Anyone who has been pregnant has probably dealt with a well-meaning friend, relative, or even a stranger who felt compelled to share their own pregnancy stories or advice. While it is important to follow the advice of your health care professional and take care of yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy, dealing with unwanted pregnancy and parenting suggestions from less qualified sources is hard for any mom-to-be — especially when you are making an adoption plan for your baby.
Unsolicited advice or opinions, nosy questions and insensitive comments may seem even more intrusive for prospective birth moms who are dealing with the added stress and emotion of considering adoption for their baby. If you find yourself on the receiving end of uncomfortable questions or comments about your pregnancy or your adoption plan, here are four strategies you can use to respond:
1. Have a response ready.
Having a short, simple response prepared can help you handle insensitive comments and questions with ease and finesse. Without going into detail, simply let the expert know that while you appreciate their concern, you have a plan in place and are confident in all of the decisions you are making for yourself and your child.
2. Smile and change the subject.
You don’t owe any sort of explanation, and you and your baby do not need the added stress of an argument. Sometimes, simply nodding, smiling or saying thank you, followed be a quick subject change or an excuse to step away from the conversation, is the best way to deflect unsolicited advice.
3. Ask for the advice you do want.
While it may be difficult to listen to advice for day-to-day parenting, you might be curious about what to expect throughout your pregnancy and delivery. If you think the person may be able to provide useful insight on a topic you’ve been wondering about, try redirecting the conversation by prompting them with specific questions.
4. Talk about adoption.
While you are in no way obligated to educate the commenter about adoption or explain your adoption plan, you should also feel proud of the brave and selfless decision you are making. If you feel like sharing your adoption story, tell them that you are choosing adoption to provide your baby with the best life possible, and know that regardless of their opinions, you are already doing what great parents do: putting your child’s needs first.