Talking about adoption can be difficult no matter how you are involved in it. Preparing yourself to talk about adoption depends on whether you are the adoptee, the birth parents, the adoptive parents, or are a third party. To talk about adoption, learn everything you can about the process, including how it relates to you and how the person you're talking to might be experiencing it differently than you are. Here's how to prepare yourself to talk about adoption:
- Understand the process from each perspective. Everyone going through an adoption feels different emotions at every step of the process. Understand the range of emotions they may be feeling. It will be difficult to talk about emotion if you can't understand what the other person is going through.
- Learn the terminology. The language of adoption is constantly evolving. For example, some may refer to a "birth mom," while for others it's "first mom." You'll also need an understanding of the various steps of the adoption process, such as the home study.
- Learn the dos and don'ts. Adults who are involved in the adoption process should learn the etiquette around it. For example, there may be certain facts that you shouldn't disclose bluntly to the child being adopted. You adoption agency can walk you through the process and give you a few guidelines for talking about adoption.
- Ask questions. Never be afraid to ask questions about the process so that you are better prepared to talk about it. In fact, in many cases talking about adoption begins with asking questions.
- Keep a journal. Journaling your thoughts can help you organize them and put them into words, helping you feel more prepared to talk face-to-face. Plus, having a journal to look back on can be very useful when trying to look back over the process as it is coming to completion.
- Join an online community. Online adoption support groups are a great resource for talking about adoption. In fact, discussing these issues in online groups is a great way to prepare yourself to talk about adoption in real life.
- Start small. When talking about adoption with children, start with simple questions that allow them to express their feelings.
- Talk to a counselor. If you want to talk about adoption but don't have anyone you feel you can talk to about it, consider consulting a counselor who can help you work through your feelings or prepare yourself to talk about adoption with others involved in it.
Talking about adoption can be hard for everyone. The process is often confusing, and there are a lot of emotional ups and downs. Though talking about it is necessary, many people just don't know where to begin.