Adoption Etiquette

Monday, October 04, 2010
I've spent the last few months reading books on adoption, parenting an adopted child and anything else adoption related. I recommend all families and friends of adoptive families spend some time learning about adoption. There is so much that people, myself included, do not realize. There truly is an etiquette to follow when adoption is involved.

Imagine my surprise when my own family suddenly experienced some of the windfall of negative adoptive comments, and we haven't even adopted yet...

A little background for those of you that are new or don't know me. My parents have permanent legal custody of their niece, my cousin (I'll call her C). She has been a part of our lives since she was three months old, and my parents have had custody since she was one. I won't get into details, but her parents weren't able to be around much for several years; however, they did keep in touch. Today, they visit, call, write letters; it's very similar to a fully open adoption. C is nine years old. Yesterday she and several of her best friends went to the Cincinnati Reds game. Somehow they started talking about the movie Annie, when one of them looked at C and said, "You're an orphan." Another little girl said, "What orphanage did you come from?" This apparently went on and on. C was devastated. Needless to say it was taken care of quickly. These are the kinds of things that can easily happen in adoptive families as well. We need to educate not just the adults, but also our children.

I'm going to leave you with a link to a fellow blogger (Single Dad Laughing). I recently found his blog because of this particular post. The title of the post is "How much did your kid cost?"  There's many more suggestions out there, but these are a few of the biggies. Read it. Educate yourself, and don't be one of those people that say insensitive and potentially heart breaking things. Just like C, you never know who you may hurt.



  1. wow, this story is heartbreaking but unfortunately a common occurrence. the adopted children i personally know go through a tougher transitional period because of the ignorance of others.

  2. Wow. I did go on to read the post you recommended and was floored that people can be so insensitive. We don't have orphanages here in Canada but I can well imagine that a kid being grilled about being in foster care would be very upsetting.

    Stopping by from Bessie group at SITS

  3. Adoptions are really sensitive and heartbreaking. I got to know a fellow blogger who finally managed to adopt and it was a long difficult journey. I hope your will be easier. In Malta there is no adoption help you just do it all yourself and have to do it in a foreign country which usually dont speak english!

  4. Some people? Need a delay button so their brain can catch up with their mouths!!

    We know a few adopted kids and one of my close friends was adopted. I'm sure they all get their share of silly at best and hurtful at worst questions!