If someone you know faces an unplanned pregnancy, consider presenting the benefits of adoption. These tips may help.
1. Express compassion. Tell her you care. Demonstrate your concern in concrete ways, such as spending time with her or by providing a meal.
2. Listen for cues. Is she ready to look at her options? Or is she overwhelmed at the moment?
3. Share information. When you sense the timing is right, explain your desire for her to make the most informed decision. Provide information about today’s adoption options. Tell her about open adoption, a birth mom’s right to choose and interview adoptive parents, and opportunities open adoption provides to be a part of her child’s life.
4. Choose accurate language. Acknowledge that children are a gift rather than a possession. Refer to her pregnancy as “unplanned” rather than “unwanted.” Discuss “making an adoption plan” or “placing” rather than “giving up” or “putting up” her child for adoption. Talk about “biological parents” and “adoptive parents” rather than “real parents.”
5. Dispel myths. Address the truth about adoption: it’s a choice that requires tremendous, sacrificial love. It’s a responsible choice. Many lives will benefit from the courageous choice of adoption. Use tools such as Birthmother, Good Mother and A Case For Adoption (both available the the National Council For Adoption).
6. Look into the future. Ask, “What kind of life do you want for your child?” and “What do you think your life and your child’s life will be like in 5 years? In 10 years?”
7. Give her a firsthand experience. Connect her with a birth parent who placed, an adoptive parent, or an adoptee – or all three – so she can hear about the benefits of the adoption option from those who have experienced it.