One of the toughest things for birth mothers to deal with is rude questions, like “How can you give your baby up for adoption?” In reality, birth mothers who choose adoption are not giving up anything. They are, in fact, giving their child a better life. Unfortunately, the term “give up” has unfairly become synonymous with adoption, and the judgment many birth mothers face from people who do not understand adoption is daunting.
“Some people are genuinely curious, trying to expand their knowledge of what adoption is and how it works, while others are just plain rude, working up their own misinformed assumptions in their head,” says Natalie Brenner, Adoption.com.
Still, intentional or not, these rude questions take a toll on birth mothers. So, how should these birth mothers, who have already been through so much emotionally, deal with nosy people?
How to Deal with Rude Questions
Below are a few approaches that may help.
- Remember, You Don’t Owe Anyone Answers: “The first rule in answering adoption questions is that you do not owe anyone any answers,” adds Brenner. The decision to create an adoption plan is incredibly personal. Birth mothers do not owe anyone an explanation for the choices they make. If you do not want to get into the very personal reasons you chose adoption, you can simply ignore the question.
- It is Always Okay to Deflect: If you aren’t comfortable just ignoring the person, especially if it’s someone you know, you can just say the matter’s private – deflect. “I’m all in favor of a tactful: ‘It’s none of your business,’” says Dr. Michele Borba. This is often enough to put an end to any uncomfortable questioning.
- If You Are Comfortable, You Can Answer Truthfully: Sometimes these seemingly-rude questions come from a genuine place, but the people asking the question often just don’t know how to approach the topic in a compassionate way. So, depending on the situation and the people involved, you may feel comfortable answering the question and educating the person. It is completely up to you.
If you are struggling with how to deal with rude questions, or if you just need someone to talk to, counseling can help. Despite our best efforts, the incessant questions from strangers chip away at our foundations,” says Julie Higginbotham, Adoptive Families. This is why Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse believe “Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well.” Adoption can be tough. So, it is important to have someone to talk to.
Adoption Makes Family is here to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals can help and counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your and your child.
24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- Brenner, Natalie. “How to Answer Ignorant Questions about Your Adoptive Family.” Adoption.com, adoption.com/how-to-answer-ignorant-questions-about-your-adoptive-family.