Follow Mint Lounge

Latest Issue

Home > Relationships> Raising Parents > Managing the tricky art of breaking the news of a baby

Managing the tricky art of breaking the news of a baby

A mother shares the obstacles faced when she tried to keep news of her newly adopted baby to a select group of friends and family

We wanted to disclose the news about our baby only to emotionally sensitive and mature people.
We wanted to disclose the news about our baby only to emotionally sensitive and mature people. (Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash)

“It’s a girl!”

Scratch that.

It wasn’t a surprise: We chose to have a daughter over a son.


“Born on …”


Who sends a baby announcement after 3.5 months?




Our delicate darling’s kilos were nothing worth flaunting about.


I was making a creative on Canva to share the homecoming of our heart baby with select friends on WhatsApp when I realised that the templates for a baby announcement needed major tweaking for our kind of good news.

We had decided we would not broadcast our adopted daughter’s arrival but would share it with a handful of people, including close connections, fellow adoptive parents we knew, and my husband’s team members who will need to discount his dozing off during meetings.

Also read: A mother’s notes on what the endless wait to adopt a child feels like

We were hoping that our outer circle would come to know that we have a child when our daughter is 2-3 years old, which is past the stage of “OMG, Congratulations!” and a suite of questions about sleepless nights, timeline of my pregnancy and their memory of my bump.

But contrary to my plan, the word about our daughter got around faster.

The three of us were invited to a birthday party of a toddler whose parents we liked in our apartment building. While the hosts knew about the new addition in our family, other parents of children who lived in the same building and were invited to the party expressed their surprise on suddenly seeing us with a stroller and diaper bag. I had bumped into one of the moms randomly while walking downstairs on an average of two times per month in the last two years that we had been living in this community. She was the type who would check you out from top to bottom while saying the cursory “Hi”. At the party, she told me she didn’t notice that I was pregnant last year. I merely gave her the sweetest smile ever.

Then there is the naïve type who doesn’t know how to be politically correct. One woman I had crossed paths with while coming out of the elevator with the stroller, parroted multiple times that she never saw my bump, as if her saying the same thing repeatedly would eventually get me to open my mouth about it. I gave her the same harmless smile as if to say, “Interpret it as you please: surrogacy, adoption or some divine intervention.”

There is also the suave sort who know how to mask their surprise with the right thing to say: “You don’t look like you delivered six months back!” I smiled and thanked her, adding, “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

When we realised that there was no escaping people who live in the same apartment complex, we decided to throw a small “bless our baby” party, inviting a few fellow residents. Everything was going fine until a kid mentioned how much he loved the YouTube series Ninja Kidz and added emphatically that one of the kids in it is adopted. An awkward silence ensued.

Comparatively, our adoptive-parent friends who brought their child home during covid had it easy. Opening the door of your house after the lockdown years and having two-and-a-half people emerging from it didn’t raise an eyebrow.

But our awkward conversations were not just because of being seen. Our absence also raised questions: An inquisitive acquaintance, who is part of a social group that my husband and I are also a part of, noticed that we have been MIA for a few months. She pushed us into a corner till we told her. We had to tell her how special she is to us that we were divulging this precious news to her and hardly anyone else. We figured she would find out at some point.

We were not only caught out by our physical presence or absence; even the online arena didn’t spare us. I didn’t post pictures of our baby on Instagram. However, I did ask for recommendations for cute beach-wear brands for infants on a women’s WhatsApp group that shares suggestions on everything from doctors to restaurants at exotic holiday destinations to tailors for alterations. In the fraction of a second, one of the girls on the group who I meet once a quarter at social events messaged me directly asking if I was expecting. I replied I have a 6-month-old, and left her wondering.

Our intent behind not broadcasting our adoption is not to hide that we became parents through this channel. It is to disclose about our baby only to emotionally sensitive and mature people who will not say a version of “She’s so lucky to have you both as parents” or “You did such a noble deed by adopting.” Considering the long wait from filing the papers to bringing your child home, it is clear that adoption is no charity.

So, I punched in to the Canva search bar “heart baby announcement”, and that displayed a template with a few hearts strung on a thread. We sent out the creative, hoping the recipients get the subtle reference. Those who don’t can keep deciphering it like they do my mysterious smile.

Smita Pranav Kothari lives in Bengaluru with her husband and six-month-old daughter. Between burping the baby and changing her diapers, Smita finds time to eat, nap, and write.

Also read: Parenting without gender stereotypes


Next Story