Telling others about your adoption plan can be scary because you want them to support your decision. You can probably expect many different reactions, but hopefully, most are positive. If you’re nervous about beginning that conversation, you can reach out to Lifetime for support by texting or calling 1-800-923-6784.
It’s up to you who you’ll tell when you decide on adoption. Some pregnant women choose only to inform people they believe will support their adoption decision. Others prefer to keep their adoption plans a secret from almost everyone, and some decide to tell almost everyone they know. Every woman’s situation is different, so you need to decide for yourself who and who not to tell.
Talking to Your Friends and Family About Adoption
It’s common for women to be nervous about sharing their adoption plans with those close to them. You may be worried that your parents, other family members, or friends will be angry, upset, or disappointed in you. You may even fear that they will try to pressure you into parenting or abortion.
Many people don’t understand modern, open adoption, and no one has walked in your shoes. So, it can take a while for them to process their feelings about your decision.
When you tell others about your adoption plan, some of their initial reactions can be less than positive. You need to be ready for this. Your best defense is to remain calm and be prepared with information and facts. Your family and friends may be doubtful about your choice at first, and then as you share your plan with them, they become supportive.
Remember, when you share this news, you have had time to think over your options and make a decision. When you share that you’ve chosen adoption, it is probably a shock to the person you are telling. They may react without really thinking through what their reaction should be.
Responding to Negative Comments
While most of your friends and family may have a positive reaction to your choice of adoption, it is good to be ready for any that may be negative. Here are a few comments our birth mothers have shared with us and some ideas of how to respond.
Comment: “How could you give your baby away?”
Response: “I am not giving my baby away. I am placing my child with a loving family that is going to provide a safe, happy home and a wonderful future.”
Comment: “Won’t you always wonder if your kid is OK?”
Response: “With open adoption, I will receive pictures and updates. I can even have FaceTime calls and visits if we choose.”
Comment: “How will you know your baby is going to a good home?”
Response: “The adoptive families are thoroughly screened and go through a home study process. That includes financial and background checks, interviews, and home visits.”
Comment: “You don’t need to give your baby up! We will help you and babysit.”
Response: “Will you be there for the next 18 years? What about during feeding times at night and sleepless nights when the baby is sick? I know you have good intentions, but at the end of the day, I would be the one responsible for raising this child day in and day out, caring for this child, and would be responsible for meeting all of their emotional and financial needs.”
Seek Peer Support
If you are nervous about sharing your pregnancy news or the fact that you have chosen to place your baby for adoption, it can really help to talk with someone who has been where you are.
You can speak with one of Lifetime’s peer counselors, share your concerns and listen to how they handled sharing their news with friends and family. With Lifetime Adoption, you also have access to a professionally licensed therapist who can help you and give you some tips on sharing your news.
At the end of the day – you have thought through your options. Trust in yourself and your decision.
Remember that no matter how your friends or family react, this is your decision and no one else’s. Only you can decide what is best for yourself and your baby. Although you can control your own words and actions, you can’t control how others might react.
Try to be patient with your family and friends. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime can help you prepare before approaching people with the news. In addition, she can give you tips on talking to them about your adoption decision and help you understand their emotions.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions or to get help when you need it. Call or text Lifetime Adoption anytime at 1-800-923-6784.
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.