Did you know right now there are a number of women across the country looking for the perfect adoptive family?
As a hopeful adoptive parent, you know that in today’s adoptions, it is up to the prospective birth mother to choose the perfect adoptive parents for her baby. But, as you’ve waited for the right adoption opportunity to come along for your family, you may have come across pages of “available adoption situations” listed on various adoption professionals’ websites — pages which seem to suggest you can simply choose the adoption opportunity that best suits your family. This can lead to some confusion, and we’re here to help sort things out.
Available adoption situations listed by agencies can be a great opportunity. However, the way agencies handle listing these situations differs. Here are a few things you need to know about available adoption situations — what they are, how different agencies handle them and when you might want to look for one.
What is an “Available Adoption Situation”?
It sounds pretty straightforward — an “available adoption situation” is any situation where a baby is available for adoption, right?
In essence, this is true — but in many cases, an adoption professional will not list all of its prospective birth mother situations on its “available situations” page. Those professionals may have a more specific definition of what qualifies as an available adoption situation.
For example, there are instances in which an adoption professional is contacted by a prospective birth mother, and for a variety of possible reasons, the adoption professional may not have the type of adoption opportunity she is looking for.
Adoption professionals sometimes classify these specific cases as “available adoption situations.” These situations are often opened up to interested adoptive families beyond those already working with the adoption professional, in hopes of finding an adoptive family with which the prospective birth mother feels comfortable to move forward with her adoption plan. With most agencies, adoption situations like these arise only after the agency has determined that it has no waiting families that meet the prospective birth mother’s needs.
An adoption situation may arise because:
The adoption professional doesn’t have waiting available adoptive families
The prospective birth mother decided on adoption late in her pregnancy or after her baby’s birth and needs to find an adoptive family in a short period of time (“pop-up situations”)
The prospective birth mother has certain items in her social or medical background
The prospective birth mother seeks a very specific type of adoption situation
For families who are flexible and open to a variety of adoption situations, these adoption situations can provide an opportunity to be matched quickly.
Ways Adoption Agencies List Adoption Situations
With this in mind, it’s important to realize that the number of adoption opportunities listed on an agency’s available situations page usually does not reflect the total number of prospective birth mothers the agency is working with.
In fact, some agencies may have many more expectant mothers than others, but these adoption opportunities are not listed online because the birth mother is able to find a family through the professional’s list of contracted families.
However, there are some agencies that will list all of the prospective birth mothers they are working with online — even though they actually already have families to show these women or match them with. This can be misleading and gives the perception that an adoptive family can simply pick and choose a birth mother to adopt from, even if they are not already signed on with the agency.
Families would do well to be wary of agencies that list tens, if not hundreds, of adoption situations online. While not always the case, some adoption professionals may do this as a marketing tactic, promising short wait times after the family joins the agency and then not always delivering.
Many available adoption situations you find online can be wonderful opportunities. With something this important, however, a healthy dose of skepticism is never a bad thing. The right situations will stand up to questioning.
When Can an Adoptive Family Look for Adoption Situations?
To be considered for one of these adoption situations, interested adoptive families generally must have a completed and approved adoption home study and an adoptive family profile, which will be shown to the prospective birth mother for consideration.
There may be other requirements or fees before your profile is shown to a prospective birth mother depending on the agency you are working with. Some agencies require families to create an online account and submit personal information before viewing available adoption situations. Others charge families an additional fee each time their profile is shown. Due diligence on an agency is prudent before attempting to find an adoption situation.
If you find an available adoption situation and you contact an adoption professional about it, they will show your profile to the prospective birth mother. If she is interested in moving forward, you will receive more information about the adoption situation and will likely have an opportunity to get to know her better. However, it is important that you are completely confident that you are willing to move forward with the adoption prior to your profile being shown.
Please note that in interstate adoptions, some prospective adoptive parents may not be eligible for an adoption situation due to state laws.
To see a list of current available adoption situations for which you may be eligible, please visit the agencies below:
While Considering Adoption has partnered with American Adoptions to feature adoptive family profiles, we are not affiliated with any of the other agencies listed here. If you are curious about an available adoption situation, the best thing to do is contact the agency directly. Or, if you are already an active family with an agency, speak with your adoption specialist about situations you are interested in.
As a family in the beginning stages of adoption, you may be overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a birth mother who wants to pursue adoption with you. Learn how to create an adoption plan to find your perfect match.