This morning I sat with a group of adoptive and foster moms, chatting about our kids and sleep training and tantrums. Inevitably, the conversation turned to what we say when strangers or friends make comments they don't realize can be offensive. It helps to have a place to vent, because there are actually quite a few ways you don't realize your shaming adoptive moms. Even the most well-intentioned comment can turn into a hurtful remark if you don't stop and really think things through.
I don't think most people wake up in the morning with the intention of shaming adoptive moms. In fact, I would go so far as to say adoptive moms aren't a typical target for shaming or judgment. But because adoption is comparatively less common than most other ways of starting a family, there are things that many people don't know how to say politely or ask respectfully. I've heard many of them in the nearly two years since I became an adoptive mom, and I'm sure I'll hear more of them in the many years to come.
Rather than taking offense, I try to remember that sometimes the job of an adoptive mom is to educate others so that other adoptive moms and/or parents aren't surprise when they end up feeling shamed, especially when they least expect it. So, with that in mind, here are just a few ways you might actually be shaming the adoptive mom in your life: