As you consider adoption, the safety and wellbeing of your baby is likely at the top of your list of concerns. You want to be sure that your child’s home is safe and that the family is fully prepared for parenthood. But how can you be absolutely certain that the family and their home is the right one?
Firstly, you can take comfort in knowing that not just anyone is able to adopt; the legal processes involved are complex and thorough, and they ensure that adoptive families will truly be fit parents. Secondly, never forget that if you choose adoption, you are the one making the decisions – and that includes what family will raise your baby.
You and the professionals in your adoption will work together to ensure that the family is a good fit for your child.
Approving a Family: Home Studies and Adoption Agencies
Adoptive families are extensively screened before they can adopt a child. By understanding the procedures that go into this screening, you can feel certain that these families are safe for your child.
Before a family is allowed to adopt, they must successfully complete a home study. A social worker will inspect their home to make sure that it is safe, secure, and fit for raising a child. The home study process will include:
- A house visit
- Background checks
- Interviews with family members
- Psychological evaluations
- And more
If you are working with an agency during your adoption, that agency will have its own screening process.
Adoption professionals can help you be sure that a family:
- Fits your criteria – After you specify the things you want and don’t want in a family, your adoption specialist will only show you profiles that match those wishes.
- Is accepting of your situation – Adoptive families fill out a questionnaire to determine whether or not they are open to certain factors such as the gender of your baby, your medical history, and your desired level of openness in the adoption.
- Is emotionally ready for adoption – It’s important to agencies that the families they work with have moved on from infertility and are adopting for the right reasons. This helps to improve your chances of having a successful adoption and finding a loving family for your child.
Adoption agencies provide you another level of screening when it comes to adoptive families. If you are pursuing an independent adoption, you will want to make sure that you and the family have the same goals and desires.
Approving the Family: Your Role in the Decision
Adoption professionals will help you find a good family, but only one person knows if a family is the right fit: you. Whether you are looking through family profiles with an agency or you already have a family in mind, you can take control of your situation and ensure the life you want for your baby.
Know What You Want
If you’re wondering what kind of parents will be raising your baby, know that you are in complete control. Do you see your child growing up out in the country or with lots of other siblings? When you pursue adoption, you should carefully consider what’s important to you in your child’s upbringing, and as you look at families, you will want to pay attention to factors such as:
- Home and environment
- Family dynamics
- Religious background
- Hobbies and lifestyle
- Personal values
Having an idea of what you want in a family before you start looking can help make your search easier later on. However, your desires may change as you begin looking, and that’s all right. Your adoption journey may not follow a straight path, but the important thing is that it leads to the right home for your baby.
Get to Know the Family
Even after you’ve been matched with a family, you should not feel like you’ve committed to anything. The time between finding a family and having your baby should be spent getting to know the family better, usually through pre-placement contact. You may have only seen this family through print profiles and pictures up to this point, and these can never give you the same impression that a conversation or meeting can.
Follow Your Heart
Sometimes, a family may have all of the characteristics you wanted, but it simply doesn’t feel like the right decision. On the other hand, you may meet a family that looks a little different than you imagined, but when you see their profile or meet them, you simply know they were meant to raise your baby.
Adoption professionals and social workers are excellent at identifying good families for a child. However, your role in this selection process is crucial because only you can select the perfect family for your child. Your baby and your adoption are unique to anybody else’s; with the help of the professionals involved in your adoption, you will be able to find a safe and loving home for your baby.