Having questions about adoptive families because you want to find the perfect family to give your baby the best life possible is incredibly valid. We have answers.
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 than those about the adoptive family. No matter what you’re looking for in an adoptive family, your adoption professional can help. And as a prospective birth parent, you get to call the shots when choosing the perfect prospective adoptive parents for your child.
“I just knew that was the family for my baby,” birthmother Lindsey said simply. “I don’t know what it was…I just knew.”
Watch this video to see more birth parents describe the moment they knew they’d found the right adoptive parents. The following is a collection of some of the more common questions prospective birth mothers have about the families looking to adopt.
Have your own questions about finding the perfect adoptive family for your baby? Ready to start your adoption journey today? Get the answers and support you need by contacting an adoption professional here.
Who is going to raise my baby?
You may be surprised to hear that you choose the adoptive family.
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. You will always be in charge of your adoption plan.
“The way I knew they were the family for my birth sons was when we went to the park. The boys wanted to go down the slide, and their dad took the initiative not to take them up to the slide by themselves but to go down the slide with them,” said Casey about finding the perfect adoptive family for her twins. “That’s the type of parent I wanted for them: hands-on parents that would interact with them,” Casey added. “That’s what told me they were the perfect family for my boys.”
How do I find an adoptive family?
If you work with an agency during your adoption, then your adoption social worker 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 professional will work closely with you until you find that perfect adoptive family. Take it from Angelica, a brave birthmother who kept requesting profiles from her adoption specialist until she found the perfect parents for her baby:
“I wanted to keep my options open, so I asked her to email me some more (family profiles),” she said. “Eventually, she had sent me every single one of the waiting couples on the whole list.”
Read and watch Angelica’s adoption story here.
When you work with a national adoption agency, you will be more likely to find the perfect hopeful adoptive family in a shorter amount of time. This is because national adoption agencies work across state lines with many prospective adoptive families at once.
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.
“I felt like not only being adopted but also being biracial, they had something to compare themselves to each other and to relate to. When we got matched with them, it was like an instant connection. If I wanted to talk one week, they would talk to me. If I didn’t, if my emotions were just too strong, they were like, ‘Ok, let’s talk next week,’” said Randi on finding a hopeful adoptive family who was a perfect match for her child.
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 be able to complete the adoption paperwork 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 signing those documents.
Fortunately, you will have plenty of time to get to know the adoptive parents and get comfortable with them before placement, and your adoption professional will work with you to make sure you feel confident in your decision before signing anything.
“Each time that we would meet, each time that we would talk, we would realize that we were more like each other than we were different,” Sara, a birth mother, recalls of getting to know the prospective adoptive family. “It was very confirming for me when I met them to have the (pre-placement) relationship for so long… They were the ones. There wasn’t a doubt about that.”
What if the family doesn’t want to let me see my baby?
Almost all adoptions nowadays are open to allow the birth parents and adoptive parents to build a lasting relationship, and for the birth parents to stay in touch with their baby. Most adoptive families are just as excited about having an open adoption as you are. They understand the benefits for their child and want to have that openness. You’ll have the opportunity to build a relationship based on trust with the adoptive family during your pregnancy so that you can get to know each other before the baby is born. .
“Knowing that I can be around and be there — I don’t even know how to put it into words… I’m like a cheerleader on the sideline, and that’s more than I could have asked for,” Caitlin adds of her open adoption relationship. “He gets this family who can take care of him and do everything I couldn’t, but he can also know that I didn’t just give him away. I had a purpose for him, and it was meant to be.”
If you and your adoptive family agree to 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 professional, be sure to speak with several adoption agencies about how they ensure these open relationships.
If you have more questions, reach out to an adoption professional today to get the answers you need.