When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption for your baby, one of the most useful resources available to you is a supportive team of friends and family who can be by your side every step of the way.
Adoption can be a tricky process, so having someone to turn to when you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do is invaluable. And, while you will always have support from your adoption counselor at A Child’s Hope, we also know how important it can be to have the support of your family and friends.
But, how do you decide who to include in your adoption support system, and how exactly can they help you through your adoption process?
Who to Include in Your Adoption Support Team
Just like every other part of your adoption process, who you want to include in your adoption support team is up to you. Generally, prospective birth mothers choose to include close family and friends in their support team — but it’s important that the people in an adoption support team will only provide positive support to you.
Every prospective birth mother’s situation is different and so are their adoption support teams. While one birth mother may choose to include only a few members in her adoption support team, another may want to include all of her immediate family members. Either is completely fine, as long as you’re comfortable and that each person you include will only be a positive force in your adoption process. You can also include your baby’s birth father, as well.
What an Adoption Support Team Can Do
Like when deciding who will be in your support team, you will also get to decide how involved you want certain people to be in your adoption. For example, you might have your romantic partner, sibling or best friend be your go-to person who’s there through every step of your adoption process, while an extended family member may just act as support only if you need it.
You can always decide how much involvement is too much, but here are some general ways your support team can help during your adoption process:
- Assisting in practical needs: Every prospective birth mother’s situation is different, so the kind of support you need will be unique to you. Maybe you have children already, so your friends and family can look after them while you’re at doctor’s appointments or meetings with the adoptive family. Pregnancy can be exhausting, so maybe you just need someone to grab you groceries from the store when you’re not feeling up to it. Whatever kind of practical assistance you need from your support team, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
- Be there for emotional support: Adoption is clearly an emotional process for all involved. While you will always have free, professional counseling from your specialist at A Child’s Hope, you may also wish to confide your feelings to someone close to you. You’ll likely go through a range of emotions during your pregnancy and adoption, both positive and negative, so make sure whomever you speak to about this can be neutral and listen patiently, rather than try to offer well-meaning but unwanted advice or try to pressure you into changing your mind.
- Offer help however they can: For most prospective birth mothers, simply having someone to talk to about their adoption process is an immense asset. Remember, however, that many people don’t understand exactly how adoption works, so they may have well-meaning advice that comes off differently to you as a birth mother. This may be the only way they think they can help, but it may not always be helpful. Recognize that they are trying to help the only way they can and be patient; remind them how important their support is to you but, if they upset you in any way, make sure to address it and move on. Often, they will quickly correct that mistake.
Your Adoption Counselor as Part of Your Support Team
While your family and friends will play a key role in your adoption support team, you should remember that your adoption counselor at A Child’s Hope will always be there for whatever assistance, advice and support you may need. If you’re unsure of how to approach family and friends about your adoption and being a part of your support system, your counselor can help you prepare for these conversations. If you don’t have supportive friends or family to confide in, your adoption counselor can be the key figure you lean on during your adoption process in North Carolina.
You can receive free, no obligation counseling from A Child’s Hope even if you’re not sure adoption is the right choice for you. Call us today at 877-890-4673 to talk to a counselor about all of your unplanned pregnancy options; she can help you determine what might be the best option for you and your baby. You can also text PREGNANT to 919-971-4396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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