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The Insensitive Things People Say

“I just don’t understand giving a baby away!”

We were sitting at a round table, looking across the room at a new mother showing off her adopted baby. We were at a church function. Brenda, seated next to me, was not a close associate. The unfamiliarity between us didn’t stop me from distinctly recognizing her discomfort.

“It’s cute, but how could you just take a baby away from another mother?” someone on the other side of the table murmured.

“Yes,” agreed another woman and then said something about how the child had lost its “real” mother and its “real” culture.

Next, to be, Brenda mentioned how good the meal was. I helped her change the subject.

Several months later, the situation changed. Brenda and I worked on a project together, and through this closeness, I learned she had placed a baby.

“I was 18,” Brenda explained. “I feel I maybe could have taken care of him, but my mother told me she wouldn’t help me. She was so angry. So yes, I felt like I was coerced. Not an agency, but by my family. People don’t understand when they talk about adoption.”

Brenda said what bothers her most is that if an adopted individual had been at the table. “How does that feel to hear, ‘How could someone give you away?’ How could someone give up her baby?’”

You will hear such conversations. Your child will hear such conversations.

People who talk like this don’t understand. Make sure your children understand.

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