In your first few months of pregnancy, most people will not realize you are pregnant. You haven’t yet begun to show. As you get further along, people will begin to notice. Many moms-to-be enjoy the attention, but for women who have decided on adoption, they may not want the attention. Teen moms may face more questions than others, even from complete strangers who want to know about your decision to give Baby up for adoption.
Most people ask questions out of love and concern for your well-being and Baby’s; however, this doesn’t make the questions easier to deal with. Some birth mothers will say they are choosing adoption, while others may not feel comfortable saying that. No matter which category you are in, it’s important to keep in mind that only you can decide what is best for your situation, and that the decision to adopt is one made out of love for your child. In fact, it is often the most responsible and loving decision a birth parent can make.
So when these unwanted questions come up, what should you do?
1) Keep in mind that most people mean no harm. As already mentioned, this may not make things easier or more comfortable, but it may make you feel a little bit better and keep you from feeling anger or resentment.
2) Be honest! It’s okay to say very directly, “I’ve decided to give Baby up for adoption.”
Adoption is a loving, responsible, and usually well-thought out decision that many mothers must make for one reason or another.
3) Don’t be afraid to avoid the question. Honesty is the best policy, but that doesn’t mean you have to answer the question directly. When asked, “will you keep it or give the baby up for adoption?” you can say something like, “these are tough decisions to make, aren’t they?” then change the subject. This response may feel strange, but it will get the point across that you really don’t want to talk about it. Most people will get the hint and move on. If not, go ahead and tell them that it isn’t something you want to discuss.
4) Put the question off until later. This is often a good choice for when family quizzes you. It may be hard for you to put off their questions, but you can say that it isn’t something you want to discuss yet, and that maybe you will feel better talking later.
5) Sometimes it’s okay to be a little rude! When a cashier at the grocery store asks you personal questions about your life, it’s entirely okay to say you’re just there to buy milk, not go into your personal life. There’s no need to get mad or yell—not many people like clerks, cashiers, and waitresses will push you to answer if you calmly and respectfully make clear that you just aren’t going to talk about it.
6) Have a friend or family member help. If you have a trusted friend or family member by your side, ask that person to talk to people for you when you aren’t around. Have that friend explain that you’d rather not face questioning, and that your decision needs to be respected. Not everyone will follow this instruction, but most people will.
The hard truth is that you will probably face a lot of questions while you are pregnant, and it may start to bother you after a while. There’s not really an easy answer for dealing with several months of unwanted questions, but the suggestions here can help. Spend some time thinking up different situations that you might face, and plan ways you think you might respond. If they support your decision to choose adoption, don’t be afraid to get your friends, family, counselor, and/or pastor involved in the process.
Above all, remember that you are doing the best for you and your baby, and no matter what anyone else may say, that’s all that matters.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.