Adoption Stories: 10 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Is Adopted

Updated on December 19, 2016

How to talk to an adoptee

Being adopted is unique. Most adoption agencies, adoptive families, birth families and the public in general like to see adoption as a seamless transition- a blending of families creating one unit. Indeed, adoption works and has worked for centuries, but it does not mean after the signing of contracts and exchanging of money that the adoptee synthesizes and abdicates their genealogy, heritage, and biological roots.

There needs to be an honoring for both- an adoptee's past with their upbringing. Each adoptee is different. Depending on how the adoptee relates to their adoption story and integrates into their adoption family, will require different sensitivities from people within the family system as well as the community at large. It is also important to take into account the development, age, and adoptee's maturity. It is important to know some etiquette when talking with an adoptee.

Just because you know your boyfriend's brother's cousin was adopted and learned everything from him, does not mean all adoption stories can be generalized. Each experience is as unique as a snowflake.

What do you think?

When talking to an adoptee, do you think using the word 'real' is insensitive?

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1. Do not use the word “real” as a disclaimer for the adoptee's family members.

The opposite of real is unreal or not real. In a child's mind if you ask her, 'where are her real parents?' it insinuates that her adoptive parents are unreal. The family she is being raised in is her real family. The relationships she has established with her adoptive family is as real to her as a biologically connected child.

There is no 'real' or 'unreal' relationship. Her biological lineage is not unreal. It may not be known or understood, but it is also real and a part of her as her DNA makeup. If you get confused when an adoptee is talking, ask her to speak about the family members with their first names. This will help you, as the receiver of the story, to obtain information to distinguish the different family members without insinuating who is real or not.

Real is also a significant word for children when they are trying to understand Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Unicorns, Merlin and the like. During their development, they will come to terms regarding these legendary folklore as being a myth. For the adoptee child, their biological roots can be as abstract and unknown as where the Tooth Fairy lives. When they understand the tooth fairy is unreal and other's around them are using the word, 'real' to describe their family, it can become confusing in a child's mind.

What Do You Think?

Is telling an adoptee they where born from your heart all right?

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2. You were not born, but chosen. Or, you were born from my heart.

Although this phrase often comes from a place of sensitivity when explaining adoption to a child, it also leaves the child with a lot of confusion. Young children are concrete thinkers. They do not have the capacity to think abstractly yet or in metaphors. If you tell a child it is raining, 'cats and dogs' they will look out the window to see if they can find cats and dogs falling from the sky.

If you tell a child they were chosen, or even born from my heart, it leaves the child to wonder and fantasize how did they come into this world, if they were not born like everyone else. Oftentimes the child will use fantasies to give meaning to what they can not understand. These fantasies can distort reality potentially having a negative effect on their self esteem.

Children can handle the truth. Even sad truths.

The truth is, the child was born. Just like everyone else on this planet. Their friends have birth stories and understand they were born from the woman they call mother. To the adoptee this is not so. They have to put puzzling pieces together to try to make sense of it. It is even hard for adults to comprehend why someone would choose to relinquish their child.

If the child was chosen, that means someone else did not choose them. Why did she give me up? Often this is a question in the back of a child's mind even if they do not verbalize this question.

Age appropriate honest compassionate explanations fair better in the long run than trying to shield a child from hard truths with euphemisms.

What Do You Think?

Is it acceptable to ask a family how much they spent on the adoption?

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3. How much did the adoption cost?

Ok, this is just tacky. Do we go around and ask people, "When you were born how much did your parents insurance pay for the hospital or midwife? How much was your parent's co-pay?"

The truth is it cost money to bring any child into this world. From prenatal visits to labor and delivery most often families spend hundreds of dollars.

For the adoption process it is known to be several thousand dollars. Does it matter how much the process cost?

Why does someone ask that? In our culture we place so much value on expensive things, it implies the more an item costs the more value it has. Children are not an item.

All children are valuable regardless of the fees involved.

What Do You Think?

Telling the adoptee that their mother loved them so much to give them up, is kind and OK.

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4. Your mother loved you so much that she gave you up.

This is the most confusing statement you can say to an adoptee at any age. Although this statement might seem to shield a young child from the truth that she was indeed abandoned and relinquished by her birth mother, it does not serve the adoptee in the long run. Romanticizing the adoptee’s abandonment will delay the inevitable, the quest within each adoptee to come to terms with their own relinquishment from their birth mother. The truth will have to be explored at some point in and adoptee's life span.

