The 10 Strangest Adoption Questions I’ve Been Asked

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When you are a large, transracial, adoptive, homeschooling, special needs family, you tend to draw some stares and questions when out in public.  Over the years, I keep thinking I’ve heard it all, but new ones come up all the time and some are so absurd that I can hardly keep a straight face.  Here (in no particular order) are the ten most unusual questions I’ve been asked when out with the kids:

1. Are they identical twins?  This one I admit was actually really hard to answer with a straight face.  It was asked of me in an elevator in reference to Miss Optimism and Einstein when they were about a year old.  Yes, they were only two months apart, but they were probably at least ten pounds apart, one was very obviously a girl (she was in a pink dress!) and the other was wearing jeans and a Chicago Bulls jacket, fairly obviously a boy.  But then there is the other visual cue of one being white and the other black!  Though I didn’t laugh and managed to answer, my older son who was was about 8 at the time burst out laughing because even he knew what identical twins were!

2. Why is she brown?  This one happened just last Saturday!  I was out with the girls and talking with the salesperson in the mall.  Just then, Dancing Queen asked me a question, prefaced by “mom”.  The saleslady’s face registered SHOCK and then she turned to me and asked, “She’s yours?”  I answered that all three girls were and thought that would be the end of it but she went on to ask, “why is she brown?”  One of my first thoughts was, “well, that’s one I’ve never heard!”  I know that I could have made a smart comment about the pigment in her skin or about how God chose to make her that way or said that it was because she was born in Africa, but I knew that what she was really asking was how she was mine but with a different skin colour than mine and so I proceeded very positively to tell her about adoption.  (*more about this at the bottom of post)

3. Is this one of the Sunday School classes?  When I was speaking at a local church earlier this year, I brought the younger five kids with me and while we were sitting in one of the pews, a gentleman came up and asked us this.  I found it pretty funny!  It was one of those you-know-you’re-a-big-family-when moments!

4. Are you crazy? Isn’t everyone?!  If by crazy, they mean following God, trying to find joy amidst the chaos, getting the privilege of calling myself mom to many, loving so much it hurts, and taking the road less traveled, then yes, I am and I’m proud of it!

5. Haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?!  I believe that children are a blessing, truly.  I may not always act that way on the hard days, but I still believe it.  I’m assuming the person who asked me this (he wasn’t nice about it either) was saying that our family was too big.  If I ever see him again, I’ll let him know that we added another three after he said that (not just to spite him) and that it’s the best thing we ever did!

6. He’s too old to be having tantrums (tsk, tsk).  This was said loudly in a line-up at a convenience store in front of half a dozen other people.  I know that other special needs moms feel my pain on this one.  When an outburst happens in public, it’s embarrassing enough just to feel the stares and judgement and scrutiny, but a few times, people under the guise of “being helpful” have actually offered advise such as “you really need to put your foot down now or he’ll still be tantrumming in College” or “my kids knew better than that at that age” or “you shouldn’t take them out if you can’t control them”.  I wish I could tell those people what those comments have done to me, how much they have hurt me and made me want to crawl into a hole and disappear.  I know that my son looks “normal” but he has Aspergers and still has the occasional public tantrum…I don’t think it would be fair to him for me to tattoo the diagnosis on his forehead or make him wear it on his t-shirt…he is also in the 90th percentile for height so he is 10, not 14 like he looks.  He has come so far and overcome more in his short life than you will probably ever have to and I am PROUD to be his mom.  This is what I want to say.  What I actually say is usually along the muttered lines of “I’m sorry to have disturbed you.”

7. Do they know they are adopted?  First off, if I’m talking about it right in front of them, I would have to be a pretty bad mom to not have told them before I told you!  Also, several of my kids are a different race than I am and all have good eyesight, so yes, they know they are adopted.  Though three were adopted as babies, one was four when she was adopted and one was seven, so it would have been difficult for them not to know about it.  That is what I am thinking when they ask, but what I actually say is, “It is always best to speak openly to children about their adoption stories.  In our house, adoption is celebrated, but it is not without loss and we talk openly about that as well.”

8. Why didn’t you just have more children of your own?  My first instinct is to correct people and state that ALL my kids are my own, but if I got defensive, they wouldn’t learn the proper terminology for the next time they encounter a similar situation, so I just insert the preferred vocabulary in my answer.  By giving the person terminology such as “biological” and “adoptive”, it usually cues them to use those terms as well.  For a question as personal as this from a stranger, I usually use statistics such as letting them know that there are over 30,000 kids waiting for families in Canada and over 147 MILLION orphans worldwide and then stress that adoption has been an incredible blessing for our family.  My hope is that they will go away from the conversation with the sense that adopted kids are not second-best or lucky to be chosen, but a precious gift, just as all children are.

