As a hopeful adoptive parent, you are looking forward to the day you connect with an expectant mother, but you may also have a lot of anxiety about talking to her. What do you say? How do you act?
You’re probably a bundle of nerves. I won’t pretend to know exactly what you are feeling, but I can assure you that as you speak or meet with any mothers considering adoption, they are nervous, too. They are wondering if you are going to like them, if they are going to say the right things, and so on, just as you may be.
I have a few suggestions for talking with an expectant mother who is considering making an adoption plan for her baby.
• Don’t tell her that you understand how she feels. We know you can sympathize. But unless you have been in the same position before, you really don’t exactly know the overwhelming and heartbreaking decision she has to make.
• Do not refer to her as a birthmother. Technically, someone doesn’t become a birthmother until she signs relinquishment papers terminating her parental rights.
• Do not press her to make a decision quickly or try to convince her to place her baby with you specifically. This must be her decision made in her own timing. She most likely already feels a ton of pressure in just having to make the decision of whether to place or to parent. Don’t add any extra stress.
• My final suggestion is what I’d consider to be the most important piece of advice I can give you: Think long and hard about what promises you are making to a mother considering adoption. Do not promise things that you cannot guarantee. For example, if sending pictures once a month sounds overwhelming to you, then
do not commit to that. When adoptive parents break promises regarding communication, a birthmother questions every promise they made about how their child would be loved and raised.
What you should do is convey how much you will love a child and how a child will fit into your life. Just be real, be yourself.