Your Adoption Questions… Answered!

7 August 2014 0

I get asked so many questions about Liya and her adoption. Wherever I go, whatever I do, people are so interested. Sometimes they ask questions or make statements which they clearly haven’t thought through. And what is the right thing to ask, anyway? People are just interested.

When we first adopted, I just wanted to blend in and feel normal which, with our family in particular, is not easy. The reels of ridiculous questions I got didn’t make it easier. So I wanted to share some of those ridiculous questions and comments we’ve gotten so far for a good giggle, what I truly think when I hear them, and some things I would’ve preferred to hear…

Here we go:

“Is she adopted?”

This is the most common question, and for obvious reasons I guess… My immediate “Lisa” response is screaming sarcasm. This is a dumb question. 

This would have been a much kinder and more thoughtful question: “Is this your daughter?”

“Why is she black?”

Yup, I’ve gotten this two or three times. It usually stumps us. There is no appropriate answer for this. Is it even a question?

“Just you wait, now that you’ve adopted, I bet you’ll fall pregnant!”

Adoption was not our Plan B; it wasn’t our while-we-wait action plan. Our plan was to start a family. Implying that we’re still going to fall pregnant because it hasn’t been hurtful enough not getting pregnant, doesn’t make it better. It also makes our adopted daughter sound like a stand-in.

Don’t say it to an adoptive couple, ever.

“Are you still trying?”

Oh often, trust me. 

Seriously though, we have chosen to ‘stop trying’. Adoption changed our lives more than we could have ever imagined. When I wanted a baby, it was for selfish reasons I didn’t quite understand. I just naturally wanted what most married couples want I guess. No matter what the situation though, all pregnancies, babies and children are very special and each situation can make or break you. Adoption made us.

Please don’t ask adoptive couples if they’re still trying…

“What language does she speak?”

Seems ask-able, right? Except I got asked this, twice, before she was even a year old. She was able to mouth sounds like Ta and Da. Anyone know a 0-year old that speaks a language?

I don’t think this is ever appropriate to ask.

“When did you get her?”

I know you’re trying to ask “When did you have her?” translated for adoptive parents. Please don’t ask this unless we’ve been talking a while. She’s not a gift, and she certainly wasn’t delivered by the stork. 

Try “How long have you been a family?”


It’s hard to say the right thing. For me personally, I feel the best when we are ignored (as an adoptive family!) and people aren’t staring at us. This only really happens when we’re around close family and friends. However, when there’s lots of new families all over the place and the topic of conversation is when your family started, it can’t be avoided. I also understand people are curious and want to connect with us. So stick to these two questions:

“Is this your son/daughter?” and “When did you become a family?”. You can’t go wrong. Then you can kindly ask what our story is and I will tell you what I’d like to, the way I’d like to.

Be sensitive around adoptive couples, be sensitive to new parents, and be sensitive to couples who don’t have children yet or those who choose not to have children.

Like a wise woman said to me recently “It’s none of your damn business”.

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