Q. Adoptive baby: I am the parent of two wonderful children, one of whom has Down syndrome. My sister-in-law (my husband’s sister) and her husband have started the adoption process. My MIL casually mentioned the adoption agency they were going through, so I went online and checked their profile. I noticed on the agency website that they are only interested in typical children. This was heartbreaking to me. There are a lot of children who have developmental delays that could use a stable and loving home. Their deliberate decision to not even consider a child with developmental delays was a slap in my face. Prior to this incident, they have been nothing but caring and generous toward both my children, but now I wonder if they are just faking it with my Down syndrome child. I sent my SIL a link to an adoption agency that helps place children with developmental delays, and she just responded that they were happy with the agency they selected. Should I have another conversation with her about this issue? I will see everybody in a few weeks for the Fourth of July and I’m not sure if I can hold back my opinion on this.
A: What in the world do you mean when you say that you went online and read their adoption application with the agency? If this agency is not keeping such sensitive information totally private, they should be out of business. But if what happened is that you finagled a way to get their private information, shame, shame, shame on you. No one else’s reproductive choices have anything to do with your family. Because this couple is not seeking out a child with special needs, it in no way reflects on the love they have for your child. You’ve already crossed a line, so start back-tracking immediately and practice keeping your mouth zipped about their adoptive plans. I hope there’s a support group for parents of Down children who can help you work through this (and if they start stirring you up—run!). If not, and you find this is ruining your relationship with a loving couple in your life, seek some short-term help to deal with your own issues.