Deciding to create an adoption plan is an incredibly difficult decision. It can help if the birth mother has a strong support system. And in order to create such a support system, a birth mother may decide to tell her friends and family about her adoption plan, which is never easy.
“The news will be difficult to share and difficult to hear, no matter what,” says Megan Cohen, Help with Adoption. “Having a plan ahead of time can make things easier and less stressful for both you and your family.”
How to Tell Friends and Family about Your Adoption Plan
“Many expectant mothers are afraid of how others will respond to their adoption plan,” says Cohen.
Map Out the Conversation
It is always important to have a plan. 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. Remember, adoption is a very personal journey and you decide to involve in it will be entirely up to you.
You should also map out how you feel different people will react. This will help dictate how you approach the discussion.
“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.”
This is why it is so important to have a plan – so you can immediately address concerns and show that you did not come to this decision lightly. You can also encourage friends and family to reach out to an adoption professional for more information.
Try a Handwritten Note to Break the Ice
When a birth mother is 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.”
In this note:
- Let the recipient know you have given this decision A LOT of thought and you have done your research. This will help alleviate some of the fear and concern felt by family and friends.
- Tell the recipient how the adoption process works.
- Share your plans for the future and how adoption fits into that plan.
- It is also important to ask the recipient for their support. This will help convey their importance in your life and represent the building block of your support system.
After the Talk
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.”
If, at any point, you feel overwhelmed by this entire process, do not hesitate to reach out to an adoption counselor. 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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If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at email@example.com or use our online contact form.
- 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.