One of the hardest things you may have to do is decide when it’s the right time to tell your friends and family that you’ve decided to adopt. When I first started the process I was very hush hush. I told my mother, my boss, a close friend and a co-worker and asked that they all keep this information private. There were so many factors I had to consider before telling everyone else. How long could this process really take? What kind of questions will I be asked and can I even answer those questions?
It wasn’t until I completed most of my homestudy that I felt comfortable telling the rest of my immediate family and friends. For some reason the homestudy solidified that this was real and actually happening! The homestudy process may actually force you to tell some people before you’re truly ready, so be prepared for that.
You’ll need to inform:
- Anyone you use as a reference on your paperwork prior to your agency contacting them.
- If you have a therapist or counselor, they may need to write a general statement saying that you’re fully capable of taking care of an adopted child.
- Whomever you decide to name on your guardianship plan should be notified and support this decision.
Some factors to consider as you’re notifying loved ones of your adoption plans:
- Who can you trust to keep this information confidential until you’re ready to be more open? It’s important to have a support system that you can share your plans with right away. Think about those in your life that you trust most and who won’t mind keeping things private until you decide to be more open.
- Can you handle the continuous questions about where you are in the process? You are bound to get questions from excited friends and family. There will be times during your adoption process when you know absolutely nothing about where you stand. Questions during this time can be frustrating or heartbreaking.
- How will you handle inconsiderate questions about your choice to adopt? Unfortunately, there are some people who may be insensitive. You can’t always be prepared for this, but having a game plan of how you would react should you encounter this could be helpful.
- What’s your response to those who question why you waited so long to tell them? Some family or friends may not understand why you chose not to tell them you were adopting earlier in the process. I’ve found that the best results came from explaining the adoption process. Telling my loved ones when I felt more confident about where I was made all the difference in the world. Use the ol’ “it’s not you, it’s me” tactic. 😉
- Give them time to come around. Don’t take it personal if you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for right away. Just like you need an adjustment period, others may need the same.
Author – Simone Jennings (@simonejennings)Published in