How to Have a Lifelong Relationship Through Open Adoption
Meeting an adoptive family for the first time is an exciting but nerve-racking moment. To break the ice, there are many questions to ask adoptive parents to get to know them better and begin building a lifelong relationship.
- Your initial meeting can take place via phone, video chat, email, in-person visit or any other form of communication you feel comfortable with.
- Your first meet-and-greet is the chance to build a foundation for what could be a lifelong bond.
- Your adoption specialist can help you come up with good interview questions to ask the adoptive family.
When you choose to have an open adoption, you’ll immediately have the opportunity to meet the adoptive family and begin asking questions to help give you a better idea as to what type of parents they hope to be and what type of environment they plan to provide your child.
With the help of your adoption specialist, you can put together a list of interview questions for the adoptive family as well as talk about yourself, your interests and goals in life to further connect you with the adoptive family.
To get more information on what questions to ask the adoptive family during your first meeting and how open adoption helps you stay connected to the family and your child, fill out our online form.
Getting to Know the Adoptive Family [What to Expect During Your First Meeting]
You’ve found the perfect adoptive family for your child. Now, it’s time to meet them for the first time. Whether it’s by phone, video or in-person, meeting the adoptive family for the first time is a monumental moment in your adoption journey. It also gives you the chance to come up with good questions to ask the adoptive parents so that you can get to know them better.
Many pregnant mothers want to learn more about the adoptive family before the baby is born, which helps them feel more confident in their choice of a family. If this describes you, there are several ways in which you may get to know the adoptive parents.
Open Adoption [How an Open Relationship Benefits You]
Beginning in the 1980s, adoption and its perception in society changed dramatically. Anonymity in adoption was once the preferred option, but now, finding a loving home for your baby with an amazing family when parenting isn’t an option is viewed as not only an act of love, it’s heroic.
You’re deciding to create a better future for yourself and your child while giving a hopeful couple the chance to become parents. Through open adoption, you can connect and bond over the decision to adopt, together. This is called “open” or “semi-open” adoption.
The level of openness in your adoption is completely up to you. You’re in charge of every aspect of your adoption and that includes the amount of contact and what type of communication with the adoptive family and your child you feel most comfortable with.
More information on open adoption can be found by filling out our online form to get connected to an adoption specialist today.
Pre-Placement Contact [The Beginning of a Lifelong Bond]
Communication with a prospective adoptive family by phone, email, or in-person before your baby is born is known as pre-placement contact. How much contact and what kind of contact you have with the family are up to you, but the most common options are:
- Phone calls – you may have a conference call with the family and an adoption specialist a week or two after being matched. Your adoption specialist will be present to help mediate the phone call when needed.
- Emails – email correspondence is a good way to keep each other regularly updated, without having to find a time that fits both of your schedules.
- Video chats – Technology advancements have made video conferences a very popular way for people to communicate, especially if you match with a family living in a different state.
- Visits – meeting an adoptive family in person is the best way to gauge if they are the right fit for you and your baby. It is recommended that you meet the family at least once before placement, just to make sure you feel good about your selection of adoptive parents.
Many women prefer all three kinds of communication but ultimately, you’ll work with your adoption specialist to determine what you’re most comfortable with.
Good Questions to Ask the Adoptive Family
As you prepare for your first meeting, the goal is to develop some light, introductory interview questions for the adoptive family to get to know them better.
Because you’ve viewed their profile, you likely know a little about the adoptive family already. This is the chance to get a better feel for their lifestyle, personality and parenting style up close.
These are some good open-ended questions to ask adoptive parents during your initial meeting:
- What are some of your hobbies?
- How did you and your spouse meet?
- What’s your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
- What do you like best about your spouse?
- What are some of your favorite movies/books?
- What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?
- What’s your favorite place to go in your city/town?
- What kind of food do you like?
- What do you like to do in the summertime?
- What are some of your favorite vacation spots?
The adoptive family should be sensitive to you and your feelings, but at the same time, you will want to be sensitive to theirs. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go into your first interaction with the adoptive family:
- Be considerate of their situation – Most families pursue adoption after struggling with infertility. Unless they bring it up on their own, try not to ask about their history of trying to become parents.
- Ask casual questions – While you don’t want to broach sensitive topics, especially during your first conversation, you should get the family to talk about themselves and share stories about their lives. This will help you get to know them as not just adoptive parents, but as people with full and interesting lives.
- Share things about yourself – The family is probably just as curious about you as you are about them, so don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. If you’re comfortable, you can even talk about how your pregnancy has been going. Just remember that you don’t have to talk about subjects you don’t want to. You may want to talk about:
- Your hobbies
- Your family
- Favorite books or music
- Fun stories about you
Above all, remember that these people are not just the prospective parents of your child, and they’re not just a print profile or a name on a legal document; they are people with a lot of the same hopes, fears, and desires that you have. Most importantly, they share your love for your child.
Pre-placement contact is all about building the foundation for the special relationship you will have with the adoptive family, so above all, simply enjoy the time you have of getting to know them and make the most of it.
Post-Placement Contact [The Continuation of a Lifelong Relationship]
Throughout your adoption, you’ve had the chance to ask the adoptive family questions to get to know them on a more personal level.
What happens after the adoption is completed?
Through open adoption, you can continue building your relationship post-placement to stay connected to not only the adoptive family but also your child. In a “semi-open” adoption, your adoption specialist can help with mediating your communication.
For example, the adoptive family can send all correspondence to your adoption specialist, who will then pass it along to you. In a fully open adoption, the level of communication shared between you and the adoptive family is mutually agreed upon.
As with any relationship, the dynamic can always change or be adjusted but at the end of the day, your communication with the adoptive family is entirely up to you.
Fill out our online form to get more information about good questions to ask the adoptive family and how open adoption can be a benefit to you.