It can be soothing to hear "Your mother loved you so much that is why she gave you up," but unconsciously this statement works against the adoptee in a very negative way. The adoptee may not want people too close to them, to love them 'so much,' because that translates into the ultimate abandonment. Better than to be loved just a bit, or to keep people at arms length and never fully attach to others than to be loved so much and be abandoned.

Additionally, for some adoptee's, their biological mother does not know what love is. Sadly, some women use adoption as a way to make money, gain attention from pregnancy, labor and birth, or use adoption as a birth control. They abandon not one, or two but sometimes three, four or more children. This is not because they are loving and selfless, it is because they are selfish, and irresponsible in their promiscuity. Some are in the throes of addiction and have no ability to love and take care of themselves let alone a child. Adoption was either mandated from the state, begged by family and friends, or they were keenly aware that this child will be a burden to their lifestyle. Although this is sad, it is also very true.

What Do You Think?

Adoptees should be grateful they were not aborted.

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5. Aren't you grateful your mother did not abort you and made such a loving, selfless decision?

How is anyone supposed to respond to that question?

There seems to be this undercurrent in the adoption culture- adoptee's should be grateful for the tough decisions their birth mother had to make, especially for not aborting them. The birth mother had a choice! The adoptee did not. Just think about this for a moment. It is like saying to someone, 'You must be glad when you were young that your mother did not kill you?'

All adoption stories are not the same. Adoptee's experiences growing up vary as families vary. For some, adoption was positive and for other's it was not. No one has the right to expect how another should feel, especially around their own birth, relinquishment, abandonment, exiled from their kin and sometimes from their country to grow up in another household feeling like there is a piece always missing from them. Adoptees did not ask to be adopted.

Gratitude is important to install in all children. However, the adoptee child should not be made to feel their birth mother did them a favor and that their adoptive parents rescued them. The adults made adult decisions in regards to the welfare of a babe, a child. It is the adult's issue, not the adopted, to need gratitude for what was done.

Adoptees endured tremendous loss before being a part of a new family. The message of the adoptive parents 'saved' them therefore the adoptee should be 'grateful' can implement terror into the adoptee. If they are not grateful enough, does that me they will be abandon again?

Adoption- The Expected Sense of Gratitude

What Do You Think?

Do you think adoptees should feel gratitude towards their birth mother?

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International adoption, as stated by Dr. Amanda Baden, demands the adopted children to be grateful to live with people who do not look like them, do not speak their native language and sometimes told how lucky they are to be 'rescued.' Sometimes international adoptees are ostracized in social settings like school and church because they look different. Their adoption status is always right in front when everyone else is limited in their own racial stigma.

If society continually points out to a unique family, their uniqueness, how much harder does this family have to work to establish their natural family system? This family owes no one an explanation. Just because they look different on the outside does not mean they are a billboard for wanting to tell everyone their adoption stories and reason for adopting internationally.

For international adoptees, race does matter. For adoptees who look like their adoptive parents, their heritage and nationality does matter. It will always be a part of them and offering adoptees opportunities to learn about their race, heritage and culture of origin, will provide them an opportunity to be loved, integrated and celebrated with their differences. This will help aid the adoptee when society wants to single them out, or just as devastating- blend them in.

What Do You Think?

It is not a big deal to ask adoptees and adoptive families about their adoption experience.

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6. You don't look like your family, are you adopted or something?

As an adoptee, I can tell you it was always painful to hear why you look so different. The adoptee's family is the one they are growing up in. The fiber of family is embedded with all members, adoptees included. Family meals, family rules, family memories, family traditions, family rhythms make the individual family members a tied unit. The weaving of these family connections day in and day out fuse the members together. Eventually within the family unit the differences, though sometimes distinct, blur.

When someone distinguishes the members because the outside appearance looks different, it can hurt. The outside is what onlookers see as different and use 'are you adopted?'- as a wedge that slices through the similarities. Somehow that gets translated in the adoptee's mind right in that moment, this unique and special bond of family is it faux or real, because others do not see it?

A family with different ethnicities being raised together, like multicultural adoption, often attract strangers to ask very personal questions. The ethnicity skin tones shows the immediate differences, that this family is indeed a family put together through adoption. Somehow this gets translated that the family is already giving strangers a view through the family window, which some strangers interpret your life and family must be an open book. Some strangers then pursue the family with very intimate questions.

