Adoption Selection Questions
It is so weird to fill out a child desirability form, and we often receive questions about our choices.
Honestly, this is one of the strangest things about the adoption process. And I believe that no-one outside of adoption realizes just how weird it this is to actually do. It’s one thing to think to yourself what would I do if? It’s a whole different thing to actually sit down and check boxes and to understand the consequences of our selections on ourselves, our child and our extended family.
In fact, in real life we’ve been asked countless times, and it’s even been suggested that we get a “half black baby because they are the cutest” and each time we respond with our child may be of a different race and do not give details. Of course, we are always shocked by this type of comment, because honestly, on what planet is it appropriate to say things like this?! But somehow, people’s curiosity about adoption seems to get the best of them.
We’ve also been asked if our child will be healthy, and we always simply say that our child will be healthier via adoption then it ever would if we were to try to carry a biological child to term. Again, we are shocked by this question. I don’t ask pregnant women if their child will be healthy. I don’t ask pregnant women if they are drinking or shooting up cocaine. Heck, I don’t even ask if they are taking their prenatal vitamins. This would be considered invasive in normal pregnant situations, which means it is also invasive to ask people who are adopting. While we have a lot of not so nice ways to respond to these questions, instead we tend to stick to a polite response like things can go wrong in any pregnancy and children can be born with any number of ailments, and children can develop any number of ailments as they age. I believe all parents hope for a healthy child, and with our choice to adopt we are no different, but we will handle whatever happens just like nearly any other parent in the world does.
Ultimately, we made the decision not to share our selections with anyone. We were warned that if people know our child had exposure to a particular drug, that for the rest of our child’s life we and even they would hear your child did that because their birth mother smoked pot or your child has behavioural problems because their birth mom drank. We decided that this was not something we were willing to gamble on, and so this information will remain private between Mr. MPB, myself, our family doctor and our counsellor. And at the age appropriate time our child will know as well. But otherwise, we are not saying a word to anyone, no matter who they are.
In dealing with the questions we’ve been asked, we’ve learned that if we are vague. When our answers are vague, people seem to stop asking questions or move on. When our answers are a bit too detailed, people seem to keep asking questions. So, our approach is to be polite and vague. So far, polite and vague seems to be working.
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