I am part of a Facebook group formed for Moms that adopted from Russia.  It’s a great example of how the positive power of social media.  Within one day of forming the group, there were over 100 members and within four days, 550 members had joined.  One of the questions posed to the group was simply “Most annoying question?” and here is a sample of some of the replies.  There were over 100 follow up comments. 

These are all actual questions posed by strangers, aquaintances, friends and family.  I personally have been asked only a few of these and mostly out of innocent curiousity.  My two cents on the topic is that while I am open and happy to talk about my adoption journey there are some details that are private. 

I ask people I know about how they are feeling when they are pregnant, happy to listen and support, there to celebrate and commiserate but there’s a line.  I don’t ask about the details of the conception whether in bed with their partner or in a doctor’s office and I don’t ask for a play by play of their birthing experience.  Unless of course, they are my close friends and we’ve been drinking, then anything and everything is on the table.  But, if I bump into you in line for coffee or watching our kids in the park please don’t ask any of the following.  Oh and if you are one of my shared cocktails and dishy deep conversations friends, you’d know better.

So here’s the top twenty from a group of 550 Adoptive Moms.

  • How much did it cost?
  • Why Russia when so many children here need homes?
  • Do you know anything about their real parents?
  • Where are their REAL parents?!!
  • Are your other children yours?
  • Does she still remember how to talk in Russian?
  • Do you have any of your own?
  • One of my adoptive sons has fetal alcohol effects–I’m tired of people asking me why I drank when I was pregnant and how could I do this to him.
  • Does she know she isnt yours?
  • Did they teach him English in the baby home?
  • How much did SHE cost?
  • Does he have a Russian accent?
  • Is your husband upset he does not have his own children, because mine would not want to raise someone else’s kids.”
  • They look like they could be yours.”.
  • Did you pick her out?
  • Why is it taking so long
  • Are you going to tell him about his real mom and dad”
  • Are they communists? (since my boys are older I guess).
  • She looks like she could be yours

Annoying comments on motherhood are certainly not the exclusive domain of adoptive Moms. No matter how you became a mother, what’s the most annoying thing ever said to you as a Mom?


  • http://www.babesfromrussia.blogspot.com barbara

    I think the primary reason these questions are annoying is that they’re asked in front of our children. “Where’s their real mother?” or “Do you have any children of your own?” are not appropriate in front of our small kids.

  • Heather

    Hi Kim
    I just wanted to clarify and respond to a few of your comments.
    I didn’t mean to imply that I do not want to educate but I am not an adoption educator. If you happen to learn something from my perspective and experience then that’s great but it’s my intent to share my story, my opinion, my ah-ha’s and my annoyances. In the end I hope my story is one of inspiration not irritation for the readers of urban moms.
    The 20 questions/comments posted here are not from me. They are a compilation from over 550 mom voices of women that adopted from Russia.
    I am not condeming the questions nor the people that ask them but just sharing it. As for the “he/she looks like you” and “isn’t that part of the match up?” You are not matched with your child by looks and you cannot request traits like appearence so yes it’s a coincidence when the child you are matched with bears similar physical characteristics. It’s not wrong to find that something to comment on. I just think there’s just a whole lot of things about the expereince that are a whole lot more amazing then that. We don’t share a gene pool but we do share a heart space and a soul connection that is truly amazing.

  • kim

    Ok I can understand these are annoying, said over and over again questions that you get. But think of the source? I’m sorry you don’t feel it’s your job to educate people but obviously education is what they need. Adoption though perfectly “normal” is not on everyone’s radar. They are curious and yes ignorant. I can tell from most of these questions they are not meant to be demeaning or disrespectful, though some clearly are. Some of them are well, stupid and anyone ESPECIALLY family or friends that ask whether they were taught English as babies or are communist can be treated as hostile ignoramuses and you have ever right to stare back at them blankly, blink a few times, pause, then say “Really? think about it.”
    I’m not sure why the question of where they hail from annoys you. Adoption is not the same as conception. I would think “why Russia” or China or African and why does it take so long as legitimate questions, no? People have no idea. That’s why they ask. You of course have every right to only discuss what you wish to.
    Also the wording of “they look like they could be yours” you do know what they mean. Yes of course they ARE yours but the fact that you did not birth them or contribute your genes to them and they STILL resemble you is a curiosity. These people haven’t been exposed to enough adoptive people to know the language you prefer. I have friends who adopted their son from Russia. It WAS amazing how much he looked like his Dad. Part of the reason for the “match up”?? in the first place.
    I’m not saying you shouldn’t be annoyed. It would get to me too. I’m saying that unknowingly or begrudgingly you are an ambassador for adoption. 🙂

  • Sara

    I get quite a few sperm donor questions…I loved when one person asked if we actually had sex. What the what?? I think most of the questions are just curiosity and just so, so misinformed and ridiculous if the person looked back on it. So great to have that group!

  • Julie

    yes…i picked her out…because she is a PUPPY! sheesh….that’s a crazy question! i guess that these are questions that they legitimately have, however, a little tact or even searching on the internet could probably answer most of these.
    i guess this post just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter how you choose to have children, people will always ask stupid questions (yes…there ARE stupid questions!)

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