If you’re considering adoption, you want the best life imaginable for your baby. You play a big part in this, first, by giving her life, and, second, by choosing an adoptive family. This is a great responsibility, and it’s natural to feel anxious during the process.
When deciding on adoptive parents, you may already have an image of the perfect family, or you may have no idea what kind of home you’d like her to grow up in.
Looking at all of the profiles of wonderful couples who are hoping to adopt can be overwhelming. How do you pick just the right adoptive parents for your baby?
Here are 4 tips that will help you decide which adoptive parents are right:
1. Create a List
Many women who consider adoption find it helpful to make a list of the qualities they’d like to see in their baby’s adoptive parents. Start out with your must-haves: the traits that are most important to you. Do you want your baby to be the couple’s first child? Would you like an open adoption, and be able to visit her? Would you like your child to be raised in a religious home? Or maybe you’d like to choose a couple with the same racial or ethnic background as you. Whatever your “must-haves” are, write them down.
After getting the essential qualities down on paper, list preferences that are less important to you. For example, maybe you envision your child growing up in a certain region of the US, or you’d like the adoptive parents and you to share similar interests. These are qualities you’d like the adoptive parents to have, but lack of them wouldn’t eliminate a prospective couple.
Many women find list-making to be an effective way to filter potential families while searching for the perfect match. Once you’ve finished your list, you can start your search. If you feel like jumping right in, browse waiting adoptive family profiles to get an idea of the options.
2. Listen to Your Heart
Even though lists can be valuable, many women trust their instincts when choosing their baby’s adoptive parents. Facts matter, but the way you feel about your baby’s parents can be just as important. You might not be able to put your preferences into words and that’s fine. It’s okay ok to go with what you feel is best.
“I read all the adoptive parent profiles that matched the requirements on my list. But even though these couples met everything I wanted for my baby, something didn’t feel right. So, I decided to keep on looking. I’m glad I followed my instincts because I did find an adoptive family that was just right. The first time I saw their profile, I just had a sense of comfort and peace…”Hailey, a birth mom.
In your search for adoptive parents, you might see a couple that you like, but they do not match all the criteria on your list. If you feel good about them, and depending on how significant the differences are, trust your instincts. It can be difficult to follow your feelings but a lot of people do. Further, if you second guess yourself, don’t be nervous to ask your adoption professional to speak with other adoptive couples.
3. Create Connections
When choosing an adoptive family, you can decide how many couples you want to talk to. Speaking to multiple families is an effective way to compare your options and discover a true connection. Feeling a bond with your baby’s parents is important because this is the start of a lifetime relationship.
When you talk with the potential adoptive parents, make sure to ask them questions. Inquire about their values, how they plan to raise your child. Here are some possible questions that you can save on your phone to ask:
- What are your work schedules like? What are your childcare plans?
- Are you religious? What are your beliefs? How do you plan to share those with my child?
- How important is education in your home? What kind of academic opportunities do you plan to provide for my child?
- Do you think my baby will have siblings in the future?
- How do you plan on talking to my child about her adoption? How will you refer to me?
- What is your parenting style like? What kind of parents do you think you will be?
- How do you resolve conflict in your marriage?
- What does your extended family think about your plans to adopt? What role will they play in my child’s life?
4. Take Your Time
Do not rush. There’s no deadline for choosing an adoptive family. Think it over, and then do what feels best.
Researching this process may overwhelm you. If you sense that happening, make sure to take a break and give yourself rest. Don’t let others hurry you into picking a family. You have the right to make this decision as slowly as you need to. This is your baby’s future, and you have the opportunity to hand-pick the perfect parents for them.
You are giving your baby the most incredible gift she could ask for: life. There will be challenges along the way, and you don’t need to do this on your own. Your local care center is there to come alongside you and answer questions or concerns you may have. They can also connect you with an adoption specialist and an adoption attorney.
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Before making any decisions, get in touch with people who can help you make one you won't regret.