Thursday, May 28, 2015



This question is a bombshell. It alone can lead to hurt feelings, disagreements with spouses and limited social interactions. It causes women - hoping to become mothers – to stay away from family events, malls and other places they may see pregnant women or young children.

While all true – How would you feel giving or hearing these answers?

Mom Through Fertility Treatment
“I have 2. One through IVF, we fertilized him in a petri dish. The youngest was conceived the same way.”

Adoptive mom
“I have 2. They’re adopted. One from Texas, the other from Arizona.”

Birth mom
“I have 1 son who lives with me and 1 daughter who I placed for adoption when she was an infant.”

“I have 2. 3 really. I carried one in my uterus for a couple living in New Jersey.”

Foster care mom
‘I have 6. 4 are mine. 2 still live with me. And, I have 2 foster care kids.”

Hopeful mom
“None yet. We’ve been trying, but nothing yet.”

Would anyone give this type of detail – to someone you just met? I doubt it. And the question is a typical one asked when people get acquainted. So, what is a person to say?

It will be an answer that includes or omits any facts and details you feel appropriate for the moment. You may do more soul searching or relive your road to motherhood. There will be happy moments and those of sadness. It may lead to philosophical discussions on life and family, on difficult decisions and unconditional love and acceptance. You may need to bite your tongue when people give unwanted advice; fight back tears when they provide sympathy; or sit silently listening to their route to motherhood. They may mean well – but you may not want such assistance at the time.

Until a time that all biases are eradicated about adoption, unplanned pregnancy and artificial reproductive technologies - until all preconceived notions of adoptees, adoptive and birth parents are gone - until the world redefines family - the answer will be the one with which you are comfortable. It may be something you want to expand upon or just state as is. There is no need for explanations, clarifications or excuses.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program from March 1992 to March 2015. She is Head Writer for, on the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and has a private practice in New York City. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001, Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.