10 Things You Should Never Say To An Adoptive Parent

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By Aida Shalkow Phillips

Editor’s note: Sometimes people say extremely insensitive things to adoptive moms or dads, even if they aren’t even aware of how rude their words are. I asked my friend Aida Phillips to write this post to help educate others and create awareness. 

Becoming a mom through adoption has really opened my eyes to both the ignorance and acceptance to the process. Adoption is life-changing. After being unable to conceive on my own after many failed fertility treatments, it was a given that I would take that route. I know I was born to be a mom and nothing or no one would stop me from accomplishing my dream.

Born from our soulsI’ve discovered that my mission in this lifetime is to educate, counsel, advise and be there emotionally for anyone going through the adoption journey. That’s why I created Born from Our Souls in 2011 after becoming a mother.

If you ever meet somebody who is an adoptive parent, please don’t ask these questions. Ever.

  1. Is that your real daughter/son?
  2. How much did he/she cost?
  3. Does she/he know he’s adopted?
  4. Oh now that you adopted, I’m sure you’ll get pregnant…
  5. Why was he/she given up for adoption?
  6. Did you meet his/her real Mom?
  7. (When being introduced) this is XYZ, my friend who adopted a child…
  8. What will you do when he/she wants to look for his real mother?
  9. Are you sure you want to adopt?
  10. How can you love a child that is not blood-related to you?

Most of these questions are asked by people who don’t know any better. Some may mean well, but others are just plain ignorant. As for the last question, I have to say that it was the easiest to respond to. I simply replied with, “Are you married?” and the 60-something woman said “Yes, for over 40 years.” I then asked, “And you really love your husband?” She immediately said “Of course,” so I responded, “Wow, how can you love him, if he’s not related to you (by blood)?”
What NOT to say to an adoptive mother

About Aida Phillips

Aida Phillips is a mom, wife and publicist. Aside from enjoying her daughter and living her life at events, red carpets or creating communication strategies, Aida supports those who are going through adoption with her foundation  Born From Our Souls (Nacidos del Alma).


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