Creating a family is worth celebrating, especially when you’ve grown your family through adoption. You’ve made it through every trial of paperwork, home studies, and the dreaded waiting, and you want to share that with the world! It’s a big step, though, and one that should be considered carefully. In this article, we’ll discuss how to share your adoption story with others.
Sharing With Family and Friends
Your family and friends will likely be curious and want to know more about your adoption story. Below are some tips to keep in mind as you have these conversations.
1- Setting Boundaries
There will be many questions surrounding your adoption story once your family and friends know about it. Often, lines of what is an appropriate question and what is not can be blurred as these are people who you are close with and trust. However, remember the safety and privacy of your newly expanded family is priority. There is no obligation for you to answer every single question that you are asked and it is encouraged to set boundaries on what topics these conversations can broach. Your adoption agency is a great resource to help you set boundaries.
2- Being Open to Questions
Boundaries does not mean you cannot share anything with your family or friends. Be open to their questions. Making some notes or brainstorming answers to some of the most common questions (why, how) can help you organize your thoughts and focus your answers. This exercise can also help you determine what questions you are and are not comfortable answering. Reaching out to your adoption agency is a good idea as they have the experience to help you craft a list of appropriate questions you are open to answering.
Sharing with the Media
In the modern age of social media and easy access to online information, it is expected that you would consider sharing your adoption story with the media. This information is now taken a step beyond family and friends. Therefore there are more considerations to take into account to ensure you are safely sharing your story and celebrating your family in an appropriate manner.
1- Consider Privacy Concerns
If you are contacted by the media to cover your story, you should consider your privacy and that of your child’s and their birth family. You should ask the news media why they want an interview. How did they hear about your story and what interested them about your family? Additionally, you need to gather details about the interview itself. What the interview will be used for and on what platform (print, radio, tv, etc.)? When are they planning the interview? Who do they want to speak with or feature? What types of questions will they be asking? All these questions will ensure you are taking safety measures and considering privacy concerns surrounding your family and your information.
2- Prepare Your Answers to Questions
If you decide to proceed with an interview, it is a good idea to prepare your answers to the questions the media outlet stated they would ask. This way, you will have a general idea of what you will be talking about and can avoid uncomfortable interview conversation. You have complete control of your answers, and writing down what you’d like to say helps structure the interview as well as sets some boundaries on what you are willing to discuss with the media.
3- Consult Your Adoption Agency
If you are unsure or uncomfortable at any point in this media sharing process, consult your adoption agency. They are familiar with your experiences and have the resources to help you keep your family safe while celebrating your adoption story. They can help determine if a media news outlet is trustworthy and if certain questions are inappropriate to answer. Additionally, they can offer advice on the publicity of your children. For example: can they be interviewed, can photos be displayed, and so forth.
4- Be Aware and Respectful of the Information You are Sharing
It is important to be aware and respectful of what you say. Consider your child’s birth family and their country of origin as you formulate your answers. Your adoption story is a positive and exciting time. There are many ways to share it while also maintaining your family’s safety.