Friday, March 22, 2013

Did you really just ask me that?

Time for a few questions:

"Where is she from?".....

I think when the question is asked, and it has been asked a lot, people are assuming we are pursuing an international adoption.  This seems to be the general assumption when the topic of adoption comes up.  First thoughts for most people appear to lean toward international adoption.  Though intercountry adoption seems to dominate the media and appears to be the adoption choice du jour statistics compiled for the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption by Canada for 2009 states that of 1300 plus adoptions in Ontario about 300 were intercountry and over 1000 were domestic.

"Why would you want someone else's problem?"....

Thankfully this type of question, which is really a nasty statement of someone's misconception, hasn't been asked too much.   It has been asked. What exactly is the assumption here?  Children in foster care are all trouble makers?  Foster children are damaged or irreparable? Children in care are unmanageable, somehow unlovable?  Children in care all have special needs.  They are not all medically fragile, they do not all have  physical or neurological challenges. They do all have needs that are unique.  These children are not a problem, they did not choose to the life they were given.  They are certainly not at fault.

"Why was she taken from her mother?"....

I am usually an open book when people ask me questions, maybe to a probably to a fault.  When it comes to adoption it has been a bit of a challenge figuring out when to share and when it is okay to not answer.  It hasn't happened much but we have even been asked why she was removed from her birth family. To state it bluntly,  it is none of anyone's business and it certainly isn't my place to share a child's life story or trauma.  I  understand people are curious and their curiosity may seem benign, however this is a question that crosses the appropriateness line.

Don't be afraid to talk about adoption or ask questions about adoption, the more we talk the more misconceptions can be uncovered.  Be thoughtful when you ask someone about their experience with adoption whether they are a person who has been adopted, parents who have adopted or parents who have had their children be adopted.  Ask yourself first if the information you are asking is something you would want known if you were the one in their place. 

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