Monday, January 4, 2010

"Why are you adopting?"

Over the past month, the husband and I have been spreading the news of our adoption plans on a larger scale. It's still not Facebook appropriate, but we've let our larger groups of friends and extended families in on what's up in our household. We figure this will take care of any questions about baby-proofed cabinets and the crib before people come over.

I've written a bit already about some of the reactions we've gotten. Many have been hilarious, many are 'things-that-make-you-go-hmmm'? But there's one question that we keep getting that we're still having trouble finding the right answer for:

"Why are you adopting?"

Now, don't get me wrong. We know exactly why we're adopting. We know the many reasons, some practical, most emotional, and others undefinable. For us, we know that right now this is the best way to build our family.

I know that adoption is the less common way of having children. I know most people get knocked up and grow babies in their bellies and it's just the way things are done. I know these things. So I get that people are probably a little less familiar with the decision to adopt. Even still, I find this question hilarious. What do you mean, 'why?' What kind of answer are you looking for? Do you ask people why they got pregnant? Probably not.

So every time we get asked this question, it still seems a little awkward. It is, of course, a very personal question. We're getting better, but it's still weird.

And then we have the follow-up questions:

"Ooooh is it because you *have* to adopt?"
What? Like, is there some requirement for us to adopt? No, we're doing it because we want to.

"So can I ask? Is it because you can't have children?"
No, you can't ask. Do you ask everyone about their fertility? Because that's going to make you 'that guy' at a party. The one who no one wants to hang out with.

"But don't you want any of your own?"
Sure do! And the one we adopt *will* be our own. That will be our child.

"Is it weird for you that your baby won't look like you?"
...really? I want a kid. Not a clone.


The point of this post: if someone tells you they're adopting, don't ask them why. Because does it really matter why? Really? Or are you just being nosy - nosier than you'd be in any other situation?

And here's my answer, if you plan to ask why:

Because we want to. This is how we want to build our family. We're very excited to meet our baby.


  1. I PPH this post with a passion. Can I post a linky on my blog?

    The nerve of some people and their filterless mouths.

    I'm sorry you have had to deal with these commments. Hopefully through your experiences, they will learn.

  2. Any time, Kate! My blog is your blog!

    And at least we can look back and laugh with these people. Did I say 'with'? I meant 'at'.
    At these people.

  3. Well said, we get the same kind of questions.. and its completely frustrating! Although, I do find the tips on getting pregnant a bit halarious.. but do I really need to know what position they used to have their little one.. I think not!

  4. "Do you ask people why they got pregnant? Probably not"

    WELL SAID. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. But I do love your answers to the common questions.

  5. Those are some of the most difficult questions to answer. And really, I'm learning, it's none of their business and I don't have to explain to everyone (family especially) why we chose adoption. Sometimes I like to ask it right back at them - "why do you think?" - and then the uncomfortable silence or stammering begins.