You made the decision to adopt. You’re so excited and want to share it with the world, but should you create an announcement to post on social media?
I love looking on Instagram and Pinterest at the creative adoption announcement pictures.
After becoming foster parents and going through fertility treatments, my husband and I made the decision to go all in with domestic adoption.
I remember we were eating at a Mexican restaurant and made our final decision.
The next day, we began looking for an agency, brainstorming funding ideas, and thinking about how we should tell people.
But I struggled with what to do. I wanted to take those pictures, but I wasn’t sure if we should. Should we announce something when there is a possibility it could change?
I went back and forth thinking about this, and there are a few reasons you should post an announcement and reasons you shouldn’t.
All adoptions are different, and posting an announcement on social media will depend on so aspects specific to your situation.
3 reasons you should post
1. You're Excited
And you should be! For us, deciding to adopt felt like the beginning of the end and I wanted to tell the whole world.
We knew in our hearts this is how we would be able to grow our family.
People who grow their family in a traditional way make announcements all the time, so you should be able to too in your own way.
Adoption can be full of unknowns, but you can be excited about your decision.
2. you will become an instant family
One day you will arrive back home with a bundle of joy, and ‘poof’ you have a new family member.
This would probably be a good reason to share your plans with close family and friends, and if those are who you share your social media with, then you may want to let them know of your decision to adopt.
3. Connect with Others
You may find someone you know went through the adoption process who may help you on your journey.
After I shared with close friends on social media about becoming a foster parent, a few people reached out to me about becoming foster parents as well. I helped them along their way, so you may find someone from your friends list to connect with too.
3 reasons you shouldn't post
1. Everyone Has an Opinion
This contradicts #3 above, but another side to consider.
Once you share your decision to adopt, everyone will give their opinion and ask questions.
They will ask if you have been matched.
You will learn about your husband’s cousin’s niece adopted ten years ago and it only cost $10,000.
While sharing your adoption story and connecting with others can be so helpful, people can also be overbearing.
You may also get, “are you sure that’s what you want to do?” which made me want to punch people in the face.
But people will say rude things and you learn how to respond gracefully.
2. The Non-Stop Questions
Be prepared to be asked constantly if you have been matched (and if you have chosen not to share when you are matched, this will be extra annoying).
Whoever you happen to run into at the store, on the street, at work…if they are friends with you online, they are going to ask you questions.
Some questions may be because they want to know more about the process, but others are because they want to pry.
The adoption process is draining. So if the constant questions add to this, keep this in mind before you post.
3. Things Can Change
This is the number one and most important reason not to post on social media.
Even after you match with an expectant mom, the situation can change. And you may know and understand this part of the process, but people who are not aware of the adoption process don’t always get it.
It would be hard for me to explain a disrupted match to my 85 year old grandma.
And as one of my close friends said to me after our adoption, it’s a whole different world and many people don’t understand.
4. keep it respectful
Be aware of how the expectant mother or parents you are matched with and how they may feel about you posting on social media.
Some agencies may also have rules about posting, so follow their guidelines.
Whatever you decide to do, remember your decision could impact everyone involved in the adoption process with you.
You have to think about the points above and do what is best for you. If you do decide to create a social media announcement, consider the following.
You're adopting vs. matched
Announcing your decision to adopt is different than announcing you have been matched with an expectant mother.
We told many people about our plans to adopt, but kept our match to only people who REALLY needed to know, like our family members who helped us we traveled and our bosses. Noone else.
Even when you get matched, anything can happen, so consider this when creating your social media post and deciding how much to share.
Out of respect for the expectant mom, it is best to keep a match to yourself until you return home with your baby or in some cases, finalization.
Public vs. Private
Is your social media profile public or private? This can make a huge difference in what you choose to post.
You can even think about sharing information on Instagram as a story to only your group of close friends.
Keep in mind, what you put out there to the public, it is out there forever.
Even if your page is private, a person you met in college 15 years ago may still be a ‘friend,’ but do you know them now?
Think about who has access to your social media before making a post.
take the pictures
If you want the cute, posed pictures to remember this moment in you life, take them.
Celebrate the decision you made and the steps you take to make it happen.
Because you take the pictures, doesn’t mean you have to share them yet. Or ever.
I wanted to remember the adoption milestones, so took fun pictures along the way and kept them on a private Instagram account. The account had zero followers.
I documented our journey just for myself.
Then, after we returned home with Baby B, I shared the username with friends and family. I kept it private, but now they could see everything and I continue to update it for those people.
I know exactly who has access and I don’t allow unknown people to follow the account.
Because you don’t create a grand announcement on Facebook, doesn’t mean the way you are growing your family is any less special.
You will have a thousand announcements and photos to post on social media as your future little one grows.
But if you want to remember this moment…go ahead and take the pictures.