Actually, there is such a thing as a stupid question. Illustration by Dori Hartley
As we say goodbye to National Adoption Month, let's close on a positive note. If you're an adoptive parent, this list will give you great answers to the most ridiculous questions you will ever get. If you're not an adoptive parent, think of this list as a reminder of when to adopt a think-before-you-ask moment.
1. Are those your real children?
*No, they're robots from the planet Mergatroid who landed here overnight. Careful, they may zap you with their bacteria-building laser gun.
*Is that your real brain or a loaner from the moron store?
2. Where is their real mother?
*With your husband.
*Out on parole next month. I'll give her your address.
3. Are they orphans?
*Why yes, didn't you catch their cameos in "Annie?"
4. Are your children related?
*Yes, to your father.
*Yes, they're siblings. You know, like your parents.
5. What do they eat?
*Idiots who ask stupid questions.
*Oh, goodness. Am I supposed to feed them?
6. Why didn't their mother have an abortion?
*Why didn't your mother have an abortion?
7. Can we touch their hair to see what it feels like?
*Sure, for $100.
8. Were they abused?
*Do you consider stupid comments and questions abuse?
*Yes, someone hit them upside the head with a 2-by-4. Here, let me show you how it feels.
9. Did they eat monkey (kid from Africa), rice (kid from China), borscht (kid from Russia), rice and beans (Central/South America)?
*Yes, because they're walking stereotypes of [insert nationality], just like you're a walking stereotype of an American idiot.
10. Where/how did you get them?
*I think it was somewhere in a TSA patdown line.
*On sale at Macy's. Black Friday. Buy one get one free.
*Have you ever heard of the store Buy Buy Baby?
*On the corner over there. I think there's some left if you want some.
*Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had a few left over, so ...
*From the International Association of None of Your Damn Business.
11. Were they in an orphanage? If so, where and for how long?
*No, they were actually placed in a traveling, government-run circus.
*Yes, it was the hard-knock life for them, 'stead of kisses, they got kicked.
*Only until Fagin taught them how to pick pockets.
12. Do they come from Haiti? It's good they escaped the earthquake
*Yes. All the other third-world disaster victims had been snatched up already.
13. Why did you adopt them?
Because I wanted to gray faster, like you!
*Angelina was busy and Madonna couldn't take the bad publicity.
*Somebody's gotta do the household chores and it's not gonna be me.
*I'm starting a home mail-order business. Free labor!
*It was between them and a Chia pet, and all my plants end up dying.
14. Couldn't you have your own children?
*Sure, but it kinda seemed so ... 2009.
*Sure, but whenever I run into you, for some reason I'm unable to perform in the bedroom.
*What, and wreck this perfect body with saggers and stretch marks like you did? Hello?
*Yes, but God and I agreed that this isn't the right time for another Messiah.
15. Do you know anything about their real parents? Are they alive?
*Nope. I killed them. [Laugh madly.]
*I probably shouldn't say this, but, she's a well-known public figure and he's well, let's just say very important. [Say this in hushed tones.]
16. How much money did they cost?
*Less than the cost of your cosmetic surgery.
*I got the discount ones, so it wasn't too bad actually.
*They were in a basket with a note that said, "Free! Take 'em!"
*I got them for selling subscriptions to
17. Don't you feel sorry for birth mothers?
*Yes, yours in particular.
18. Do they know who their real parents are?
*Yes, the ringmaster and the bearded lady.
*Honestly, does anyone?
*No, do you?
19. Do you have an open adoption?
*The offer is always open for them to return to the Big Tent.
*Absolutely. We swap children every two years with a sweet family in Ohio.
*Sure, we're going to have a seance tonight.
*Do you have an open marriage? Your husband said it was an open marriage. Gosh, I hope he was telling the truth. I would hate for you to be hurt by someone's boorish insensitivity
20. When will you take them to see their real parents?
*When the circus comes to town again next summer. They've promised us free tickets.
*Not until we're sure we wanna keep them.
*When they realize that we are just impostors, their fake parents.
*Thought you'd never ask. How's next Tuesday?
*Gee, what do you suggest? Did you ever meet your real parents, or were they moved to another zoo?
21. Did you get to "pick" them?
*There wasn't much choice after you eliminated the World's Shortest Man from consideration.
*Yes, we found a pick-your-own baby farm.
*Yep, like lint off your sweater. Here, let me get that for you.
*No, they fell right off the tree.
22. What do they call you? Mom?
*They've already adopted the American practice of, "Hey, you."
*'Mom' seems to have that motherly ring to it, which is kind of cool being that I'm their mom.
*They call me mom for the same reason people call you dumb ass. It just fits.
23. Did they have diseases when they came to America? Do they have diseases now?
*Only one. It's a strange jungle disease only communicable through a high-five. Hey, you didn't happen to ... ? Oh, never mind.
*They have foot-in-mouth disease, which I believe they caught from you.
24. Do any of them have HIV?
*No, you can't have sex with them.
25. Do you feel like you "missed out" on having your own children?
*Yes, morning sickness, extra baby weight and painful labor are all on my Christmas list this year.
*No, these little wonders fill that empty void that was my terrible, unsatisfied life of doom and gloom.
*There are worse fates. Just ask your parents.
26. Why did you wait so long to have children?
*We were too busy drinking, drugging and dancing naked on bar tables.
*Most people don't realize schizophrenia becomes more manageable in middle-age.
*You soured me on the whole concept of humanity until I realized not everyone is an imbecile.
27. Do they speak English?
*Only when they swear.
*Yes. You should try it sometime.
28. When they arrived, did they know how to use the toilet?
*Yes, of course, because it's easier than reaching the faucet. [Pause here so they can think about what you just said.]
*Don't worry. They won't try to flush you. I explained to them the different kinds of turds.
29. Why don't they have birth control in that country?
*They want rich Americans to take their children away. It's a master plan to bring down the United States.
30: Do they still speak (Swahili, Chinese, Spanish, Russian)?
*Only at school. It gets them special ESL accommodations. We're trying to game the system.
*That and five other languages, all fluently.
*Yes, and they're teaching me several new ways to tell you to $#@! off!