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Parent Prep: Common Questions You Can Expect after Adopting a Child

The joy you feel from adopting a child is truly unique in the world of familial relationships. In one moment, your life changes forever, for the good, as you reach the end of the long adoption process. The euphoria you feel the moment the adoption is finalized, however, can sometimes be damaged by questions that friends, family, and even complete strangers ask about your adopted child. If you can anticipate these questions in advance, though, it will make answering them much easier, allowing you to focus more on your child than on feeling like you have to defend your decision to others.

“Are They All Yours?”

This question is almost a given if your adopted child is added to an already-large family or if your adopted child is a race different from your own. The most important thing to remember if you are asked this question is that most people aren’t asking it with any ill intentions. Instead, most people simply want to be friendly and want to talk to you, but don’t know how to break the ice, and view this question as a humorous introduction, even if that’s not how it comes across. Do your best to respond with a smile and begin by saying something like, “absolutely, and they’re each truly remarkable!”

“What Is Their Medical History?”

Especially if you adopt an older child, it may be difficult to obtain a complete and accurate medical history for that child. This can be a challenge when you head to the pediatrician for the first time and have to fill out a medical history form. Before you are faced with this task, make sure to work closely with your adoption agency to obtain any information you can about your child’s medical history.

Beyond that, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician to understand just how thorough the medical history needs to be. In some cases, you can leave parts of the history blank. In others, due to software requirements, you’ll be required to make a guess. Whatever you do, however, it’s important to work closely with your pediatrician so they understand your child’s unique situation to ensure your child receives the very best care.

“How Much Did It Cost?”

Once some people learn that your child is adopted, they will want to learn more details about your adoption by asking questions framed by common adoption stereotypes. One of these stereotypes is that adoption is expensive. While this stereotype happens to be true, as the parent of an adopted child, being asked to put a dollar sign on the process it took to complete your family is like asking the parent of multiple children which one they love the most.

Remember, again, that most people probably have innocent intentions when asking questions like this, even if they ask them in gruesomely impolite ways. Assuming the intentions are good, then, you can talk about the incredible process and how so many people cheered you on and contributed and how it was all worth it, foregoing the money question, especially if your adopted child is within earshot

Be an Adoption Champion

Adoption is incredibly important and beautiful. The main way that those who haven’t adopted are convinced to begin the process is by listening to the stories of those who have adopted. Though the questions may seem tedious and overwhelming at times, do your best to champion the cause of adoption whenever you can. You never know when you may be talking to someone who is almost ready to take their own leap of faith.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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