How To Discuss Your Adoption Plan With Your Family

An unexpected pregnancy not only disrupts your life, but it can also cause a lot of feelings among the people who care for you, like your parents, siblings, or close friends. Learning that you've decided to put your baby up for adoption can also come as something of a shock. It's normal to be concerned about how this news will be received by the people in your life. Take a look at some tips that can help you talk to your family and loved ones about your adoption plan.

Consider Writing A Letter

You may want to consider giving your loved ones a letter explaining your adoption plan (and your pregnancy, if they aren't already aware of that.) There are a couple of reasons why this can be a good way to handle things.

Writing a letter allows you to say whatever you need to say without being interrupted. If the news of your pregnancy is going to come as a surprise, for example, you may want to explain both that and your adoption plan before fielding questions. Writing a letter also allows you to inform multiple people at once, even if they're in different places. For example, if your parents are divorced, giving each parent a letter saves you from having to tell the same story twice and doesn't require bringing the couple together if that's not possible.

Writing your thoughts down also allows you to organize your thoughts more effectively. You may be able to anticipate some of the questions and reactions your family members will have and address those in the letter, saving yourself some effort later.

Allow Your Family The Time to Process Their Emotions

You may not immediately get the reaction you want from your family, and you may get a reaction that you don't expect. It's important that you keep in mind that, while you've had time to get used to the idea and even begin an adoption plan, it's all new to your family. You'll need to allow them some time to process their emotions.

Be prepared for sadness, disappointment, and even anger. If there's someone who you believe is most likely to be supportive of you, you may want to tell them first. That way, you'll have a sympathetic person to turn to while other family members work through their feelings.

Decide What You Need, And Ask For It

Let your loved ones know what it is that you need from them. Even if your family members are initially sad or angry, they're most likely eventually going to want to know how they can help. If you let them know what you need up front, they'll be able to keep that in mind as they process their own feelings.

Do you want them to come with you to meet potential adoptive families? Do you want company at prenatal appointments or in the delivery room? Do you need material or monetary help? Do you just want their support and love during this time? Any of these are reasonable requests to make of your family. Just give some thought to what you need from your family members, and make sure that you verbalize (or write down) your request. Being asked to do something specific may actually help your loved ones focus on the situation at hand, rather than on their own worries or emotions about your situation.

If you're nervous about telling your family, consider talking to an adoption counselor first. An adoption counselor can help you make a plan for telling your family and dealing with their reactions. An adoption counselor can also help you figure out your next step if telling your family doesn't go as smoothly as you hoped. 

For more information and help, reach out to an adoption agency, or visit websites like