When adoptive parents are preparing to adopt, they may be confronted with comments and questions from their own siblings, parents, relatives, or even acquaintances that show a lack of awareness of modern adoption. This is normal because most people are unfamiliar with the current adoption processes, choices, and solutions.
Your friends and family want to assist and support you, but they don't always know what to do or say. They may require your assistance in educating them about the adoption process. Sometimes your family members might even go behind you to reach out to the adoption agency. If this is the case you don’t need to be troubled; they are not the first to interfere and other families do the same. They probably just lack an understanding of how the process works.
If your family members do not understand adoption now, they probably won't understand it when you keep an open adoption with the child's biological mother or extended relatives in the future. Open adoptions are the most common type of adoption nowadays, but to an outsider they may seem strange. How will your family feel to see the birth mom around? Planning ahead of time and helping your family understand your adoption can help prevent confusion and conflict.
Read and Learn
There are so many books online (paid and free) that you can get for yourself and your family. Reading books and other publications will give you a direction and an insight on adoption. Your friends and relatives may be hesitant to read these books, but with some gentle encouragement you may be surprised how many are willing. Reading these books can help them see things from a fresh perspective and correct their perception of adoption.
Watch and Share Adoption Webinars
For those who are reluctant to commit to a book, there may be no better way to learn about adoption stories than from a webinar. In an adoption webinar, your friends and family can learn the practical steps and ways that people manage open adoption and domestic adoptions.
Have a Conversation
People cannot understand what they do not have knowledge of. Instead of waiting till unpleasant situations arise, have a talk with your closest family members now to educate them. By doing so, you can rest assured that they will be on your side when difficult questions arise, either from your child or from outsiders who don’t quite understand adoption and may question your family relationships. These conversations may be awkward at first, but those who love you will truly want to learn and support you as your family grows.