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What questions do strangers ask you and how do you answer them?

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We are a white couple who are about to adopt a black child, and we're trying to anticipate the types of questions we will get in the playground etc. Eg we've already been asked 'where's he from' about 20 times (I tend to just say the county; my partner sometimes elaborates with his ethnicity). I'd love to know what questions you have been asked/comments you've had that have blindsided you, and how you'd suggest responding to them. I'm also going to post this in another section as it's not just the transracial ones that have stunned me into momentary silence - yesterday a 6yo asked me why I couldn't have a baby...


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27 users have supported this.

If they ask where is he from, my answer is England!


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37 users have supported this.

We're still in Stage 2 but this is our concern, too.

In our case, I am Far-East Asian and my husband is white British. I am not worried so much about this when we are in UK but my home country is a lot less diverse and people are not familiar to see mixed-race families, so I worry about when we are visiting my home country. I actually have heard many stories from my friends with white husband being asked innocent but unnecessary questions about their birth children by nosy strangers. Also adoption itself is not so common in my home country, so I'm worried that especially old people could make negative remarks about adopted child...


I also have read a book called "The Colours in Me" (adopted children's essays and poems) and whilst most children write about their adoption experience positively, there's a black boy who was adopted by a white couple wrote about his experience quite negatively. Although he seems to have become very intelligent and successful adult, how he describes about his experience is interesting and made me scared to adopt a child who looks very obviously different from us.


From the reasons above, we are hoping to be matched with child(ren) who looks possibly somewhere in between my husband and I. Of course, we'll tell family and friends so the adoption won't be secret but we just don't want to get unnecessary attention by strangers.

I'm sorry for being so negative but probably I wouldn't have worried this much if I were from UK, so you should be totally fine!


Hope your placement goes well!


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39 users have supported this.

We are a white couple with a blonde birth daughter and a mixed race adoptive son (ethnicity not really known)


I really struggle with questions despite practicing in my head loads. Here's some:


"He's not yours is he" (on that occasion I lied as my husband wasn't around so could easily be of the missing Ethnicity and we were on a very public bus and asked quite aggressively. )


"Where's he from - I stated the UK county of Birth


What Ethnicity is your son. I explained we had adopted him and that his birth story is his private story.


We were having a family meal out once when asked where he got his brown skin from- My husband said he'd been eating crayons! It sort of worked as we didn't get any further questions


Now he is older (nearly 4) we struggle more , aware that one day he will be following the conversaton . At the moment he hasn't realised that there is such a thing a a birth father, but I'm sure he soon will.


Really hope some of that helps.


Good luck with your early days with your little boy.


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We are a mixed race couple. Our children are all of similar ethnicity (ie the same mix) My middle daughter travelled a lot and people often questioned where she was from - she just let them guess and they generally came up with Mediterranean / middle eastern. Her name is spelt in a non-English way though pronounced the same as a popular English name - someone (a friend at uni) once asked her if her parents had spelt her name that way because they knew she was dyslexic!!!!! When my husband is asked where he is from he usually says name of town where we live - and when they ask about parents he says a London suburb. If asked about the children, I usually say my husband is from xxxx - I don't like saying what county they are from or giving any additional information about BF heritage (though they know themselves)


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39 users have supported this.

I always tell people where my son comes from when they ask, I am more carefull revealing his ethnicity as this group is discriminated against by many people.

I don't care what people think, they think probably a lot in my case single with one white and one coloured child Wink


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I am in a Latin American country, I´m white British and my husband is from the country we live in, and we have recently adopted a LO. When I'm on my own I get questions about 3 times a day, from people I'm sitting next to on the bus or people just walking past! Usually people say "You're so white and your baby is so dark skinned...." I usually say "Yes, he looks like my husband", or "Yes, we have adopted him". Most people then tell me how they have an adopted sibling/cousin/ etc. I've been surprised by the positive responses. But I have also had quite a lot of the "He's not really your son, is he" type comments, to which I say "Yes, he is our son, we are on his birth certificate." (a big deal here). A friend who has an adopted child said to me that I should give the answer I want my child to hear. As he gets older I will have to think of other replies I think.


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43 users have supported this.

White British, living in South Africa, with black daughters - often asked 'is that your child?', to which I just say 'yes'. But plenty of personal questions at times as well!


"Is their father black?"

"Both their fathers are black." - I got a look of shock and horror Biggrin as she made all sorts of assumptions


"Is your husband black?"

"I'm not married." - a look of shock and horror as he made all sorts of assumptions Biggrin but perfectly true and I answered the question...


Plus the general adoption 'where are her real parents?' type questions - 'I am her real parent'. On one occasion when DD2 was about 5 one of the other children in Sunday School kept insisting that DD2 had 'lost her mother'. While I was sitting next to her, and no matter how much I pointed out that I wasn't lost, I was right there...


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35 users have supported this.

I think that is really good advice - give an answer you want your children to hear or are happy for them to hear


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39 users have supported this.