Twitter Facebook

Encountering Negative Adoption Questions

Once you’ve announced your adoption plan, you’ll likely receive many questions from friends and family—some less sensitively worded than others. Challenging ones we’ve heard from members of our community include, “Why are you adopting a baby when there are children who need to be adopted?” Or, “Wouldn’t you prefer to adopt a child of the same race as you?” 

Most importantly: you are never required to answer questions you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone information about your life. But these situations are tough to navigate, so it’s important to be prepared. We’ve got some tips to help you speak up on behalf of your family. 

First, acknowledge that the judgments passed onto you are not true. They are comments made without merit or compassion. There is no right or wrong way to build a family; when you adopt a child, you are supporting the life, health, and happiness of so many individuals. What you are doing is beautiful, powerful, and so important. 

Use these moments as a teaching opportunity. While you don’t need to speak for the entire adoption and foster community, you certainly have the right to educate someone who judges your journey to create a family. We consistently talk about positive adoption language, and this is the perfect situation to use it. By sharing your experience with someone ignorant to the adoption process or your story, you may be able to change someone’s misguided opinion. 

Feel free to change the subject. While you may feel angry (you wouldn’t be the first!), your family choices aren’t anyone’s business. It may be a good idea to craft a generic response that is both polite and firm to help avoid these uncomfortable situations in the future. 

How you choose to respond to criticisms of your adoption choices is your choice. These incidents will usually be situational, and you can use your discretion as to how you want to proceed. What was the person’s intention when asking the question? Do not let someone else’s opinion guide how you find happiness in your life. You deserve support during this emotional and beautiful experience. Surround yourself with love.