Lately I have come across so many articles of questions you shouldn’t ask people who adopt. I get that people can be insensitive but seeing these articles all the time bugs me. I started the blog for numerous reasons but a big one was to put information out there. To let my friends and family know about the process, the ups and downs, and even the financial aspect. I have wanted to adopt since I was about 8 years old (give or take), am a licensed social worker, researched like crazy, and I still had so many questions when we started the process. In fact I didn’t even know what a truly open adoption could look like.
It’s not that I feel like every adoptive parent has to tell all of their business, but I do want to be an advocate for adoption and adoption education. As we ask questions we just need to be thoughtful of what we are asking. Other than that, if phrased nicely, I would be happy to answer your questions. Questioning is how we learn and grow. Here is the thing, we are the faces of adoption so if we respond to an offensive comment with a rude reply or an abrupt end to the conversation then we have done one of two things;
1) Shut the conversation down for good with that person and/or
2) Allowed them to continue asking the same offensive question to another family.
During our adoption seminar the social worker had us write down the offensive questions family and friends had asked us since opening up about our adoption plan. Quite frankly at the time I could only think of one. We had so much support and positivity from the moment we told everyone that I was actually pretty surprised by the one offensive question. Needless to say, it took a lot of will power to answer with respect but I think I did a decent job for the first awkward question. I also hope that I used language that they used/remembered from that point on. I will say I was pretty astounded by some of the questions others in our seminar had been asked. Our job of advocators for adoption will not be an easy one if we have to respectfully respond to some of those questions, but I beg anyone in the adoption community to try.
With all this said, there is one thing that I will not answer. My daughter’s story of what happened prior to being adopted is her story, not mine and I suspect that most other parents will protect their children’s stories too.
We all have our things that we are knowledgeable in whether it’s politics, religion, math, social work, or where to get the best hamburgers. Unfortunately we need to remember that we also ALL have things that we are NOT familiar with.
And maybe, just maybe if we do a good job of answering those questions, then there will be a couple of other families with a little more insight into adoption.