New to adoption? Its okay, we are too. Here are some general guidelines to get you started when encountering an adoptive family:
10 Things You Should Never Say to an Adoptive Family:
1. Is it difficult to love a child that is not your own? And adoptive child is my own. Just as your bio kids are your own. There is no difference except your children were housed in your uterus for nine months, and mine were housed in my heart for a long time.
2. How much did your child cost? Adoptive children are not property. They are not bought or sold, no matter what country you’re adopting from. Thats illegal. Adoptive families pay fees (legal, medical, otherwise) to adopt. Just as you would pay for your doctors visits or hospital bill. Children are children, and families cannot be bought or sold.
3. Your baby is so lucky! Any child that has a home is lucky, but adoptive children are not desperate. If anything they are more lucky than most because they had a first mother who realized the kind of life she wanted for her child was not one she could provide, so they have two sets of parents that love them insanely. But they are not “lucky” because they were orphans. They were never orphans because someone always loved them. If anything, when we adopt we’ll be the lucky ones!
4. The real mother was probably a hooker/didn’t care/doesn’t love their kid. This one really, really gets to me. Mothers are mothers, including mothers who adopt their children. Whatever you want to call them- e-moms, birth moms, first moms- they are mothers. And they are some of the most caring women on the planet who give an ultimate sacrifice for their children. It takes a lot of heart and courage to accomplish what they do, and they should be commended for their valor not condemned.
5. What happened to their real parents? … they are standing right in front of you.We are the real parents..last time I check we weren’t fake.
6. My best friends hairdressers next door neighbor adopted and the real mom came and took the baby away when they were three. Adoption is legal right. There are laws put in place to protect all parties. Are there a few (and I mean FEW) horror stories about a failed adoption post placement? Sure, just like there are horror stories about someone dying from drinking a can of soda. Does that stop people from drinking soda on a daily basis? No. Most adoptions go through, and your story with false facts just spreads lies and makes people nervous. Stop it.
7. You adopted just like Brad and Angelina! You have a little Pitt family! Everytime I hear this one, I want to say so badly – Oh you have blonde hair, so you MUST have gotten that idea from Madonna, and your teeth are white and in your mouth, just like Oprah’s! And you have fingers, so you’re just like John Denver. Don’t see any correlation at all? Yeah, neither do I.
8. Are you going to tell them their adopted? Number one, this is a pretty personal question. Number two- it’s not 1950. Babies don’t arrive from the stork. Our child will know from day one (hence this blog) how they came to be in our lives. There is no shame in being adopted.
9. It’s so sweet of your to take on someone elses burden. Whoa jeez, where to begin. A child is not a burden, especially when its all we want in this world to be parents. Our kid is going to be amazing even on their worst day, because they’ll be our baby. We are not “Sweet” or “good samaritans” for adopting. We want to be parents, and this is how we are doing it. We’re not saving a child- there are plenty of other parents out there who want to build their family through adoption.
10. Can you not have children of your own? Well now that you’ve adopted you’ll get pregnant! These two bother me more than most. Number one, our adopted child will be our own. And adoption is not a cure for infertility. It’s not an alternative for infertility. And please, please, please- NEVER ask someone with infertility why they don’t “just adopt”. Adoption is certainly not for everyone, and it is not an easy process by any means of the imagination. Infertility is hard enough as it is, and it doesn’t need this kind of commentary. Please don’t ever perpetuate the very untrue myth that adoption cures infertility. It does not. Infertility is a medical diagnosis that some high power drugs cannot always cure.
So there you have it! When all else fails and you are unsure of what to say, just smile and say, “Tell me about your beautiful family!”