do people tell biological kids they are lucky to have such great parents?

I am curious.
Tabby's story about the bday party made me think.

It jogged my memory that, when i was little....certain people used to say that to me amd my sister (both adoptees) (ie---that we were 'lucky' to have such great parents!)
was that an adoption thing---or do people tell that to bio kids???? do people tell bio kids they are 'lucky'?
most of you are bio so----have you ever heard that????

also---what are some good comebacks to that?

what I always think is....what if I said

"well....you are lucky to have your husband"

or...."you are lucky you got a spouce"

see how insulting that feels?? ;)

it subtly implies.......a poor, rejected, unwanted, undesirable, orphan that someone 'took in' and loved as their own. inferior to a bio child.

or in the other case---if i responded "you are lucky to have your husband Jim"

it implies...maybe "jim" is a 'better catch' than you and, your not such a great catch and you are 'lucky' he married you.

its all pretty distasteful. I think anyone and everyone would automatically agree and understand how its insulting to say "you are lucky to have your husband" (or wife) to a married person, but yet.....its common to say "s/he's so lucky to have you" about an adopted child....and since most people are 'bio' they dont 'get' the subtle offensiveness of it!!

Edited June 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

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23 replies. Join the discussion

I got told as a child, as a teenager and as an adult that I was lucky to have the parents I did. I also heard people say to them that they were lucky to have us kids (not always about my brother, but I digress).

I now say as an adult that I was very lucky to have my parents and my siblings. We're all bio, so it does happen.

My response to when I'm told how lucky I am to have my son (bio after treatment) is "yes I am" and I've had lots of people tell me my son is lucky to have me as a Mama and I say "thank you, we're lucky to have him."

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ninjamom--thanks so much for replying!!!!!!!!-----great to hear that!

maybe us adoptive parents (or AP's to be) are a tad too defensive??? :) its understandable but really AP's and AP-to-be's......we should think about it!!!

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I just remebered, at a child birthday party 2 yrs ago.....a casual friend of mine met my parents for the 1st time and went on and on about how nice they were and how lucky I was to have such great parents. (her one parent is dead and the other has a difficult personality)

[the comment was NOT adoption related....i think she forgot i was adopted when she said that] ago

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Hi sweetie,

i am a bio child and I always think and say I feel soooo lucky in regards to my parents that i think i won the lottery up there in the sky ...:)

i think most people don't mean bad..

(((hugs))

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I grew up hearing how lucky kids/parents were to have each other. It was more a comment on how cool my parents were or how smart/polite us kids were.

My 8&9yo are not my biological children, but that's not something that's publicly shared. I know they hear it a lot, but I'm now wondering how that sounds to them.

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I'm a bio kid and I know I've been told that many times by friends of my parents. I think its just a way adults tell kids to appreciate their parents (biological or not). In fact, I know I've said it to ( bio) children of my friends.

I can see how this statement in a specific context could be insulting, but I would give someone the benefit of the doubt until you have reason to believe otherwise.

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I think most of the time people don't mean anything bad by saying that. I got told I was lucky to have my parents (bio) when I was a kid.

Once Giovanni comes home, I KNOW we're going to be lucky to have him and I think he'll be lucky to have us-- any kid whose parents love him and support him as much as we will are lucky for that relationship whether adopted or bio.

I can understand how it would be easy to become defensive when hearing that though, because we always want the best for our kids and don't want people to somehow feel like their lives aren't as good as kids that live with their bio parents.

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Maybe part of our natural defensive reaction to such a comment is that we've been told too many times what a wonderful thing it is that we're adopting. The two statements might unconsciously sound equivalent to us. We may be hearing something along the lines of:

What a wonderful thing you're doing by adopting = your poor, needy child is so lucky that you were willing to adopt him/her
OR
You're lucky to have such great parents = Not just anyone would take a parentless child in, but your parents did.

But I don't think that's what most people mean when they tell a child...any child...that they're lucky to have the parents they have. I think they mean just that. That something about the parents make them really great parents. This may be one of those times to hear what's being said, not what we think is being said (kind of like those questions we talk about) :-)

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I was always told that as a kid.... esp about my mom because she was home with 4 of us and was always so involved in things (Girl Scout leader etc).

