What NOT to Say to Prospective Adoptive Parents

Do you have friends or family members that are prospective adoptive parents? If so, please avoid saying any of these things to them. | Adoption | Foster Care | Foster Adoption | Adoptive Parents |

In case you missed the announcement on Monday, Brandon and I have officially decided to pursue adoption! We’ve already made our preliminary phone calls and scheduled our meetings. We’ve already started browsing the case files for children in the foster care system (which we decided to pursue in lieu of private adoption) and we couldn’t be more excited. We shared the news with family and friends first and while most people were receptive to our news, there were a few comments that made me cringe.

It was mostly hugs and OMGs and heartfelt positive wishes and prayers so to those people I am sending hugs and digital hugs right back. AMAZING people are in our lives, I tell ya. Then, there are the others. There are the skeptics. There are the naysayers. There are the pessimists and I just want to…well…I don’t know what but their comments are negative and discouraging and just not necessary. I mean, not necessary at all.

Since I’m a nice person I figured I’d take today and offer up a little help to make sure that you don’t become that negative nelly naysayer if anyone in your life ever tells you they plan to adopt from the foster care system.

What NOT to Say to Prospective Adoptive Parents…

“Now that you’ve decided that, you’ll probably finally have your own child.”

*Sigh* Let’s be clear on something. You don’t know why we haven’t been able to conceive and give birth to a biological child of our own (and our reproductive habits are seriously none of your business) but any child we adopt will be our own child #thankyouverymuch.

“I guess it’s better than nothing.”

Better than… O_o  Did I seriously just hear that? I was convinced there was no way I heard that correctly. I mean, no way, right?  No one in their right mind would ever say that an adopted child is “better than nothing.” Omg. I’m not going to respond to this. I’m just going to convince myself that I must have misheard that person. MUST. HAVE. MISHEARD.

“Seriously? You know those kids have problems, right?”

Yikes! Who let you in to my life? “Those kids”? “Problems”? “Seriously”? Ugh. Just GTFO right now but before you go let me tell you who has “problems”, it’s you. You who will sit there and judge a child simply because that child is available for adoption. OMG.

“You’re going to adopt in your own race, right?”

First, that’s none of your business. Second, who cares? Third, who asks this?! 

“At least you can try to find a kid that looks like you.”

Right, because that’s what we’re concerned about.

“It’s going to be really hard to get a baby.”

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. I hear you…but who said anything about a baby? Did I say baby? No, I don’t think I did. I said we’re going to adopt a child but good on you for assuming that the only children that are worthy of adopting are babies.

“What are you going to do if you end up pregnant with your own?”

Once again “friend” the child we adopt will be our own but let me go ahead and shove my nose in to your family planning business and ask, “Oh, so you had a baby? Well, what are you planning to do if you get pregnant again?”

I mean, after all, it’s so obvious that you can only have one child, right? What was I supposed to say, “Give them back”? “Kick them out”? Stupid.

“How will your parents react?”

To what? To having another grandchild? Ummmm…they’ll be excited? Enthusiastic? Overjoyed? I mean, have you met my parents??? My Dad will smile and say, “That’s great! I’m so happy for you!” and my Mom will say, “We’ll love them like they are our own! I mean, they are our own! Christmases are going to be even better now! I can’t wait to meet them. Do you already have pictures?” That happens to be exactly what my mom said when I told her. My parents are awesome.

“What about your career?”

…because parents can’t have career?

Please, for the love of God, stop saying those things to prospective adoptive parents!

All we really want to hear you say is, “That’s great!” or “Congratulations!” or “You’re going to be such awesome parents!” or “How can I/we help?” That’s it. Just be there. Be encouragers. Be champions. Be friends.

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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