Supporting an Adoption

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Many times, well-meaning relatives, friends and co-workers do things or make comments that unintentionally cause pre-adoptive and/or adoptive parents unnecessary emotional stress. The following is a quick guide that may be copied and distributed to those people in an effort to educate them on how they can support you during the adoption process.

DO

1. DO accept our decision to adopt without question.
2. DO accept our choice of a child regardless of his/her race, heritage, age, 'social background, etc.
3. Do remain positive and enthusiastic during waiting periods.
4. DO offer to give practical help if you don't mind giving us your time.
5. DO respect our choice not to disclose details about our personal life and our decisions.

DON'T

1. DON'T tell us that if we adopt a child we will get pregnant and have a child of "our own." Adoption does not cure infertility, and our adopted child will be "our child!"
2. DON'T react as if adoption is a "second best" or "noble" choice.
3. DON'T question our capability or readiness to parent a child.
4. DON'T incessantly ask for news while we are waiting to adopt.
5. DON'T probe for details about the birth parents or the child. We'll tell you whatever we are comfortable sharing.

Some Tips on How You Can Help us During the Post Adoption Period

DO

1. DO be happy for our new child and us.
2. DO respect that we may want and need quiet time with our new child to bond and adjust.
3. DO understand that we might not be able to fulfill you needs as quickly as we did before we became parents.
4. DO respect our style of child rearing.

DON'T

1. DON'T feel sorry for our adopted child.
2. DON'T make demands for our attention or our time during our adjustment phase.
3. DON'T criticize the desire to have and maintain a relationship with our child's birthfamily.

For additional helpful suggestions, please read "Supporting An Adoption" by Pat Holmes and/or "When Friends Ask About Adoption" by Linda Bothun.
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