What to Say and What Not to Say to Adoptive Parents



Everyone has been in the uncomfortable position of not understanding someone’s circumstances and saying the exact wrong thing. Talking to a friend who has lost a parent or a coworker who is going through a divorce is difficult when you haven’t encountered these issues. We say what we think we’d want to hear… and it hurts more than it helps. Or we ask a question that is outside the boundaries without realizing it.

Many friends and family members of adoptive parents are facing the same struggle before and after a family brings home a child. So here is a guide to what to say and what not to say to adoptive parents that you can pass along to your friends to help them feel more at ease.


What not to say to foster parents

Don’t Say:

He’s so lucky!

Do Say:

You are so lucky to have him.

Friends should be mindful of the struggle that child has been through, especially those in the foster system. If it’s not something they would say about a biological child, then it should not be said about an adopted child.


Adopting a baby in Kansas


Don’t Say:

How much did he/she cost?

Do Say:

I’m interested in the adoption process and everything that goes into it.

If someone really wants to know “how much a kid costs,” then hopefully it’s because they are actually interested in pursuing adoption. Otherwise, this subject is off limits unless the adoptive parents offer the information.


Transracial adoption Missouri

Don’t Say:

Are you going to have any children of your own?

Do Say:

I’m so happy for you!

Asking a parent about having their “own” children invalidates their relationship with their adopted children. Their adopted children are their real kids and their own kids. This could also bring up painful memories of infertility and any struggles they went through to conceive. Friends should be equally happy for adoptive or biological parents.


Adopting in Kansas - Birth Mothers

Don’t Say:

What happened to his/her birth mother?

Do Say:


The birth mother’s story is her own to tell and the child’s story to tell, if and when he or she is old enough to understand and wants to talk about it. Many of these birth mothers loved their child enough to want a better or different life for them, so these women are pretty great people.


Missouri Adopting Siblings

Don’t Say:

Are they brothers?

Do Say:

Again, nothing.

If two children are adopted from different mothers or one child is adopted and the other is biological, or 10 children are biological and 2 are adopted… They are all SIBLINGS. This is just like asking parents if they are going to have children of their own. These children are the parents’ children and they are each other’s siblings.


What other questions have you gotten as adoptive parents? What should they have said? Please share on Facebook and explore our site to learn more about our adoption services in Kansas and Missouri.

Steffany ave

Founder & Director


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Meet Steffany Aye, the heart behind Adoption & Beyond since its inception in 1998. Fueled by a deep passion for supporting both birth and adoptive parents, Steffany's journey as an adoptive parent has continued the foundation for this non-profit adoption agency.

Drawing from more than 25 years of dedicated experience, Steffany and her team are committed to crafting warm, thriving families through child-centered adoptions. Their inclusive services, free from any form of discrimination, reflect Steffany's unwavering dedication to the beautiful tapestry of adoption.

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