Conversation about adoption can be tricky. A seemingly benign comment can cause an adoptive parent to lash out in protection of their family.
I’ve received many emails from people quite upset. They are experiencing negativity from friends or acquaintances when asking about adoption.
The questions themselves are harmless. However, the terms used are offensive.
I find this whole situation frustrating, and I get a bit disappointed in my fellow adoptive parents. We have all had a friend or stranger ask a question about adoption that makes us cringe. Be that as it may, most of us know the intended meaning, understand the person is not being malicious, and clearly not educated in adoption (that is why they are asking the question to begin with.)
That is why I think it never okay to be angry with someone wanting to understand our lives a bit better. Educating people in a compassionate manner is the best way to get people to listen to what you are saying, and also draws our community closer through understanding.
I’ve had adoptive parents tell me that it isn’t their job to educate strangers – people should mind their own business. I have to agree there is some truth to this. However, all someone is doing when giving a short aggravated response is allowing the recipient to remain ignorant, while also implanting a seed of negativity on the topic of adoption.
If you have been the one attacked by an adoptive parent – I’m sorry.
I would like to address three politically incorrect questions adoptive parents are asked, and explain why some terminology is offensive
What Not To Say To Adoptive Parents: