Dear Prudence Question About Adoption/race

Updated on May 03, 2012
M.K. asks from Arnold, MO
23 answers

Has anyone else seen this Slate Dear Prudence question? It's the first one on the top. I'll put the link in the SWH.

Basically one mom is rejecting another mom because she thinks she adopted her child. The mom says, "I'm sorry, but I am against adoption. I believe buying children is ethically deplorable."

WHAT!? Ethically deplorable??? I thought that was crazy.

Not only that but the child isn't even adopted - she's just mixed race. How can some people be so rude, thick headed, and insulting? Have you ever meet anyone who made terrible assumptions like that, or outright rude statements to you about yourself or your kids?

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answers from Santa Barbara on

My daughter is adopted, she is my sister's biological child and she came to me when she was ten days old (not due to infertility). My sister did try to sell her for $2,000 initially before she just asked if I would take her...I don't plan on sharing that little tidbit with my daughter.

Most people are very kind and really apologetic if they ask about her birth family. Only once was it said to me that I wasn't the "real mom" and it was here.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

There are all kinds of people in this world. I'll tell you the truth about how I would feel about those two moms - the one with the child that was or wasn't adopted, was or wasn't mixed raced, regardless, would be the mom I would want to be friends with. People like the woman you are talking about? Who wouldn't want to be friends with someone who had adopted a child? Someone whose brain was so totally strapped into one point of view like that? Good heavens, I wouldn't want to be anywhere NEAR her.

I'll be rude enough to say that. Maybe I'm being strapped into MY point of view, but there it is!


7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

LOVED Prudence's reply. So - what should be done with orphans if adoption is ethically deplorable? Bring back the workhouse perhaps? I suppose when they are old enough we could employ them in schools as janitors.

I have no idea what assumptions people make about me and my son. I happily have never had anyone say anything anywhere nearly that offensive to me.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

Unfortunately, this woman is not alone in her assuming attitude and judginess.

My daughter was adopted domestically as an infant and is bi-racial (African - birth dad is from Kenya, birth mom Caucasian American).

While in the adoption process, after years of infertility, we constantly got questions like, "Why don't you try IVF? Don't you want one of your OWN? etc" Even now we get questions, because we have an open adoption, like, "Aren't you afraid her birth parents will take her? Who are her REAL parents?, etc." You get the idea.

We have had several people comment to my husband about how I cheated on him. Seriously.

We also get judged for adopting domestically. People assume if we are adopting we should be adopting from another country.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

There's just no accounting for all the rude, thick-headed, insulting people out there, why bother?

My son is half African (not American) and half Hispanic, and I got hateful looks and comments from people of all races when he was little. Their problem, I do not care and spend no time dwelling on their ignorance ; )

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My middle child was adopted and Asian (neither I nor my husband is Asian). My oldest is dark (like me). My youngest is is fair (like Daddy).

People don't make rude comments to me about the adoption. But two people have made rude comments implying I'm a big slut. Seriously.

Most people are nice. Some people are jerks. Most jerks are quite pleased with themselves and full of "I know how everyone should be" and "I don't need to know your story to judge you" attitude. How sad for them. Ultimately, how lonely.

There are ethical problems in the adoption industry for sure, but assuming a mixed-race child is adopted is ignorant (and more than a wee bit predjudiced). Thinking that shunning a family that adopts will address the adoption industry is....interesting logic.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Maybe this is the same person who doesn't "believe in" homosexuality? Like it's Santa Claus or something!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My best girl friend is a foster parent. Her home is generally completely multicultural. She is now adopting 4 of them! (Yay!) You would not believe the nasty comments and attitudes she deals with. This is a woman is the most selfless human being I've ever met, too! People treat her like dirt, it's deplorable. You'd be amazed at how many people really do think adoption is second class. I don't look like anyone in my family (I got all the recessive genes that run in the family) and I often heard/hear comments about that. Am I adopted (always asked in a disapproving way,) is my dad really my dad, did I come from the milkman, etc. They were all hurtful when I was younger, and I often felt like I didn't belong. There are a lot of idiots out there, I'm afraid.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lafayette on

I am unfamiliar with "Slate Dear Prudence" (an online magazine or site?)

