“What if I have chosen an adoptive family for my baby and now I’m having second thoughts? Can I choose a new family?”
The answer is yes, but it’s a decision that should be made very cautiously. Placing a child for adoption is a highly charged emotional process for everybody involved. You, as the birth mom, are entrusting your baby to someone else, often nearly complete strangers. That’s huge and scary and it’s totally understandable if you start to have second thoughts about the family you’ve chosen. Of course, you also know that the adoptive family is emotionally fragile through all of this too and the last thing you want to do is hurt them. Ultimately, though, it’s not about them. It’s about the child. You must be confident knowing that you made a fully informed, careful decision about the best family for your little one.
There may be some good reasons to consider changing adoptive families for your child. Here are a few:
- You learn that the family has hidden from you or lied to you about a key aspect of themselves, like their marital relationship.
- You learn new information about the family that causes you to doubt their ability to care for your child. That can be that they have a severely disabled child they are caring for already, that they both have high stress jobs that prevent them from being home often, or that they have significant health issues that may interfere with their ability to give your child the kind of life you are hoping for them to have.
- You are unable to come to agreement on the amount of post adoption contact that you will have with the child and are feeling pressured into having less contact than you had hoped for.
To avoid being accused of fraud, it’s really important that you keep your adoption counselor, agency, or attorney fully informed of your concerns. This is one example of just how important it is that you have your own attorney throughout the adoption process. If the agency or attorney is trying to represent both you and the adoptive parents or only represents the adoptive parents, they may pressure or manipulate you into sticking with their clients, the first family. Insist that you be given an opportunity to consult with your own attorney. They can help you break the news to the prospective adoptive parents and to choose a new family.
The bottom line is that, as long as you are open and honest with everybody, nobody should make you feel guilty for trying to do what’s best for your child.