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Common Questions About Adoptive Families

Whatever stage you’re at in your adoption journey, you’re going to have lots of questions. However, there may be no greater source of questions and concerns that those about the adoptive family.
The following is a collection of some of the more common questions prospective birth mothers have about the families looking to adopt.

Who is going to raise my baby?

You may be surprised to hear that you choose the adoptive family.

Some mothers think that once they choose to place their baby for adoption, the rest of the adoption process is out of their control. However, in today’s adoptions, the adoption process revolves around pregnant mothers’ wishes for their children and desires for their adoption plans.

Therefore, your child will only be placed with a family with whom you approve.

How do I find an adoptive family?

If you work with an agency during your adoption, then your adoption specialist will work with you to help you decide what kind of families you want to consider. Then, you will receive profiles of families that meet those criteria. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find the right family right away; your specialist will work closely with you until you find that perfect adoptive family.

I’ve never met these families. How do I know if their homes are safe for my baby?

Families are not automatically allowed to adopt; in fact, they have to go through a detailed screening process to be approved. The most important part of this process is the home study, in which a social worker ensures that a home is suitable for raising a child. This includes not just an inspection of the house, but interviews, background checks, and psychological evaluations. Rest assured that screening is not taken lightly, and adoptive families must be fit and ready to parent.

I’ve found a family I like, but what if they don’t want to adopt my baby?

If you are working with an agency, you will mostly be shown families that match your adoption plan and situation. Therefore, the adoptive family that you choose is already committed to you and your child as well.

Can I change my mind about a family I’ve chosen?

Until you sign the paperwork to terminate your parental rights, you can change your mind at any time. Depending on the state you live in, you will legally consent to the adoption within a few days after giving birth. If you change your mind about a particular family, or if you choose to parent your child, you are always entitled to make this decision before you terminate your rights.

While you always have this option, it is encouraged that you to only pursue adoption if you feel committed to your adoption plan.

What if the family doesn’t want to let me see my baby?

In some states, the contact agreements between families and birth mothers are legally binding. Even in states that don’t possess these statutes, adoptive families are often held accountable by their adoption agencies for the promises they made to their respective birth mothers.

If you and your adoptive family agree to an open adoption and are working with an adoption agency, your adoption specialist will have educated the adoptive family about this relationship and will stay involved if necessary. If this topic is important to you, before you choose an adoption agency, be sure to speak with several adoption agencies about how they ensure these open relationships.