Adoption haters. They are such a broad array of people that I almost do not know where to begin in explaining how I shut them down. I won’t lump them into one group, because the haters come from different backgrounds and their reasons behind their distain for adoption vary. Instead, I figured it was best to list them as I have encountered them.

The “I hate adoption because a baby shouldn’t ever be taken away from his mother” haters: These are the folks who troll articles like this one and say really nasty things about adoption in general. Let’s state the obvious first: Most babies are not taken away, but placed by a choice made by the parents. Instances of foster-to-adopt mean that parents were given a chance to learn to be a better parent, but for whatever reason they could not, so the state intervened. Both situations had the same motivation: To do what is best for a child who is loved.

These haters tend to be uneducated in adoption as a whole, and I offer my thoughts to them with empathy and love: If you can’t, or won’t, hear the other side of why a birth mom chooses adoption, the loss is yours.

This is truly a group that is adamant about its beliefs and will not consider other opinions. (One of the many reasons I never read the comments on my articles.)

The “you didn’t pray hard enough” haters: This group is lingering. More than you know. These people feel that your choice to adopt is their business. They feel this so strongly, they aren’t shy about telling you that you weren’t able to become parents by pregnancy because you weren’t faithful enough in your religion. This is such a low blow. Not only are they obviously completely overstepping some pretty straightforward boundaries, but they are also very wrong. Fertility comes down to how a body works or doesn’t work. Bringing religion into the equation leads a person to have even more self-worth issues and possibly question their faith in trying times. These are people I approach with statistics and science. Many are living behind such a heavy veil, they cannot see how hurtful these statements are. Again, empathy and compassion are key in education.

The “Oh. But she doesn’t look like you. People will know she’s not yours!” haters: The horror! People will know you grew your family through adoption! What a tragedy! This one, on the flip sounds like, “Oh! You gave your baby away. Didn’t you want him?” This group is honestly brought together by a complete lack of education. This group of folks has usually never spent much time close to the adoption world. It’s unknown to them. Usually after a little bit of education, they have a better understanding of “why.” If not, they are saying these things as a low blow and they know it is going to hurt your heart. The way I deal with these folks is to serve them the biggest dish of sarcastic kindness I could ever offer.

The “I was adopted 50 years ago and I hate adoption” haters: My only thoughts on this are, “I am so sorry you hurt.” I wish adoption had been different in those times so you could see that you were loved. This is the biggest reason I advocate for open adoption and the adoptee’s right to access original birth certificates. It is their history. They deserve that right as a human being. I know there are so many feelings that I could never understand behind that statement. I never try to act as if I do. When I encounter these people, I respond with empathy and, you guessed it, compassion.

The “you’re drinking the Kool-Aid” haters: My favorite group! These folks are usually made up of birth moms who placed in the closed and shameful adoption era. These folks believe that any birth parent who feels that open adoption is good—and worse, advocates for it—is drunk on propaganda. They shame us and tell us that we are horrible women for not trying to be parents. They feel that because we see adoption in a positive light, we’re wrong. We live in a delusional world of “unicorns and glitter.”

My answer to shut these people down is simple: I tell them I do not think adoption is perfect. I do not love it all the time. There are really cruddy parts to it. It has rain storms, gray clouds, and scary monsters who bite at your feet from under the bed. I am aware of the ugly, but I choose not to live in it. I choose to work through the bad times and feelings and focus on the good. Mind over matter. This group is a special kind that you can’t get too far with on empathy and compassion. They will back you into a corner and attack with vile comments filled with hate. Those comments obviously stem from a ton of pain. Although I find the compassion in my heart to not fight back, the best way to stop these people is truly to remove them from your realm. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

There are more groups. Many more than I could fit in this article. But the bottom line is that we get much further in life by being kind. By remembering that lack of education doesn’t mean lack of heart. Kindness is key. We all have our life stories that bring us to our feelings on a subject as touchy as adoption. Addressing haters with grace, empathy, and care can possibly soften a heart to hear your words. If that doesn’t work, BLOCK ‘EM!