“It feels like everyone in my life is against me choosing adoption…friends, my parents, and my boyfriend. How do I deal with people pressuring me to keep my baby?”
The decision of adoption is yours and yours alone. No matter what other people in your life might think, you’re the only person who actually knows what’s best for you and your baby. Adoption is a difficult, mature decision to make. While it is always your choice to place your baby for adoption, it’s normal to feel pressured by others to follow a specific path.
If you’re being pressured to parent your baby, you can tell them that you appreciate their concern for you, but this is a decision you have to make yourself. If you’re worried about your safety by going against their wishes, contact a licensed counselor, law enforcement, or attorney right away. They can help you get out of an abusive situation.
Explaining Your Choice
When your loved ones disagree with your adoption decision, it may be helpful to try to inform them of how open adoption works today. You might also share all the reasons you feel this is the best decision for you and your baby.
However, keep in mind that it is not your job to convince others that your decision is the best one for your situation. What matters most is that you are doing what is right for you and your child. You are mature for making a decision for your child that will provide him or her with two loving, stable parents and the opportunity for a bright future.
Some women who have been in your shoes have found it helpful to think of what to say when they feel pressured by others to parent. A few responses that they said worked for them include:
“I’m doing this because I feel it is best for my baby at this time.”
“I feel another family can provide what I want for my child.”
Examining Your Relationships
If you are thinking, “I want to give my baby up, but my mom (or friend, sibling, boyfriend, etc.) is pressuring me to keep the baby,” try to consider their way of thinking, instead of fighting with them or trying to prove them wrong. Even if you are younger and still living in your parents’ house, it does not mean they have the right to choose for you.
Take a step back and examine your interactions with the people pressuring you to keep your baby. Ask yourself if they have generally been supportive throughout your life. If they haven’t been supportive in the past, chances are they won’t be supportive in helping you parent. We have seen that many times, a woman’s family or the baby’s father say they will help with the baby. But when the baby arrives and reality sets in, the help doesn’t come through. They may not understand what parenting a newborn 24/7 truly entails.
Often, if your parents are pressuring you to keep your baby, it’s because they want you to take responsibility for your unplanned pregnancy. They might also be worried about their grandchild being “handed over” to strangers. Another concern they may have is the pain and grief you might experience after placing your child for adoption. However, they need to also consider the equally difficult emotions you would have if you are forced into parenting your baby before you are ready.
After taking the time to listen to their concerns, try to explain why they are untrue. You can let them know that you are taking responsibility for your actions by placing your child for adoption. By choosing adoption, you’re making a mature, educated decision because you know you can’t provide the life you want for your child. Suggest that they meet the adoptive parents or look at their profile so they can better understand the “strangers” adopting your baby. Finally, you can explain that your adoption coordinator will always be there to help you through your emotions, both during and after your adoption, for free.
When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, professionals can be the best source for the services and info you need. A licensed adoption agency like Lifetime can provide you with unbiased information and resources. We strive to help each woman who contacts us to make the choice that’s right for her and her baby. We’ll never pressure you into making a decision that you’re not comfortable with.
At the end of the day, remember that while it’s nice to get support from friends and family, the final decision is yours to make.
Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 anytime to learn more for free and with no obligation or pressure to choose adoption.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.