This can be very rude and unsettling for some adoptive families. Just because a family looks like they adopted their children it does not mean they are open to discussing their adoption with a stranger at dinner or at the movies.

Adoptees and adoptive families are not species to be observed and studied by a sociologist-want-to-be in the middle of the grocery store.

What Do You Think?

I believe adoptees have no problem talking about their adoption- it is OK to ask why they were given up for adoption.

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7. Why were you given up?

For most adoptees, the adoption wound is one of the most painful experiences of their lives. Knowing that you were abandoned young, even for good reasons, is traumatic. The natural order of things, kin taking care of their offspring, has been severed. For a child, there is a lot to process and understand why their mother or father would leave them behind, choose another family to raise them, or be too dysfunctional to raise the child themselves.

When you ask and an adoptee, "Why were you given up for adoption?" you are in a sense asking them, why couldn't your biological parents raise you? An adoptee is keenly aware of the other families in their community. They know of the dysfunctional family, the impoverished family, and the family with a young mother- all raising their biological kin. The preponderance of families raising their kin, even in hardships leaves the gaping wound of "Why couldn't my biological family make it work for me?" even larger.

Unless the adoptee knows their birth and adoption story, or found their biological kin as an adult, they do not know the answer to this question. Sometimes for a child to make sense of something this difficult and unknown they will make it about themselves. It now gives them an answer and something to control. "I was given up, because they did not want me." Even if this is not the truth, in the adoptee's mind it gives the inquirer an answer, and after all children are constantly answering questions from adults hoping to get it right, like in school.

The question, "Why were you given up?" is not meant for the adoptee. This question is meant for the biological mother and/or biological father. A good answer would be, "I don't know, why don't you ask them?"

What Do You Think?

Adoptees should be happy with the family they have and not seek for the past, the truth can hurt them or their adoptive family. Better leave it alone.

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8. It shouldn't matter to you whether you ever find your biological parents, you already have a family.

Most often it is those who have never been adopted that assume adoptees who want to find their heritage are seeking another family system to disown their adoptive one. This is not true. It is not like the adoptee is going to interview a family down the street to see if they are more compatible to live with and forsake the one they have.

Adoptees have a birthright to seek their story, roots, heritage, and kinship. Why do people think if you do seek, you are looking for another family in terms of you are abandoning your adoptive family? Why does it have to be this family or that family? Black and white. The adoptee can build onto their family. Just like all children grow relationships and eventually integrate, lovers, husbands, their own children into the family system. Families are not threatened when these adult children grow the family system with in-laws.

Why then is it threatening for an adoptee to seek and find their biological family members? The thought of adding a birth father, birth mother, half or whole sibling into the mix, makes people feel threatened and wonder why you would hurt your adoptive family.

Why does the adoptive family feel if you build a relationship with your biological family, then you are building a relationship away from them? In reality, the adoptee is becoming more aware of who they are by finally having answers to the unknown that everyone else takes for granted.

Why then does that seem to frighten others? Almost as if, well you found your biological roots, I guess you do not need us anymore. The adoptee feels abandoned again, and seems they really do not fit anywhere and there are always terms to how people love and accept them.

What Do You Think?

Adoptees are better off in their adoptive family, or they wouldn't be adopted in the first place.

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9. But don’t you think you’re totally better off?

Better off than what? It is incomprensible for anyone to answer what their life would be like if they grew up with the Smith Family in their neighborhood instead of their own. We are who we are because of our biology and just as important or more important our environment. No one knows the answer of what their life would be like if they had a different family system. We can speculate and make judgments based on what is known. Sadly, there are adoptees who are abused in their adoptive family. Because of shame, secrecy and denial this information might not be known to others. Asking an adoptee 'don't you think you are better off?' can make an adoptee who is abused have to reflect on difficult memories they may not be ready to explore, discuss or even articulate the answer to such a question.

What Do You Think?

Do you think this statement is true? Parents could never love an adopted child as much as thier own.

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10. I am not sure I could ever love an adopted child as my own.

This statement is not about the adoptee worth being loved less because they are not of kin. It has everything to do with limitations of the adult who would think this and even worse say this. When talking with an adoptive parent about their love of their adoptive children remember to have some couth. Adoptees overhear conversations just like most children. Overhearing someone saying, 'I am not sure I could ever love an adopted child as my own.' is heart breaking. It is like pouring salt into a very sensitive wound.

The truth is, many amazing adults do love their adopted child as their own flesh and blood. Over the years they see their child no longer 'adopted' but rather, their own, my child.

Final Thoughts

Adoptees do not sit and contemplate about being adopted day in and day out. Although, adoption is a big part of their identity it is not all they are. Often times when people find out someone is adopted the conversation halts, lingering on this one part of them. We are all kaleidoscopes and have many dimensions beyond our origins.

When you find out someone is adopted and you would like to talk to them more about it, the best approach is to say, "I think that is neat, if you ever want to talk about it, I would be glad to listen." It is not the adoptee's job to educate you on being adopted because you are curious. There are many wonderful blogs and books about the adoptive experience. If the adoptee wants to talk about it with you, they will, if they don't then respect that too.

© Copyright Carly Sullens 2012. All Rights Reserved.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Is it unkind for relatives to say, "but she isn't your real mom, or real child"?

    Yes, that is very unkind.


Submit a Comment
  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    10 months ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thank you for the comment Patricia and for the angels.

  • profile image

    Birth Mother 

    16 months ago

    Giving up my son was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through & still feel heart broken over. I did it so he could have a better life and he has! I hate this disregard for the birth mothers. The fact is these children have 2 mothers.

  • profile image


    17 months ago

    as someone who was adopted my self, I believe some question is okay and not okay- depending on the person. no, you can not tell someone who is adopted to be thankful they were not aborted, no you can not ask why they were put up, no you may not tell me that my birth parents are my real parents. yes, you can ask me how much it was, yes you may ask me about my adoption-not, my parents. everyone has their limits- so ask with in it.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    19 months ago from sunny Florida

    Very interesting. My best friend was adopted and she has adopted two children. They are both adults now and only have known her and their father as their parents. Neither of them has shown any interest in finding their birth mothers but who knows that may come.

    My friend could not be a better mother by birth or not. She supports and uplifts these two and loves and adores her grands.

    Angels are on the way to you today ps

  • profile image

    Shelley Cruz 

    2 years ago

    Excellent article with many valid points. Thanks for writing this!

  • Cindy Franklin profile image

    Cindy Franklin 

    3 years ago

    No, but my children are. ;)

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thank you Cindy. Are you also Adopted?

  • Cindy Franklin profile image

    Cindy Franklin 

    3 years ago

    Very nice article.

  • profile image


    4 years ago

    it is not in our power to do so. We have legislators ready to do what is right. They have said they belevie this is a human, civil right, and is the right thing to do.All amendments will go to the House floor and be voted on. A report to the House from committee will state that the majority of the committee belevies that an adoptee has the right to his/her original birth certificate. (versions B & C both state this, although we differ on when it happens; we want it now, vs when an adoptee turns 40).You have the amendment information except for the retroactivity of the 1953 records. Everything will remain the same for the adoptees prior to 8/8/1953. These amendments do not change that. You were missing the fact that our original bill still remains, with minor changes (We struck the medical history requirement for some of the contact preference choices).I don't feel that any amendment holds weight more than any other. Although Simpson received 6 votes, she is going with the 'It's a vote against women' spiel; Planned Parenthood is working in the background against us. I'm not convinced it will fly with all the women democratic reps, as she thinks it will.As for the doctor statements, with the 3 amendments and time getting short for these legislators, some are not sure how they'll vote. Many are still on the fence, with the opposition looking to do anything to push them off. Word is out that someone with pretty good authority is actually going to stand up and say that adoptees can go and get a battery of genetic testing done, so they have no need to reveal a birth parent (or no need to have the contact preference form with the medical history form attached.) Legislators will listen to this person, and the ones on the fence may fall to the opposition if they belevie this tripe. Our statements will refute this person's argument. I can't imagine letting this person's argument go unanswered, just because of the medical history and it's play within the BN group. We are doing what we can. I, as well as others, have been in Augusta at least once a week talking with legislators. We have been told by more than one legislator that they've never been lobbied so hard on an issue. If version B doesn't go through, we will be actively pushing for a kill of whatever remains. I will certainly update you on what happens tomorrow (5th work session). I have been told that it may go to the floor this week sometime. The legislature is in double sessions this week to get their work finished before adjourning - and it would not surprised me in the least to see us scheduled for a vote in the wee hours of the morning. With the committee chairs working overtime to get this issue put to the last minute, anything is possible.I hope I answered your questions. This issue will not die after this session, if things go awry. We have power of referendum in this state, as well as other ideas. Thanks.

