Dealing with unsupportive parents or family members.
Some expectant birth mothers are afraid to share their adoption plans with family out of fear they will be judged or their family will try to stop the adoption from happening. ACF Adoptions in Florida can help you come up with ways to share your adoption plan with your family in the safest and most comfortable way.
It is important and helpful to know that NO member of your family can stop you from making an adoption plan in Florida if you are over the age of 14 years. It is your decision to make! Florida adoption law requires the birth mother be over the age of 14 years to place a baby for adoption without parental consent. Only the birth parents have parental rights to the baby.
Parents who are unsupportive of adoption can affect your overall adoption experience. Adoption is an emotional time for everyone involved and especially for you. It is in everyone’s best interest for your parents and other close family members to provide adoption support. Sometimes family members do not fully understand the adoption process or what it looks like. An ACF adoption professional can help provide you with a lot of information you can then provide your family in hopes they become more supportive once they understand things better.
So, how do you actually approach family who are unsupportive of adoption?
Many times, unsupportive family members are coming from a place of love and concern for you. They may have fears about you choosing adoption that are based on misinformation or an outdated view of the adoption process, and they likely want to protect you from the emotional challenges of choosing adoption. Educating them helps a lot.
You can first let them know that everything is completely confidential and you are in charge of every decision during the adoption process and your adoption plan. This includes you selecting the adoptive family. You can have your family/friends help you select the family if you are comfortable with it. You get to decide how much contact you want to have with the adoptive family. You can receive letters and pictures, emails, phone calls/texts and in many cases annual visits for eighteen years after your baby is born. You also are also entitled to receive financial assistance to help with your living/medical expenses during your pregnancy and for six weeks after your baby is born. An ACF adoption counselor will go over your expenses like rent, utilities, food, maternity clothing, etc. and come up with an assistance plan for you.
Many people still think of adoption as the birth mother placing her child and never seeing them again. This is an “old school” way of thinking when it comes to a private adoption. Some people may still think that all adoptions are closed and you won’t know where or how your child is doing. They may picture the child going to an orphanage or into the foster care system. You can explain to your family that a private adoption has changed over the years for the better! Today, adoption is much different. Birth mothers are in charge of the adoption process, and when you make a voluntary adoption plan, your child will never end up in foster care or in an orphanage.
Most birth parents choose to have an open or semi-open adoption with their child, and you can decide to do the same, if you like. This means that you (and your immediate family, if you and the adoptive family are comfortable with that) can have some form of contact or relationship with your child and their parents after the adoption.
Having your family’s support is very beneficial to you. Tell them how important they are to you and how much their support means to you during this difficult, emotional time. If they refuse to support your adoption plan or if you do not feel comfortable talking to them about it, remember that you will not be alone. You will have support from your adoption counselor throughout the entire process and anytime there after you have your baby, the adoptive parents and even fellow birth parents if you wish.
ACF Adoptions in Florida will provide you with a caring adoption counselor who will help guide you through the process and explore your options so you can make the best plan for your baby.
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-Meg - September, 2020