Just like conversion to a new health plan, or a new gadget, or a new religion, when one experiences a great adoption experience, we want to shout it out to the world and share our good news. But are there times when it’s best to just stay quiet? It’s kind of hard to keep the bubbling excitement and joy bottled up—especially when we see someone struggling and we think adoption would be the perfect answer. Yet capping the bottle might be the right thing to do. When is it best to zip our lips about adoption?

When a friend is mourning infertility or infant loss.

A time of mourning is not the time to offer solutions. When one is mourning, they need comfort, understanding, and sympathy. They probably don’t need advice. And they certainly don’t need expression of our excitement and joy. If you adopted after experiencing infertility, you’ll understand the need to get past your grief before moving on toward joy again.

When a friend is childless and you don’t know the reason.

So, your friend or acquaintance is childbearing age, yet remains childless for years. Making assumptions that they are infertile and so should be educated about adoption is a tipsy trick to try to navigate. If they haven’t asked about adoption, don’t bring it up. Whether they’re experiencing infertility or not, if they don’t bring up the topic of babies, it would be inappropriate and insensitive for you to do so.

When you’re around your regular group of friends or family and they already know your story.

Is it possible that you’ve already shared the joy of adoption? They really might be tired of the adoption talk and hope that the visit can be centered on other aspects of life. Wait for your family or friends to bring up the topic of adoption and then feel free to babble away. But until then, give it a break

Adoption is a beautiful thing. But even too much ice cream is too much ice cream. Remember that there’s a right and a wrong time for everything. Be sensitive, so that when you do share your adoption journey, it’s a welcome topic!