Deciding to place your baby for adoption can be scary and overwhelming. As much as you know adoption is the right choice for your baby, that does not make the decision any easier. However, many expectant/birth mothers find great peace in knowing that they can provide their baby with a wonderful life and family – a family who can love, support, and provide for them in all the years ahead.
In fact, research shows that birth mothers who choose their children’s adoptive families report lower levels of grief, regret, worry and sadness than those who did not make this choice. These women also report higher levels of relief and peace of mind after the adoption.
At Adoptions With Love, every expectant/birth mother has the opportunity to choose an adoptive family for their child. We work with many compassionate, hopeful families whose biggest dream is to have a child. Many of these families cannot have children biologically, and look forward to adoption to grow their families. All of our families are carefully screened, interviewed, and evaluated through a series of background checks, to ensure they can provide a safe and loving home for a child. You can view them here.
More than anything, we understand that you want to choose the perfect family for your child. You want your child to grow up with loving parent(s), a stable home, a secure environment, and a life of opportunity. But with all of the families out there, how will you know which is best for you and your baby? Below we outline how to choose the right adoptive family in five, key steps.
Work with an adoption agency, and lean on their staff for guidance.
The most important step in choosing an adoptive family is choosing an agency to work with first. While many families may advertise on the internet, not all have been screened and approved to adopt. By working with a licensed adoption agency, you can ensure that your adoption is both legal and safe. They will help you complete the paperwork finalizing an adoption, ensuring that every step taken is cared for and legitimate. Families working with a licensed adoption agency have also undergone FBI background checks and a thorough home study process to ensure their home is secure. By working with an adoption agency, you can ensure your child is placed in safe and loving home.
A trusted, experienced, and caring adoption agency – such as Adoptions With Love – can also share family profiles with you, and help you navigate the selection process. If you tell us what you are looking for in a family, we will provide you with the best possible matches. We carefully go over every possible option and provide as much detailed information about the prospective adoptive families as possible.
Your adoption agency can even provide you with the reason(s) that a specific prospective adoptive family is looking to adopt. Most families who want to adopt have faced infertility of some kind, but it is not the only reason. There are potential parents who have, themselves, been adopted or touched by adoption in some way and wish to grow their family through adoption. There are also those who have just always dreamed of adopting a child. Your adoption agency can answer any questions you may have about an adoptive family that you like.
Determine your must-haves.
As you begin to search for a family for your child, you will be given profiles to browse through with an adoption agency. Something that will help narrow down your search is determining what is important to you in an adoptive family. What is on your “wish list”? Perhaps you want your child to be raised in a culturally diverse neighborhood. Perhaps religion is an important part of your life, and you wish for your child to be raised by a family of a certain religion. If you value strong family traditions, you may want to look for a family with a proud heritage and strong ties to their cultural roots.
The top three requirements for choosing a family tend to be educational opportunities, close marital relationship, and financial security. Once you determine what your values are and what matters most for your child’s life, you can start to narrow in on the adoptive families that align with your dreams for your child.
Consider the openness of your plan.
As you consider placing your child for adoption, you will want to consider the level of openness you wish to have with the adoptive family. Most adoptions today are open, and every single prospective adoptive family at Adoptions With Love agrees to an open or semi-open adoption. The level of openness is in your hands, but the adoptive family must agree to your wishes for this arrangement to be successful.
Perhaps you would like to get an email with photos and an update on your child’s life every few months. Or perhaps you would like to have phone calls or in-person visits with the adoptive family once or twice a year. The form of communication, as well as the frequency, must be agreed upon before the adoption is final. You will want to find a family that agrees with this arrangement before deciding that they are the perfect match for you.
Your adoption agency can certainly answer any questions you may have about a prospective adoptive family, but you can also speak with families you are considering. If you read through a profile that you really like, you have the opportunity to contact them through your agency. You can meet with them in-person, over the phone, or via Skype or email if you wish. You can ask them for more details about their love story, why they think they will make great parents, and anything else that you would like to know.
Don’t rush the decision.
Choosing an adoptive family for your child is one of the most important decisions of your life. In choosing this family, you are determining your child’s future. You may not have planned this pregnancy, but you have the power to make a positive plan and ensure that your child has a bright future full of love, happiness, and opportunity. Children who are adopted are more likely to be read to and/or told stories everyday than those who are not. Over half of all adopted children eat dinner with their families at least six days per week, and more than half of school-age adopted children have excellent or very good performance in school.
This is a big decision, so it is important to take your time in making your selection. Read through the profiles of prospective adoptive families carefully, and spend some time envisioning these people raising your child. You may choose to pray about it – depending on your religious views – or just talking it over with friends, family, or your adoption agency counselor. There is no rush in selecting an adoptive family for your child, since there is no real deadline in placing your child for adoption. You can choose to make your decision final from the hospital bed, or even after you have brought baby home.
Get to know the prospective adoptive family.
After you have had some time to consider your options and gotten to know a prospective adoptive family through email or phone, you may choose to get to know them even better with a face-to-face meeting. You may choose to meet up in a casual setting, such as a coffee shop, where you can easily slip away if – after meeting them in person – you decide that this is not the adoptive family for you. Your adoption agency can be present during this in-person visit, as well.
Trust your instincts.
One of the best resources for expectant/birth mothers to use is their own instincts. Listen to your gut! If you like a prospective adoptive family on paper, but not in person, do not question yourself. You will get a vibe from that in-person interaction that no piece of paper can change. You may not be ready to raise your child yourself, but you are a mother, and you have motherly instincts for a reason. Listen to your heart. It will never steer you wrong.
If you would like even more helpful information in placing your child for adoption, check out our free eBook, “How to Place Your Baby for Adoption: A Guide for Birth Parents” below.
If you would like to view the waiting families at Adoptions With Love, please click here: