10 Awkward Questions People Ask Adoptive Families

Thanks to ABC Family’s new series The Fosters for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion. Also, watch the premiere of The Fosters on Monday, June 3 at 9/8c only on ABC Family.

As an adoptive mom I get a lot of stupid questions. As an adoptee, my daughter gets even stupider ones. Lucky for us, we don’t take offense easily. We’re pretty numb to the questions at this point (she is a teenager) and I have always asserted that when people are curious, sometimes their mouths work faster than their brains. You have to take the questions with a grain of salt, and look to people’s intentions before you get yourself in a huff. Every stupid question is an opportunity to raise awareness and educate someone.

I’m thrilled to watch and share ABC Family’s newest show The Fosters as it’s just the sort of show that promotes and educates people, saving people like us from awkward questions like the ones below.

So here in no particular order are some of the most common stupid questions we get and how we field them, as well as the snappy answers we sometimes would like to give!

nggallery id=48

  • 10 Awkward Questions People Ask Adoptive Families 1 of 11
    10 Awkward Questions People Ask Adoptive Families
  • So what do you know about the REAL Parents? 2 of 11
    So what do you know about the REAL Parents?
    Grain of Salt: People don't mean to offend when they use the word "real" to describe birth parents. They just don't know better.

    Our Family's Answer: "We prefer to say birth parents. We've not had any contact and have very little info. I guess after 16 years that makes us the REAL parents!"

    Snappy Answer: "I know I seem like a superhero but I assure you I'm real. So what would you like to know about us?"

    Photo Credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • Do you want to find your birth mother? 3 of 11
    Do you want to find your birth mother?
    Grain of Salt: This is a projection question, meaning the person asking it is thinking they would want to find their birthmother if they were in your shoes. What is interesting is that almost no one asks about the birthfather.

    Our Family's Answer (subject to change): "Not really. Not at this time. I'd just like some info. "

    Snappy Answer: We don't really have one for this question!

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • So, why did they give you up? 4 of 11
    So, why did they give you up?
    Grain of Salt: Yes this is a rude way to ask why someone was abandoned or put up for adoption. There's not a nice way to ask this, is there? But people are so curious they cannot seem to stop themselves. They may be imagining you are a princess in hiding.

    Our Family's Answer: "They weren't able to be parents - I don't have all the details, but my birthmother made a plan for me to be raised by a family who would love me."

    Snappy Answer: "After the revolution, they thought I would be safer in hiding. If my royal blood was discovered, I would be at risk."

    Photo Credit: The Fosters, ABC Family
  • How come you couldn’t have your own? 5 of 11
    How come you couldn't have your own?
    Grain of Salt: This is another rude and personal one that stems from ignorance, and old ideas. Usually comes from people over 60. In our case, they then congratulate us on having our own after we "relaxed and adopted". This actually bugs me more than the initial question, because it assumes a preference.

    Our Family's Answer: "I never really knew if I wanted to become pregnant, but I knew I wanted to adopt so adoption was my first choice when it came time to start a family."

    Snappy Answer: I'm stumped for a snappy answer to this one, but would love to hear yours!

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • Do you speak… (insert foreign language associated with birth country or ethnicity)? 6 of 11
    Do you speak... (insert foreign language associated with birth country or ethnicity)?
    Grain of Salt: Another head scratcher when the person asking you knows that you were adopted as an infant, to folks who are of a different ethnicity or who speak another language.

    Our Family's Answer: "No, English is my first language."

    Snappy Answer: "Doesn't everyone?"

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • Do you ever wonder if you have REAL siblings? 7 of 11
    Do you ever wonder if you have REAL siblings?
    Grain of Salt: Projection again. It gets blurted out before they know any better.

    Our Family's Answer: "Sometimes. It would be interesting to know that."

    Snappy Answer: Have you met my evil twin? OR I'm sure my real sister would never steal my clothes!

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • So, um… What are you? 8 of 11
    So, um... What are you?
    Grain of Salt: They mean what ethnicity or nationality. Why they need to know is probably personal. They take great pride in being Irish or Latina, and can't imagine not knowing this sort of stuff. It's hard not to be snappy with the answer if you don't have a clear answer.

    Snappy Answer: "Human, as far as we know."

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • What’s it like to live with strangers? 9 of 11
    What's it like to live with strangers?
    Grain of Salt: Believe it or not, this is not even the dumbest question we've gotten. And believe it or not, we've gotten it more than once. The assumption that a non blood relative is a stranger, is a weird one.

    Our Family's Answer: "Well.... I've gotten to know my family pretty well over the last 16 years."

    Snappy Answer: "It's so weird. Sometimes the mom person washes my clothes. And the siblings touch my stuff. The dad wants to help me with homework. Freaky strangers!"

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • Are you afraid you might accidentally marry your own brother? 10 of 11
    Are you afraid you might accidentally marry your own brother?
    Grain of Salt: I blame bad Soap Operas!

    Our Family's Answer: We don't have one. How can anyone answer this seriously?

    Snappy Answer: "Totally. Like you could be my brother. Let's never get married. "

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily
  • How can you love someone else’s kid? 11 of 11
    How can you love someone else's kid?
    Grain of Salt: This is the one question that I find unacceptable, no matter who is asking.

    My Answer: "How can you love your spouse? How do you love your friends? How can you love anyone? If love was reserved for blood relatives only, our species would have died out long ago!"

    photo credit: The Fosters, ABCFamily

Photo credit: ABC Family MediaNet

Tagged as: , , ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.