4 Questions Not to Ask Birth Mothers
When birth mothers decide to pursue the adoption journey, unfortunately, they might come in contact with questions that are insensitive and judgmental. It is a sad fact that there are still judgments and biases towards birth mothers. While adoption is generally looked at with love and positivity, the women who make the difficult choice to place their child for adoption are too often met with a plethora of judgmental questions.
However, it is important to note that the questions that birth mothers often get asked of them, may not be asked from a place of judgment. People in and around birth mothers’ lives are often looking out for her well-being when asking an insensitive question. They just want to make sure birth mothers are making the right choice. While this may be true, there are certain questions to be avoided to ask birth mothers.
- “Why Are You Giving Up Your Child?”
The question, ‘why are you giving up your child?’ is an eternal question that is asked of birth mothers, but it shouldn’t be. It is incredibly offensive and condescending. Despite advocates for birth mothers and adoption educating the public that this question is not a proper question to ask, it is still the top result on Google when searching either birth mothers or adoption.
But, in order for people to realize that it is not an appropriate question to ask birth mothers, you need to know why it is not the best phrase to say. Overall, the question has a negative undertone to it — starting with the term, “give up.” It gives off the impression that the birth mother is somehow negligent for even considering adoption. When women decide that choosing adoption is the best choice for themselves and their child, it is not about “giving up.” Women who make this choice are deciding to give their child a different life and opportunities that she may never have had.
Adoption is an extremely difficult and emotional choice to make. Women who decide to take the path of adoption are making a beautiful choice that should be celebrated!
- “How Much Money Did You Make?”
This question is problematic as it clouds the brave decision that birth mothers make when choosing to go through the adoption process. It makes the assumption that women who choose adoption are only seeking money and don’t care about their child. Additionally, it implies that children are commerce who can be bought and sold at the will of adults.
This is far from the truth of birth mothers and adoption.
Sometimes adoptive parents will indeed help birth mothers out with financial concerns. Adoptive parents have the option to help out with medical, housing, food and transportation expenses. But, this is not expected because adoption agencies, like Adoption Choices of Texas, aid birth mothers with expenses.
The bottom line is that no birth mother is paid for choosing adoption. It is a long and difficult choice to make and should be praised!
- “What if You Change Your Mind?”
Birth mothers often run into this question, which may be asked with good intentions; but, at the same time, can be insensitive to the wishes of birth mothers. Implying that there is the possibility that a woman might change her mind after going through an adoption process speculates that the woman is making a sporadic decision that will easily be changed.
Deciding to place your child for adoption is far from a quick decision. Rather, it is carefully thought that birth mothers have months to make their final choice. And, while it is true that birth mothers can have reservations about their decision right up until they sign the finalized paperwork, suggesting that birth mothers have not thought out their decision is detrimental to birth mothers’ mental wellbeing.
It is natural for birth mothers to doubt their decision and to think about changing their minds. Some might change their minds. But it is not anyone’s place to question whatever decision they choose. By asking birth mothers “what if you change your mind?” you are bringing up the fears, confusion, and anxiety that birth mothers have already felt.
- “What About the Father?”
The question ‘what about the father’, is a common question that is asked of birth mothers. And while the intentions of the person asking may be genuine, it is an insensitive and judgmental question that overlooks the birth mother’s experience, circumstance and decision.
When a birth mother decides to choose adoption, it is an emotional and personal journey that the birth father may or may not be involved in. Both situations are common and valid.
You do not know the situation that the birth mother is in when asking her about the birth father. Every woman who decides to go through the adoption process has a different background, living environment, and relationship with the birth father. You can never know what a birth mother’s situation is when asking a deep and personal question such as “what about the father?”
Unfortunately, many birth mothers can find themselves in a tense environment when they become pregnant. If the father was to find out it could end up becoming an unhealthy and possibly dangerous situation for not only the birth mother but the baby as well. While someone’s intentions around this question may be decent, it is best to avoid discussing the birth father.
Questions to Never Ask Birth Mothers
People asked questions mostly from a place of curiosity and care. When birth mothers are asked questions that are insensitive to her, they most likely are not asked from a place of judgment and malice. They are asked because the person cares about the birth mother.
However, we cannot deny that the questions listed above are laced with judgment and an outdated view of birth mothers, as well as adoption.
It is important when discussing pregnancy and adoption with birth mothers to remember that these women are going through a highly emotional time. They need uplifting support and guidance. Questions instead should be aimed at the wellbeing of the birth mother and what can be done to help make her experience the best that it can be!
As an expectant woman or birth parent, to learn more about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Texas. You can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here. If you are hoping to adopt, please visit us here. We look forward to helping you through your adoption journey!
Meet the Author: Sarah Henderson can best be described as someone with an eclectic taste in all things related to literacy and writing. She can be found reading a wide array of subjects from true crime novels to the next young adult fantasy series. Because of her love of literature, it has been Sarah’s dream to become a novelist herself.
After graduating from college in 2019, Sarah has been spending her time planning, researching and writing for her first novel.
When she isn’t reading or writing her novel, you can find Sarah out for her early morning run, hiking a three-plus mile hike or cooking her favorite vegan meal. She presently lives in Indianapolis, IN and is waiting for the next chapter of her life to begin!