Talking to Your Parents About Adoption
The time initially following when you find out you’re pregnant, there will be three questions that immediately hit you hard: 1) What do I do next? 2) What will happen when I tell the father? And 3) What will happen when I tell my parents? The last one causes the most anxiety for young women. Even the most supportive families struggle when they find out about an unplanned pregnancy. It’s natural, and their reactions come from genuine concern and love. But, it still takes a lot of courage to have that conversation with your family.
You may assume that your parents will be angry (especially if you’re still in school), but they have known and supported you your whole life, and will likely affirm whatever choices you make about the pregnancy. The hardest part is deciding when and how to tell them. Once they know, the entire process gets easier everyday. Before you decide to have that conversation with your family, prepare yourself by following this advice from other birthmothers:
- Decide beforehand how you want to handle the pregnancy. Parents want to best for you, and they may have strong opinions on how you should handle the pregnancy. However, it is your decision and your child. Decide with the father or for yourself what plan you want in place, and be prepared to explain that to your parents.
- Choose the right time and place. Though your parents will be supportive, the conversation will be extensive and will likely cause some stress. Make sure you choose a place that’s in private, and you do it face-to-face if possible. Also, choose a time when your parents will have plenty of time to talk to you. Don’t blurt it out before they go to work or right before company is expected.
- Tell them ASAP. Once you’ve decided your pregnancy plan, don’t wait to talk to them. Eventually they will notice the signs, and when you inevitably do tell them they will ask how far along you are. If you wait too long, it may cause distrust in the family which you don’t want to happen.
- Let them ask questions. You may not want to be interrogated about the details of your pregnancy, but your parents will want to know what happened and why. You don’t have to share details that you feel should be kept private, but offer as much information as possible. It will alleviate some of their anxiety and they will know you’re telling the whole truth. If they ask something you don’t want to share, just say, “I’d rather not discuss that now. I will tell you when the time is right for me.”
Having anxiety about an unplanned pregnancy is perfectly normal, but you’ll want your parents to be there throughout the process. Know that even if your parents react poorly when you first tell them, they love you unconditionally and will be there when you need them. No matter what you choose to do, your parents can be there every step of the way.