Coping with Intrusive Adoption Questions
By Lana Noone, author of Global Mom
Responding to intrusive questions about adoption.
As your child matures, you will encounter challenges that relate to adoption issues, as well as racial ones. Some of the remarks that your children may hear include: Why are you adopted? Couldn't your (adoptive) parents have one of their own? Who are your "real" parents? Where are your "real" parents and why did they give you away? Although the questions will be asked by their peers, I believe they reflect comments made by the adults who are in their peers' lives.
Some questions come from people who honestly seek answers to questions that confuse them, and this will be an opportunity for you to educate them. However, always be sensitive to your child's feelings. You may need to answer some questions when your child is "out-of-earshot." That's okay. And, of course, nobody ever needs to respond to rude questions.
Some questions are raised out of fear that comes from deep within. We all desire love and security. If our child's parents "gave him/her away," it could happen to anyone. Reassure your child and explain how this fear process works. Remember that hugs, laughter and family support will help them (and you) as you weather life's storms together.
The more difficult questions will arise from your child's own need to know the circumstances of his/her adoption. Each of us needs to be honest with ourselves about how we feel, and then we can communicate with our child. I believe that hiding our emotions is the most harmful thing we can do. We need to find healing words and hugs for every question our children ask of us. Post-adoption support groups and counseling will be a good resource, as will a community of faith.