If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you may have decided that adoption is the best option for you and your baby. You want your child to have the best possible opportunities with a loving family.
If you choose to tell your parents, siblings, grandparents and other extended family, you may find that they are not supportive of your adoption decision. Even if you have not told your family about your adoption decision yet, you may already suspect that they may have a negative opinion of adoption. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable situation for you, but you can still have a successful adoption when your family is unsupportive.
Try not to allow feelings of doubt or hopelessness to consume you because even without family support, you are not alone. You cannot control your family’s opinions and feelings, but you can find other supportive people to lean on before, during and after your adoption process.
Here are some tips and advice for coping with an unsupportive family during your adoption.
Try Talking to Family and Friends Who Are Supportive
You know your family best and even though family members are expected to stick together, not every family member will.
Try telling your closest family members in a private setting. Not everyone is comfortable with going against other family members in public. If you gather everyone around the dinner table your most out-spoken family members may drown out other family member’s opinions.
Maybe you can tell your mom or sister anything, but your dad is harder to talk to. If you know you have your mom and sister on your side then together you may have a more stable and supportive foundation to tell the rest of your family.
Have Some Adoption Information Ready to Share
Although adoption is more open and accepted today than in the past, many people still don’t know the facts about adoption. This may include your family and friends.
Consider sharing the following facts about adoption:
- Birth mothers today are recognized as being brave and loving, because they are.
- Adoptive Parents want to share their adoption story and are grateful to have their child’s biological family in their lives.
- Adoptees are informed about their adoption from day one and they can grow up knowing that their birth parents have given them the best possible life.
You can arm yourself with notes on the benefits of adoption and the adoption process. It can be comforting for your family members to know that open adoption can allow them to be a part of your child’s life for years to come.
Tell Them Why You Think Adoption is the Best Decision
It may help your family to understand your point of view on adoption. Adoption may not be something that your family has ever thought about.
You can tell them that adoption is the best option for you over parenting or abortion. Share your vision of your child’s best future and why you believe adoption can give your child that future. Explain that your living situation, your financial situation and your relationship with your baby’s father may not be ideal for a child.
Only share the information that you are comfortable with sharing.
Be clear about your decision and firm in your commitment to your decision. It is important that everyone knows the final decision is yours to make, and you are choosing to do what is best for your baby. Allow your family the time that they need to process this information.
In an ideal situation, your family will accept your choice of adoption and may even become your biggest source of support. But, this may not be the case. If you would like to contact an adoption professional for support, you can click here for online contact information.
Your Family’s Feelings About Adoption Don’t Have Anything to Do with You
Adoption is a wonderful gift. When you choose to place your child with a loving family, you are choosing to give your child the best possible opportunities. The anger, hurt and confusion that your family may feel does not change adoption in any way. Their reactions and opinions are not reflective of you as a person.
Even if you turn down your family’s offers of adopting your child because you would prefer to place your child with another family, this does not reflect negatively on you. Regardless of what your family may say or believe.
You do not have to agree with your family. This may be hard for your family to accept, but it is true. If your family does not like your decision, this can be difficult for you to accept. Since adoption is your decision, you have the right to ask your family to respect that decision. The needs of you and your child come first.
Build Your Own Adoption Support System
“I was depressed and unsure of everything and [my adoption specialist] was very understanding and patient, never pressuring me about anything. She gave me nothing but encouragement and support. She answered all of my questions and when I had nothing to say she let me cry.” — Kelly, a birth mother who placed her child for adoption.
Don’t’ be afraid to look beyond your family for support in your adoption decision. Your friends can be just as close to you as family, if not closer in some cases. Sometimes, your friends can connect you with their friends or a network of other people who are willing to support you in your adoption decision.
There are support groups for pregnant women who are choosing adoption which allows you to be with women who may be in a similar situation as you. You may even reach out to religious leaders, counselors and teachers if you feel comfortable doing so, especially if you already have an established relationship of trust with those people.
If your choices outside of your family are limited, you can always contact an adoption agency for help. When you choose to work with an adoption agency, you can have an adoption specialist that will support you no matter what. Many agency have an adoption hotline with 24/7 availability when you need your questions answered or counseling at any time. With a full service adoption agency, your adoption specialist could be with you throughout your entire adoption process from beginning to end and beyond.
Where to Find Help and Resources
If you are currently living with your parents or other family members who are unsupportive of your adoption decision, your situation may require more resources. The worst case scenario is that your family may cut you off from the things that you need like shelter and financial help.
You can still get the help that you need.
Housing for Prospective Birth Mothers
Many adoption agencies and social services offer housing for pregnant women. Laws may vary by state and agency, but many pregnant women can have the option of living in an apartment owned by an agency or in homes established by maternity centers. In some situations, short-term living in a hotel, extended stay hotel or motel can be an option for you through an adoption agency.
Other Expenses for Prospective Birth Mothers
There are options for financial assistance in the form of living expenses. Living expenses can include items such as maternity clothing, food, rent and necessary transportation. If you work with an adoption agency that offers this type of assistance, you could qualify to have your living expenses paid by your adoptive family of choice. You will not be paid directly and the amount of assistance must be determined by the court.
You Can Start Your Adoption Process Today
Support is important for you when you are considering adoption. If you cannot get the support you need from your family you can still have a successful adoption.
When you are ready, you can follow the three steps below to start your adoption journey.
Step 1: Know that adoption is right for you.
Step 2: Get the adoption information that you need.
Step 3: Contact an adoption professional at any time.