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We can all be unknowingly inconsiderate when choosing our words. Especially in the world of adoption. Perhaps it’s because of adoption’s negative history, our lack of knowledge or understanding on the subject, or an odd curiosity… but we hear the same offense questions being asked to adoptive families (and birth families!!) time and time again. 

What NOT to say to Adoptive Parents

“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 have 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.

And it’s up to you how to address these invasive questions. Many adoptive families find humor or sarcasm helpful but we believe educating and advocating for adoption more empowering.

Before asking an adoptive family about their adoption, first 

If you’re genuinely wanting to learn more about adoption and the adoption process, use positive adoption language instead of offensive questions such as “how much did he cost?” If you’re just being nosey, don’t ask. If you’re truly interested in knowing adoption fees, try something more like, “What are the average fees for domestic adoption?” and/or “What are some of the fees/expenses involved with adoption?”

Read more about Positive Adoption Language.

Before you ask, “Who are her real parents?“, consider, e

Just as you wouldn’t want invasive, offensive questions regarding your family dynamic asked, neither do families built with adoption. And remember, family is not defined by DNA! If you are ready to begin your adoption journey, contact one of our adoption professionals at Adoption Choices of Arizona now!

Want to learn more about how you can support adoption?