I can't believe any one/organization would even dignify that by posting it. It's very rude, ignorant and insulting not to mention discriminating. There is too much evil, and hate in the world….why encourage it and add to it?

My son is adopted, from Korea. My husband is Canadian, I am American. My husband was adopted by two of the most amazing, loving parents in the world….they were infertile. We wanted to share our love with a child and were older first time parents - and could not have a child of our own so it made sense to adopt and return the beautiful gift he was given, to another precious orphan baby.

We have had rude, ignorant questions, looks and remarks. But we also experienced an entire church turning out with love and open arms to greet and baptize this child when he came into our lives. We did not "buy" a baby. We prayed to God for a child and this was the path He led us on, since our bodies wouldn't cooperate! LOL.

We have several reasons we chose to adopt internationally…none of which are anyone's business really….but it was also the program we qualified for due to various reasons. (There are LONG lists of all sorts of qualifications you must meet - and some countries, including the USA have criteria that not every person meets! Each case is unique).

Anyway -- it's no one's business what a child's "story" is….where they were born, what their history was, their ethnicity, or any of that - or how you came to be a family - unless your family feels they are worthy and privileged enough to know! And if they don't like it - they can take their venom elsewhere. I don't want those kind of negative nasty people around my family let alone my child!

It does not matter how a group of people who love and trust each other unconditionally - forever - have come to be a family - just that they ARE a family and have each other to love. Who cares if the members of a family are all totally different colors, sizes, shapes, ages? We're all beautiful works of art created by God….

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'd have to punch the B.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Right. So $10,000 in birth fees, and another 5k in prenatal visits, don't count.

An if there's anything medically wrong... just scratch the 100's of thousands in NICU/PICU/Hospital care.

Nor $20,000 + in lawyers fees in custody trials.

Our children are only "ours" if we gave birth in a field, they never had any health problems, and we ate their fathers w/ bbq sauce so there could never be a custody dispute?

We all pay for our children (nearly all of us, anyway), one way or another.

Gosh. I needed this laugh today.


Although... from a more serious standpoint... this is a huge part of WHY there are so many international adoptions from other countries into ones like ours. Less because of paperwork and fees on this end and FAR MORE that many cultures regard raising someone else's children as a vile thing / 'ethically deplorable'. Hence the huge number of orphanages in countries (like Russia) where adoption is viewed as icky.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Like Prudence said, the other mom's behaviors will speak for themselves. My cousin is adopted from Korea and people asked his parents why they didn't "get one of your own kind". My aunt and uncle were like "What? You mean he's not HUMAN?" I think people like that only watch tabloid TV and haven't actually set foot in an orphanage where there are so many waiting children who need and deserve parents. For starters. Anyone that narrow minded I don't want to be around much anyway. Better to know now.

ETA: Keep reading the thread there. Further comments on Anne may amuse you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

No one has ever said anything to me in person (my youngest son was adopted and is clearly of a diff race) However people on this forum have made remarks comparing international adoption to child trafficking and buying babies. Just like domestic adoption occasionally things are underhanded. Just like politics and business and life. Anyone who reads up on orphanages in other countries would be SO pro international adoption. No human deserves that kind of childhood. The fact that we as humans allow babies, toddlers and children to be warehoused in facilities that provide just enough food to keep hungry children alive, just enough adults to keep them diapered and fed but not interacted with, those who speak out against international adoption -including UNICEF, are way more than rude, thick headed and insulting. They are people haters.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

Wow. What a fool! Although I kind of feel bad for her because it must be terrible to have that kind of outlook on life. I am happy to say that I don't know anyone who thinks the way that woman does.

The worse assumption people make about me and my children is that I am an unwed teen mother. I look young and I don't always wear my wedding ring. Happily, it doesn't bother me.

The stupidest question I get (and I get it all the frickin' time) is "Look at that hair. Do you curl it?" Yes, my daughter has curly hair. She is 2. Have you met any 2 year olds? Of course I don't curl it. How in the world would I manage to get her to be still long enough and WHY would I even consider doing it? People are insane.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No one has said anything quite that vile to me. I get more comments about choosing to adopt as a single mother like "women today think they don't need a man.". (Noooo, but it's not anyone's business why I made that decisiom...). Since I adopted internationally, i receive a lot of questions about "Did you consider adopting from this country?," as if I'd just decided that it'd be more exotic to do it this way. (A child in need of a family is a child in need of a family, no matter where they are. My child had a life expectancy of appx 25yrs old had she continued in the orphan system like most in her country. She had at least a 50% probability of being an addict, 70% liklihood of working in sex trade or being trafficed and 10-20% probability of committing suicide within a year of being turned out from the system at age 14-17. I don't feel guilty for adopting a child in need of a family, and for me personally, international was the right decision.)

What gets me the most about the ignorant statement about "buying babies," is that the adoption process -- international or domestic -- is a very challenging process. Anybody who goes through it really has to want to be a parent, endures immense uncertainty, gives up control and privacy and has to be able to prove repeatedly that they are "qualified" to be parents (medical statements, financial statements, health insurance,wills, psychological examinations, adoption classes, homestudies, etc). Anyone who thinks that it is an easy process or is somehow purchasimg children is grossly misinformed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I've never known anyone that thought of adoption as buying a baby. People never cease to amaze me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

As the adoptive parent of a child of a different race, I have never had anything like this said to me.

While I think this woman was out of line to say what she did, I have to say that my view of adoption has changed in the last few years. I think that some adoptions will always be necessary, but I think that more needs to be done (both domestically and internationally) to keep families together. Adoption should ALWAYS be about what is best for the children, and unfortunately it's often about what is best for the adoptive parents/family. There is no denying that there are a lot of people involved, primarily in international adoptions, that are corupt and unethical. More is being done to change the systems in place, but there is still a long way to go.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I seriously doubt any more than .00005 % of the population actually feel this way. I wouldn't spend one more bit of negative energy worrying about this. Plus, there are always instigators and whack jobs like that online who should really just be ignored.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

She's an awful, awful person. Deep down to her core awful. Awful on so many levels. And not worth even another second of anyone's time or concern.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Okay so you have some narrow minded hater that decided that they find adoption ethically deplorable. I suppose what's her name just adopted one too many kids and this woman snapped. Jolie or however you spell it. So she is looking for kids to assume are adopted from Africa, paid for, taken away from their parents I assume she thinks by force.

The crazy thing is if what she thought was happening was happening she would actually have a point. That she can't see she is fitting square pegs in round holes makes her nuts! That the author of that column comes up with racism shows me she is a bird of a feather to the nut case.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, I saw the question. The lady who snubs another based on assumptions is not someone she should want for a friend anyway.

The lady who wrote needs to have her husband come with her to dance class and see what happens. Odds are that the weirdo won't say anything but if she does, she can explain that she is adopted and not interested in pursuing a friendship anymore.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Even though my children all favor each other, people have assumed they are from different fathers, simply because there are 4 of them. Or they think I'm divorced and remarried, again, because who in this day and age has four kids with the same guy???
I think IVF is immoral, but I sure wouldn't tell that to anyone except in the course of a conversation like this one. I would never criticize anyone personally for it, it's not any of my business how they "acquired" their children.

People who say things like that are small minded and need to put people down in order to feel good about themselves. I pay them little mind, they are not worth my time. Like racists and bigots and homophobes, the only thing that sends a message is to ignore them completely.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I read this yesterday and was sickened by it. Someone so ignorant in their thoughts and to think she had a child! Scary!!! Stupid is as stupid does.

1 mom found this helpful
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