Your Family and Friends
How to Build Your Adoption Support System
Facing an unplanned pregnancy is difficult. Considering placing your baby for adoption makes your situation even more tough. But you don’t need to (nor should you have to) go through this alone.
From your adoption agency counselor to your best friend, having a strong support system who will be there for you before, during and after the adoption is going to be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Here’s how to build that adoption process support team, as well as some tips if a pregnant woman has asked you for your emotional support during this difficult journey:
Step 1: Decide Who to Include
When creating their adoption support team, pregnant women who are pursuing adoption often choose to include:
- The father of the baby
- Close friends
- Immediate family members
- Their pastor or religious leader
- A professional or educational mentor
- A therapist or counselor
- Their adoption agency professional
- And whoever they think will provide unconditional support and love
Remember that you don’t have to include, or even tell, everyone about your adoption process. If you feel that someone in your life is going to be unsupportive, then that person shouldn’t be included in your adoption process support team.
Step 2: Talk to Your Chosen Support Team Members About Your Adoption Plan
The first person you talk to about your intent to place your baby for adoption should always be a licensed adoption professional. Talking to them first means that:
- You’ll have answers to any questions you may have (and you can, in turn, answer questions that members of your support team may have).
- You’ll understand the adoption process and the steps involved, so you can prepare your adoption team to support you through each step.
- They’ll be able to help you prepare for talking to your support members, offer advice based on your individual situation and ensure that you’re supported, no matter what.
Once you’ve talked to your chosen adoption agency, start reaching out to your chosen adoption support team members and ask for their love and encouragement as you move forward with this difficult journey.
It can be scary to approach your loved ones about your adoption decision. Make sure you talk to the people you’re confident will support and comfort you first. You want your “corner” to be full of people who are going to offer you support and encouragement, no matter what you decide.
Step 3: Let Them Know How They Can Help You
Your support team wants to help you in any way they can. But, they might not know how to do that, especially if they don’t know much about adoption.
Be clear in expressing your needs and desires throughout the adoption process. Let them know anytime you need:
- Physical support. Ask for help watching your older children while you attend doctor’s appointments, assistance with household tasks as your pregnancy progresses and more.
- Financial support. In most cases, your adoption professional can help you take care of the essentials during your pregnancy, like bills and groceries. They’ll also make sure that you have access to free medical care, legal counsel and more.
- Emotional support. Let your loved ones know if you need to vent about your feelings for a while without them offering unsolicited advice, if you need some words of encouragement, a hug, or even some space.
Every woman is going to have different needs throughout her adoption process, and those needs may change from one day to the next. Being clear in the communication of your needs and desires will help your support team members know what they can do for you. After all, if you don’t tell them what you need, how will they know to meet that need?
Step 4: Lean on Them Whenever You Need To
We all need some help from time to time, especially in tough situations. Placing a child for adoption is an emotional experience, and you’re going to need extra support during the process and after, as you heal.
Remember to ask for help when you need it! Many women don’t prioritize their own emotional wellbeing and will avoid asking for help or relying on loved ones. But your adoption support team wants to be there for you. Take them up on it!
Even if you need some words of encouragement in the middle of the night, you can always reach out to someone. Many adoption counselors are available 24/7 if you need them.
How You Can Support Your Pregnant Loved One
A pregnant woman asking you to support her as she places her baby for adoption is one of the highest honors. She’s shown that she trusts you to help her through an incredibly difficult time, and that she values your presence in her life.
But, you might not be sure how to provide her with the support she needs right now. Here are a few things to keep in mind, which can help you be the best adoption support team member you can be:
- Keep your opinions to yourself unless directly asked to give them. Nobody likes unsolicited advice. You’ll have your own thoughts and feelings on her decision to choose adoption, the process, or other factors at hand. But unless she asks for your opinion, just focus on her thoughts and wishes.
- Remind her that your love is unconditional. No matter what she decides, no matter what situation she’s in, tell her that you will continue to love her, and that will not change.
- Tell her that she is capable. An unplanned pregnancy and placing a child for adoption is one of the most difficult things that a woman can face. Keep reminding her that she is capable of making the decisions she feels are best, she’s capable of moving forward and she’s capable of healing. Tell her that she is strong, smart and ready to handle anything.
- Be there. Don’t wait for her to ask for help, offer it at every opportunity! She might be reluctant to ask for your help, so anticipate her needs and step in when appropriate. Offer to take her out to lunch, give a hug, send a text to let her know you’re thinking of her, or run an errand for her. Small displays of your support are often the most important.
When a woman is planning to place her baby for adoption, she needs (and deserves) the love, support and encouragement of the people around her. Trust that she is making a thoughtful decision out of love, and be ready to support her through it!
If you’re pregnant and need help building your adoption process support team, don’t hesitate to reach out to an adoption agency counselor now. They’ll not only provide you with much-needed support, they’ll also help you learn how to build the personal adoption support team you deserve.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.