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NOTE: Don’t Be This Stupid When You Talk to Adopted Kids and Their Parents

Mar 3, 2014 By Joey

After adopting two girls from China, Kim Kelley-Wagner found herself frequently having to explain people’s hurtful comments to her daughters.

In an effort to show people how incredibly ridiculous and painful their words were, she took a series of photographs with her daughters holding a whiteboard showing the insensitive questions and comments they’ve received.

Some are tactless, others are downright offensive…

Stupid Things People Say About Adoption - 01

Stupid Things People Say About Adoption - 04

Stupid Things People Say About Adoption - 05

Stupid Things People Say About Adoption - 06

Stupid Things People Say About Adoption - 07


  1. Kristina says:

    This mom needs different friends. I am also an adoptive mother, and I have never hears any of this garbage. But kudos to her for educating them, anyway.

    1. Kyle says:


      While I will admit I am ignorant of many problems parents and children who adopt/are adopted face, I am not so ignorant as to ever imagine these comments would be considered reasonable. Especially #3 and #6 as there are directly pointed at the children.

    2. Charlotte Woolsey says:

      I am also an adoptive parent of 9 African American children, we are white, comments like “your not really their mother are you?” and many of the above comments, “what ever made you adopt these children” etc, and lots of times right in front of the children. A Child is a very special thing and each and every one of theme deserves a home.
      No child should have to be in foster care and move from home to home. Believe me that there are lots of insensitive people out there

  2. Max says:

    “found herself frequently having to explain people’s hurtful comments”

    Erm all I can think is, WHO are these gawd awful people this woman associates with,WHY is she associating with them and why is she exposing her children to such small minded ignorance?

    1. greenfield100s says:

      Who “these gawd awful people” are are not people I’m sure she would willingly associate or socialize with. They are people that see these girls and their mom in the grocery store, at the local park, picking out shoes at in the shoe aisle and just HAVE to share their own ignorance and project their short-comings onto this family. I have an adopted brother who was subjected to comments like this. These gawd awful people don’t care to be educated, let alone corrected, because ignorance is something they enjoy wrapping themselves in.

    1. tia says:

      Thats exactly what I was thinking…

      Like…someone ACTUALLY said these things to them? Like to their faces? If it was to their mom’s face, then thats eff-ed up. If it was to their mom’s face in front of the kids, thats seriously eff-ed up. But some of these sound like they were said to the kid’s face…which is actually beyond my comprehension…seriously, who the hell says that to a friggin’ kid? People are jerks…

  3. Brendt Wayne Waters says:

    Kudos to Kelley-Wagner, but she’s being overly-gracious to say that people say this stuff “out of ignorance”. Ignorance is simply a lack of information and can be easily corrected. Unless the only information that is lacking is “don’t say idiotic stuff out loud”, this isn’t ignorance.

    Perhaps she is just trying to protect her children’s innocence though. It can be a horrifying thing to know that there are that many stupid people in the world.

      1. tia says:

        Then I think you mean “willfully ignorant” people, right? Cuz ignorant just means lack of knowing. I’m ignorant of astrophysics, Swahili and 18th century Russian history…but I’d wouldn’t be against learning! :)

        yea, but willfully ignorant people are terrible…

        And anyone who says these things to an adopted parent or child is apparently ignorant of human decency.

  4. Le Dude says:

    Agree with the general message here: Kim K-W should just stop associating with a**holes. And most of these questions can be resolved perfectly through an expletive, an internationally accepted hand gesture, or, to some of them, a gentle but determined slap in the face.

  5. Martha says:

    As a mother through adoption, I have never heard some of the worst of those, but I have heard a LOT. This mother doesn’t need to change friends necessarily…these are the comments you get when you choose to go in public. Total strangers feel free to say anything. I will say though that I have always considered these comments as an opportunity to role model pride of my kids and tolerance for ignorant people. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “lucky baby!’; my response is always the same: “lucky mama”. My personal favorite (NOT!) is “Are they REAL sisters?” I always want to say “no they are just pretending” but instead, I smile sweetly and say “of course! …but they aren’t biologically related if that’s what you mean” When I say that, I stay positive but also educate people about how they sound :)

    1. Charlotte Woolsey says:

      I always say the same when someone says our kids are lucky to have us, No its the other way around , we are lucky to have them, they give us much more than we would ever give them.

    2. tia says:

      I admire your ability to refrain from slapping every a-hole that says something like that to you. I imagine I would have a seriously hard time restraining myself. You are very strong :)

  6. Alex says:

    To all the adopted parents who said “this woman needs new friends because I NEVER hear this,” wake up. the world is a cruel place, and I bet you someone you know has talked shit about you and your adopted kids…you just haven’t heard it yet.

  7. Amy says:

    I hope one day to be able to adopt a sweet Chinese Girl. These girls deserve so much more than being dumped in orphanages (or worse) purely because they were born female. My only fear is that as a white English lady, I would be making matters worse for her. I believe there are dreadfully ignorant and deliberately nasty people out there and would it not make things even worse for a child who would doubtless get picked on for being adopted, but for having the race issue being a constant issue for them? The child must always come first so for me, I need to learn more from people who have been there, done that. Especially children like these who clearly have a wonderful loving mother.

  8. Andrew says:

    Both my sister and I were adopted. The question I get all the time, which I hate, is “do you want to meet your real parents?” Or something along the lines of “but they aren’t your real family.”
    If you ask me, real parents aren’t the ones who made you by having sex. Real parents are the ones who made you by raising you and being there for you every step of the way. Anyone can be a dad/mom but it takes so much more to be a Father/Mother

  9. J says:

    I think this is an obvious plea for attention and hoping their little post goes viral. There is no way this woman has had all of these things said to her, but nice try. Now, go get a life.

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