  • profile image


    4 years ago

    As the mother of an adopted child who is now an adult, some of these questions are out of left field. No, you should not ask how much it cost, why the child was given up or if they feel gratitude toward their birth mother. I am personally grateful to my child's birth parent and pray for her each year on my child's birthday. I know my bond with my daughter is every bit as strong as with a biological child. She was chosen, she's always known that, and she's good with it. She is a gift from God in our lives. Enough said!

  • Willem Verheij profile image


    4 years ago

    Anyone wishing to adopt should read the book "Harpo Speaks!" American comedian Harpo Marx has adopted four children and made a very beautifull story about it. From the start the children knew they where adopted.

    It was basicly made into a bedtime story where he or his wife would speak of their search for each child and working each child their personality into it.

    They where very good parents as far as I understand and gave them a wonderful home. This was during the forties and fifties, but Harpo was a very modern father. There are pictures where you can see him sitting on the ground with his children at christmas with a big smile. He was as much a child as they where.

    As such these children where very happy to be part of this family and of course they where a bit curious about their origins but did not seem too concerned with it. They did adopt them all as babies.

  • Wednesday-Elf profile image


    4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

    You've made some very interesting and helpful points here. My brother and my sister adopted two children each after learning they could not have their own and had to deal with some of the things you mention here. Some people can be downright too nosy & insensitive for their own good, especially when a child doesn't look like a parent. And it happens to families even when the child isn't adopted. While on a visit this past summer, I went shopping with my son and his step-son to buy him a new swimsuit for a trip to the pool. My blond, blue-eyed son married a darling Korean girl with an adorable dark haired, brown-eyed 5-year-old. As the 'boys' went into the dressing room to try on the swimsuit, the lady clerk asked me "is the little boy adopted?". I'm sure she was 'curious', but I also think she was just nosy! It really wasn't necessary for her to ask, as far as I was concerned!

  • Carol Houle profile image

    Carol Houle 

    4 years ago from Montreal

    I really enjoyed reading this hub, however I felt a little daunted by the lack of "medium" in your polls of "yes or no". Some of us can imagine what adoption feels like, but we can only guess. I guess, I would be glad my bio-mom hadn't aborted me, and hope my "real" mom loves me more.

  • Chauncey St Clair profile image

    Chauncey St Clair 

    4 years ago from New York City

    This is an very informative article. I do know that the struggle for an adoptee to find his/her birth parents is huge, and of course to know why they were given up for adoption.

    I do think, too, however that it is necessary for the adoptee to develop some extra thick skin. People will inquire and often ask invasive questions. They are not trying to be rude, they are just curious about the experience.

    That's why I think your article is so valuable, it really touches on the subject in a very helpful way.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri


    That is a very insensitive thing to say to any adoptive parent or adoptee, "I could never love a child that I didn't give birth to as much as one I did." It speaks a lot about the person who is saying such a statement.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    I just want to say this one thing. I have heard it before and it makes me really mad. I could never love a child that I didn't give birth to as much as one I did. I always turn it back on them. You have a dog (cat, bird, etc), right? When they're sick do you take them to the vet? Do you feed, get toys, etc for this pet? Is this pet family? Do you love this pet? My final question is always.....Did you give birth to your pet?

  • HolidayGiftIdea profile image


    5 years ago

    Adopting is something that is very beautiful. I think that adoption is the best way to go for some people.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    heatexpressions, my two close friends adopted two daughters from Guatemala. It is so hard sometimes for families with outsiders continually ask very private questions. Feel free to share this hub. Maybe even with their teachers each year.

  • heartexpressions profile image


    6 years ago

    A well written and informative hub. I adopted a set of Guatemalan twins 5 years ago, and they are now 13. Unfortunately, their peers don't think twice about asking a millions questions about why they are dark and their mom is white. It's a real challenge for them.

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Claudia Mitchell 

    6 years ago

    What a great thought provoking hub. I really had to think before I answered some of the questions. It really shows how comments that some think are harmless can really be burdensome to others. Voted up!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thanks sweet Mama Kim. I appreciate you stopping bye and commenting. You are way too sweet and sensitive to hurt somebody. Thanks for sharing.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thelma, I am happy this gives you a start when talking with your friend. All adoptees are different. Some are more sensitive about the subject than others. Some like to talk about it, some do not. I always take cues from the person talking about private subject matter. As a good friend you will know how to be supportive.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri


    I am glad you find this useful. As an adoptive parent you can get into the adoption more intimately with your own children. This is a great hub to share with relatives and friends of yours who may not know what to say. Or they say things, that are insensitive but they do not even know that it is and why it would be. I am glad we found each other on hubpages.

