When Tom and I were going through the adoption process with our oldest kiddo (the other three came the old-fashioned way), we received many unintentionally hurtful comments. Now, our daughter is a young adult and we rarely hear insensitive remarks about her adoption. But … these five comments are still being verbalized to most newly adoptive families.
If you have a friend or family member who is adopting a child, avoid saying these five things:
1. You know … as soon as you adopt you will get pregnant.
The goal of adoption is to get a child, not to get pregnant with another. This comment discounts the anticipated arrival of the adoptee.
2. What do you know about her real mom?
Don’t reduce the adoptive parent’s role to less than real. And regarding the sought after information — that belongs to the child. This falls into the NOYB category. (None of your business).
3. You got your child the easy way. No labor.
There is nothing easy about adoption. It has a labor all its own; a sea of paperwork, meetings, waiting, approvals, etc. The beautiful thing is mom and dad do the adoption labor together.
4. I hope your child knows how lucky she is to be in your family.
Most adoptive parents feel as if they are the ones who are blessed to have the child. What child feels beholden to his parents for his birth or his adoption?
5. How much did your child cost? Was adoption cheaper than in vitro-fertilization?
One bonus thought: My personal pet peeve is the never funny but often told adoption joke. You know the one, “You are so _______ (fill in the blank). You must be adopted.” This isn’t funny. It’s mean spirited and gives the message that if a person is adopted he or she really doesn’t “officially” belong.
The path that leads to adoption typically contains some heart ache for the child, the birth parent, and/or the adoptive parent. What an adoptive parent would love from friends and family is support, understanding, and encouragement for themselves and their child.
What would you add to the list?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:3-6