July 17th, 2009
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Categories: Common Questions

As you begin to talk with potential adoptive parents, you will have a slew of questions to ask of them in order to make the best possible decision. You may have been given a list of questions by your agency or printed one off of the Internet as you did your research on the topic. Know that such lists are only suggestions. You are free to ask any and every question that comes across your mind.

You may be instructed by your agency to avoid overly personal questions or anything that hints at controversy. I encourage you to throw this advice by the wayside and listen to your heart. If there is a question that you feel you need to ask in order to make the best possible decision, ask it.


Of course, there’s a difference between blurting out whatever is on your mind and tactfully asking a question in which you have placed significant importance. Before you ask your questions of a potential adoptive family, follow some easy steps.

  • Write out your questions.
  • Use someone like a friend as a sounding board to listen.
  • Don’t forget to include manners in your question asking.
  • For any controversial questions, also write out the reasons that the question is important to you.

The last point is the most important. Why? The truth is that the potential adoptive parents don’t have to answer your question. True, it is in their best interest to be honest and open with you. However, they don’t have to answer anything that they deem inappropriate, too personal or for the simple reason of, “I don’t want to.” If you can explain why an uncomfortable question is important to you, it may help them understand that you’re not just being nosy and that the question is really integral in making this life-altering decision.

In the end, if you present your questions in a mannerly way with the reasons as to why you are asking, you will get a better response than if you just blurt it out without any preparation. Knowing these things may help you ask some of the tougher questions you may want or need to ask as you seek parents for your child.

Soon I will talk about some potentially controversial questions you may need to ask during this process.

Photo Credit.

One Response to “Should You Ask Controversial Questions?”

  1. Robyn C says:

    This is a very interesting topic. As an adoptive parent, I think I’d rather see and answer controversial questions in writing. First, the written word doesn’t come with any vocal tones, so it’s easier to read it like you would a question on a test. Second, it’s often easier to answer controversial questions by writing, because it gives you time to think. I actually kind of wish Jack’s birthmom had asked us some “hard” questions. I think it makes sense to do so.

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