Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents share the questions their children have been asked by friends and classmates over the years, from being in an orphanage to whether they know their "real" parents.

three friends sitting on grass, talking about adoption

On our Facebook page (, we asked readers, What question about adoption does your child hear most often from his/her friends? Here’s what you said:

I am an adoptee and still get asked if I know my ‘real’ parents. I explain that my parents are my real parents and my biological parents are just that. I’m a teacher and keep a picture of myself and my mom on my desk. My mom was Hawaiian (she passed away last year), and the kids always ask how I’m so white. This starts the adoption talk.” —HOLLY

My kids get asked if they can speak Russian. They were only 12 months old when we adopted them, so they just say no.” —KIMBERLY

“Because of Disney and other types of kids’ movies and TV programs, my eight-year-old daughter gets asked often about ‘life in an orphanage before she was adopted.’ She was adopted at birth in California, but still has trouble trying to dispel the myth that she never was or will ever be in an orphanage.” —RUSSELL

Growing up, I often was asked why my ‘real’ parents ‘gave me up.’ I didn’t know how to answer this intrusive question. I never gave an answer.” —MARYJANE

It surprises me when people seem so afraid to talk about it. I had a friend say to me, ‘Did you know [your daughter] told my daughter she’s adopted??’ I just said, ‘Yeah, because she is.’ People don’t know how open we are about it.” —BRANDY

“My dad is African-American. I’d get asked all the time, ‘Where are your parents? Are you OK? Are you lost?’ Like, my dad is two feet away from me, what are you talking about and why aren’t you acknowledging the adult I’m following around? You think I would willingly follow someone trying to abduct me?” —BECCA

Both of my daughters were adopted. Our neighbors’ child has told my oldest daughter several times that she and her sister aren’t ‘real’ sisters.” —PEGGY

“My 13-year-old was recently asked, ‘Are your real parents in jail?‘” —JANICE

“How come you don’t look like your mom?” —DEREK




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