9. Are you trying to be just like Angelina?  Well, considering that we started our adoption journeys several years before Angelina (Jolie) first adopted, you may want to ask her if she is trying to be just like me!!!  I think it’s great that celebrity adoption helps shine a spotlight on different facets of adoption, but I did not adopt to follow a trend.  In fact, statistically, adoption is on the decline though sadly, children in need of families are not on the decline.  It is a misperception that adoption is on the rise or the latest “fad”.  It also implies that I wasn’t aware of the lifelong commitment before I adopted.  I was and am fully aware.

10. She’s just so cute!  Since you have so many, can I just take her home with me?  My children are not interchangeable.  I have an individual relationship with each one of them.  I know that the person who said this meant it as a compliment to my daughter, but what she didn’t take into account is that that same daughter had actually been taken home by someone else at one point in her life…me!  I had gone to Ethiopia and taken her home with me to Canada, a strange home and country.  We were having a hard enough time convincing our daughter that this family is forever and nothing she could ever do would make us send her anywhere else.  We were taking great pains to work on attachment and having not one, not two, but three different people say something similar to her or in front of her within a few months was extremely detrimental to her attachment and security.  She even had nightmares about one of the ladies coming and stealing her from us.

*I know that many adoptive families resent intrusive questions, but in general, I welcome them.  I feel that this gives me an opportunity to not only plant seeds about adoption in those people and potentially impact the lives of orphans or foster children down the road, but it also gives me the chance to show my children that I am proud to talk about adoption, that it is not something to be ashamed of, and it gives my children the language to be able to answer questions that WILL be asked of them as they get older.  This doesn’t mean that I share with strangers the most intimate details of our children’s adoptions, but when I am open in my answers in a way that still respects my children’s privacy, I often find that people are usually asking for some reason.  Sometimes, a loved one is pursuing adoption or considering adoption.  Other times, it’s something that they have thought of for their own family and in those cases, I often give them my phone number, e-mail, or my adoption website in order to be able to further answer their questions.  I always answer in such a way that I am cognizant that little ears are listening to every word.

I know that my kids are learning from the way I handle these situations.  A few months ago, two of Miss Optimism’s friends were over.  They kept saying things to her about how it’s so sad she’s adopted (to which she replied, “it’s not sad.  I’m glad I’m adopted!”) and then they asked her, “where’s your real mom?”.  She totally knew what they were asking, but she answered, “in the kitchen”.  They said, “no, your REAL mom”, to which she replied, “yeah, I know.  My real mom is in the kitchen making me lunch.”  (I was also listening to the whole conversation considering intervening, but deciding that she was handling it just fine on her own!)  They asked a few more times.  (She later told me that she totally knew what they were asking, but was getting a kick out of it and finding it funny!)  In exasperation, they finally asked, “ok, where is your birth mom?” and she answered with the name of the city her first mom lives in.  They asked a few more invasive questions and she answered, “that’s private and I’d rather not share that”.  This little conversation that I was able to overhear let me know that my decision to take the time to educate strangers about adoption when they ask was the right one for our family.

Being such a noticeably adoptive family, we can be ambassadors for adoption (and homeschooling and large families).  We can show that it is complicated and chaotic, but so worth it! I have also written about what I have found to be the most effective way of answering rude questions.

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  1. Wonderful post. My spouse was adopted and I am Aunt to three other adopted children (my beautiful neices) and I want to first say THANK YOU for sharing your life and your story. And sharing insight. Thank you.

  2. Adoption is beautiful…..I’m thankful I’m adopted by my Heavenly Father and I’m thankful for the many foster and adoptive parents in the world….thank you for doing what I can not (right now for reasons I can not explain)….you are a blessing and I pray that your sweet answers will open the hearts of more people….

    • Rebecca, it sounds like you are doing your own part in following the call to care for orphans by praying for and encouraging others who are fostering or adopting. That is such an important role and one that is overlooked. My hope is that more people will look for ways such as this where they can play a role in this calling no matter what their circumstances are.

