How to Deal with People Who Don’t Understand
Every birth mother knows that she is making a courageous and selfless decision to give her child a better life through adoption. While she may sometimes doubt her decision and wrestle with the grief of placing her newborn, she understands deep down that she is making the perfect choice for her and her child. Unfortunately, there are always going to be some people around her who don’t understand that decision.
If you are a birth mother, you have likely already encountered some of the negative comments people will make about your situation. They may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed of the beautiful choice that you made for your baby and another family. In other situations, they might be openly hostile toward you for your decision to create an adoption plan instead of raising the child on your own. How can you deal with people who don’t understand the decision that you had to make for your baby?
While many of these people exist, you don’t have to give into their comments and rude statements that are intended to make you feel less than. Here are a few things you can do to combat people who simply don’t want to understand the choice that you made.
Smile and remind them that you made the right choice.
Some people make rude comments about your adoption plan because they believe that you may have doubts about it. The best thing you can do to demonstrate that you are serious about your decision is to smile and gently remind them of the reason why you chose to place your child with another family for adoption. You may choose to explain to them the real reason why it was best for your child to be raised by someone else or come up with a reason you can give to people like this.
Either way, you need to let them know that you put a lot of thought and consideration into this decision before it was made. You ultimately are the only one who knows what is best for you and the child, so you have the final say in what happens to them. A short reminder that you understand the choices you made and are positive that they were the best ones can go a long way toward encouraging others to ease up on the negative comments.
Let them know that you think of your child often.
People who have never been in your situation don’t truly comprehend what it is like to place their child for adoption. Some of them inaccurately believe that you have simply forgotten about the child once they are out of your life on a daily basis. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and those people need to be educated on what it is really like to be a birth mother. Let them know that your child is never far from your mind and that not a day goes by without thinking of them. An adoption doesn’t mean that you’ve forgotten about them entirely. It simply means that you are not the person responsible for raising them anymore.
Educate them about grief.
This might also be a great time to educate people on the stages of grief that a birth mother often goes through. If you are particularly close with this person, you may choose to share some of your personal journey with grieving the loss of your child. Explain that some days are easier than others but thinking of your child on a regular basis can still be a difficult experience for you. Sharing your experience of grief lets your friends and family members know that this wasn’t an easy decision for you to make.
Share more information on how your child is doing.
Many people make negative comments about your adoption plan because they believe that the child may not truly be better off with the adoptive family. You can combat some of these negative comments by sharing more information on how the child is doing. Be sure to include details that let your friends know that your baby is happy and healthy in their new placement. As the child gets older and these comments continue to surface, you may choose to share their accomplishments and milestones that the adoptive family notifies you about. If you have an open adoption, you might carry around pictures to share with negative people in your life who are genuinely concerned about your child’s wellbeing.
Don’t be afraid to avoid certain people.
If you know that a certain person never has anything positive to say about your adoption, it is best to avoid this person or this conversation altogether. You might try some of the tactics on this list, but not everyone will be swayed from their firmly held opinions. There is no need for you to continuously be upset and frustrated by their comments, particularly while you are dealing with your own grief. Taking care of yourself should be a priority during this time, so you may need to cut out certain people who can’t manage to be supportive of your decision to make an adoption plan for your child.
Handling the criticism and negativity of your friends and family members can be an extremely difficult thing to do. You may want to have a plan in place beforehand so that you know exactly how to respond to the people in your life. The best thing you can do is to remind and reassure yourself that you made the best decision for you and your child when you chose an adoption plan.
Other people may not be privy to the decision-making process, and that’s okay. However, you need to be confident that you made the right decision whenever someone confronts you by claiming the opposite. If you can’t find a way to navigate the relationship with someone who doesn’t agree with your decision, it might even be time to sever that relationship for a while. After all, you have to do what is best for you and your healing process at this moment.