Once you adopt, there, no doubt, will be a battery or questions or comments that are either unwelcome, or inappropriate or ignorant or all three. You will also find that people feel at liberty to ask you personal questions that normal decorum would dictate as inappropriate or misplaced. This is where it is important to make an assessment about whom you discuss your child’s adoptive status with and how much implied freedom you offer the other person. No doubt as your child grows, it won’t necessary be you answering the questions, it will be them. Some statements or questions are hurtful.
For example, some
i. Your child is so lucky that they were adopted by you.
ii. Now that you have adopted, you are more likely to have your own.
iii. How could their mother have left them?
iv. Did you get to choose the baby?
v. Adoption isn’t recognised in Islam or worse still, it is haram.
vi. If you don’t breast feed your adoptive daughter she will have to wear a hijab when she is older.
vii. Adoptive children cannot inherit the same as biological children.
viii. Why were they abandoned?
ix. Who is their real mother? Where is their real mother?
x. Are they real siblings?
xi. I couldn’t love another person’s child.
xii. Adopted children turn out to have more behavioural issues.
xiii. Are you going to let them find their real mother?
xiv. You guys are amazing for having adopted children.
xv. How do you know what motherhood is, you never gave birth.
And so on……
This list is surely no exhaustive, and will be managed very differently by different individuals. The important thing is to know how you will respond ahead of time, whether you will choose to respond, what are your red lines, when to be informative, when to deflect, when to share and when to joke about things. Becoming a member of the PAN UK community will undoubtedly help and certainly reading around adoption will also create a balanced view.