Dear Mardie,
We know someone who is pregnant and really is not in a place to parent.  She is bouncing from friend to friend and her family is completely dysfunctional.  We would like to approach her but don’t want to offend her in any way. Do you have any suggestions for how to bring this up?


This is a thought that actually comes up frequently, however it is a difficult thing to do.  Years ago, I saw a woman standing in the rain outside the grocery store, holding a sign that said “7 Months Pregnant & Homeless. Need Help.”  I sent my family in and went to talk to her.  I gave her $5 and asked if she had a moment to chat – she said she did.  I then handed her my card and began to talk about the help she could receive with adoption, as well as the life she could choose for her child.  Her reaction let me to believe she wasn’t actually homeless, but I made sure that, gently and without pressure, she was informed about the choices she could make with adoption.


Now, to your question, it can be very difficult to imagine approaching someone you know.  So you may wish to go at it from a different angle.  Here are a few ideas:


If You Know Anyone…

“I’m not sure if you know, but my husband and I are hoping to adopt a baby. We are currently approved to adopt, but just have to connect with a woman who would like to choose us as parents for her baby.  If you know or meet anyone who may be struggling, please pass along our information.  We are hoping for an open adoption so we can continue contact.”


This approach is gentle.  And by giving her a profile or a few adoption cards, she truly can pass them along.  Or, it may open the door to a conversation beginning.  The truth of the matter is, as a new mom or as someone seeking prenatal care, she may actually come in contact with someone who is interested.  So just planting this seed may be for her or some other woman.


What Are Your Plans…

“I know you are struggling with housing right now, what is your plan after the baby is born?”


This is a caring approach, and one in which adoption may not immediately come up.  Perhaps she has a plan, or maybe she doesn’t.  But just opening the conversation gives you the opportunity to talk about her plans. Perhaps the father is in the military and will be home by then, maybe she is counting on some other circumstance you aren’t aware.  Or, most likely, she doesn’t know.  Depending on how the conversation goes, you can bring up that if she ever needs to consider adoption for her baby, you would be honored to be chosen as parents.  It may not be at that first conversation, but the opportunity may come up in the future.


The Direct Approach…

“I know you are struggling right now, but if you ever need to consider adoption for your baby, please know that we would be honored to be parents to your baby.”


This can be alienating if you have a relationship, but it can also be a direct, short conversation which may be best if she is scattered or gives the appearance of using drugs.  Some women plan on just leaving the baby at the hospital if they are actively using drugs, and if this is her plan, she can just as easily make an adoption plan with you.  The conversation just needs to be had.


Evaluate the relationship you have with her and see what feels most comfortable to your personality.  Remember, this opportunity may be in front of you to be bold and make a difference in this child’s life.