What if My Family Doesn’t Support My Adoption Decision?
Dealing with Unsupportive Parents and Other Family Members
As a pregnant woman considering adoption, you know that it may very well be the best decision for you and your baby. You’ve been dreaming of the future you want to give your child, and you know in your heart that this is the only option that feels right.
But even so, you may be in a situation where you’re forced to ask, “My family doesn’t support me placing my baby up for adoption. What are my options?” Or maybe you haven’t told them yet, but you have a feeling that when you finally do, your fears about them being unsupportive will become your new reality. As you likely already know, this can be incredibly tough to cope with. For many people, our family is our lifeline. And if they don’t support your decision, it might start to feel like no one is really on your side.
No matter how you’re feeling, we just want you to know that that’s just not true. Even if your family doesn’t support you placing a baby up for adoption, there will always be someone in your corner. If you’re struggling to cope with unsupportive family members and you’re not sure where to turn, here are some things you should know. While you can’t control how your family will react to your decision, you can prepare for how you will react to a potential lack of support.
Tips for Talking to Your Family
Telling your family about your adoption decision can be one of the hardest parts about being a prospective birth mother. Right now, you’re probably feeling anxious, uncertain, and unsure of what you should say to get them to understand your point of view. Before you break the news, here are some tips to help you talk to your family.
Start by telling those who you think will support you
If your parents are against you “giving a baby up” for adoption, it might not be the best idea to tell everyone at once. In fact, it might be better to start by telling a few family members that you’re really close to and then move toward telling more people who may not be as supportive, if you’re comfortable with it. It might not be ideal, but it can make the conversation little bit easier when you already have the support of a few close family members or friends. Once you’ve laid the foundation for your support team, then you can worry about your other family’s reactions later.
Provide some general information about adoption
Not everyone understands how modern adoptions work. For many people, when you say the word adoption, they falsely assume that means you’re giving up or giving away your baby. Although you know that’s not true, and we know that’s not true, they might not. Before you start talking to your family, see if you can offer some general adoption information that might change their opinion. Hopefully, your family who doesn’t support your adoption decision now will start to do the hard work of researching what it takes to pursue adoption on their own.
Tell them why you think adoption is the best decision
If your family is unsupportive of adoption, this will be a big concept for them to wrap their head around. After all, this isn’t a decision that you’ll be able to change your mind about after you’ve placed your baby for adoption. If you’re 100% sure that adoption is right for you, let them know that. Tell them how much research you’ve put into this, why you’re choosing adoption over your other options, and what led you to this decision. This is going to be a really hard conversation to have, and having some answers prepared ahead of time for the inevitable, “Why?” will make things a little bit easier.
You could talk to them about your future dreams for this child, your living situation, your relationship with the birth father, and more. But once again, you should only share as much as you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to lay everything out on the table just to appease your family. Regardless of what they think, you’re the only one who gets a final say in the matter.
While we hope these tips will be helpful, there is a chance that your family won’t be happy no matter what you say. For some women, choosing adoption can be a lonely road, and no matter how much talking you do, it won’t be enough for some people. You should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst before you start this conservation. It can be helpful to remember that your family’s ignorance might not last forever. There is always a chance that they could get over their disappointment and support you throughout your adoption decision.
How to Cope with Unsupportive Family Members
If your family is unsupportive when it comes to adoption, it can really feel like you don’t have much of a choice. They may react with strong emotions like anger, hurt, and confusion. Understand that their feelings about adoption don’t really have anything to do with you specifically. For them, adoption might be a line in the sand that they’re not ready to cross. They might not understand a lot about how modern adoptions work, why you’re choosing this option over letting a family member or a friend adopt your child, or why you’re considering adoption over parenting.
At the end of the day, understand that this is your decision to make. You need to be firm. Make sure that they know that you’ve made up your mind about this, and that you won’t be easily swayed by their opinions. It’s going to be tough — after all, this is your family we’re talking about. And yet, there comes a time where you’re going to have to put your feelings and your needs first, especially when dealing with parents who don’t understand your adoption decision. They might not agree with your decision, and they might not like it, but they need to respect it.
Building Your Own Support System
If you’ve already tried everything you can, but your family still isn’t supportive of your adoption choice, it may be time to build your own support system. If you’ve already started working with an adoption agency, your specialist will be like your best friend during this entire process. They’ll be able to support you from start to finish, along with doing everything they can to make your adoption experience as stress-free as possible. Your adoption agency should also have a 24/7 hotline that you can call whenever, wherever you are.
You also have the option of joining a support group for birth mothers and women considering adoption just like you. You can also reach out and post your questions on birth parent forums. There are also many communities that you can follow online, or you can take a look at birth parent posts on social media to connect with other women who know what you’re going through.
Even if the majority of your family is unsupportive of adoption, hopefully there will be a few people on your side. Cherish the ones that are continuing to stick with you through thick and thin. And if you can, try to reach out and start making new friends before the baby gets here. You can also pour that energy into the friendships you have already nurtured for years. They may not be your blood relatives. But sometimes, friends can be much closer than that.
Where to Find Help
If you’re currently living with your unsupportive family while considering adoption, you might be facing a stickier situation — one in which you’re worried that your family might kick you out of your home or cut you off financially. This is a scary situation to be in, but please remember that help is still available. If you’re worried about housing, there are adoption agencies that help with housing for women in your situation.
As a prospective birth mother, you are also entitled to receive financial assistance and living expenses, which will be covered by the adoptive family you choose. How much you’ll actually receive will depend on the state you live in and your unique situation, so be sure to check with your adoption specialist so that they can get a good understanding of your needs.
If you’re still having a hard time coping with unsupportive family members, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an adoption professional. No matter how alone you feel, there will always be someone who knows what you’re going through. If you haven’t had a chance to speak with an adoption specialist yet, please fill out our free information form to speak to one today.