Ok, after talking in an earlier post about people asking personal questions and my trying to balance what to say without being rude, I found this article on RainbowKids and feel like it has been a huge eyeopener. I love how one of the adoptive moms, when asked personal questions about her son’s adoption, replied “That is not something we discuss outside of our family.” WOW! Love that response. As the article says, most people do not realize that they are asking highly personal questions because they see an adopted child, they know he/she is different and they are curious. Here is the article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Here is an excerpt:
People sometimes ask adoptive parents questions of a far more intimate nature than they’d ask a biological parent. From an adoptive parents’ point of view, “What do you know about the birthmother?” is a question just as presumptuous as asking a biological parent, “What did you use to get pregnant?” People who were adopted do not forgo their right to the same level of privacy as others. An adoptive child has no less of a right to privacy about his personal information than any grown-up or non-adoptive child.
That said, there is valid confusion about what is private adoption information and what is okay to ask about. The not-very-satisfying answer is that boundaries around privacy are likely different for every family and will differ from person to person.
Adoptive parents struggle with the public/private nature of adoption all the time. They are challenged to balance their family’s sometimes obvious public status as an adoptive family with the privacy of the family’s individuals. Most adoptive families are proud of their families and want to present a positive attitude about adoption to others, particularly their children. The precarious task for adoptive parents is to be open enough about adoption that their children don’t see adoption as a secret or as something to be ashamed of, while at the same time taking care not to compromise the right to privacy of everyone involved. So, even as they’re trying to protect their children’s privacy, adoptive parents are also trying to normalize adoption for their children and for others around them.