"I'm 17 and I just found out I'm pregnant! Since my boyfriend and I are still in high school, I think adoption is going to be the best choice. But he gets mad at me if I bring it up, so I don't think he'll agree to doing adoption. What can I do if he says no to the adoption?"
We get asked this type of question a lot, and this is a very common situation. So, know that you're not alone, because many women have been where you are right now. Read on to get some tips on what to do if he's totally against adoption.
Make a Plan
First off, we suggest that you try and sit down with him and make a list of the things you'll have to be looking for if you're going to become parents. If he says something like "I'm not going to let you give my baby away for adoption," then what will that mean? Does that mean he wants to parent this baby? How will that work?
If he's insistent about wanting to parent, ask him what that will look like. For example, who is going to look after the baby? Who will pay for things like child care, formula, diapers, and all of the things that a baby needs? By getting this all down on paper, it gives you both a good idea of what the future will look like.
Many people assume that if the mother wants adoption and the father doesn't, that he will get the baby. But that's not how it works. You're both equally parents whether an adoption happens or not, so you would need to work out a parenting plan. You'd need to come to an agreement about things like child support, custody, and how you'll raise your child.
He Has Rights and Choices, Too
Let him know that he definitely has a say in the adoption: he has rights and choices too. In this recent Facebook live video, we talked about the baby's father's involvement in creating adoption. As a birth father, he has all the choices in adoption that you do. He's able to fully participate in the adoption, too. Just as you can, he can speak with several adoptive couples and ask them questions. He can interview and speak with several adoptive families if he'd like, and meet with them too. If he wants, he can have contact with the adoptive family, separate from you.
Legally, the father of a baby has the same parental rights as the mother. An Adoption Coordinator can help communicate this fact to him, because it's important he understands his rights, and has all the facts and information about the adoption process. That way, he can come to realize that adoption may be the best scenario for your baby. Right now you need to come together and make the best choice for your child, and put their needs first. Prioritize what's going to be best for your baby.
It’s hard for a guy to feel like he's admitting he can’t provide for his own child. By talking with him and sharing your hopes for your child, you can see what his hopes are, too. Tell him that he can help choose the adoptive family and have future contact with his child. Once he understands that adoption isn’t goodbye forever, it may change his feelings about it.