Since people see adoption as "optional", I'd imagine you get your choices questioned MUCH more - and you witness more judgment - than if there had been no choice in the matter.


Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Courtney writes an amazing blog about her journey to adoption and becoming a parent. I've known Courtney since high school. She and Tim are going to make amazing parents. Her story is about perserverence and open-mindedness and is very inspiring.


Michele said...

What a great post....I get asked many of these same questions as well, in addition to some other crazy ones.

I basically take the mindset of that they are just asking because they really are curious about the process etc.

IVF Clinic India said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I know you wrote this a while back, but wow I've heard all the same things and wonder what people are thinking when things come out of their mouths, especially 8-10. I'm not even allowed to be excited that we've been matched. I have 3 months to wait now and yes, I know the risks, yes I know they can change their mind, it's not like I suddenly decided to adopt and did no research. Anyways, thanks for this post as it let me know I'm not the only one with people that talk without thinking