Choosing adoption for your child is a selfless and loving choice. You’ve thought about your options and weighed the costs and benefits, ultimately, deciding to make an adoption plan for your unborn child. Maybe you are just starting the adoption process or perhaps you’ve been meeting with your social worker for some time. Either way, choosing adoption is a big decision that comes with a lot of emotion.
Choosing adoption for your child is a selfless and loving choice.
At New Life Adoptions, we understand that making the decision to place for adoption isn’t easy and it can be difficult to share this decision with loved ones – hoping they will understand and support you no matter what. This can be especially difficult to explain if you are parenting other children. Here are a few tips to help in sharing about your adoption decision with others in your life. Every family is different, so discuss your unique family dynamics ahead of time with your social worker. It may be helpful to talk through potential responses to help you prepare before you have these conversations.
Tips for Sharing Your Decision
- Take your time. Give yourself time to explain how you came to your decision and the reasons you are making an adoption plan, share information about the agency you’re working with, and allow time for questions. This is a lot of information, so give yourself and your loved ones time to process and ask questions together.
- Share information. If you’re working with an agency, share information about why you chose them, what the process looks like, and what support your family members and friends can receive as well. Your loved ones may have similar questions about adoption as you did when you first considered this option. Talk about the facts of adoption that helped put your mind at ease. Debunk myths and shed light on topics such as choosing an adoptive family, openness, and the ongoing support available through the agency. It may also help to share about New Life Adoptions’ two-worker model, so your loved ones are reassured that you have someone in your corner to support you and advocate for you throughout the process.
- Talk to another birth mom. You don’t have to do this alone! There are many birth moms who have been where you are. Talk to your social worker about connecting with another birth mom to talk through what was helpful in sharing her adoption decision.
Things to Consider…
Here are some things to consider as your share your adoption decision with your support system. Remember, choosing adoption is ultimately your decision regardless of how others may react to this news.
Family members, especially parents, can often be the toughest to tell about your adoption plan, especially if your pregnancy is the first grandchild in the family. It’s important to recognize that this is a loss for them as well, so it may take time for them to process. No matter how scary this conversation may feel, keep in mind that they may take the news better than you expect.
It’s okay to set boundaries when choosing which friends to share with. It may be helpful to define your “circles of friends” and decide ahead of time who is in your “circle” of close friends, acquaintances, strangers, etc. and have a response prepared for each type of friend. It’s okay to share less information with those who you are not as close with, like a co-worker or neighbor. Remember, you don’t have to convince anyone – this is your decision.
Many birth moms are already parenting other children when they make an adoption plan. Therefore, it’s important to know how to talk to your children about your adoption decision. It’s an important conversation that should not be overlooked. Children are observant and may understand more than you think they do, so it is important to share your decision with them. Talk to your social worker to discuss age-appropriate ways to talk to your kids.
Here are some general tips for telling your kids about your adoption plan:
- Create space for them to ask questions. Start a conversation about your pregnancy or about the adoptive family you’ve chosen. This shows your children that you are willing to talk about it and allows them to ask questions.
- Use language they can understand. You know your children best and how they will process this new information. Using age-appropriate language to talk about adoption helps give children words to describe what’s going on and can also help to name their own emotions when talking about adoption.
- Be honest and direct about what’s happening. This can help reduce fear and anxiety in your children. It may also be helpful to show them a picture of the adoptive family or talk about how you plan to stay in touch with the adoptive family through your openness agreement.
- Talk to your social worker for more resources. Your social worker can help give you specific tools, such as kid-friendly books like Sam’s Sister to help talk to your children about adoption.
Choosing to place for adoption is a big decision and one that requires support. Sharing your adoption plan with your loved ones may feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to your social worker for support; that’s what we’re here for! If you don’t have a social worker, you can contact one here to get started.