If you’ve found yourself facing an unexpected pregnancy and considering an adoption plan for your child, it’s quite likely that you’re in one of the most stressful times of your life. If this is the case, it can make all the difference in the world to have a strong support system. Even if you have just one supportive person in your corner, having someone who can be there to help you feel less alone as you make this choice for your child is truly invaluable.
While you and only you can make the decision to place your baby for adoption, this is a choice that will affect those around you, too. They care about you and will want to help you in any way they possibly can, including supporting you through your adoption process. Your support system should provide you with emotional support, help you with making decisions by providing second opinions or different perspectives, and assist you with both the physical and emotional demands of your pregnancy.
Who should I include in my adoption support system?
Anyone you’re comfortable with can be a part of your adoption support system. In other words, it’s entirely up to you. Your support system can be small and close or large and varied, but be sure that everyone you turn to will do the following:
- Comfort rather than criticize
- Give advice and opinions (when warranted) without pressuring
- Reassure you that you’re doing the best thing for your child, rather than instill doubts about your choice
- Acknowledge any feelings you come to them with rather than ignoring them
When looking to gather your adoption support team, you may want to include the following people in your life:
- The father of your child
- Your parents
- Your siblings or other close family members
- Your friends
- Preachers or leaders in your religious community
- Teachers or counselors
- The adoption specialist you work with at the adoption agency you choose
Any of these people can be amazing members of your support system, but they may not always be supportive of your adoption decision, nor have your or your child’s best interests in mind. Remember that your support system can consist of anyone you choose, as long as they provide legitimate emotional or physical support and contribute to a healthy environment for you and your baby.
How do I involve my support system in my adoption?
It’s likely that this adoption experience is new for your family and friends, just as it is for you. With that in mind, then, they may not be exactly sure what you need from them. Our advice? Tell them.
Communicate with your support system to let you know exactly what you need, and keep in mind that your needs will change depending on how you’re feeling and the stage of both your pregnancy and your adoption journey. Maybe one day you need to really talk through a hard decision you’re struggling with, while the next you need to be left alone to rest. It’s important to voice your needs to your family and friends so that they know exactly how they can help you.
It’s also a good idea to talk about patience with your loved ones during this time. This means patience for both parties. There may be times when your emotions get to you and you have trouble properly expressing your feelings. When this happens, it can be easy to take the people we love for granted. Don’t forget to let your support system know how much they mean to you, and ask for patience and understanding as you attempt to find the right path for yourself and your child.
On the other hand, remember that your family and friends aren’t experiencing this process firsthand. This means that, however pure their intentions are, they may not know what to do to help you. It’s easier than we’d like to occasionally say or do the wrong thing, and it’s important to remember that, should this happen, your loved one probably doesn’t realize their mistake. It’s important that you show them patience in return and calmly explain not only what the problem was but how to correct it in the future.
How can my support system help me through the adoption process?
The adoption process, while worth it, will not always be easy. Even after choosing adoption for your child, you will still be faced with big decisions, such as choosing your child’s adoptive family, determining how much contact you’d like to have with them, and more. It’s important to know that you are not alone and that you can reach out to your loved ones if and when you need to. They can’t make these decisions for you, but having someone around who positively supports your adoption decision can make all the difference.
Looking for an adoption agency to include in your adoption journey? Consider some of these agencies below: