Telling Your Adoption Story

How and When I Talk About My Son I Placed for Adoption

How do you talk to others about the child that you placed for adoption? How do you answer the most complicated questions? How do you answer the most simplistic of questions? How do you explain to the one you want to call “spouse” one day? How do you discuss adoption with your other children? Do you keep secrets? Do you tell everyone? These are questions that I have asked myself. The answer I have come up with is this: When it comes to discussing adoption with others, I discuss what makes me feel comfortable.

Most Importantly…

The most important thing to keep in mind is this: Birth mothers do not owe anyone an explanation regarding their decision for adoption. Giving information out is strictly the decision of the woman who chose adoption. Level of comfort is everything. If a woman who chose adoption doesn’t want to discuss it, she doesn’t have to. Also, the amount of information revealed regarding her decision for adoption is up to her as well. It is up to every woman to decide for herself who she wants to talk about her adoption decision and situation with, and how much to reveal.

How Do I Talk About My Son?

First, anyone who reads my articles or my books knows that I refer to my child as “my son.” The reason I do this is because it’s the truth. He is my son. He was my son. And he will always be my son. He has different parents, and I refer to them as “my son’s parents.” Why? Because the couple who adopted my son are his parents. I do not refer to them as his “adopted” parents. In my eyes, regardless of how they became his parents, they are his parents. I don’t call other parents birth parents, so why would I use the term adoptive parents?

When to Talk About Having a (Birth) Child

Etiquette for discussing having a child who was placed for adoption cannot be found in Emily Post’s Guide to Manners. There is no appropriate or inappropriate way to discuss this, or whether it should be discussed at all. Honestly, depending on who I am talking to, I might say I have a child, or I might not. It depends on the context of the conversation, what frame of mind I am in, my initial comfort level with the person I am talking to, and whether I feel like divulging the information or not. “Do you have any kids?” The simplest answer is “no.” The right answer? It is what the birth mother who is engaged in the conversation is comfortable with.

Heard, Accepted, Understood

I think we put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes, especially as women. We want others to like us. In fact, all people in general just want to be heard, understood and accepted. Discussing adoption with a stranger is not the time for this, though. If you find you need a boost of confidence, make sure it comes from a trusted friend or family member.

Will A Man Ever Love Me?

This was a huge question for me. How do I explain to the men that I date that I have chosen adoption? Well, when the right man came along, we were friends first, and I could be honest with him about my decision. I chose to convey why I made the decision when I was ready to. When it comes to a future partner, or future children, I live by a policy of honesty. I find that if you build relationships on trust, the foundation will already be set to move forward in trust and honesty.

To Tell or Not to Tell…

Whether you decide to be transparent or not, it is YOUR CHOICE! Do not let anyone tell you that you must discuss it, or that you can’t discuss it. Adoption is not a dirty little secret. It is a brave, selfless, and courageous decision that only a strong woman can make. If anything, I say be proud of your choice, and divulge when comfortable.

The bottom line, as if I haven’t emphasized it enough: Just be comfortable in your discussions regarding the choice for adoption. Use terms you are comfortable with, when you are comfortable, and most importantly: Be proud of yourself for the amazing gift you have given your child!