The most wonderful time of the year is finally here! As family and friends come together to celebrate, there often comes a mixture of emotions. You may be excited to introduce your new baby to your loved ones. Are you nervous about explaining your adoption to family members who may not be familiar with embryo adoption?
Embryo adoption is still a foreign concept to many. Your family and friends need to process through the adoption just as you once did.
However, we realize it is not always easy to handle unexpected questions or scenarios. We want you to feel supported for the holidays so you can celebrate stress-free and enjoy those special moments with your family. We want to encourage you not to take offense at the questions people ask – remember embryo adoption is still mostly unknown!
“The baby is not genetically related to you—but you gave birth to him? How does that work?”
While this can feel like an invasive question, most people are simply curious. Try responding with this:
“When families use in vitro fertilization to achieve pregnancy, they will often have embryos remaining after they complete their family. One option available to them is to donate those embryos to another family – like us! We were able to use these embryos to have our son!”
“Where do you buy embryos?
This question is most likely just coming from a place of curiosity.
“Buying human tissue is illegal. We secured the services of an embryo adoption program and fertility clinic. They helped us get matched with a donor family.”
“Why didn’t you try have your own child?”
This question can often bring up shame to both the adopting parent and the child. Whether or not you chose to adopt based on infertility or the desire to give embryos a loving home, there is no shame in adoption.
Invite your family member to realize that your baby is “your baby.” While you may not share genetics, you are still their parents.
“Adoption is a beautiful way to build a family and provide a loving home to a child in need.”
“Can the biological parents take back their child?”
This question is rooted in the knowledge of traditional adoption. Assure your questioner that you and your spouse have all parental rights and responsibilities over your children; the donor family has already relinquished their rights. You are the baby’s legal parents, and your names are on their birth certificate.
Again, remember to give your family grace as they wrap their heads around the concept of embryo adoption. Some family and friends are just as excited about embryo adoption as you are and want to support in any way they can. Here are some examples of ways they can support:
- Emotional support
- Spiritual support
- Provide childcare
- Just being a friend!
If your adopted child or children are at an age where they can comprehend their adoption, it is important to support them during the holidays, as well. Every child processes their adoption differently; they may feel different or consider themselves not loved or valued. They might be asked questions that make them uncomfortable. Ask your child how they feel and constantly remind them they are loved and just as much a part of the family as anyone else.
These conversations are only possible through being open with your child about their adoption. We highly encourage you to start telling your child’s story with them early so they can be prepared for navigating more difficult questions about their adoption in the future.
Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and remember that you should not feel ashamed of your decision to pursue embryo adoption. The holidays are not a time to fear, but a great time to educate and build understanding. Embryo adoption is a beautiful way to build a family and provide homes for millions of babies waiting to be born. May your days be merry and bright!
To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.