Question: My best friend found out she was pregnant four months ago. Getting pregnant wasn’t at all in her plan right now. She’s not ready to become a mom yet, and she’s chosen adoption. A lot of our friends are hating on her and saying “I could never give my baby away!” How can I have her back right now?
Answer: Look at it from her point-of-view: she’s pregnant and nervous, and probably feeling totally alone. She needs you to have her back at this time in her life. The best thing you can do for her is offer just to listen and let her know you’re there for her. She will really appreciate the support during her pregnancy.
Here are a few ways you can support a friend who has chosen adoption:
- Keep your mind open
Everyone has their own opinions about adoption, so keep an open mind that each mother’s situation is different. Every adoption plan is unique because birth mothers have so many choices available with open adoption. No matter what your friend has to say, be there for her to talk to. And, recognize that you’re not an expert on adoption. Sometimes the advice she needs is out of your scope. Just listen closely to her reasons for choosing adoption, and encourage her to contact an experienced adoption professional. Lifetime Adoption will let her know her rights and options so that she can make the best adoption plan for her and her baby.
- Check in with her
Ask her if she’s able to pay all of her pregnancy-related expenses. She might need help paying what her insurance doesn’t cover, or with maternity clothing. The good news is that these expenses may be covered in her adoption plan. If needed, the adoptive couple she chooses may be able to assist with payments. It’d also be helpful if you could help her look into her insurance coverage, and see what her hospital delivery costs will be.
- Learn about open adoption
School yourself in the vocab used in adoption. Your friend and the adoption professional she’s working with might be using terms that you’re not used to. Learn about the adoption process: it’ll make it much easier for you to help your friend. You can educate yourself on open adoption by requesting a free e-book version about it. Click here to get your free copy of So I Was Thinking About Adoption! A term you’ll probably hear a lot is “open adoption.” It means that a birth mother has the chance to select and interview the adoptive parents for her baby. She’s also able to keep in contact with that adoptive family and her child in the future.
- Go to her doctor’s appointment
If your friend has never been pregnant before, she’s probably nervous about her first doctor’s visit. Offer to go along with her to the doctor. Her doctor might not know a lot about adoption, and speak down to her. You can help your friend explain adoption to her doctor by bringing info along. Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784, and we’ll send you the information you can bring along to the appointment.
- Offer post-placement support
After she places her baby with the adoptive family, she’ll be going through some major emotions. She needs you there for her now more than ever. Any feelings she has are normal, so ask your friend to keep talking to her counselor if possible. Lifetime Adoption gives her access to both licensed counselors and peer counselors (which are birth mothers who’ve also done adoption.) Being with someone may really help her, so bring over a meal, watch a chick flick, or go out for dinner.
If one of your friends asks how she can support you and your adoption plans, please share this post with her!
If you need more info on adoption and how it works, request a FREE Adoption Planning Kit.
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.