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How to Talk About Placing a Baby for Adoption

Explaining Your Adoption Decision to Family, Friends and Acquaintances 

Choosing adoption is the hardest decision a woman will every have to make. But if you’re like most women who have chosen this path, you may have a hard time deciding how to open up about your adoption decision. On one hand, you may not want to keep it a secret. But on the other hand, you’re probably not sure what to say when your friends, family, and anyone else in your life asks.

Telling your friends and family about your adoption decision can be extremely nerve-wracking. On top of that, you’re also probably worried about how to break the news to coworkers and acquaintances when and if they ask about your pregnancy. No matter how you decide to go about it, this is a challenging part of the adoption process for many prospective birth parents. If you’re worried about explaining the decision to “give a child up” for adoption, here are a few ways to prepare ahead of time.

Decide Who You Want to Tell First

Right now, you’re probably wondering, “I’m telling people I’m putting my baby up for adoption. Who should I start with?” Ideally, you’ll want to start with your closest friends and family. If you haven’t told them about your unplanned pregnancy yet, then you’ll definitely want to begin with that. Give them so time to digest the news, and then tell them about your adoption decision.

When you’re ready, start by telling the people who you know will be supportive about your pregnancy and adoption decision. As you can probably guess, they’re going to have a lot of questions, but that’s pretty normal. When you do tell your friends and family, you should be prepared for their reactions. Some people will be there for you wholeheartedly and will be with you every step of the way through your adoption journey. Others, however, might not be shy about telling you their less-positive feelings about your adoption plan and your choice for an unplanned pregnancy. When you talk to someone about adoption and they’re not supportive, understand that it may have more to do with them than with you. Of course, they may come around at some point, but even if they don’t, this is your decision to make. As you’re explaining the decision to “give a child up” for adoption, remind them that you’re only looking for their support, not for them to change your mind. You’ve already made up your mind about your choice to place your child for adoption.

The best way to talk to your parents about adoption is to be honest and firm about your decision. It might be difficult at first, but it will pay off in the long run.

When it comes to your friends, coworkers and other acquaintances, you can decide to disclose your adoption plans to them if you’d like, whenever that may be. Likewise, you don’t have to tell more people about your adoption plan if you don’t want to.

Only Say What You’re Comfortable With

Now that you’ve made the decision to talk to someone about your adoption, how much should you share? When people find out about your pregnancy, it’s only natural for them to ask questions. They’re curious, and when they see a woman who’s pregnant, they’ll automatically ask her what her plans for parenting are. They may even ask you if you’re decorating the nursery, what you’re having, and more. Adoption might not be on their radar at all until you bring it up with them. But even so, that doesn’t mean you have to tell them anything related to your plans if you don’t want to.

Adoption is a huge decision to make, but it’s also a very personal one — which means that explaining the decision to “give a child up” for adoption and how much you want to divulge about the process is entirely up to you. It’s normal to feel like you have to tell people what’s going on when they ask, but you really don’t have to disclose anything you don’t want to. Your reasons for choosing adoption are yours and yours alone. While it makes sense that you’ll have to tell your friends and family about the pregnancy and your plans for adoption, you can keep things brief with your coworkers or acquaintances about your adoption decision when they ask.

Unlike the conversations you’ll likely want to have with your family, if strangers come up and ask you questions, remember that you don’t owe them anything — especially when the odds are low that you’ll see them again. While you’re more than welcome to tell someone you just met today about your plans for an unplanned pregnancy, you really don’t have to get into your decision if you don’t want to while you’re out and about.

Prepare Some Answers Ahead of Time

How to talk about adoption as a birth mother or a woman considering adoption is entirely up to you. If you do decide to tell well-meaning strangers, it might be a good idea to think of what you want to say ahead of time. Many people are unfamiliar with adoption, and it’s safe to assume they’ll ask you follow-up questions about it. They might want to know what led you to that choice, why you chose adoption over your other options, and more. You can always tell them you plan to pursue adoption if they ask you about your bump but remember that you don’t have to share anything that you’re not ready for. It’s okay to keep some things private, and you’re more than entitled to that.

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Talking about placing a baby for adoption can be just as difficult as making this difficult decision in the first place. But having a strong support system can make the coming days that much easier, so opening up to a few trusted people can be more than worth it. Telling your friends and family may be one of the first steps in your adoption journey, but you don’t have to share more than you’re comfortable with. If you do decide to tell people about your adoption plan, it can often feel like such a huge weight off your shoulders.