BTW, my first two sons are biologically mine. I like to say that we made the first two from scratch and did take out on the third!I have to say, most of these jokes about adopted children should really be avoided. Yes, I know, most parents don't mean anything by it, they're just trying to be funny. And sometimes APs feel that it's OK for them to joke about it, but bad when anyone else does it.
Like the jokes that might work for biological kids being raised by their biological parents, but don't work for adopted kids. Have you ever had someone say admiringly of your adopted child, "She's a keeper?" Umm, actually, she's wasn't a "keeper" for her birth family. And maybe she worries that she's not a keeper for THIS family, too. So maybe that's not so funny, either.
I don't think anyone would ever call me humorless, and I am capable of joking about ANYTHING, even things I shouldn't joke about (ask my Criminal Law students!). But jokes, quips, one-liners about adoption leave me cold. The authors of The Psychology of Adoption seem to agree with me:
In our family, adoption was a joke. We older cousins would tease the younger ones by pretending to let slip the fact that they were adopted. In reality, no one was; it was simply a way of saying, “You’re different; you’ll never fit in.” We inherited the joke from our mothers, who have been recycling it on their baby sister for nearly 60 years. Since I have come to know adoptive families, the humor has been lost on me.
The home-made v. take-out quip is also a way to say "you're different." And here we're not talking to a child who isn't really adopted, but to one who IS.
I think it's part of human nature that once we recognize difference, we need to figure out what that difference means, and that means ranking it. Is being home-made better? Or is take-out better? Do you think that child is wondering?
And click here to read one adult adoptee's reaction to jokes about adoption.