  3. I love your list! I can personally relate to #6. Because of my own pride, I have at times wanted to wear a shirt that says, “It’s not my fault! He has Asperger’s” and Have my son wear one as well that says, “She IS a good mom!” But those are just moments of pride and insecurity! Asperger’s in invisible. I just wish my family (not all of them but some) would read my blog and hear the emotion and see the struggles we face daily. I wish the “helpful” remarks didn’t hurt so much. Thanks for sharing your heart! I love your adoption stories too!

    • That “she IS a good mom” t-shirt is one I wish all my kids could wear on those bad out-in-public days! I wish there were more people who would encourage or ask questions out of concern or wanting to learn than out of judgement. And yes, I’m with you on the wishing that more of our families would read my blog (or other blogs discussing similar issues) so that they would have a fuller understanding.

  4. Wonderful, Wonderful post. I can relate to several of these (especially # 6). We got that kind of question often when our oldest was a little guy. He was super impulsive and it was hard to predict what he would do next. I wish I could know you in real life Sharla.
    Blessings, Dawn

    • I do too, Dawn! Maybe someday, we’ll get the chance to meet in real life…I’d love to sit down and have tea with you. I know that we have a lot in common, but somehow I have the feeling that we have even more in common than we realize. At least we got to “meet” this way!

  5. Goodness are people RUDE! AND SOOOO JUDGMENTAL! Haven’t they ever heard that what works for one person or is ideal isn’t always what is ideal for the next?? You, my friend, are infinitely patient to be so calm, educational, and non-confrontational when you answer these.

  6. Love this post! I would be SO tempted to get offended, defensive, and be a total smart alleck back to them!! I loved reading about your responses and how you handle these comments. And to see the wonderful effect it has had on your kids – awesome job mama!!!

    • Thanks so much Katie! I wish that I always had the right words at the right time…sometimes later on, I think of what would have been the perfect response, but I do the best I can in the moment.

  7. It is amazing some of the blatantly awkward questions some people ask! You do a good job of being graceful and informing instead of reacting! I loved this post! (and WOWZA to the “why is she brown?” question!)

  8. We’ve had most of those, or variations on the theme. The one that actually makes me mad is #10. I get really firm and set boundaries with people on that one. My girl needs me to defend her place in our family. This question is so hard on these little people, isn’t it?

    • Agreed Tova. Even with “normally” attached children, that question could evoke fear, so I don’t know why anyone would say it.

    • I don’t think #10 is coming from a bad place or even a rude place. I have heard tons and tons of people say that a child was so cute that the person speaking “Just wanted to take him/her home.” I think, truly, it just means that the person speaking sees the child as first a child and not an adopted child.

      People frequently say it to my kids and I’ve found that if you simply laugh and tell people “Nope. This kiddo’s mine!” it is the best response. If you get overly analytical, the child gets overly analytical. There must be a measure of grace in your response. Not everyone knows that could be a potential problem for a child.

  9. Lovely post!! I look forward to following your blog. 🙂

  10. laughs, groans and a few “other emotions”… and you handle it so well, and i LOVE how Miss Optimism handled it!

  11. WOW!! Great post. I just cannot even fathom that people actually ASK these kinds of questions! Good grief! I love “why is she brown?”!!

  12. Oh yes the lovely questions… Some days I too help educate but some days it is simpler to give a stupid answer back… One of my favorites was “was she born or did you have to steal her?”. Honestly. I looked at this person and said “she was born”, which really left her confused, but I walked away from that conversation at that point. This individule had already told md I was going to hell for wearing pants, having short hair (at the time) and smoking (she saw me pick up a pack of smokes that 2 school boys had found before they could pick them up and try them. (I almost walked home with one hanging out of the corner of my mouth after that). I really should keep a list too!

    • That is so sad for that woman that she chooses to be so judgmental. Sad too that you had to be in her line of fire. How awful for your kids to hear those words though.

  13. Some of these questions are priceless! I love this post! Stopping by from Jenna’s challenge! So glad to be following along!

  14. Oh my goodness – THE QUESTIONS. I cannot believe you’ve been asked some of those!! You are much more gracious than I think I would have been in those moments. You’re setting a wonderful example for your children, they have such a good mommy. =)

  15. I love this post, Sharla! I’ll never forget getting the identical twins question. My African American son was maybe a year old, and the question was asked about him and my friend’s daughter, who was 3 with almost white blonde hair and blue eyes! 🙂

    Question #6 makes me sad, especially when dealing with children who work so hard at keeping it together and aren’t always able to succeed. We’ve heard that one more than once.

