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August 20, 2013

Birthmothers – How to Talk to Your Family About Adoption

“Given the magnitude of an adoption decision, it is important to include the mother’s support system in the adoption process to the greatest extent possible.” – National Council for Adoption

Our birthmother counselors spend hours every month holding the trembling hands of pregnant women, talking late into the night to scared mothers-to-be and counseling bithmothers about the future for months after an adoption. Behind every birthmother, we also see her family and friends who sometimes struggle to reconcile themselves to the birthmother’s adoption choice.

Are you a birthmother worried that your family will not give you the support needed? Are you part of the support group for a birthmother? Education erases fear. Help your family (or yourself) understand a little more about the adoption option with these talking points.

Make sure they understand the benefits.  Let your family know how your child’s life will be positively affected by your decision.  Studies show that, on average, children do best in a two-parent home.  By placing your child with an adoptive family, you’re helping to provide a more stable life for that child.  A leading nonpartisan research institute, Child Trends, noted this: “research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the

family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological

parents in a low-conflict marriage.”  Another study showed that teenagers raised by one parent are 46 percent more likely to have low grade point averages than those raised in an intact, married family.

Educate them a little.  Tell them you can choose the adoptive family. As the birthmother, you can to choose what type of adoption you want–open, closed or semi-open adoption. Most birthmothers choose semi-open adoptions where they receive updates on the child through the adoption agency or attorneys but do not have regular contact with the child until he or she is old enough to request that contact.

Share with your family the hopes and dreams you have for your child–and how the adoptive family you choose can offer those opportunities.

Talk about the money issues.  Pregnancy, birth and raising a child cost money. You have doctor visits and a hospital stay. Adoption agencies typically help finance you through your pregnancy and even help with your living expenses.  The ACCU( America’s Christian Credit Union) will cover all of your adoption expenses-the medical bills, legal expenses and counseling if seeked.

Beyond the pregnancy, be realistic about the cost of providing for yourself and a child. Adoption is an emotional issue and sometimes emotions don’t leave much room for reality. If you are struggling to provide for yourself, share those struggles with your family and friends so they can understand the sacrifices you’re making so your child’s needs can be met.

Deciding on an adoption plan is not an easy decision.  A lot of time, stress and heartache go into it.  Having family and friends who provide support for you during this time can help ease some of the pain. If you’re considering adoption but need helping talking to your family about the option, call our birthmother hotline at 1-800-264-2229.

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