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Birth Mothers: What Do I Say to People Who Ask, “How Can You Give up Your Baby?”

Birth Mothers Tough QuestionsOne of the toughest questions birth mothers face is, “How can you give your baby up for adoption?” Unfortunately, the term “give up” has become synonymous with adoption when, in reality, birth mothers who choose adoption are not giving up anything, but often GIVING their child a better life. A life complete with a loving family, financial security, a warm bed, and many of the things that birth mothers, for whatever reason, are just not able to provide for their child. So, how do you, as a birth mother, respond to difficult questions?

How Birth Mothers Can Respond to Tough Adoption Questions

“These negative messages are usually, but not always, unintentional,” says Julie Higginbotham, Adoptive Families. “People have an instinct for categorization; when they see situations that don’t fit the norm, they comment.”

You Don’t Owe Anyone Answers

“Some people are genuinely curious, trying to expand their knowledge of what adoption is and how it works, while others are just plain rude, working up their own misinformed assumptions in their head,” says Natalie Brenner, However, it is not up to you to decipher every person’s true intent. “The first rule in answering adoption questions is that you do not owe anyone any answers,” adds Brenner.


If you do not want to get into the very personal reasons you chose adoption, you can simply ignore the question. Remember, “you don’t owe strangers anything,” explains Sharon Van Epps, ESME. However, if you aren’t comfortable just ignoring the person, especially if it’s someone you know, you can just say the matter’s private. “I’m all in favor of a tactful: ‘It’s none of your business,’” says Dr. Michele Borba. This is often enough to put an end to any uncomfortable questioning.

Answer Truthfully

If you are comfortable answering the adoption question, you certainly can. As we mentioned before, sometimes these seemingly-rude questions come from a genuine place. However, the people asking the question often just don’t know how to approach the question in a compassionate way.

Adoption Counseling Can Help

Adoption can be tough. So, it is important to have someone to talk to. “Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” explain Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse.

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.

24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at or use our online contact form.


  1. Brenner, Natalie. “How to Answer Ignorant Questions about Your Adoptive Family.”,
This entry was posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018 at 2:55 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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