    Miss Optimism rocks! I wish I could answer some questions the way she did, just saying that it’s private and I’d rather not discuss it! She is amazing!

    • Thanks Denise! Yeah, we kinda think Miss Optimism is awesome. I hope she continues to have a positive attitude about adoption as she gets older.

  16. Thanks for this excellent post, Sharla! It was nice to grin along in commiseration this morning. I wrote a post along these lines a couple years ago, but the questions just keep coming, and new ones surface from what I’m accustomed to. Thank you for sharing the one about people wanting to take one of your children home. I’ve had that said to me a couple times and found it “wrong” but couldn’t quite pinpoint why it bothered me so much–you articulated it perfectly.

    A new comment I got just last night (at a ballgame) was “someday they are going to realize they were adopted since they look so different from you.” (!!!!) I tried to be very kind and explained that we talk about adoption frequently, we read them books about adoption, I have made each of them books about their personal stories coming into our family, we get together with birthparents, etc. but I honestly didn’t feel like educating, I felt like giving them the blank stare like “what are you talking about?” chuckle

    • That ball game comment is another pretty shocking one! You always handle them well though and it sounds like this time was no exception.

  17. honestly, people are RIDICULOUS!!!! You have an absolutely gorgeous family and I look forward to reading your blog. I am visiting from the comment challenge 🙂

  18. Reading through your post I have to say that I am not surprised at how uneducated some people are. However, I am glad that people as wonderful as you exist to help educate those before mentioned people. I am visiting from Jenna’s Comment Challenge. Glad I was able to read your wonderful post 😀

    -Jessica from {Sugar in My Grits}

  19. I’m stopping by from Jenna’s Comment Challenge. I love this post. You are informative and graceful, a wonderful example to your children. Nice to meet you!

  20. I have struggles of my own with just my 3 young ones. Though I have gotten many looks during tantrums the comments have been minimal & I’ve been blessed to be told by a few strangers “we’ve all been there” or “hang in there” so when I see the same thing I will at the very least give a smile of encouragement or pass on the blessings I’ve received & hope they will spread encouragement and understanding as well.

  21. I loved this post. Some people need a filter. (: Glad you are able to respond to them with grace.

  22. So I’m camping out on your blog tonight. 🙂 I think I would love to have a phone or Skype chat with you about this! Our youngest two are adopted through foster care. We got them at birth and knew the parents of our 12 year old. Also our 12yo is developmentally delayed and diagnosed PDD-NOS (Autism spectrum) so I have some things I might like to pick your brain about. 🙂

    • We should totally Skype! I’m new to it but it’s great to be able to talk long distance without any cost. I friended you on Facebook so that we can exchange Skype names and set up a time to chat. (or you can e-mail me using the contact form here)

  23. Valerie says:

    This is very useful information – but my question is how CAN one approach you to talk about adoption? Is it best to just not? I ask because we are in the process of adopting from China and I am excited about it and of course I absolutely love adoption in any form so I want to talk about it and pick other people’s brains and make friends with people who have this in common with me – but I’m usually too afraid of offending people to bring it up in any way. People are so easily offended, I don’t know of a way to ask without risking offense. My adoption agency says that asking where a kid was born is a safe question, but I have seen that question on lists like this as well. So…is there a way to bring it up without offending? What would you, as an adoptive mother, prefer??

    • I love when people approach me to talk about adoption. Adoption is obviously very dear to my heart and I am an advocate so I share quite openly about it even with strangers when asked. I think the most important thing about approaching a family is to let them know the reason behind your interest right away. Start off by saying something like “We are in the process of adopting from China and we haven’t had the chance to meet many other adoptive families. Would it be ok if I asked you a few questions?” or “you have a beautiful family. we are looking into adopting ourselves. Do you mind if I ask where your daughter was born?”. There will always be people who are offended no matter what, but for me, it changes things completely for me when I know that the intention behind the question is something beyond just curiosity. I have often given out the business card for our former foster agency or given my email address or business card to complete strangers when they’ve approached me this way. I’ve even met future friends that way! The best thing to keep in mind when approaching what you think may be an adoptive parent (remember that their spouse may be of another race and that may be their biological child or they may be babysitting!) is to always be mindful that their child is listening to both your questions and their responses. If you speak about adoption in a positive light, the family will be less defensive right off the bat.

    • P.S. Congratulations on your adoption journey! Wishing you all the best!

