When I made the decision to place my son for adoption, I didn’t even think about how I would deal with acknowledging it in the future. I’m sure every one of us at one point or another is asked “So, do you have any kids?” and if you’re anything like me, my first reaction 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 have come to the conclusion that I am proud to be a birth mother. I am 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 really doing, they’re just being polite and making conversation. The same goes for the question: “So, do you have kids?”
Bottom line, everyone is different. Every woman I’ve met that has placed a child for adoption feels slightly different than another. If you’re comfortable being completely open with people about your adoption experience, then why not? If you’re not, then that is no ones decision other than yours.
Time Passes, Love does not.
No matter how old your child is, I’m sure we will all agree that your love for them never dies, nor does it lessen. My son is now 6 years old and although I’ve been through a lot of emotional battles over those years, I still love my son with all my heart and soul. I have always and will always want what is best for him and I am proud to be his birth mother. I am not ashamed to announce that I am, but it is still a precious thing to me and I choose who I want to share it with.
Until you have found a response you’re comfortable with, here are a few suggestions. See which one, if any, suits you best:
“Do you have children?”
1. “Yes, but he/she doesn’t live with me.”
2. “Yes, I have a son/daughter who I placed for adoption.” Be prepared that you might have to explain more with this answer.
3. “Yes.” A simple yes will suffice if you don’t feel like explaining, especially if this is a random person, like the lady behind you in line at the super market that you probably won’t see again in the future.
4. “No.” There might be times in which you just want to say no. You don’t feel like dealing with additional questions or feeling judged. Don’t feel like you are denying your child if you choose to use this answer. Your heart knows the correct answer and that’s what really matters.
For a lot of birthmothers, it can be difficult to talk about your birth child with people you don’t know and it all comes down to whether you feel that the particular person asking is someone you’d like to share your personal feelings with. Just remember that you do not have to feel guilty if you’re “claiming” your birth child as one of your own when you’re asked this question. If you want to go into detail, great, if not and you find it easier to simply say “No”, that does not mean you’re denying your child and you have no reason to feel guilty about it.
Just remember that placing your child for adoption was a very personal and emotional experience for you and no one, but you can decide who gets to be a part of that!
by Destiny Kroeber