“You’re adopting?” or “You’re giving up your baby for adoption?” may seem like an innocent question from the outside. Unfortunately, these inquiries are often delivered with a negative undertone that can make birth parents and adoptive parents feel defensive and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are some things both types of parents can do to avoid the negativity often associated with adoption.
Chances are the people who seem negative about adoption do not mean to hurt you. It is likely that they are misinformed about or know little about adoption. Friends and family members may be surprised by your choice or hurt that they were not a part of the decision-making process. Opening the lines of communication can help to figure out where the other person is coming from and gives you an opportunity to be honest about your journey.
You can take the opportunity to inform friends and family about the reality of adoption. Many people have misconceptions, especially about open adoption. Being open to discussing your reality can help remove any negative associations. Concerned family members may be open to attending training sessions or workshops to get a first-hand view of the process. Including extended family in your open adoption relationship will allow them to share in the positive experience of adoption.
Often, all it takes for your loved ones to come around is patience. Give your friends and family a chance to deal with your adoption decision. In many cases, some time to process is all that is needed. However, in other instances, coming to terms with adoption may be more difficult. You might want to consider letting these individuals know that failing to accept your decision could damage their relationship with you.
Having a strong support system makes handling negativity easier. Often, adoption agencies offer training, therapy and support groups that allow birth parents and adoptive parents to network with each other. This type of community helps to remind everyone that they are not alone in this journey.
Your Family, Your Way
Adoption is all about doing what is in the best interests of the child through decisions made with love. Remember that your choice is not wrong or something that should be looked down upon. There may be times when people on the outside do not understand this. Rest assured that it is OK to have your family your way.
For additional support addressing the negativity associated with adoption, contact the experts at Adoption Advocates today.