When someone you know announces that they are adopting, it’s natural to have a mixed reaction. There are definitely things you should never say, and things that you can say and do instead to an adoptive dad. If determining when the time is right for each sentiment is tricky, remember to take note of their body language and voice inflections. The look on their face and the bright tone in their words should help you know how to react appropriately.
“Congratulations! I’m so happy for you.”
Adopted or biological, learning that there’s a baby on the way is incredible news! Be sure to share in your friend’s excitement, and express how happy you are for them. Especially if you can sense any nervousness, being genuinely rejoicing with him will help him relax and know he made the right decision telling you.
This may seem like an obvious gesture, but, surprisingly, it doesn’t happen all the time. However, an announcement that your friend is adopting is not the time to be a downer or unhelpful. It’s huge news, and it says a lot about your friendship that he is sharing it with you. Many prospective adoptive parents keep the adoption a secret until they know for sure that the baby is officially theirs.
“I’ll bet you’re excited! Have you thought about names?”
On the same note, following up the announcement with a phrase like this one lets your friend know that you are not only supportive, but also interested in his life. It also eliminates any overt difference between adoption and having a baby the old-fashioned way.
Mentioning adoption can sometimes create a strange dissonance in conversations, so it’s important to let your friend know that you’re happy for him regardless. That the idea of adoption is not an issue for you. The last thing a prospective adoptive dad wants to feel is judged by those closest to him.
Buy a gift / Send a card
Just like you would with any other baby announcement, get your friend, the prospective adoptive dad, a card. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but choosing one that has a meaningful message will make him feel special and acknowledged. Growing a family through adoption is a major life event, and it deserves to be officially recognized. Many prospective parents will save the cards they receive as mementos. Others will place them in a photo album or frame them to see to their child later on.
Buying a gift is another thoughtful thing to do. This can be brought to the baby shower or to your friend’s home after the baby arrives, and things have settled down a bit. It may not seem like much, but it could mean the world to a prospective adoptive dad.
Ask how you can help
Bringing over meals, running errands, finding out supplies are needed before the baby comes and/or offering to babysit additional children — if applicable — are amazing things to offer to a prospective adoptive dad and parent. Throw a baby shower. Network and see who doesn’t need baby clothes, furniture or toys anymore.
Because the adoption process has so many pieces, it can become overwhelming. In those moments, being able to have your dad-to-be’s back and be there for him can make all the difference.
Follow through / Stay in touch
If you ask how you can help, make sure that you are fully committed to it. Prospective adoptive parents need to know who they can count on. They need a strong support system who will be there in the good and bad times of the whole process. So, having a reliable and trustworthy relationship is essential.
This can lead to be an amazing connection with their child. Once the child is home and adjusting to his or her new life, your friend will no doubt want to introduce you. When the child is older, he or she will learn just how important you are in their parent’s life. If the child sees that their dad trusts you, they will know they can trust you, too.
Always be sure to keep the promises you make. If you say you’ll follow through and be there, do it.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
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Blogger, Mom. “5 Things You Should Never Say to a Parent Who’s Adopting.” Whattoexpect, WhattoExpect, 29 Jan. 2015, www.whattoexpect.com/wom/baby/5-things-you-should-never-say-to-a-parent-who-s-adopting.aspx.
Robbins, Jill. “5 Things Parents Appreciate Hearing During the Adoption Process.” Babble, Babble, 20 Apr. 2016, www.babble.com/parenting/things-to-say-to-parents-during-the-adoption-process/.
“What to Say and Do When Someone You Know Adopts.” Huffpost. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nic-williams/what-to-say-when-someone-adopts