We’ve seen this topic come up a lot recently in chats on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve blogged about it before. These are the adoption-related terms, phrases, and questions that the adoption community finds most bothersome. Half of these phrases a friend or family might not think twice about saying, but they do come out stinging despite good intentions.
As one of our Facebook followers said, “Never pass on an opportunity to educate people…it shouldn’t be our job but it is. Better to educate in a positive way than to react negatively in front of our children!” We absolutely agree. Nine times out of 10, an ignorant comment or question can be turned into an opportunity to teach others. So don’t be afraid to jump on the chance to talk openly about adoption. It’s especially important to be aware of what you say in front of your child. The way you handle comments and questions will always be a direct reflection of how your children will feel about it and how they will handle such questions when you’re not around.
Adoption Lingo That Bothers You Most :
Usage of “gave away” in reference to a child.
Usage of the terms “Real” parents, daughter/son, etc.
Ignorant comments like “Be grateful you weren’t aborted.”
“What is she?” Trying to ask where the little girl was from. “She’s so dark”—an appropriate response, her mother replied with “ she is a beautiful little girl!”
“Born in my heart” – It actually denies the adoptee’s full history and is just adoptive parent centric.
“They(referring to the child) were so lucky you came along. You are so wonderful.” – As if becoming an adoptive parent is charity work.
Babies being referred to as “gifts”. – In the words of an adoptee, “to regulate us as nothing more than a trinket is dehumanizing, demoralizing, and downright dismissive of our rights and feelings as autonomous human beings.
“How much did he cost? Where did you get him?”— As if the child was purchased at a store.
“Don’t you ever want her back?” – To a birth parent, it’s very ignorant and extremely insensitive.