Adults Say The Darndest Things: My Adoption Conversation With The Opinionated Notary

This guest blog is by Kristy, a hopeful adoptive parent. 

I’m usually pretty quick-witted.  I can have a conversation with almost anyone and am rarely afraid to speak my mind.

Today, that all changed.  Today, I met “the opinionated notary.”  And I failed the adoption community epically.

So let’s backtrack.  It had been a good day—busy with work, but in that I-like-my-job-today sort of way.  I needed to notarize a document for my adoption lawyer.

No problem.  I left work, headed to the bank, and and waited for a notary to help me.

That’s where my day went awry. 


Me:  Hello!  I need something notarized.

Notary:  Okay. (reads document).  What is this?

Me:  An affidavit for my adoption attorney. My husband and I are hoping to adopt a child.

Notary:  Oh, you’re adopting.  That’s so nice of you.

Me:  Not really, we just want to be parents.

Notary:  So you can’t have kids of your own?

Me:  No, I cannot have biological children (why did I even answer??).

Notary:  You know, a lot of those babies are born addicted to drugs, right?  Make sure you don’t get a crack baby.  You have to be careful.

Me:  (Silence.)

Notary:  My son has a friend who is adopted.  But his parents were lucky. He looks just like them, so no one will ever know he’s adopted.  I didn’t know until recently!

Me:  (Dead silence.  Stares at notary.)

Notary:  I could never adopt.  But if I did, I would never tell my kid they weren’t really mine.

Me (can’t keep my mouth shut):  But that would be lying.  And then when they do find out one day, they could look at their whole life as a lie.  That’s not fair to do to another human.  And there’s nothing shameful about being adopted.

Notary:  Yeah, I don’t know.  I’d be too afraid their real parents would take them back.  So I’d make sure they look like me and then just lie.  But anyway, who knows.  Maybe you’ll get lucky and get pregnant before you adopt.  That would solve all your problems.

Me (heavy sigh):  Can you please notarize my papers?

Sooooooo…yeah.  That didn’t go well.  I was completely ill-prepared for such a conversation and my “politeness” kept me from really speaking my mind.

I’m so angry with myself.  At this point, I am very capable of educating someone about adoption, positive adoption language, and the like.  Why didn’t I?

And why on earth would a notary/banker give me their opinions?  I certainly didn’t ask for them!

I’m still not sure which battles to choose. Or whom I should educate.  And when I should defend adoption, and really, the adoption community.  MY community.

I’m figuring all that out, one day at a time.

Here’s what I DO know—when we have a child, that kind of conversation will not be tolerated.

And to make sure of that, my husband and I are practicing our comebacks…er, responses, tonight.  Because really, they shouldn’t be tolerated now.

Next time, I’ll be better prepared.

Kristy is a blogger, artist representative and, along with her husband Jon, a hopeful adoptive parent.

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