All Adoptions Aren’t ‘Fall Back’ Options

It’s disrespectful to believe adoptees are ‘second best.’

A.J. Bryant
3 min readApr 26, 2023
view of a person standing while looking down on their two feet and 3 white arrows depicting choice and options
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

When people know I’m adopted they inevitably say, “Have you met your real parents?” But what annoys me more, is their query; “Were you adopted because your parents couldn’t have children of their own?”

As if “their own” means only a birth child could be their child. First of all, it’s impolite to ask such a delicate question about my parents. Why do some folks, knowing I’m adopted, think that social convention is no longer necessary?

My adoption does not give them the right to ask personal, and disrespectful questions.

This drives me crazy. Because I’m adopted does not give others the right to ask any question popping into their heads.

I also have no easy answer when someone uses the phrase, ‘children of their own.’

To say, “Yes,” feels like I’ve revealed something sensitive about my parents. It’s not my place to discuss my parents’ reproductive ability and that’s uncomfortable for me.

It’s not an appropriate conversation for me to have without them.

I usually deflect, by saying “no comment” or something similar. Some people view that as admitting my parents couldn’t have biological children.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, contemporary India and more. Prawns are my love language.