As an adoptive parent, you will get lots of questions, from family, friends and most of all – complete strangers. Since it usually happens when you aren’t expecting it, a little forethought may be helpful to prepare for it when it does happen.
Think about how you like to answer questions to begin with – are you usually humorous, informative or a short answer type of person? There is no reason your answers to questions about adoption should be outside of your comfort zone.
Another big factor is whether or not the question is asked in the presence of your children. Your answer may vary depending on who is listening. If your child is present, always think about how your answer will impact them first, and the person who is asking the question second. Children hear more than you think and what they hear you tell other people about adoption most definitely shapes their view and what they think your view is about adoption – and them personally.
One book that may help both parents and extended family of adoptive parents is Cross Cultural Adoptions: How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends & Community written by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz. It’s an easy read and a good starting place in tackling questions – especially those asked by children.
If you are in the process of adopting for the first time, you may be wondering what type of questions people ask – here’s a short list of the unfortunately most often asked questions:
- Are they your real children?
- Why don’t you have children of your own?
- Who are their real parents?
- Do they speak English?
- How much did they cost?
How would you answer these questions? How would your children want you to answer these questions? What would you really want to say – even if you didn’t?
In the next post we’ll tackle some specific answers to these questions – from the snarky to the serious. But on a serious note, if you do need more information on getting your adoption started – head on over to our main website at www.sunshineadopt.org.