What Do I Tell People Who Ask Me About My Pregnancy?
If you’ve made the decision to place your child for adoption — or are considering doing so — it most likely wasn’t an easy choice. A woman who determines that adoption is the best way for her child to get all of the opportunities he or she deserves is frequently under a great deal of stress and pressure. If this describes your situation, that’s completely understandable.
There’s a lot going on in your own head, and it can be nerve-wracking to worry about the reactions of others. Unfortunately, because a pregnancy will eventually be very visible to onlookers, there will inevitably be people who ask you about it. At American Adoptions, our social workers field questions about this frequently.
If you’re wondering what to tell people who ask about your pregnancy, know that you are certainly not alone in this feeling. We’ve got a few pieces of advice for you on this subject, and they are all centered around your sense of comfort. If you are pursuing adoption for your baby and are nervous about what to say when approached with questions about your pregnancy, remember the following tips.
You don’t have to give a long, detailed answer.
If a stranger approaches you while grocery shopping and starts asking about your pregnancy, know that you don’t owe them anything. For the most part, strangers will probably ask the same generic questions. “When are you due?” “Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” “Do you have a name picked out?” If you wish, you can answer honestly with your due date or the sex of the baby. If you don’t have a name picked out or they question something more detailed, like whether or not your baby’s room is ready yet, you can keep it short and simple. Give them a vague “no” and make your excuses to continue shopping.
If you wish, you can have an excuse at the ready should anyone question you about your pregnancy. Apologize but say that you’re late for an appointment or something along those lines. Generally a stranger who approaches you to ask about your baby means well but doesn’t understand the sensitivity of the situation, and there’s no reason to make yourself uncomfortable by stressing about an answer to someone you don’t even know.
You get to decide what you share.
When someone approaches you to start asking about your baby and makes certain assumptions (like that you will be decorating a room for him or her, or that you’re ready and excited to be a parent), you’re faced with a choice. You can either tell them you plan to pursue adoption, or you can let them continue to make their assumptions that you’ve chosen to parent. It’s entirely up to you.
Adoption is a personal decision, and there’s no reason a stranger in the grocery store — or wherever you happen to be — needs to know about it. If you want to talk and be open about your decision, that’s completely okay. If you’d rather not get into it in the middle of the produce aisle, that’s fine, too. It could be a good opportunity to be an advocate for adoption and how amazing it can be for everyone involved, but it’s also not your responsibility to educate someone at the cost of your own mental wellbeing.
You don’t have to tell them everything about your adoption plan, because it’s your right to keep that private.
If you do choose to let this theoretical stranger in on your intent to pursue adoption, it’s possible that they may have questions. They may want to know what led you to that choice, why you feel it’s best for your baby, and more. That’s okay; even today, many people don’t understand the adoption dynamic and how it can benefit both the birth parents, adoptive parents, and especially the adopted child. It’s okay for them to be curious.
It’s also okay for you to not answer their questions. None of this information is actually relevant to their lives, and you aren’t obligated to share the details of your adoption plan with anyone beyond your adoption specialist and your child’s prospective adoptive parents. If you are comfortable in the situation and are excited to talk about your plans, you are free to do so. You can also inform this person that you’d rather not discuss it and move on with your day without feeling guilty.
In asking yourself what to tell people who ask you about your pregnancy, the most important thing to remember is to put yourself first. You can divulge as much or as little as you want to, and you don’t owe anything to anyone. For more tips on what to say to people who comment on your pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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