How to Tell People You're Placing Your Baby for Adoption

The idea of telling others that you plan to place your baby for adoption can seem overwhelming. Sharing your adoption plans with people may feel scary because you hope they’ll support you. You might get a variety of reactions, but hopefully, most of them will be positive.

Adoption is your decision, and while not everyone you tell may agree with it, only you know what is truly best for you and your baby. As you decide how you will share your big news with family and friends, here are some tips. We’ve got your back!

Catholic pregnant woman telling a friend she is giving baby to adoption

It’s Up to You: You’re in the Driver’s Seat

Who you tell about your adoption plans is completely your decision. Some expectant moms choose to tell only the people they believe will be supportive of adoption. Others decide to keep their adoption plan a secret from almost everyone, while some decide to tell basically everyone they know.

Since every woman’s situation is different, you need to decide for yourself who and who not to tell.

Adoption services are confidential, so you get to decide when and how to share the news. There’s no pressure to tell anyone you’re not comfortable with, and you can always share your adoption plans with more people later if you feel like it.

If you’re keeping your pregnancy a secret for now, it might be best to hold off on telling everyone, especially if you’re also thinking about making an adoption plan. Sharing both things at once could be a lot for your family or friends to take in, and they might not react as you hope.

When someone asks about your plans for the baby, you can say you’re still figuring things out. But if you feel comfortable and the moment feels right, you can share your thoughts about adoption. Just remember, it’s okay to take your time and share when you’re ready.

Your Baby’s Father: Working Together

In most cases, your baby’s father needs to know you plan to place your baby for adoption. In adoption, he’s known as “the birth father.”

This could be an emotional conversation for both of you, but having a plan ahead of time can make it easier to bring up.   It’s a good idea to talk to the father sooner rather than later. Before you do, jot down your thoughts and practice what you want to say with a friend for feedback.

Having an adoption plan can help you stay focused and calm during the conversation. Explain the reasons you’re considering adoption. It might bring him relief to know there’s a plan for the future, and ideally, it’s a decision you can make together. But be ready in case he’s not initially on board with adoption.

  • When you talk to the birth father, make sure to cover:
  • Why you’re considering adoption
  • The options modern, open adoption offers both of you
  • What he’ll need to consider in this decision

Ideally, he’d be on board with the adoption plans and excited to give his child a loving future. Your adoption professional will work with an adoption attorney to determine the best way to involve him and handle legal stuff. They can answer your questions and be a buffer if things get complicated.

Family First: Navigating Conversations

It’s normal for women to feel nervous about telling their loved ones about their adoption plans. You might worry that your family will be angry, upset, or disappointed. There’s even the fear that they might try to push you into parenting or getting an abortion.

Telling your family about your adoption plan can be terrifying because you want them to support your decision. If you’re planning to tell your parents, it’s best to do it early on so they have time to adjust to the news. Once you have a plan in place for your future, have a calm chat with them, explain your decision clearly, and ask for their love and understanding. 

If they’re surprised or maybe even a little upset, give them some space to process things. A gentle and kind approach goes a long way! Remember, they might just need some time to wrap their heads around this new information.

Some family members or friends might not react well when you tell them about your adoption plans. It’s important to try not to let their reactions upset you and to see things from their perspective. After they’ve had time to think about it, they might be able to talk about it more calmly and understand your decision better.

They may see adoption as “giving away” a baby. Adoption isn’t actually “giving up” on anything. It is a thoughtful and loving choice that will give your child a bright future. It’s important that your family knows this, too.

woman talking with her baby's  birth father to tell others

Squad Goals: Supportive Friends Are Golden

Your friends are awesome, and you know they love you tons, but how will they react to your adoption news? Will they be supportive and non-judgmental? 

It helps if you prepare yourself that they might not respond as you expect. So, approaching each person neutrally and with no expectations is usually a good idea.

Some friends might be excited for you and encourage you to raise the baby on your own. Remember, your friends will not be with you at every moment. The expense and hard work of parenting would fall squarely on your shoulders. Make sure that whatever decision you make is not swayed by the opinions of others. 

Share with friends who will support your decision, no matter what path you choose. These are the friends who will cheer you on and be there for you every step of the way.

Timing is Everything: Sharing When It Feels Right

Sharing your news at the last minute can be stressful for everyone involved, including you! It might lead to your family offering help that might not be there later.

Choose who you confide in carefully and build a support system that celebrates your adoption choice. These are the people who will be there for you, offering encouragement and understanding throughout the adoption process.

Help is Available

The National Adoption Hotline is available 24/7 to answer all of your questions, no matter how big or small. You can call or text them today at 1-800-923-6602. They can offer guidance and support or just be a listening ear if you need to vent. You can share a bit about your family dynamics with them and then ask them how to best approach your family with the news of your adoption plan.

The adoption professional you speak with from the National Adoption Hotline can give you some pointers so telling your family about adoption is as painless as possible. Check in with them before you approach your family or close friends. They can help you review what you might want to say.

Adoption is a loving choice, so surround yourself with people who understand and support you as you make this important decision. You’ve got this!