  • Thundermama profile image

    Catherine Taylor 

    6 years ago from Canada

    I'm printing this hub and keeping it close to hand for it's wise words. As an adoptive parent of three so much of what you said here resonated for my children. Wonderful!

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 

    6 years ago from Germany and Philippines

    Well written and an informative hub. It´s good to know how to talk to an adopted friend. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mama Kim 8 profile image

    Sasha Kim 

    6 years ago

    Thank you so much for clarifying these! I've only met a couple adopted people and I was so scared to hurt or offend them I avoided the subject completely! This helps a ton ^_^ the insight is incredibly valuable! Voted a bunch and shared

  • peachpower profile image


    6 years ago from Florida

    I loved reading this. It brought tears to my eyes several times. I was particularly saddened when I got to number 7. I find that to be the most painful statement... How the hell would someone put up for adoption know why they were placed?? It is probably unintentionally cruel most of the time (which I experienced frequently post-miscarriage... it's better this way etc, etc) but that doesn't make it any less hurtful. I admire very much your willingness to speak up; not just for you, but for other adoptees. Super Hub, and thank you for sharing.

  • Julie DeNeen profile image

    Blurter of Indiscretions 

    6 years ago from Clinton CT

    This article is so well done Carly. You are an incredible Hubber after only month on here! Your articles are chalked full of information, artfully designed, and present a unique angle. I am voting up and sharing!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    You brought out a lot of helpful advice on communicating with an adopted person. I am going to remember these tips so that I do not cause any ill will or negativity. Thanks for sharing this wisdom with us. Voted way up!

  • fpherj48 profile image


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Carly....This is an especially well-written and sensitive article. I commend you and appreciate you sharing this with us.

    What I would really like to believe, with all my heart is......that there simply are not people, ignorant, insensitive and rude enough to ever ask ANY of these questions. That would really make me feel a whole lot better about being part of the human race. Thank you, Carly. UP !!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 

    6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Number 10 is the one that bothers me the most. I hate it when I hear people who are willing to spend millions of dollars to have a natural birth say it's not the same.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    How did I miss this one? As an adoptee, you would think I would spot this great hub! Sheez, I'm losing it! Wonderful hub, Carly, but then that's what I expect from you!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri


    Thank you for sharing, I appreciate it.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Shruti, Thank you so much for you comment. I try to tell it in a delicate way but it gets hard sometimes. The writing is from my own personal experience as well as listening to other adoptees and adoptive parents.

    I appreciate you sharing.

  • Senoritaa profile image

    Rinita Sen 

    6 years ago

    Very helpful article. Sharing socially.

  • shruti sheshadri profile image

    shruti sheshadri 

    6 years ago from Bangalore, India

    This is sooo beautiful carly, you have understood all the intricacies involved in such a delicate matter and you have absolutely nailed it in your writing.

    This is a must read for every indiviual, and i am so glad i read it!

    voted up and shared :) great hub!

  • Janine Huldie profile image

    Janine Huldie 

    6 years ago from New York, New York

    Carly, I have to say I couldn't even begin to understand what the adoptee must feel like when certain things are said or asked of her/she like those you have mentioned in your article, because I myself was never adopted. I do have a close cousin who was indeed adopted, but truly he is family and just have never had it any other way. That said I do agree with the overall message of your article in one exercising a bit of restraint and not just saying or asking something with out thinking before they speak. Very beautifully written and can see this is definitely something you indeed feel passionate about from your words here. Have voted up, shared and tweeted as always.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    midget, thank you so much. Adoption is amazing and I see it as a gift, but being an adoptee, people have said the most insensitive things to me. It is strange. Yes we are all so much more than our issues and what people see on the surface. I am who I am, because of my adoptive parents.

  • midget38 profile image

    Michelle Liew 

    6 years ago from Singapore

    Thanks for sharing, Carly, and I have just been riveted by this. I am myself thinking about adoption and related issues, and I thank you for helping us to empathize even more. I love the conclusion, that it is not who we are. So many other things identify you. Thanks for a wonderful write, which I have just shared.


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