  24. Great post. We live in a very urban area with a lot of adoptive and transracial families, so I actually don’t get many comments. (I notice an uptick in comments and questions the minute we are out of the city, though.) The one I have gotten more than once, even in our hometown, is the Angelina one… which kind of baffles me. Do people really spend that much time thinking about her that that is the first thing they think of? I get it so often, I’m thinking of making a joke about how much she and I must look alike because I hear this all the time.

    • We’re in a bit of a smaller community and I do notice that I get the questions more often here than I do when we are in the nearest large city. The Angelina one is still fairly common for me which I just don’t get! Last time I checked, I was not dating Brad Pitt, nor was I on the cover of every second magazine!

  25. Glen weir says:

    Your number 6 is dead on.
    As a parent of a 14 year old autistic son who is getting very big, we deal with this thankfully less that in the past but as you stated it does happen.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  26. I’ve got 2 that are about 2 months apart, and I LOVE your first question. Mine are a girl and a boy. One is very fair white and the other is pretty dark brown. My all time favorite question was from the Psychiatrist on the phone who asked me how I tell them apart. ummm….well, I look at them? LOL
    WHY do people even say #10? That one blows me away. Yeah, I’ve got 7 kids…and NO you can’t have one…they aren’t slices of pizza.

    • That slice of pizza thing made me laugh!!!

    • They say it to express that they think you are immeasurably blessed with so many wonderful children. They say it to convey that they would be incredibly thankful to have children as amazing as yours. They say it to be friendly, give a compliment, and potentially a chuckle.

      I honestly wish that instead of getting annoyed with the comment, you two would attempt to educate them as to why it might not be the best comment to make. They will not learn if you do not talk to them about it.

  27. Rachael says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiring article. I was adopted as a baby by 2 of the best parents a child could ask for, in my opinion. I do not ever remember a time of not knowing that I was adopted. It makes me so sad when parents won’t tell their children they are adopted. Being adopted is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. Yes, I have dealt with ridicule over the years and I went through some times when I didn’t really know how to deal with my adoption. But I have a feeling that every adopted child does so at some point in their life. I would like to share one of my personal victories. When I was in 8th or 9th grade, there was a boy on my school bus that what making fun of me and my brother and another family of adopted children. He kept putting us down and spouting off about how our parents didn’t love us. When I had finally had enough, I got in his face and told him, “People who are adopted are special. Our parents got to choose us! Your parents got stuck with you!” Possibly not the best way to put it, but it definitely put him in his place. As I have grown, that statement has come to mean even more to me. Now, I celebrate my adoption day as much as I do my birthday. In some ways, I feel that my adoption has more to do with who I am today than anything. For several years, I have waivered on the idea of ever adopting children of my own, but after reading this article, I am leaning more that way. It is so great that there are people like you and like my parents that are able to give children a wonderful home to grow up in, even if those children don’t always appreciate it. Thank you for your wonderful example!

    • Rachael, thank you for your reply and for taking the time to share your story. It is really comforting for me to hear from an adoptee that I’m not completely missing the boat with this. I think that often adoptees make some of the best adoptive parents because of the understanding that they bring so I do hope that it is something that you will continue to consider.

  28. We get number 6 a lot with our adopted children and I just say they are not as big as they look, because they aren’t 7 and 5 really they are about 3. I feel frustrated when people say things like that in front of struggling children, they feel bad enough already.
    We were recently asked where there real parents were and my husband smiled, pointed to himself and I and said, ‘here, they are our children and we are their proud parents.’ We know what they meant but we are their real, in the flesh parents, the only decent ones our children have ever had.
    We once had a total stranger ask ‘ were they sexually abused,’ on a busy bus. I just said that whether they were or not this was not the time or the place. Another day on the bus when my little girl was upset and was having difficulty expressing her issue because of her speech and language delay I was asked ‘what is wrong with her?’ I said, ‘nothing, she is perfect.’ Not what I wanted to say, believe me.
    I often wonder why we have to be so polite to people who are downright rude to us. I have no problem talking positively about my kids or about adoption, I think adoption is amazing but I don’t understand why people don’t think before they ask their tactless questions in front of my already insecure children.

    • Even though the rude questions have happened for us so many times and continue to happen, it never ceases to surprise me how rude people can be, especially when they ask the questions in front of the kids.

  29. Oh my. It must be challenging to bite your tongue sometimes, but it sounds like you handle yourself with such dignity and composure. Good for you, Sharla. Clearly you are teaching your children to do the same. Your daughter handled the situation with her friends beautifully. 🙂

  30. I enjoyed reading this. My parents have three biological children (I am the oldest at 29) and five adopted from China (the youngest two just came home in August and are 2 and 4). The comment I find most rude is when people tell me that my siblings are so lucky my parents adopted them. I always correct them kindly (the same way you and I seem to correct people with verbage when it comes to adoption) by saying, “Really, we are the lucky ones that they joined our family!” because I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  31. Some these questions made me laugh, but like every adoptive parent I have experienced my share of comments. Our Korean/Chinese son was born in California and adopted at birth. While we waited for paperwork to be completed before heading home, we visited Disneyland. I was carrying my 5 day old son in a sling, and someone peeked at him and looked at me, a very pale, blue eyed Caucasian, and said “he looks just like you!” I just thanked them and smiled. It tickled me but also warmed my heart.
    The one that really gets me was the woman who heard about friends of ours who were adopting an infant from South America. She asked, in all seriousness, if the baby would speak English?.?

  32. I have heard many of these questions growing up!

    I was adopted (along with my 2 siblings) when I was 6 and still laugh at some of the comments people would make – especially since my parents already had 3 children of their own.

    Bravo to you and your family!

  33. Oh, yes. I am so familiar with this list. Seriously–sometimes people just don’t think. SMH

  34. I to have adopted children, 3 wonderful daughters! I sometimes just get tired of peoples thoughlessness, so many act like children have no thoughts or feelings. One of my children has some issues not unlike aspergers, and it always amazes me at just how many people have all the answers I need. Remembering I did not ask for their insight. I wish people would just be sensitive and use the same manners they are demanding from you themselves. I did love your blog and wish you all the best, and keep teaching people everytime you have tha chance!

  35. As an answer to question five, I keep wanting to answer, “Yes, of course I do! Do you want any tips?”
    And I can really relate to you about the public disturbances. My son visibly has Down Syndrome, but that is the least of his special needs and it is HARD to face judgement with my son whose special needs I wish he didn’t have to struggle with.

  36. LOVE this! thank you for sharing and helping educate people…

  37. So true. We have 5 kids and 1 more on the way and one of ours is 11 and adopted from the Philippines. We brought her home 3 1/2 years ago and it’s been a long road for her and all of us. Not only because of her special needs but dealing with the trauma she endured. People see her and she looks perfectly normal so they judge and make assumptions all the time. I tend not to be as nice as you though 😉 But our daughter’s sense of understanding is that of a much younger child. I suppose if she understood more of what was being said I would be a better example when asked dumb, insensitive questions. But it’s family and extended family who are most annoying as they think they know what is best for our daughter as far as therapy and education. I am grilled all the time. My new motto is,
    I am not asking that you understand, I am just asking that you trust us that we know what is best.” I also get the big family comments, especially “Don’t you know what causes that?” I now say,”Yes and we enjoy it!”

    • The “Yes, and we enjoy it!” made me laugh out loud!

      P.S. We also have a daughter with trauma and other issues and I understand how hard it can be to have family and friends who don’t understand.

  38. I’m delighted I found your site!
    Love the Blessings!

  39. Dakarai says:

    I had a lady say “Oh he is so cute, where do I get one?” Her English was not great so I forgave her a little. I was more offended when the Canadian medical profession tried to label me as a legal guardian. Like really?

  40. On the “You know how this works” one it would be so tempting to say “no and that’s why we adopted.” We are always asked if they have the same mother and father and I do get a kick out of saying that my husband and I claim them all. 😛 I then relieve their anxiety of such an intrusive question with a scripted answer.

  41. When I worked at a bank I once asked a child her mother’s maiden name. The mother raised her voice and rudely barked, “How in the hell would she know that? I just told you she’s a adopted!!!” The little girl about ten years old cringed. With an incredulous look on my face I replied, “but if she’s adopted – aren’t YOU the mother?”

  42. Wow #10! People don’t think before they speak. Poor baby.


  1. […] questions from friends, relatives, and strangers.  Yesterday, I posted on my family blog about the 10 strangest questions I’ve ever been asked, most of them adoption-related.  It sure got people talking about their experiences, so I thought […]

  2. […] The 10 Strangest Adoption Questions I’ve Been Asked from The Chaos and the Clutter […]

  3. […] Sharla and I have a ton in common– not the least of which is a mental list of all the funny things people have said to us regarding adoption. She took the time to write hers down. […]

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