What If My Parents Do Not Support My Decision to Adopt?

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When you become a parent, part of the deal is that you have to place your child’s needs above everyone else’s, including your family. Unfortunately, sometimes this means having to have uncomfortable conversations with your loved ones, or even cutting them off of your life completely. If your parents do not support your decision to grow your family through adoption, the first step is to understand why they disagree with your decision.

Think about the doubts they might have about the process, and what it means to adopt. Is it because they think adoption is “risky?” Or they don’t understand about modern adoption? Could they also not understand about open adoption? Maybe, they have simply watched too many Lifetime movies where a birth parent returns to “take back” a child they have placed for adoption (seriously Lifetime, if you could stop making those terrible movies, everyone in the adoption community would appreciate it).

If your parents’ based their concern on a lack of knowledge or misconceptions about the adoption process, then talking to them about it, and providing accurate information should help them be more understandable with your decision.

Unfortunately, there are still some people who are opposed to adoption altogether. Or at least, opposed to having an adopted child be a part of the family. Some grandparents, or other relatives, vehemently say that they could not love an adopted child as much as a biological child, who is related to them. Sometimes they change their tune once the child arrives, sometimes they don’t.

If you fear their opposition is not something that you can influence by explaining about it, then you have to live with the reality that in order to grow your family, you are forced to do something that your parents won’t agree.

As we become adults, often times we make choices our parents don’t agree, while some are minor—I am sorry about my 7 tattoos Mom—others are major. Regardless of our age, we never grow out of wanting to make our parents happy. What’s more important than getting their stamp of approval is that both you and your spouse, or partner, create your family the way that works best for you. If adoption is the way, and your parents aren’t on board, do you really think you should obliterate your chances to have children just to make your parents happy? I would say no.

It’s not fun to deal with, for sure, and you may want to find a family therapist who can work with you and even your parents, to help you come to terms with it. However, once you adopt a child, I can’t imagine you could possibly regret being their parent, even if it means your relationship with your parents becomes strained.


Julianna Mendelsohn lives in sunny South Florida where, odds are, it is hot enough right now that she’s sweating just a little, no matter what she’s doing. She is the brains, brawn, blood, sweat, and tears behind www.theadoptionmentor.com and is thrilled to be able to help others build their families through adoption. She is a former elementary school teacher, current MS in school counseling student, Sephora junkie, and the momma via domestic adoption to one lovely daughter.


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