5 Questions to Never ask a Birth Mother
When a birth mother announces that she is pregnant, those around her may be curious about the situation. This is completely natural. However, when supporting a birth mother who is considering or has chosen adoption, remember to remain sensitive when determining what questions that you should and shouldn’t ask her.
It is important to note that some questions may be necessary to ask for legal or medical purposes — such as terminating the rights of a birth father or obtaining medical history — but are not acceptable in standard conversation. If you are, at any time, unsure if a question is inappropriate, it is best to keep the question to yourself.
Here are some examples of questions to never ask a birth mother.
- Why didn’t you choose abortion?
When a woman discovers she is pregnant, she has choices. She can keep the baby, abort the baby or place the baby for adoption. If a birth mother places her baby for adoption, never question her choice. She is the only one who knows what is best for her and her child. Choosing adoption is one of the biggest parenting choices she can make.
By choosing adoption, she is demonstrating selflessness, courage, and sacrificial love. She has come to terms that she is not the right person to raise her child, but wants him or her to have the best life possible – even if that life isn’t with her. No woman who makes that choice should be shamed.
- Did someone force you to place your baby for adoption?
This question may follow the previous one. Once again, no one can make a birth mother do what she doesn’t want to do. She has made her choice and deserves to be respected. Different variations of this question include: Are you on drugs? Are you in trouble with the law? Are you sick?
Even if the birth mother is struggling with an addiction, facing jail time or experiencing an illness, she does not have to tell you. Her life circumstances are private. She has the right to keep her struggles to herself. Most importantly, even if she is struggling, that does not make her incapable of making the decision to choose adoption on her own. Adoption is always an option, no matter what someone is going through.
- Who’s the father?
This particular question is very insensitive. For some birth mothers, this can provoke very painful emotions. This is especially true if the pregnancy is a result of rape or if her relationship with the birth father is unstable. Additionally, the circumstances of the pregnancy should not be questioned. Whether the pregnancy was planned, unplanned or was a result of a sexual assault, a birth mother who has chosen adoption has obviously decided that her child should not be in that situation. The father of her child has very personal knowledge, and she has the right not to share his identity.
- How can you let a stranger raise your child?
Adoption is a very emotional decision for birth mothers to make. The idea of allowing someone else to raise your child can be heartbreaking. Yet, choosing adoption does not make someone any less of a mother. Women who choose adoption are not giving up. Additionally, open adoptions are becoming more and more common each and every day. Many birth mothers are now choosing to remain in their child’s life and get to know his or her adoptive family.
- Are you sure you won’t regret this later?
As mentioned before, adoption is a very difficult and emotional decision. It is completely natural for a birth mother to have doubts. That said, it is important that conversations about adoptions remain positive.
When choosing adoption, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma offers birth mothers our free counseling services to assuage those doubts. We provide both pre and post-adoption counseling services to support a birth mother as she experiences the range of emotions that often accompany adoption.
Support the birth mother in your life
As you continue to support the birth mother in your life, we encourage you to keep these examples of questions to never ask a birth mother in your mind. While it is natural to be inquisitive in a situation like this, it is important to remain sensitive and supportive as your loved one is going through her pregnancy.
If you are struggling, we encourage you to seek counseling so that you can better handle everything. Please know we understand that adoption is incredibly emotional and are here to support you and your loved one.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email
Meet the Author: Grace Myers is a sophomore Digital Media major at North Greenville University As a firm believer that every individual has a story to tell, and a right to be properly represented, she loves meeting new people and learning their stories.
When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to music or cuddling with her dog, Sundae.