Making the decision to place a child with an adoptive family is truly personal choice, and so is deciding who (or who not) to talk to about it.
What is keeping you from talking about adoption with your family—are you afraid your parents will disapprove? That you’ll be disowned? Judged? Kicked out of the house?
These are very real fears, but also common ones. Many women hide an unplanned pregnancy or an adoption from their families, sometimes for years, choosing to spare their family members from the loss, and avoid the risk of being rejected by the ones closest to them.
Sharing your painful secrets with the people who love you can bring you great peace, but understandably, sometimes our circumstances don’t allow for it. Talking about an adoption is truly a personal decision. If you feel uncomfortable speaking about it, you should never bring up an adoption, not even if it’s a friend, co-worker, classmate, boyfriend, or counselor. If your circumstances don’t allow you to speak with your friends and family about adoption, but you would like to speak confidentially with an adoption professional to help you make your decision, let us help you get connected to someone now.
Only you know your unique situation. However, telling someone close to you may ease your mind, and help you make the best decision. If you do decide to ask your family to support with this decision, or ask for their support even after you’ve already made the decision, here are some tips for approaching your parents, partners, and loved ones:
- Talking with an adoption professional first can help guide you in the conversation you’ll have with your family.
- Find a time when you can be completely alone with your family. Make sure you can sit and talk comfortably and privately.
- Be completely honest. This conversation is an opportunity to demonstrate your level of maturity, and show your family that you are capable of making a well thought-out decision for both you and your child.
- Prepare yourself for their reaction; your family might be angry or shocked. Let them process any emotion that comes up in response to your announcement, before proceeding with a more serious discussion.
- Once calm has been reestablished, tell them that you are considering placing your child with an adoptive family, and tell them the reasons why; financial pressure; your age; you’re just not ready. Whatever the reason, remember, it’s an important enough reason to you, and this is your decision.
- And finally, ask them for their support.
Chances are, your parents and friends will be supportive of the decision you make. Adoption is a positive, responsible decision for the long run. The truth is, all parents want their children to be happy and successful. (That’s why you’re considering adoption.) And letting them in, so they can understand your decision helps the people who love you, understand you better, too.