What to Do When a Random Person Wants to Adopt Your Baby

February 22, 2024 | 4 min read

Parents can often find themselves faced with unsolicited and surprising comments from strangers. An unfortunately common situation is when strangers offer to adopt someone’s baby out of nowhere. This scenario is not only shocking but deeply inappropriate, as it disregards the boundaries and emotions of the parents.

In today's post, we will look at these encounters, exploring the challenges that parents may face and empowering parents to confidently advocate for their rights, establish clear boundaries, and safeguard their emotional well-being.

Navigating intrusive adoption offers can be challenging, but remember, you are in control. The latest blog from @NEChildrensHome provides strategies for handling these encounters and maintaining the integrity of your family:

Understanding the Inappropriateness

For the most part, this situation usually occurs when a woman is unexpectedly pregnant and isn’t sure whether or not they want to create an adoption plan. In this scenario, typically well-meaning people, which could include a trusted healthcare provider or a member of law enforcement, offer to take the imagined burden off of the pregnant woman and propose they can adopt their baby. One common question parents face at this moment is: why is this happening? First, this intrusion isn't just a breach of social etiquette, but it’s just plain inappropriate. It presumes a desire or need to relinquish parental rights based on nothing more than the stranger's wants or assumptions.

In these moments, it's important for parents to recognize that the person proposing an unsolicited adoption has crossed a line. You shouldn’t feel obligated to respond with politeness or justification; you are well within your rights to assert your role and wishes as a parent.

It’s easy to see how inappropriate and intrusive these offers are when you’re on the receiving end of them. Still, it's important to keep in mind that the people proposing adoption, although completely misguided, likely do not have harmful intentions and even see their offer as an act of kindness or assistance. Even if their intent is good at heart, this is the wrong way to go about it, and you have every right to let them know that.

Unwanted adoption offers can be uncomfortable and inappropriate. But, as a parent, you have the power to respond firmly yet tactfully. Check out @NEChildrensHome’s blog for practical tips on handling these situations with grace:

Responding with Empowerment

So, how does someone respond to this? The first step is knowing your rights. As a parent, only you have the right to determine who has access to information about your child and the adoptive process if you decide to pursue one. You also have the right to privacy and respect from others, especially strangers.

When faced with an offer to adopt, it's important to communicate these boundaries and rights. This can be done firmly but calmly, asserting your role as the parent and reminding the stranger that their offer is inappropriate and unwelcome. You can also choose to simply ignore the comment or remove yourself from the situation altogether.

Let's talk strategy. When confronted with this highly personal overstep, you have the agency to end the conversation firmly yet tactfully:

  • "I appreciate that you’re trying to help, but this topic isn't up for discussion. Please respect my family's privacy."
  • "That comment is inappropriate. I'm not going to engage in this conversation."
  • "Thank you for your offer, but I'm not discussing this with you. If you are interested in adoption, you can contact NCHS (or your local adoption agency).”

If none of those feel like the right response for you, also remember you don’t need to respond at all. Sometimes, silence in response can be just as loud and clear as a bold statement.

Your resolve in these situations not only halts the immediate incident but also lays the groundwork for not only how you wish to be treated but also how they will treat other parents in the future.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries are the framework for any healthy interaction. For parents, establishing personal barriers is essential when fielding prying questions or comments. Whether verbal or non-verbal, setting boundaries demonstrates self-respect and advocacy.

These can range from changing the subject to a more neutral topic to physically removing yourself from an uncomfortable situation altogether. Remember, your only obligation is to the safety and comfort of you and your child. You owe no explanations to anyone outside your trusted circle.

Building a Support System

After such unsettling encounters, it's crucial to have a supportive environment. Surround yourself with family, friends, and professionals who respect your decisions and understand the sanctity of the parent-child relationship. Studies have shown that a robust support system can markedly improve individuals’ emotional well-being, particularly when navigating the complexities of parenthood.

  • Seek Professional Guidance: Engage with a counselor or adoption specialist to strengthen your confidence in managing such propositions.
  • Connect With Parent Groups: Leverage the experience of other parents in similar situations for communal advice and empathy.
  • Educate Your Circle: Share your experiences with your personal network to foster awareness and generate a collective culture of respect.

Remember, your journey as a parent is uniquely your own. Armed with self-assurance and the right information, you can enforce boundaries that protect your family's integrity.

In closing, remember this: your role as a parent is invaluable, and your decisions matter. When the unexpected arises, meet it with the certainty that you are capable, well-equipped, and fully empowered. Asserting your rights isn't a mere reaction; it's a statement that says you know the worth and weight of your presence in your child's life.

So, walk with the confidence that comes from having an understanding of your rights and personal boundaries. And when in doubt, reach for your support system; it's there to uphold and guide you through moments just like these.

Find out more about the resources available to you through NCHS’s Pregnancy Services program here.