You’ve decided that adoption is the best plan for you and your baby. After putting much thought into your decision, you are now moving forward with the process. Sharing your decision with family, friends, and coworkers can be a little scary or uncomfortable. You may or may not have already shared that you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.
How do you tell them about your adoption plans? What do you do if their responses are not positive? Being prepared and staying positive will help you with these situations.
Take some time to think about the words you will use when you tell people. Letting others know you are “placing your baby for adoption,” not “giving up your baby,” is important. You are choosing an adoptive family to raise your child out of love. You are creating a future for your child that you believe she deserves.
You can explain that you have plans for your future, and parenting a child right now would stop those plans. You can let people know that you are placing your child with a loving family whose dreams you are helping come true. Prepare to explain open adoption and how you will be able to receive updates, photos, and perhaps even visits with your child. Many people do not know about modern adoption.
Who to Tell
Who you decide to tell about your pregnancy and your decision to place your baby for adoption is completely up to you. You may want to start with someone in your life that you feel will have a positive and supportive reaction. Have them ask you questions so you are prepared for the questions others may ask you.
Hopefully, your family positively receives the news and respect your well thought out decision. This is an emotional topic, and if it comes as a surprise, their first reaction may not be what you hope. If this happens, the most important thing is to stay calm. Listen to what they have to say and then give them your reasons. They may need time to adjust.
If you have come to this decision and now must tell your baby’s father, prepare yourself. Have your list of reasons for choosing adoption in your head or written down. Take into account what your current relationship is. Do you think he will be supportive? Do you think he will be angry? If you have any fear, be sure to have someone supportive with you and take all precautions to keep yourself safe.
This may be a time when you find out who your real friends are. This is your life and your child. You are making the best decision for both of you, and your real friends will understand and support you. If you have friends that are not supportive, you may need to take some time away from them for a while. This is not an easy process, so lean on those good friends.
Coworkers and acquaintances are a group that may be a little more unpredictable. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone you do not want to. As your pregnancy progresses, you might come across some situations where you will want to share your adoption plans. If a coworker wants to throw a baby shower for you and this is not what you want, you can just say, “no thank you.” Or you can say something like, “I have decided to place my baby for adoption with an amazing couple.” If you want to explain further, go ahead. If you don’t want to explain, let them know you would prefer not to talk about it at work.
Reactions to Your Adoption Plans
You will most likely get a variety of reactions when you tell people about your adoption plans. Many will praise your decision, and some may not understand it. People often say the wrong thing when they don’t know what to say.
Try not to let your feelings get hurt if someone says something like “I couldn’t do that” or some other unkind thing. They are not in your situation. Most people don’t know about how adoption works today. When open adoption is explained, most of the time, these same people have a light bulb go on and then understand your decision. Let people know you have thought it through completely, and this is your decision. Be strong, and stay calm.
Lifetime Adoption has been helping women with adoption since 1986. So if you’re wondering, “How do I explain my adoption plans?”, call and speak with a caring adoption coordinator today at 1-800-923-6784.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.