Adoption in Real Life

A friend sent me a link to an episode on The View that ran on Friday, June 16. The subject was international adoption, as it was experienced by adoptive parents who are not celebrities. Guests included blogger Kristen Howerton, mother to four children—two biological and two adopted (one from the U.S. and one from Haiti). Other guests were Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute; a single mother; and a gay couple.

One aspect of the interview I found interesting happened in the beginning. One host asked Adam Pertman why so many people choose to adopt overseas when there are babies are available here. Pertman clarified, first, that while many children are available for adoption here, most are  not babies. Second, he pointed out that adoptive parents make choices for reasons that are personal, the same as anyone else. I’m paraphrasing, but he said something like, “No one asks a woman who is undergoing her seventh invitro fertilization why she doesn’t adopt domestically. Nor should they.”

 I was happy to realize I’m not the only person who gets asked the “overseas adoption” question. Just yesterday I was at a party where I was asked the same question, by three different people: “Why Guatemala?” As the author of a book about adoption from Guatemala, I’m eager to discuss the subject. But it was also nice to know it’s not just me.

Kudos to The View for running a segment on international adoption that, in the end, helped to demystify the process. Of course I’m biased, but each of the adoptive parents was articulate about his or her reasons for adopting, as well as being incredibly appealing as human beings. One of the dads commented how adoptive families form networks and communities. I’m proud to be a part of that world.

The View:

Kristen Howerton’s blog:


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6 Responses to “Adoption in Real Life”

  1. thanks for sharing. even being so fresh into this process, we have gotten that question: ‘why don’t you help those in your own country?’ my flesh wants to say right, back to them: “And why haven’t you?’ but of-course I bite my tongue and smile.

  2. Jessica says:

    Congratulations again! As adoptive parents, we learn that many people are innocently curious about the process, giving us opportunities to share our positive experiences. You can always quote Brad Pitt: “Our children find us wherever they are.” :-)

  3. Sam says:

    Nicely said! :) I get the question all the time. I’m not as polite, though. I usually say something like “I love how people who can just spray their seed across the land to make as many babies as they want have no qualms about questioning me about how I decided to make a family.” :) Well, it depends on the company. ;)

  4. Jessica says:

    Sam, you crack me up! Love reading your blog, too.

  5. Joannie says:

    I’m catching up on some old posts.
    When Timmy was home with me for barely two weeks a complete stranger asked me the WHY question, and, was so rude adding “was the process to rigorous here”?. I was completely dumbfounded and politely answered trying to educate her. I think most people ask out of honest curiousity which presents an opportunity for us. Others will never get it. You just never know.

  6. Jessica says:

    Joannie, sounds as if your experience has been similar to mine. Most people ask about our families from honest curiousity. (So many opportunities to educate!) At least now we’re no longer caught off guard.

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