Ah, the questions people ask, and think they have every right to ask. Adoptive parents have dealt with these questions for ages.
How you respond is up to you. Some people truly don’t know that the question that they are asking is offensive or can be seen as rude. Others are just downright nosy.
One easy way to deal with this question is to ask “Why do you want to know?” They may be interested in foster care or adoption themselves, or it may help them to realize that they have asked a rude question, such as “Are they your real kids?”
If you adopt transracially, you may get questions about your child’s paternity. Things like “Are you married to her father?”
Formulate responses to questions, so that you are prepared when someone asks. Here are answers to some common questions that can help to extinguish other questions, or help establish that you are a family.
Q. Where did she come from?
A. From her mother. From God.
Q. What is he (usually referring to race)?
A. My son. My child. A gift from God.
Q. Did her mother do drugs?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Is he your real child?
A. Yes, he is a very real part of our family.
Q. How much did you pay for her?
A. She’s worth more than I could have ever paid.
Q. Are they “real” brothers and sisters (usually referring to all of your children)?
A. They are now.
These are just some samples to help you craft your own answers. Being prepared with answers will help you when the time comes.
Using Positive Adoption Language
|Positive language||Negative language|
|Biological parent||Natural parent|
|Birth child||Own child|
|My child||Adopted child; Own child|
|Born to unmarried parents||Illegitimate|
|Terminate/Relinquish parental rights||Give up|
|Make an adoption plan||Give away|
|To parent||To keep|
|Waiting child||Adoptable child; Available child|
|Making contact with||Reunion|
|International adoption||Foreign adoption|
|Adoption triad||Adoption triangle|
|Permission lo sign a release||Disclosure|
|Search||Track down parents|
|Child placed for adoption||An unwanted child|
|Court termination||Child taken away|
|Child with special needs||Handicapped child|
|Child from abroad||Foreign child|
|Was adopted||Is adopted|
Using positive adoption language can help to better understand you, your child, and the decision of your child’s birthparents.