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Your Friend is Adopting - What Not To Ask Her About the Birth Mother

by Lisa Copen  
4/09/2009 / Parenting

Your friend has just announced that she is going to pursue adoption to build her family. Whether this is her first child or her eighth, this decision is a big one. It's special and personal. She may have many fears of that which she doesn't have any control over, and yet also resigned to the fact that this is the right path. She may not talk about it frequently or it may be something she enthusiastically updates you on every time you chat.

It's natural for you to have questions and curiosity about how the whole adoption process works. You may even be concerned for her feelings. You don't want to see her hurt or disappointed. But hold back on your questions and give her respect and privacy regarding the adoption. She will share what she desires in her own time.

I've listed below some of the comments that adoptive moms hear frequently from friends to strangers about their birth mom of their child or child-to-be. Regardless of the intentions behind the questions they all sting. You can be a wonderful friend by being aware of some questions to avoid while your friend is on her own emotional roller coaster.

[1] Why did she decide to give the child up for adoption?

[2] Do you know if she smokes or takes drugs? Do you know how that can affect a baby?

[3] How much does she drink do you think?

[4] Has she had any prenatal care at all?

[5] Does she have mental issues or a history of mental illness?

[6] What does it say about someone who can give away her baby?

[7] What if she decides she wants her back?

[8] Why didn't she use birth control?

[9] Where is her family in this picture? I wonder why her parents won't just help her raise the baby.

[10] Are you expected to just pay for all of the medical costs? I've heard stories where the gal never plans to give the baby up. She just gets everything paid for and then says she had changed her mind and takes off.

[11] What if she changes her mind? How could you not give her the child back?

[12] If she gets pregnant again will she just presume you are willing to raise that baby as well?

[13] Aren't you terrified if she sees her she will want her back? I wouldn't agree to any reunions.

[14] How can she not want to see any photos? I mean, how can she just move on with her life?

[15] How sure are you that she is really being honest about what she shares?

[16] What is her ethnicity? What is her motive giving her child to you?

[17] Why is she giving up this baby when she kept the others?

[18] She just torturing herself by wanting to have an open adoption. Wouldn't everyone be better off if she just stayed out of the picture?

[19] Do you ever wonder just how honest she is being about her medical history?

[20] What good thing can you possibly tell your child about his birth mom some day?

As the friend of a mom who is adopting you may have heard yourself actually say some of these things. Maybe some comments were on the tip of your tongue and you didn't say them. Some remarks above may seem completely rude and you would never think of saying them. Most adoptive moms, however, have heard them all from different sources.

Allow me to personally say thank you for being a good friend just by reading this article. Remember to explain to your friend, "I care about you and want to be excited with you as well as here to talk when you need that too. I may not always know the right thing to say and will probably stick my foot in my mouth sometimes. So just let me know so I don't do it again."

There is no such thing as a perfect friend, but those who go the extra mile to care enough to understand our needs is one of those most precious gifts we can ask for.

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