Bringing the Family into Your Plans

Bringing Together a Family of Opinions

Bringing a child into the family through adoption and taking the first steps in that journey extends beyond the potential parents wrestling with the decision. It also involves their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, Great Aunt Tilly, and her dog Rex.

Just kidding about Rex, but when you start thinking about all the people who should or will have an opinion about adding to the family through adoption, the numbers add up very quickly.

The amount of input prospective adoptive parents choose to solicit is a personal choice. How much gets tossed at them whether they want it or not, however, is far less controllable. And you can count on everyone having some strong feelings on the topic: for, against, and sort-of-halfway-between-for-and-against-and-leaning-towards-for-but-worried-about-a-few-things-that-could-make-against-win.

A Process, Not an Adjective

Adoption is the operative word responsible for bringing a child into your family. Therefore, it does not define you or your child. Adoption is simply the process.

Reproduction is just as much of a process. Unless someone is close enough, or important enough, to be involved in your efforts to have a baby one way, they shouldn’t have much to say about the other way.

In other words, anyone involved in the act of procreation gets a vote; everyone else doesn’t. Sure, take in ideas, theories, suggestions, and inspiration. Send up metaphorical kites all over the place and see how your concept flies. Brainstorm and bounce ideas off loved ones with valued perspectives. Go on! Knock yourself out!

Set Healthy Boundaries

Just keep in mind, though, that unless the person feeding you their thoughts could just as easily be sitting next to you at the moment of conception, their opinions are just that—their opinions.

Should you choose to broadcast the early stages of your process, that’s fine. “Ask and you shall receive,” as they say, and you might receive, and receive, and receive. Personal agendas will surface, and you’ll need to discern what to take on board and what to jettison straight away. Still, you will probably end up with a valuable observation or two.

However, once the decision is reached and your adoption journey is underway, extended family should become familiar with the advice of that wise old bunny sage (Thumper’s mother in Bambi), “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”