Curiosity About Adoption Choices
When you adopt, you make choices.
First you chose what type / where you will adopt from.
- International or Domestic Infant
- Domestic Foster to Adopt
Then you choose what agencies to work with.
Then you have to make choices on things like:
- Birth mother/father history – criminal, prostitution, mental health, etc.
- Birth defects
- Premature birth
- Multiple births
- Substance Abuse
The choices are awkward and at times heartbreaking, but absolutely necessary. In our experience, once non-adoptive people learn that you have to make choices, they want to know all the details about the precise selections. People ask things like:
- What races did you choose? / Could your baby be black/yellow/pink/purple?
- Will your adopted child have as bad of a temper as X’s adopted child?
- Will your child have fetal alcohol syndrome?
- Will you know their family medical history?
Guess what, this is no-ones business! I don’t ask my girlfriends when they get married if they are okay with their choice of husband because his skin colour will dictate the colour of their children. I don’t ask people if they know their family medical history on all sides, as to know if they or their children may get breast cancer one day. And, I sure as heck don’t ask people if they indulged in a few glasses of wine before they knew they were pregnant. These questions are so not appropriate in normal circumstances, and they are absolutely not appropriate in adoption circumstances.
That said, I realize that these questions are mostly coming from a place of interest and a lack of awareness. Which of course means we have to educate people and at the same time we need to be polite about it. So, we say things like:
Our child may be of a different race, but our precise selections are private.
Our child is just like every other child and may have temper tantrums from time to time. Adoption does not cause children to misbehave, a number of factors including individual personalities and poor parenting cause misbehaviour.
Our child’s detailed medical history is private, just as your detailed medical history is private.
By being honest and open, we hope to educate people about adoption and at the same time we hope set boundaries about what is acceptable discussion in the MPB household.
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