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Will I Know What the Baby Looks Like If I Adopt?

One of the most common questions we get from hopeful adoptive parents is, “Will I know what the baby looks like if I adopt?”  

Not exactly. When it comes to private domestic infant adoption, the prospective birth mother chooses the adoptive parents, you don’t choose the baby. When you fill out your early adoption paperwork you will be able to list what races you’re open to adopting if you’re interested in transracial adoption, but you won’t be able to choose the gender or physical characteristics, just as you wouldn’t if you were giving birth to your baby yourself.

If you have questions or concerns about how much of a say you will have in regards to your future child, you can talk to an adoption professional now.

“Do you get to choose the baby you adopt?”

When you talk with your adoption professional, you will be asked to fill out an adoptive family profile. With this paperwork, you will answer questions that can help your adoption professional connect you with an adoption opportunity that’s right for you. The questions could range from addressing what budget you are comfortable with, how much post placement contact you want between your family and the birth mother, race, etc.

With private domestic infant adoption, you do not get to choose the baby you adopt. The prospective birth mother chooses you. This allows her to have a say in who she feels comfortable with raising her child. This is a great source of comfort for everyone involved — the expectant mother won’t have to wonder who her child was placed with and you can take solace in knowing that you were chosen by the birth parent(s) to be their baby’s adoptive parents. Once you have completed your questionnaire paperwork, it will be shown to expectant birth mothers who would be a good match.

“What physical attributes can you choose in your future child?”

 When you fill out your questionnaire paperwork you will be able to list what races you are comfortable with your child being so that your adoption professional can be sure that you are prepared to healthily acknowledge your child’s racial identity. As the adoptive family, you will be asked to cover costs of the birth parent’s living expenses and prenatal care.  In your early paperwork, you can lay out your preferred budget that includes your case management costs and legal fees as well as the living and medical expenses of the birth parent. Your budget will go towards meeting the varying financial needs of the expectant mother.  Some need more financial support than others, which is why it’s helpful to have a set budget in place.

You will not be able to choose the gender of your baby for a couple of reasons. It’s not uncommon for the expectant mother to not want to know the gender of the baby. Even if the gender is known, birth mothers might be put off if they feel like you are only trying to adopt a specific gender.

With foster care adoption and some instances of international adoption, they may send you a photo of the child you are intending to adopt. However, it cannot be stressed enough that you should never adopt a child based solely on their physical attributes.

Choosing adoption as a way to grow your family is beautiful choice. Even though you won’t for sure know how your future baby will look, it’s important that you are prepared to love and accept them for who they are, regardless of gender, race or physical attributes.