It’s a common occurrence that a family member, friend or check-out worker in Aldi will ask a seemingly ‘harmless’ question in relation to adopting.. So I thought I’d list the 10 most popular questions which we get.
I’ve answered them as honest as I can, so hopefully it will give you some insight into what the world of adoption really entails!
- Why did you adopt? …. You should have just got a surrogate.
We adopted as Mark’s female genitalia doesn’t work. Obviously, we had considered all of the other methods of building a family. However, adoption was the obvious choice for us. For us, there are so many children out there that are in need of a loving home. Our opinion is, why bring another child into this world to love when there is already a little person that is desperate for love and a family unit. Furthermore, we thought about our relationship type, if we were to have a surrogate child and he or she were to be bullied due to having same-sex parents – they would have no comeback. Whereas, an adopted child would be grateful to have us two rather than no-one at all. Plus surrogacy costs an absolute bomb, we’ll leave that one for Kim K.
- Who are his ‘real’ parents?
The word ‘real’ in this instance can offend as it implies that there’s something ‘iffy’ about a family which is built through adoption. Being adoptive parents doesn’t make us any less of a parent, compared to a biological family. Our adoptive son (once it goes to court) will be very much ours. So watch out for the use of ‘real’. Obviously, we are open books, so it’s not overly offensive to us; but we have spoken to families that get really hurt at the thought that others don’t regard them as a ‘real’ family. Just stick with birth or biological parents.
- Have you met his ‘real’ parents? If not, why?
We haven’t met the biological parents, we did have the opportunity to but due to unforeseen circumstances (not ours) it had to be cancelled and will not happen in the future. As a couple we are all for meeting the parents, It promotes identity and it would have given us a chance to find out information about our son that may have gotten lost through the local authority. Some questions that we’d ask are:
What is the meaning of his name?
What’s your favourite colour?
What’s your favourite food?
Are there any family illnesses which haven’t been reported? During our preparation meetings, it was firmly drilled into our heads that if given the opportunity to meet the parents you should jump at the chance.We did, but it belly-flopped, Nevermind!
- Are you going to change his name?
Yes and no, we are more than happy with our Son’s first name. It is actually frowned upon to change a child’s first name. A child gains their name from biological parents, and although not with them now it is part of their identity. You are given the chance to replace middle names (which we will be). Once the adoption order is granted, our l will take on our family name.
- He really looks like you! Is that done on purpose?
This is a common one. During our adoption preparation meetings, we were told often that your adoptive children tend to grow to look like you, despite not being biologically yours. This is something we didn’t really pay much attention to, as we thought other than mannerisms it would be hard for a child to look like you. However, with our son, we totally see it and he’s not even grown with us (if that makes sense). When matching children with prospective parents the powers that be do actually narrow it down to looks. Not every time, but for our child that was a factor. That, and that our social worker did an amazing job at selling us to the ‘matchmaker’. So yes you could say it is deliberate but it’s not the deciding factor. A lot comes down the family structure and needs of the child.
- Do you know anything about his background?
We know a fair amount, but obviously not everything. We’ve actually managed to find quite a lot out by creating a fake Facebook profile and tracking down his biological family members. Our Child does come with a ‘Later Life Letter’, which explains why his biological parents couldn’t care for him. It’s then up to him to decide if he wants to know them when he is 18. If this does happen, it’ll be hard, but we will be supportive.
- What’s wrong with their ‘real’ parents? will they try and take him back?
There are thousands of reasons why biological parents place their children up for adoption. Even if an adoptive family know the reasons (in which we do), they are extremely private and personal and it would be unfair for us to share them with the world, as it is our son’s identity.
The second part of the question is really annoying as it always instils a bit of fear inside, there is a risk of them being unhappy when it arrives in court. Generally, the entire process is designed to ensure birth parents come to terms with the decision before proceedings take place. In our case there have been legal measures to ensure he won’t return to them, saying this; they will still probably contest our adoption plan at court (luckily we don’t attend).
- Did you have to pay for your adoptive child?
No, with most local authorities there is no fee for adoption. You are expected to pay for medicals, court proceedings and obviously your child when they are in your care. Some adoption agencies cover these costs for you and give you expenses, ours doesn’t, this isn’t an issue for us.
- Who is the mum out of you and Mark?
We are both males, flamboyant but male. Therefore there is no mum, you could say I am the main caregiver so I have taken on what would have been previously been the mothering role. But come on! It’s 2018 and that’s so regressive. So to clarify, no mum, just two dads!
- Are you going to tell them they are adopted?
We believe it would be unfair and pretty ridiculous not to tell him. Firstly, it’s pretty obvious that we didn’t conceive him naturally. Secondly, we are honest Christians! To lie to a child about where he came from is so wrong! We plan to have an open and honest relationship with our child. We will promote conversations about his identity and we as a family will share our story proudly.Adoptive parents handle these kind questions in a variety of ways – sarcastic comments, brushing it off, anger, or good old sassiness.
Hopefully the above will have helped you out and who knows, when you speak to someone about adoption you can surprise them with your knowledge! Drop me a comment below if you have any adoption related questions and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge! Thanks for reading! 🙂
- Why did you adopt? …. You should have just got a surrogate.