I really believe the man in my story would have said that if Abby were my bio child because he knew me from when I was a kid. Also, he said I was lucky before he said Abby was and he said I was lucky at least 3 times.

I have also heard plenty of times that I was a special person for adopting.... and that my Daughter was lucky. In this context I don't like hearing that. Because I have heard this often, my ear is trained to pick up on the language, but I have trained my brain to think before I open my mouth because its not always coming from the wrong place. I usually respond with a comment like... I am the lucky one and make some reference to the multi-year wait for a domestic infant.

I hear all the time how lucky I am to have my husband and I agree I am lucky he chose to marry ME. Not that he is a better catch than me, but he is a wonderful devoted loving husband and I don't have many friends who have husbands like mine. I do think and hope he feels the same about me. We often discuss that we are lucky we met.

Its food for thought and I do think the answer is yes and that people do tell all children they are lucky when they have "good" parents.

Interesting topic.

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I am glad I posted this! I like hearing all the replies!

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My good friend is Irish and her husband is Korean. When she's alone with her two biological girls who definitely look more Korean than Irish, strangers stop her to say how lucky those girls are to have a mother like her. She always just smiles and says why thank you, I'm lucky to be their mother too:)

Stupid people and their stupid comments... but more power to you if you can reform them!!

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My IL's tell me my husband is lucky to have married me!!! LOL! Now, that is a twist, isn't it?

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Kara, my MIL says the same about her son in regards to me.

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I actually say that about any of our good friends' when their kids are born (because it's true), most of whom are not adopted. It's just (for me) a way of saying that these new parents will be great parents (which i think we're all a little unsure of at first). People say it about my parents all the time, and they are right!

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I have a bio son and I tell him we are lucky to have him and that he is lucky to have us bc we are great parents to him and we love him more than anything in this world. =)

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I agree w/ all this "lucky-to have each other" stuff between families! :)
--------

I also agree that every once in a while certain people speak to adoptive families in the 'not so great' way that juliaB explained perfectly above!

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Here's my take on it, and yes I have made this comment to families with adopted children. I was born into a family that could hardly care for me, let alone my five siblings. My mother attempted suicide several times and constantly told us, "I wish I never had you ****ing kids." They only thing I ever wanted as a child was to have a different family, a family that wanted children and would take care of them. Still to this day, when I meet a child with adoptive parents I do think about how lucky they are to have parents who actually wanted them and will take care of them like a parent should. It never crossed my mind that parents would feel negative about this comment.

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I'm chiming in with the above posters.....I think it is meant well and when you form your family a bit differently than the "normal" way, there is the temptation to be on the defensive.

My dad was a public figure. He was tall, good looking, incredibly kind and very very funny. Everyone loved him and my whole life all I ever heard was how lucky I was to be ---------'s daughter, or how luck I was that he was my dad.

All I ever thought was "you should see how grouchy he can be on a long car ride with 3 kids in the back seat---he ain't so fabulous then!"

And I too have told family members who came together thru adoption (both kids and parents) how lucky/wonderful/great it is that they have each other.

And that is what I meant. I recognized that their coming together took more than a 15 min roll between the sheets and in some sense, they were longed for more than folks who say,
"Well, we've been married 2.5 years, I guess we should have our required 2.5 kids" and boom they are pregnant and on their way.

I wouldn't waste too much time coming up with a witty response unless you really feel their is malice in the comment.

A smile and warm "thank you" should lead to a new topic of conversation.

Hugs,
Ann

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I'm an only child (biological) and when I yearned for a sibling, I was often told how lucky I was to be an only child and have such great parents to give me all their love which didn't have to be shared. As I look at both my parents and how great and supportive they are especially through my infertility journey...I think...WOW, I am lucky!

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I just say, "We are the lucky ones", with a smile, but then Kai is still a baby and doesn't understand. Even when he does, we will teach him that many people just don't understand adoption and the best way to teach them is to respond nicely and non-defensively, unless they are being deliberately insulting or just super-ignorant, in which case, "What do you mean by that? (thanks Ali)", followed by a discussion if neccessary goes a long way.

--Christina

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