The decision to create an adoption plan is an incredibly difficult one. Telling your friends and family about your plan can be just as difficult. “Many expectant mothers are afraid of how others will respond to their adoption plan,” says Megan Cohen, Help with Adoption. “The news will be difficult to share and difficult to hear, no matter what.” Still, it is incredibly important to have a strong support system around you to help you through your pregnancy and adoption. So, how do you approach those most important in your life to tell them that not only have you made this incredibly difficult decision, but you also need their support more now than ever before? Cohen suggests having a plan “can make things easier and less stressful for both you and your family.”
Telling Your Friends and Family, “I’m Creating an Adoption Plan!”
Here are some steps to help you plan for the big conversation.
Decide Who You Want to Include
Remember, who you decide to include in your adoption journey is entirely up to you. You don’t have to tell everyone! Include only those friends and family members who you feel need to know, or you believe will be supportive throughout your journey. So, before you reach out to friends and family, sit down and jot down your thoughts and feelings, and decide who you want to tell.
As Cohen said earlier in the article, “The news will be difficult to share and difficult to hear.” So, be prepared for some difficult, emotional conversations. Some friends and family members may be incredibly supportive. Others may be less supportive or even angered by your decision. “Family members, in particular, might become very upset about the idea of adoption,” says Cohen. “If you face unpleasant reactions, try not to take it personally. Most of the time, they are coming from a place of concern, even if it feels quite the opposite.” All you can do is present your reasoning and your feelings. It may take some people time to come to terms with your decision and that’s okay.
Tip: If you are dreading having the conversation, a handwritten note is a great option. It is still incredibly personal, but takes away some of the fear. “The note can break the ice,” says Cohen. “It gives the reader a chance to take in the information.” Remember, most people don’t know how to respond when they learn someone they love is unexpectedly pregnant and considering adoption. The note allows the recipient to process the information and collect their thoughts as well. Then, “he or she can then respond privately and without worrying how you will take the initial reaction.”
Forming Your Support Group
After your initial rounds of conversations and correspondence, you should have a pretty good idea of who is and is not supportive of your decision. “You will want to align yourself most frequently with those who are supportive,” says Cohen. “Show those individuals how much you appreciate that support, so they continue to be there for you through pregnancy, adoption, postpartum and beyond.”
Want Professional Support Telling Your Friends and Family About Your Adoption Plan?
If you do not have strong support from friends and family, “you can see that through an adoption agency worker/counselor,” says Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C, adoption counselor and Executive Director of Adoption Makes Family. A good counselor can be an important ally in your support system. Adoption Makes Family is here to listen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our experienced professionals can help and counsel you so that you make the best decisions for your and your child.
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- Cohen, Megan. “Tips for Talking With Family & Friends.” Help With Adoption, 13 Mar. 2019, helpwithadoption.com/talk-family-friends-adoption-plan/.
- “How to Tell Your Family and Friend About Your Adoption Plan.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, adoptionnetwork.com/unplanned-pregnancy/how-to-tell-others-about-your-adoption-plan.