Oh, adoption questions. When your family stands out a little or is put together a little differently, people are going to ask questions. Maybe they’re curious. Maybe they’re nosy. Maybe they’re just trying to make polite conversation. Maybe they’re genuinely interested in you.
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Since we adopted our first son from China in 2012, we’ve been asked some really crazy questions that run the spectrum from funny to “holy crap did they really just say that?” Here are 6 annoying adoption questions that most often make me roll my eyes…and people, I am an expert eye-roller.
Six Annoying Adoption Questions
Do they know they’re adopted?
My kids are clearly Asian. If you are halfway sober or have an IQ above six you will pick up on the fact that my husband and I are not Asian. We’re banking on the kids eventually figuring out they come from a different gene pool.
In all seriousness, we talk about adoption all the time. It is part of our everyday conversation. Our children know they’re from China and that we chose them to be in our family. And, this a straight-up ridiculous question, by the way.
Can’t you have your own kids?
I hate this question and I especially hate when people ask it in front of my kids. They are my own and I am their own and they don’t need to hear some blundering stranger who wants to make small talk suggest otherwise. People probably don’t think about this when they ask if I can have “my own” but the question can have ripple effects.
These kids routinely demand food and snacks and to be driven places and generate copious amounts of laundry. These are my kids. And yes, I know there’s more to being their mom than feeding them and washing their clothes but these are my kids in every way that counts.
And seriously – we’re talking about my uterus and other parts. If we’re going to have a chat about my lady stuff, shouldn’t you be offering to buy me a drink or something?
Where are their real parents?
I know people mean birth or biological parents. I won’t beat someone up for word choices but they might take offense at my answer:
None of your business.
People are usually taken back by that response, no matter how kindly it is said. But the truth is, it’s not your business. No matter how curious you are or not matter how much you didn’t mean any harm in asking this question.
My children’s birth parents chose life. Beyond that, we expect people to understand this may be a tender subject someday. It may not be, but until they’re old enough to decide how this info is shared, we don’t discuss it openly or casually with people outside of our intimate circle…and especially not while they’re standing right there.
Where did you get them?
I usually answer with some form of “they’re from China” because I know that’s what the question really is. I am always tempted to say “Costco” and watch the looks on people’s faces. One of these days…
In all seriousness, I would never answer like this or suggest I got my kids at a store or purchased them in any way.
Related post: Should you buy an adoption gift?
How much did they cost?
Um…is that your real hair color? Your eyebrows don’t match your hair, and what is that on your chin? A birthmark or a zit?
Seriously, if you’re curious about the cost of adoption, Google it. Call an adoption agency or a lawyer.
And why do you really need to know? By the way, I have a nice lady I met in Target that is solely responsible for this question.
I was on vacation and had forgotten to pack underwear. I mean, of all things to forget, right? My two kids were running around the ladies lingerie section like little Energizer Bunnies on blue meth. Yes. I love being asked about finances while holding a six pack of boring briefs. I mean…who doesn’t?
Now that you’ve adopted, do you think you’ll get pregnant?
See number two.
Not everyone adopts because they can’t pop babies out of their hoo-hah. Some people have strong feelings about bringing more kids into the world or providing a home to a child who needs a family. Maybe it’s best not to assume.
I know there are adoptive families out there that don’t mind these kinds of questions, or even welcome them. I know there are parents who would have seen the nosy-body biddy in Target as an opportunity to gently educate people about adoption.
I’m not one of those people and that doesn’t make me mean or snarky…although I admit to being snarky sometimes. OK, a lot.
I’m obviously not ashamed of our family’s adoption story and I’ll share it with the right person at the right time for the right reason. I get to decide the terms, not someone I don’t know that’s having a moment of random curiosity.
I don’t get offended because people ask me these questions. Maybe I should, but for the most part, I am used to it. I expect it. I’ve even gotten good at gauging that gleam in someone’s eye when they’re about to ask me something that isn’t any of their beez. My response is usually to smile, nod and move along, unless you’re straight up obnoxious or I’m in a really crappy mood.
It doesn’t bother me that much when people ask adoption questions…but why does it bother people when they find I don’t want to answer them?
Because we just want to be a family.
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