Choosing Adoption When Your Family Is Against It

A young woman sits near a window holding a cup of coffee thinking about adoption
An unplanned pregnancy is never simple. The choices involved are even more difficult if you don’t have the support of a partner. Having a family that stands by your decisions is vital. Unfortunately, there are times when family members simply don’t understand the choice of adoption.

A Difficult Conversation

If your family has not been a part of the decision making process, you may not know how they will respond. Many families are supportive of the decision. Some are confused, which can lead to frustration or even anger. Prepare for the conversation by having your facts ready and a plan in place.

Start by helping your family see how much thought and care has gone into your decision. You could tell them that you have decided to view your pregnancy as a gift. You will be giving a family the child they have desperately wanted for a very long time. Let your family know that you are aware the months ahead won’t always be easy, but that you need their support in order to get through some of the more stressful times.

It is important to keep an even tone while talking over the adoption. Your family members may choose to raise their voices. You should not. By staying calm, you will convey that your decision was made with care and maturity. You will also keep any arguments from escalating. It might even be wise to take a break from the conversation and return to it once your family has had some time to process the future.

Explaining Open Adoption

Help your family understand the concept of open adoption by explaining it to them in detail. Let them know that you, as the birth mother, guide the adoption plan. You have the option to decide what kind of relationship to have with the child. Your parents can even be involved in your child’s life if they wish.

Encourage your parents to join you as you speak with an adoption counselor. Having their questions answered by an expert in open adoption will help them to understand and support your decision. You can also urge your family to read about open adoption, including stories written by and about children who have been adopted and their birth mothers.

Some family members, especially older relatives, may believe closed adoptions are a better choice. You can offer research, explaining that open adoptions are better for the child as well as the birth mother. You can also remind them that closed adoptions are now the exception rather than the rule. Most domestic adoptions in the United States involve some sort of relationship between the birth mother and the adoptive family.

In the end, even if your family does not agree with choosing open adoption, the decision is yours to make. You will know what is right and not right for you and the child. In time, your family may come around. They may even grow to embrace the idea that open adoption is the best choice available for all of you.

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