Should I Keep My Adoption Plan a Secret? - AdoptMatch

Should I Keep My Adoption Plan a Secret?

 

It may be tempting to hide your adoption plan from family, friends, or the baby’s father. There are many reasons you may want to hide your adoption plans. Your family or friends may pressure you to keep the baby. Or, they may shame you for being pregnant in the first place. The birth father may pressure you to have an abortion or may threaten to interfere with your adoption plan. These are all very scary, painful reactions and it’s understandable if you want to avoid them. The problem, though, is that the truth has a pesky way of coming out and it’s almost always better to deal with it and the consequences of telling the truth rather than the consequences of hiding it or lying. It’s better to get the drama out in the open before the baby comes than at the hospital or after the placement, when you are exhausted and emotionally drained already.
 
Before you tell difficult family and friends, though, it’s important that you have supportive people in place to help you defend your decision. An adoption counselor or attorney can help you come up with a plan for telling your family while surrounded by caring adoption professionals and friends. If you have an adoption professional you trust and who is looking out for your best interests, they can assure your family that you are not being taken advantage of and that you are fully informed about what you are doing. Having your own attorney can be really helpful in assuring well-meaning family and friends that everything is being done in your best interests.
 
Whether you have to tell the birth father about the adoption is more difficult. Most states have provisions to protect you if you feel that telling the birth father about your adoption plan would put you in physical danger. Other than that, though, you risk jeopardizing the adoption if you try to hide it or the pregnancy from the birth father. It’s absolutely vital that you talk to an attorney in your state about your state’s laws. Your attorney can help guide you on how best to handle the birth father issue.
 
Perhaps the most difficult question is whether or how to tell your other children about your adoption plan. Hiding your pregnancy from your children is probably not possible and, even if it is, you need to realize that at some point someone in your family will spill the beans. Again, it’s better for your children to learn the truth from you and not casually from someone else. How you present it, though, will depend on your child’s age and level of development.
 

Sharing difficult plans may not be easy, but with the right support, it’s almost always better than trying to bear your decision alone.
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