10 Questions Not to Ask Adoptive Parents

Learn what not to say to parents of adopted children -- and why you shouldn't say it -- with this adoption etiquette primer.

What Not to Say

Mom smiling up at dad with daughter on his shoulders, outside

"Who are his 'real' parents?"

"Aren't you wonderful to adopt this child?"

"How could his 'real' mother give away an adorable baby?"

"Do you know anything about his background?"

"What will you do if he searches for his 'real' mother?"

"Your kids look so different? Which one is yours?"

"It's just like having one of your own, isn't it?"

"Why was she given up for adoption?"

"How much did you pay for your baby?"

"Now that you've adopted, you'll probably get pregnant, don't you think?"

What Non-Adoptive Parents Should Know

If you're an adoptive parent, chances are you've heard all or some of these questions. Neighbors, strangers, friends, and yes, even family, may mean well, but their remarks can really grate on adoptive families. Often, non-adoptive parents don't even realize they're asking intrusive questions.

The answers to your questions are going to be framed using these basic points about adoption:

  • Adoption is permanent.
  • Adoption is a legal change, involving the court.
  • Adoption is another good way to create a family.
  • Some aspects of adoption are private.
  • Most adopted children grow up to be just fine.

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