Adoption is a brave and admirable option that many pregnant women choose. It’s not always a decision that’s immediately understood, and you may not know what to expect when you first try to discuss adoption with your friends and family members. Consider these tips when bringing up the topic with your loved ones.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
When you tell people that you are pregnant and plan to put the baby up for adoption, you may be bombarded with questions from even well-meaning loved ones. They may ask questions out of curiosity, or they may be genuinely concerned. No matter what their motivations may be, you don’t have to simply take in questions. It’s also a good idea to ask questions yourself.
Ask open-ended questions to get your loved ones to open up about where they’re coming from. That can then enable you to decide how much more you want to discuss the topic with them. Some open-ended questions you may ask inquisitive loved ones include:
- What do you think about adoption? – Asking this first can protect you from being vulnerable to someone who may have hurtful opinions on the topic.
- Why do you want to know that? – This question is especially helpful if someone is being overly nosy.
- When was the last time you had to make an extremely difficult decision? – This question can be a good way to segue into the topic.
- Can you tell me about a time when you had made a tough choice, but feared others would try to change your mind? – This might be a good question to help encourage empathy if you fear someone may try to change your mind.
Ultimately, ask only the questions you feel comfortable asking. Being proactive about questioning others before you open up to them can help prevent pain and frustration at this time.
Approach the Topic in Any Way That Feels Comfortable
Difficult talks don’t have to involve hand-wringing and sitting in formation at a family meeting. Bring up the topic anywhere you choose and approach it in the manner that’s most comfortable to you. If you want to inject humor into a serious conversation about adoption, that’s fine. Just be sure to prioritize your needs.
Choose Your Boundaries Before the Discussion
Brace yourself for a wide range of reactions to your adoption announcement and decide what you won’t tolerate. For example, you may be willing to listen to differing opinions, but you may not want to listen while someone tries to convince you to agree with them.
If you want to try to engage your loved ones in meaningful discussions about adoption, that’s fine. You can even simply announce your decision and have no further discussion about it for the time being. If you want to seek advice, choose a close friend or family member who you trust to have your best interests in mind.
Only you can decide which boundaries feel best for you. It’s okay to say that you don’t even want to hear any criticism of your choice at all. Be sure to communicate how you feel and what you need at the start of the discussion. Taking the step to set boundaries and stick to them will help you feel empowered and can also reduce stress.
Don’t Be Afraid to Center Yourself
People are often conditioned to not make themselves the center of a conversation, but it’s completely okay to center yourself. Focus on what you need in the conversation and what you need in the relationship for the moment. Ask for what you want directly if the person isn’t being attentive or sensitive to your needs.
Finally, finding out about a pregnancy can easily feel overwhelming, but keep in mind that taking the best possible care of yourself throughout your pregnancy is the best thing you can do for both you and the baby. If you are considering adoption, contact Arizona Adoption Help today. We’ve been helping and supporting women for 35 years.