Placing your baby for adoption is a deeply personal decision. But that won’t stop others from giving you their opinion about it — whether you ask them or not. Most people don’t mean any harm. You could be the first person they’ve met who is considering adoption. So they may just be curious to find out more.

Still, their words may come across as harsh and rude. It’s hard not to take them personally, even if they’re not intended that way.

One way to protect yourself is to have some prepared answers handy when the occasion arises. Depending on who the speaker is, you could use it as a teachable moment to explain how adoption works and why you chose it.

Then again, you may choose not to. Here are some typical questions people may ask you and suggestions on how to handle them.

Q: Why are giving up your baby?
A: I’m not giving up my baby. I’m placing my baby in a loving home because I want to give him a better future than the one I can offer at this time.

Q: Don’t you love your baby?
A: Of course I love my baby. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have carried him to term and invested the time and the effort to find just the right family for him.

Q: How can you give your baby to a bunch of strangers?
A: His adoptive parents aren’t strangers. I’ve talked to them and met with them and I know they’ll be great parents.

Q: What makes you so sure of that?
A: They’ve been thoroughly screened by a licensed professional and have been approved by the state to adopt.

Q: Are you worried that one day you’ll regret your decision?
A: There’s nothing more in the world I would like to do than be a parent. But after a lot of reflection, I realized that at this point in my life I’m not in a position to do that.

Q: Don’t you want to see your child again?
A:  I do and I will. Through open adoption, I’ll have the chance to keep in touch with him and his new family through phone calls, emails and visits throughout his life.

Q: How will you ever explain your decision to him?
A: Because I’ll always be part of his life, I won’t have to sit down one day and explain my decision to him. But if he ever asks about it, I’ll be right there to give him the answers.

Q: Who’s the father?
A: Sorry, that’s private.

Q: Why don’t your parents just raise your baby themselves?
A: Sorry, that’s between me and my family.

When it comes to dealing with questions about your adoption plan, it helps to be prepared. Of course, there’s nothing that says you have to respond to any question that comes your way. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Protecting your privacy is not only your right, it’s important for your well-being. So don’t feel guilty. As long as you feel comfortable with your decision, that’s what counts.