I was reading an interesting post about an adoptive mom and her challenges with those who say the darnedest things about her family!! What piqued my curiosity was to learn about her experiences as I’m an adoptive mom, too. Adoption has a certain mystique about it. Unless you have actually adopted a child, it can create some misunderstandings as a result.

Giving up their baby must be so hard

The birthmothers of our children did not GIVE up their babies but PLACED them with us. Give up is an archaic word that should be stricken from our modern day lexicon, in my opinion. The history of the phrase had to do with orphan trains filled with abandoned; homeless or orphaned children that ran between 1853 til 1929. They stopped at predetermined locations across the rural Midwest in the US. So the act of putting a child on the train was in effect, “giving them up”. Nowadays, adoptions are very different and birthmothers make an adoption plan to place their children with a family of their choosing.

Your children don’t look like you

My eldest son is bi-racial. I remember an incident in the shopping mall when a man came up to me and growled asking if my son was mine!! When you see a family with mixed raced children, don’t make a point of pointing out the obvious, please. It’s beyond rude. Remember that love doesn’t see color!!

Isn’t it great that you adopted?

Not really….we wanted to have a family and these wonderful birthmothers thought we would be good parents to their children. And forget about canonizing us, please. We’re normal people who love our children madly who want their children to have & achieve big goals in life!!

So why did their mother give them up?

That is totally impertinent and none of your business. It’s between the birthmother and ourselves. I am continually amazed that people feel it’s their right to pry into the private lives of other people, uninvited. And by the way, our children have a real mother….that’s me!! I recall another time when a young classmate of my son asked about my son’s real mom while I was sitting right there!! I needed to correct him so he would understand. A birthmother and an adoptive mother each have very unique relationships with their children. 

This post wasn’t meant to be snarky but it is important to use correct language in describing a very awesome human experience. And to be exquisitely respectful of all those involved namely the birthmother(parents); adoptive parents and especially the children. And those were actual questions that I have received from people (friends or strangers) through the years.


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