Adoption – Unsolicited Questions From Strangers

In recognition of Adoption Awareness Month, I would like to share my own experiences, in hope of contributing to adoption awareness.

My daughters were both adopted from Cambodia, and my husband and I are both Caucasian Australians, which means we often get quizzical looks from strangers. Apparently adopted families are such a rarity that it takes some people a while to work out how my family fits together.

“Are they your children?” people ask.

“Yes,” I smile.

“Do you have your own children?” people query.

“These are my own children,” I gesture to my daughters.

“Are they sisters?” people ask.

“Yes, but they’re not biologically related,” I say.

In a world of globalisation and widespread media coverage of celebrity adoptions, it amazes me that people can be so ignorant. Perhaps it’s just a case of speaking before they think.

photos thanks to adoptivefamiliescircle.com

photos thanks to adoptivefamiliescircle.com

“People don’t know you’re my Mummy because we have different skin,” my eldest daughter said to me recently, no doubt a result of hearing too many unsolicited comments from strangers.

“Well, they should know,” I said. “You call me Mummy and we act like a family. It’s not that hard to figure out.”

I don’t know if I answer people’s questions (including my daughter’s) with the best responses; I simply say what comes naturally to me at the moment.

What reaction might you give?

5 thoughts on “Adoption – Unsolicited Questions From Strangers

  1. I just came across your blog from the Open Adoption Interview Project … I find it fascinating that you adopted from Cambodia, a country that is very near and dear to my heart. I look forward to following along!

  2. I was an expat and adopted from Cambodia.
    I was asked ‘Is she your daughter?’ Yes I said. ‘
    She come from your belly?’ No “Oh, so you buy her?”

    Brilliant form, I was waiting for the person to ask how much I paid!! 🙂

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