All Adoptions Aren’t ‘Fall Back’ Options
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.
And more often than not, they view that fact as negative- so the situation is lose-lose.
But the insinuation of “their own” is most irksome. Why does it matter, if I am a child of my parents through natural birth or by adoption? I was raised to feel no less their child though I was adopted.
By the same token, I am not more of an “authentic” child if I had come from my adoptive mom’s body. I am not special because I am adopted.
I am a person with intrinsic value because I’m human.
My parents lived in India in the late ’70s and fell in love with the people, culture, and customs. After returning to the US, they decided to create a family through the adoption of Indian children. They adopted me in 1980, my sister in 1982, and my brother in 1987.