How to Talk to Your Family About Your Adoption Plans
Talking About Your Adoption Plans: A Guide for Birth Parents and Adoptive Families
Adoption can be a difficult decision to pursue, but it can be even harder to explain to your loved ones. Whether you’re a birth mother considering placing your child for adoption or a family desiring to create your family through adoption; talking to your family and friends can create some stress. However, with the right approach, sharing your adoption plan openly with the people in your life can also provide you with the much-needed support throughout your adoption journey. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss effective strategies for discussing adoption with your family.
Birth Mothers: How to talk to family about your adoption plan
If you’re a birth mother considering placing your child for adoption, you are likely experiencing some stress about the prospect of explaining your decision to friends and family. To navigate this challenging situation, here are a few coniserations and steps you can take to approach the conversations.
Deciding Who to Share Your Adoption Plan With
The first thing to remember about telling others your adoption plan is you don’t have to tell everyone! Remember that every conversation will likely be somewhat difficult. Some people will be very supportive of your plan and others may not be. Therefore, it is important to take some time to determine who should know about it. If you limit your discussions to people who know you’re pregnant, you’ll save yourself a great deal of stress. You can also always wait to tell people whose reactions you’re not sure about until after the adoption is finalized.
Be Prepared for Emotional Conversations
If you’re planning on giving your child the gift of a family through adoption, you need to be prepared for an emotional conversation. Some family members might support your choice, but others might be confused, angry, or hurt by your choice. It’s important for you to remember that, ultimately, placing your child for adoption is your decision. If you feel that adoption is the best way for your child to have a safe and loving family life, you shouldn’t be afraid to express that decision.
Set Realistic Expectations
Even though adoption placement is your choice, your family members and friends might not understand that choice right away. Time is your friend here. Don’t pressure your family to support you – simply present your reasoning and your feelings and allow them to come to terms with it. You can’t force someone to change their mind, but you can give them the time and space they need to do it themselves.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you think your family won’t support your choice or you want another perspective, don’t be afraid to seek out an adoption or family counselor. Support from someone, even when that person isn’t a family member or close friend, can still make the adoption journey easier. Professionals will also be able to point you toward specific resources and services that can help you along your adoption journey.
Adoptive Families: How to announce your adoption Plan
Making the decision to create your family through adoption can lead to so many questions and considerations. Adoption involves inviting another person and another family into your world. Although your motivations for adopting may arise from hardships, such as infertility or the desire to support a child or family in need, sharing your adoption plan with others can feel difficult. Here are a few strategies and considerations to facilitate smoother discussions:
Deciding Whom to Share Your Adoption Journey With
As you embark on the journey of adopting a child, you face a difficult choice: should you keep your adoption plan private or share it openly to gain support? Remember that the adoption process can be lengthy, often taking one or more years; the entire process can be full of emotional ups and downs. If you choose to inform your friends and family about your intention to adopt, you can help manage their expectations by emphasizing the slow and challenging nature of the process. Help them understand your motivations and the qualities you seek in an adoption.
Be Ready for Questions
Most people don’t fully understand all aspects of the adoption process. The popular understanding of adoption is tainted by depictions of crowded orphanages in movies and TV shows and the actions of philanthropic celebrities. The average person knows very little about how adoptions actually work – so be prepared to answer lots of questions and correct lots of misconceptions.
Additionally, be ready for at least some measure of confusion or insensitivity. Many adoptive parents have heard comments like, “I could never raise someone else’s baby,” or “Do you think he’ll try to find his real family some day?” Try not to take these comments personally. Instead, think of them as an opportunity to educate people on the way adoption works and how a wonderful and loving family can be created by adoption as well as by birth.
Give People Time
If someone has a negative reaction to your plans, don’t write them off or get angry. Give them time to come to terms with your choice. Your parents might not understand why you’d want to adopt instead of “trying a little harder” for a biological child – but they’ll almost certainly come around when they meet their new family member.
Find and Use Outside Resources
Sometimes the best help during an adoption isn’t a person – it’s a book, website, or article. There are thousands of different resources an adoptive family can use to educate their friends and family about their choice. You can even point people toward books or websites and have them find their own answers. Some adoptive families also attend counseling or support groups to have their questions answered. The choice is up to you for what works best.
If you have questions about adoption or you want support and guidance through the process, call us today at Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption. We can guide you through every step of the adoption journey and answer all your questions and concerns along the way. Call (405) 949-4200 or visit us on Facebook to get in touch and learn more.