5 Tips for Supporting a Loved One Who May Be Considering Adoption for Her Baby

If you have a loved one who may be considering adoption for her baby, here are a few ways you can support her.

Caroline Bailey December 13, 2015
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 In the adoption world, the term “giving up a child for adoption” is often frowned upon. Instead, the words “making a plan for adoption” provide a more positive way to describe the difficult decisions that birth parents are making in regards to their children. Considering adoption and choosing to make a plan requires sincere and careful thought.

If you have a loved one who may be considering adoption for her baby, here are a few ways you can support her.*

1. Listen. Allow her the opportunity to process and flush out all of the thoughts running through her mind. This decision is most likely one of the biggest she will make in her life, and she needs people around her who will listen to a wide array of feelings. Anger, confusion, grief, hope, and love are all mixed in together. Be willing to listen without judgment.

2. Help connect them to resources. There are pregnancy and adoption services available to prospective birth parents. These services can provide counseling, support during the pregnancy, groups where she can connect with other birth parents, and a whole host of other resources to assist her walk through this time in life. It is so important for birth parents to receive supportive services.

3. Recognize that this is their decision, and no one else’s. It can be very hard for others to understand why a birth parent is considering making a plan for adoption. Her consideration of adoption is life-changing, and life-affirming. Birth parents need to feel fully supported and not judged.

4. Understand that this decision is one that will impact the rest of their lives. Making a plan for adoption may seem “in the moment,” but it is far from that.  Just like adopting a child is a lifelong journey, so is being a birth parent. She will need support and encouragement through the years.

5. Affirm their emotions about the selection of an adoptive family. Let’s face it. Birth parents put a whole lot of trust into the agencies, social workers, and adoptive families they are placing their children with. This too can be an extremely emotional experience—one of sadness, but also great joy when the prospective birth parent has been able to select a family (if applicable). Although you may feel the need to express your opinion about the type of family that should be selected, it is (unless asked of your opinion) better to show kind regard to the decision that they have made.

In order to fully support a loved one who may be considering adoption of their baby, you should consider your own opinion, thoughts, and feelings about adoption in general. Unless one has been a part of adoption, it may be difficult to understand the complexity of it.  However, as complex as it might be, adoption is still very much a loving, selfless act.

At the end of it all, your support for a loved one considering adoption will not only enrich their lives, it will also enrich yours.

*Editor’s Note: For simplicity, we used the feminine pronoun throughout this article, but these tips could just as easily apply to a male considering adoption. 

Free support is available for women who are pregnant and considering the adoption option. You can make contact with an adoption professional by clicking here.

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Caroline Bailey

Caroline is a mother of three children through adoption and a strong advocate for the needs of children and families involved in the child welfare system in the United States. At the age of eleven (1983), she underwent an emergency hysterectomy in order to save her life. Caroline is the youngest person to have a hysterectomy. Her life has been profoundly affected by infertility. In 2006, Caroline and her husband, Bruce, became licensed foster parents. They were blessed to adopt two of their children through foster care in 2008 and 2010. Their youngest child is a relative of Caroline, and they celebrated his adoption in 2013. Caroline works for a Christian child welfare agency in Missouri. She has been a guest speaker at churches and conferences regarding adoption and is currently working on a memoir about the impact of illness, faith, foster care, and adoption in her life. Caroline is also an avid cyclist and enjoys cheering her children on in their various sporting activities. She shares her experience about foster care, adoption, barrenness, parenting, and faith on her blog. She would love to hear from you! Contact her at barrentoblessed@gmail.com.

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