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Asking Strangers If They Have Children

Is It Rude to Ask a Stranger If She Has Children?

If you're talking to a woman at a kiddie birthday bash and realize that she hasn't mentioned having children, is it appropriate to inquire? Does the protocol change when adults are chatting at a cocktail party? Some people avoid all questions that put others on the spot like asking someone's weight, age, or relationship status, while others believe a marriage and offspring inquiry is no different than asking a stranger's name. What's your protocol when it comes to the mom question?

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