Many birth mothers have found it difficult to talk about their birth child with people they don’t know. Do you feel that the person asking if you have kids is someone you’d like to share your personal feelings with?
If you are OK with going into detail about your adoption plan, that’s great. If not and you find it easier just to say “No,” it doesn’t mean you’re denying you have a child. Don’t feel guilty about answering “no.”
If you haven’t found a response you’re comfortable with, here are a few suggestions. One of these might work for you when you’re asked: “Do you have any children?”
1. “Yes, I have a daughter/son who I placed for adoption.” If you answer this way, just be prepared that you might have to explain more.
2. “Yes, but he/she doesn’t live with me.”
3. “Yes.” A simple yes will do if you don’t feel like explaining. This simple answer is perfect if the person asking is a random person, such as the woman behind you in line at the grocery store.
4. “No.” There may be times when you just want to say no. You might not feel like dealing with further questions. Or, you might not want to feel judged. If you choose to say “no,” please don’t feel like you’re rejecting your child. Your heart knows the true answer, and that’s what matters.
Here’s what one birth mother, Destiny, has to say: “Most people are asked at one point or another, ‘So, do you have any kids?’ My first reaction to this question is thinking to myself “do I say no? Should I say yes and if I do, do I want to deal with all the questions and judgment after I tell them?” Why is it that I feel unsure, almost ashamed?
I’m proud of my son and the life he now has. It’s my decision who is worthy of being a part of that, but in general, I will answer ‘Yes, I have a son.’ If they ask further, I’ll be honest. If they don’t ask for more details, then no big deal. More often than not, you won’t even get another question asking details. It’s the same as someone passing by asking, ‘How are you doing?’ and you respond, ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ Let’s be honest, they don’t really want to hear the details about how you’re doing, they’re just being polite and making conversation. The same goes for the question: ‘So, do you have kids?’
If you’re comfortable with being completely open with people about your adoption experience, then why not? If you’re not, then that is no one’s decision other than yours.”
Remember, choosing adoption for your child was a very personal and emotional experience for you. So, no one but you can decide who gets to be a part of that!
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.