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Readers Respond: Top Hurtful or Rude Questions and Comments About Your Foster or Adopted Children

Responses: 27


Where did she get those brown eyes, from her birth father?
She's very long legged. Was her birth mom tall?
I don't see how you can stand this kid. Doesn't he drive you crazy?

Why do some rude people assume that they deserve answers to their nosy questions?

Why do some people assume it's OK to say rude or hurtful comments about your child?

I have never heard rude things about my birth child. When it comes to my adopted children or my foster children - the gloves come off! People can be very mean.

Use this space to vent! What rude comment really surprised you?

Take Time to Vent

Take the time

Yes, people are ignorant and can come off as rude to people with different lifestyles. Instead of being outwardly offended by these comments, take the time to explain to that person why it is offensive and how you and your adoptive or foster child feel.
—Guest rgbc0

Adoption as a first option

I have been planning to adopt since age 20. At first when I told people my plans, some didn't believe me, and some acted as if it were the worst idea in the world. Not sure if it bothered them more that I was going to be adopting, or that I was NOT going to have "my own" children. After I talked about it for several years, my friends and family realized I was serious about it, and the comments became more positive. I wish people could stop and put themselves in a foster child's shoes and think how awful it is to tell someone not to help a child that needs a loving family. Maybe then, adoption wouldn't be largely viewed as a last option for creating a family. I have known more than one person or couple who has struggled with infertility, but chose a life without children because they couldn't fathom raising "someone else's kids". Luckily, I managed to find a husband that also wanted to adopt. We are currently waiting for OUR kids to come into DHS custody so they can make our family complete.
—Guest Andrea


the most amazing answer I have ever heard was when a friend of ours who had adopted 2 kids and had 2 bio kids was asked by someone once "which of your 2 are adopted ?" and he said "well let me stop and think" Now that is a Dad.

Children or Grandchildren

I am an older parent whose children range from 3 to 7 years of age. I am continually asked if they are my grandchildren. When I say, "No," the questioner goes on to ask if I am the babysitter...because they are so cute. Does this mean that I am a disgusting baboon? I am looking for a succinct response that will shut down the endless stream of questions that follow my definitive "No."


The main thing we try to teach our kids is resilience. Resilience is to point out the many ways in which our family's values differ from many other people's. That might sound odd or like not a great idea, but when you are a vegetarian, homeschooling, Buddhist, transracial adoptive family with an HIV+ member, well, your kids have to learn that other people might not agree with our values and choices, but that's their problem, not ours. How does this relate to resiliency? We hope that, when our kids are in situations where they are made uncomfortable by others, our kids' first reaction will be to recognize how their behavior and circumstances are a reflection of our family's values. We feel that with a strong foundation in that, our kids will be less likely to feel helpless in the face of criticism or hostility.
—Guest rbxiUPUrpDeDCxHkr

I love my gay biological (and+) parents

I was born to gay parents, and my lesbian moms adopted two girls after me. One of my sisters has a harder time with my parents being gay, but it has always felt normal to me. I write about my family at my blog here: http://www.squidoo.com/having-gay-parents
—Guest ComradePrincess

Turning it Around

We adopted a sibling group of 4 through the foster care system. We have comments to (and about) us constantly. They say: "THEY are so lucky"! We say: "No, "WE" are so lucky; "our" children are happy, healthy, smart, beautiful kiddos; and they bring so much love to our life...WE are SO blessed!" They say "Something's "up" here...wagging their fingers at us." I say "What do you mean?" They say "She looks nothing like you." I say: "I know; isn't my daughter beautiful!" Our family is on facebook @ E&A Family. We would love to help anyone that is considering adopting. It has truly been a blessing for all of us!
—Guest Suzettelle

Other People's Problems

The only really rude comment I've heard, more of an attempt to discourage, was: "You're just taking on other people's problems." My response: "That's so wierd! So are they!"
—Guest Kent Nelson

The W.I.S.E. Up Power Book

Please, all of you, for the sake of your kids, buy a copy of this book and read it with them. It's about setting boundaries when people ask stupid questions and it will teach your children (and you!) that you have choices about how to respond when this happens. I also recommend you all buy copies of Adoption Is a Family Affair by Patricia Johnston and distribute them to your family so they can be educated about adoption and how to treat your child with kindness and welcome them into the family. This is all so distressing!
—Guest Sue

Whats wrong with them ...

I really hate it when we are out with our children and strangers walk up to one of my kids start out with a remark of "oh how cute" followed with "what's wrong with him/her? Just because there is a special medical need does not mean there is something "WRONG"
—Guest Nolllong

Former Foster Kid

I am a former Foster Kid and I would hear "well, why didn't your mom want you?" or "you don't look like your parents at all."
—Guest Angela

What did you expect?

My personal favorite after a hard day - "For well you chose to do this, what did you expect?"
—Guest ebeth

But its the way

As a foster child I realized that my life is complicated and I wanna know who my real parents are!! I find that no matter how hard I try to get over it, it is sometimes shameful, but its life and if it wasn't for these people I think some people would be on the streets if it wasn't for people who took their job seriously in finding a home to people who matter. were all special and we foster children are a little more cause we get a little bit more attention.
—Guest jj

Why don't you have a daddy?

I'm a single adoptive mom of 2 girls. Kids in school have asked many times "Why don't you have a daddy?" My oldest would struggle to answer. My little 5 year old answers..." He died!" End of conversation. I've heard her say it many times when asked. We chuckle each time. Once on a plane, I heard the little girl across the isle ask her, Why don't you have a daddy? Again her response is He died! Her parent's response was to stop asking question, being embarrassed. I truly think it's a cleaver response.
—Guest Jeanene

Your so lucky, little girl...

An older woman approached my 3 yr old Haitian-American foster daughter in the grocery store, wagged her finger in her face and said, "You're so lucky to have that lady (me)! You better be good for her!" REALLY?!?! Of course there were some significant cultural and generational stuff going on there- but I just can't wrap my brain around someone having the nerve to say that to a child. All children who have good parents/caregivers are fortunate. But not as fortunate as we are to have them in our lives! This particular child had JUST come into care and didn't speak or understand much English. Thank God. If she had, it surely would have compounded the trauma she had just been through.
—Guest jlf

Take Time to Vent

Top Hurtful or Rude Questions and Comments About Your Foster or Adopted Children

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