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One in three people is connected to someone who is adopted, but not every knows what is appropriate to talk about to those who adopt. The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) promotes awareness of adoption, helps strengthen adoptive families, and educates others on adoption sensitivity. C.A.S.E. works to give families and professionals skills to help children thrive. You can also help support families by donating a vehicle. Being sensitive to those who have adopted children is important, here are some tips:
1. Be Patient
It is not every person’s right to know all the ins-and-outs of other people’s families. Be kind and polite to others goes a long way without prying. A family’s adoption story is their story, and they should not feel pressured to share it.
2. Don’t Get Too Personal
If an adopted family chooses to share part of their story, do not pepper them with deep questions about the biological parents. Also, do not use the phrase “real parents” when referring to biological parents, this is insensitive to the adoptive parents. Adoptive families are true families in every sense of the word.
3. Compliments Are Not Necessary
Telling adoptive parents that they are wonderful for taking on the challenge of adoption might make some people uncomfortable. Yes, their situation might be unique, but they have many of the same challenges as any other family. Look to build on things you have in common with each other instead pointing out differences.
4. Avoid Criticism
Although you don’t need to compliment people because they have chosen to adopt you should avoid criticizing someone, especially for their parenting style. You do not know the child’s background and what they need, the parents know best, and the way to support is to say nothing at all.
5. Ask For Guidance
If you are interested in adopting do not ask someone else to give you step by step directions. Asking for guidance is appropriate, like, “Where do I start?” or “Is there a good book or website I should read?”. You can also ask if someone has any advise, but do not expect all their hard work and time to be at your disposal.