When you’re considering placing your baby for adoption, you are going through a unique emotional experience. If you decide to make an adoption plan and pursue this path, you will be looking for an adoption support team to help you through this journey. This means telling trusted family members and friends about your adoption decision — which can sometimes bring up unexpected responses.
It’s important to know ahead of time the questions and comments you may get when you tell others you are considering adoption. Most of them come from a place of ignorance and miseducation. While it is never your responsibility to be an advocate for adoption and educate all of the misconceptions you hear, it is important to recognize what people are really thinking when they say certain things to you.
These comments can be hurtful, which is why we encourage all prospective birth mothers to educate their friends and family about the adoption process when they choose to confide in them. If you are not sure how to talk to others about your adoption, please reach out to an adoption counselor at 1-800-ADOPTION for free and confidential advice.
Before you talk to others about placing your child for adoption, be prepared for these responses:
- Why are you choosing adoption?
When you tell someone you are making an adoption plan, this is often their first response. Understandably, they want to know why you are going through this process that is still a fairly uncommon one for people to both know about and experience. However, remember: You are never obligated to share more about your personal adoption decision than you are comfortable with. It will be useful to explain your decision-making process to those in your adoption support group, but your decision is your own business — and no one else’s.
- Do you get money? Are you selling your baby?
Sometimes, people have an outdated view of adoption involving a birth mother exchanging her child for money. As you know, any payment for a human child is illegal, and you cannot get paid for adoption. However, in most cases, you can receive financial assistance. If you feel comfortable explaining that process, you can. Or you may decide that leaving the answer to these questions as “no” is a better decision in this particular conversation.
- How could you? Your baby is your own flesh and blood.
When you hear this response, it can be incredibly hurtful. You’ve likely thought this yourself. Remember, you are choosing adoption to give your baby the best opportunities and life possible with a family who will love him or her unconditionally — no matter their genetic connection. Love is what makes a family, not necessarily a genetic relationship between parents and children.
- Will you ever get to see your baby again?
Many people still have an outdated view of adoption based on what they’ve heard of in the past and seen in movies and television they’ve watched. It was common in the 20th century for birth mothers to be forced to place their children into closed adoptions, with little contact or information provided to any member of the adoption triad. People may not know that adoption today is very different, and that 90 percent of birth mothers choose some kind of pre- and post-placement contact with the adoptive family and the adopted child. Take this opportunity to educate others about the realities of the modern adoption process, if you are comfortable doing so.
- Do you get to choose the adoptive family?
Again, this question stems from an outdated view of adoption. If you want to, explain to the person asking this that you get to choose many things about your adoption process, including who adopts your baby. Tell them you will even get the chance to meet the adoptive family before placing your baby with them!
- Are you being forced into adoption?
Sometimes, people confuse placing a child for adoption through an agency with a foster care adoption — in which children can be removed from their parents and spend years in the foster care system without being adopted. As mentioned before, people may also think private domestic infant adoption is something that a birth mother is forced into. Explain that you are in charge of every aspect of your adoption process, and you have the right to change your mind about your adoption at any time until you sign your adoption consent, including after the baby is born.
- You should raise your child/have an abortion instead.
Everyone has an opinion about what a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy should do. It’s easy to give one when they are not in the stressful situation of deciding what is right and coping with the consequences of their decision. Remember, you are the only one who can make the best decision for you, and don’t let anyone try to change your mind about your choice.
Ultimately, you are the one who the decision affects and, if you are pursuing adoption, you have already decided it is the best option for you. Your adoption specialist is always here to provide support and counseling if you are struggling with your adoption decision.
Remember, if you ever have questions or concerns about discussing your adoption decision with others, make sure are doing what is right for you. You are never obligated to include anyone in your adoption support team who will not be a positive force in your adoption. Your adoption specialist will always be here to provide the support and guidance you may need during your adoption journey.