Not one pregnancy is like another and expecting mothers all over the country have to choose what they believe is best for their baby. However, since the majority of mothers parent and choosing adoption is less common, often times outsiders aren’t sure of what to do or say when they find out you are considering adoption. It can be especially awkward when a friend or relative is also pregnant at the same time.
4 common ways people react:
Ignore Your Pregnancy
After you tell people you are considering adoption they might just completely ignore that fact that you are pregnant when you are together. Many times this is because people don’t know what the “right” thing to say is. Will it upset you to ask you about how the pregnancy is going and how you are feeling? What should they say and when? Do you want to talk about it at all? Sometimes people will continue throughout your pregnancy as if nothing is happening. What people don’t realize is feeling ignored can actually be worse than saying something that may temporarily upset you. It can lead to a feeling of shame. So help people better understand what your needs are. If you don’t mind opening up, tell them that you most definitely want them to ask how you are and you want to talk with them about your pregnancy. You can also tell them that there may be times when you prefer not to talk too but that you will let them know that as well. This will help open up the lines of communication and prevent them from walking on eggshells.
Tell You How Sorry They Are
The last thing you need right now is a pity party. You need support. When you finally reveal to someone that you are considering placing your child for adoption and their response is to apologize it can sometimes help to take control of the conversation and say something like “don’t be sorry, I’m really trying to decide what’s best for him even if it will break my own heart.”
Talk You Out of It
It’s easy to stand on the outside and tell people what they should and shouldn’t do and you will probably find there will be many people in your life who are less supportive than you had hoped. Someone may offer you a little help if you choose to parent instead or tell you that you need to live up to your mistake or something else that’s just as hurtful. You are the only person who can really make the decision in the end and you will also be the one living with the choice you make. You need people to listen to your needs and be supportive whether or not they agree. It is important for you to make the decision free from pressure or guilt from others who are only looking in to your situation from the outside. It’s one thing for people to honestly share their concerns with you about your decision in a loving way however it’s another for them to push you into making a different decision that you really truly think is best.
Say “I Could NEVER Do That“ or “How Could you DO that?”
The bottom line is that people who are not facing your situation will never really be able to truly understand. Here is a great video of 4 women who placed their children who are talking about how they get this response all the time and how they react to it.
One woman explained how when she was in the hospital and her doctor saw her bonding so deeply with her son that he said that he didn’t think she would go through with it. And she explains “What he didn’t understand thought and what so many people don’t understand was that it was BECAUSE I loved him that much that I was able to break my own heart and follow my own instinct. If I had loved him less I couldn’t have done it.”
No Matter How People React, Focus on Making Your Own Decision of What You Know is Best
More often than not, people just aren’t as educated about adoption as you are and their reactions and what they say out of not knowing can be hurtful. The most important thing is for you to have enough understanding about all of your adoptions: parenting, abortion and adoption, that you know you are making the best choice for you and your baby. Do not allow anyone to pressure to into anything that you don’t want to do or out of something that you have decided is right for you.
It can be helpful to find a friend or family member who is supportive of you no matter what you decide, someone who can be there and who you trust to talk to about all your feelings and thoughts and fears. If you have connected to an adoption agency, your counselor will be able to be there for you as well and should not be pressuring you in any way. This is one of the most important decisions of your life and you will need to make sure you have considered all your options and are not making the decision based on what anyone else wants but what the deepest parts of your heart are telling you is right for your baby.