First Step: Decide Between Parenting and Adoption
Choosing adoption for your unborn baby is quite possibly the biggest decision you will ever make. Before you make any decisions, you should first fully explore your options. Speaking to a neutral counselor about all of your options is your first step in making sure that adoption really is the best decision. Pregnancy clinics or licensed therapists are probably your best bet for finding a truly neutral pregnancy counselor. Click here for pregnancy centers in your area. When you speak to a counselor, make sure that you ask all of your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions: what if my family doesn’t know I’m pregnant? How far is “too far” along for an abortion? What’s it like to give a baby up for adoption? Can I get help finding housing for me and my baby?
Second Step: Find a Trustworthy Adoption Professional
If you think you are seriously considering adoption for your baby, your next step is to find an adoption professional who can answer your questions about adoption and help you understand what to expect throughout the adoption process. Finding an adoption agency or attorney you can trust can be very challenging, as there are lots of people who appear to be certified adoption professionals, but actually aren’t. Some of these entities spend a lot of money on internet advertisements trying to find pregnant women who say they want to “give up my baby for adoption.” These so-called adoption professionals promise waiting adoptive families that they will find them a baby and charge them thousands of dollars for their services. Often, these ads says things like, “give up baby for adoption at no cost to you,” or, “put baby up for adoption with loving couple and receive living expenses.” These kinds of ads should serve as big, red flags for you. Anyone who uses money or living expenses to get you to click on their ad should be avoided. AdoptMatch screens all of our adoption attorney and agency partners to make sure they use the highest standards in adoption. You can find an ethical adoption agency or attorney in your state here.
How to Choose an Adoptive Family. What to Look For.
In your first meeting with your attorney or social worker, you should discuss the type of family you want for your baby. This should take some time to figure out. Do you want to place your baby for adoption with a traditional two-parent family? Is it important to you that your child look like his/her adoptive parents? Do you prefer a family that has other children? If so, do you prefer that those children be adopted? Is faith an important consideration for you? Do you want the family to live near you? What about contact after the adoption? Do you want to receive photos? How about visits? These and many other questions should all be discussed with your adoption professional. AdoptMatch is a great place to begin learning about potential adoptive families. Once you start thinking about the kind of parents you are looking for, many other questions will likely come to mind. Click here to start viewing AdoptMatch approved families now.
Matching with an Adoptive Family.
If you find a family you like on AdoptMatch, you submit a Request for More Information to the family’s agency or attorney, who will provide you with more information about the family, including information about where they live, their extended family and why they want to adopt, They will also gather some information from you including medical records and background information (including things like your family medical history and your likes and interests) in order to make sure you and the family are a good match. It’s important to be completely honest about your medical and social history because you want the family you choose to be equipped to be wonderful parents to your child.
Meeting In-Person with Potential Adoptive Families
It’s best to meet with the adoptive parents in-person before deciding that you’ve found the right family for your baby. The match shouldn’t be considered official until this happens. Sometimes, an in-person meeting isn’t possible, but if it is, be sure and take advantage of the opportunity. If you don’t live near one another, the adoptive family will probably be happy to come to you for the meeting. After the meeting, if you decide you want to move forward with the match, your next step is to meet with your attorney. It’s important that you and the adoptive parents both have your own attorneys and to know that you a confidential space to ask questions.
Choosing the Right Adoptive Parents
If you ever find yourself feeling “stuck” with a particular family, agency, or attorney, you’re not. You are in control of the adoption process and nobody should be allowed to pressure you into making a decision you’re not comfortable with. It’s your right to choose the adoptive family and you should only move forward with a family if you feel peaceful about your decision. You also have the right to ask for contact with the family and the child after the adoption. Don’t feel you can’t ask. worry you’re asking for “too much,” or don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings by doing so. If you find that your hopes for post-adoption contact don’t align with the potential family’s, seek out help from your attorney or social worker to have a conversation about everyone’s expectations. Again, It’s important to be honest. Just as you wouldn’t want to settle for a marriage partner, you shouldn’t settle for an adoptive family that you don’t feel great about. You’re not looking for perfection, but you need to be confident that they will be great parents and on the same page when it comes to post-adoption contact.
Taking Your Time with Your Decision
Of course, at the end of the day, the most important consideration is what’s best for your child.
You ’ve chosen adoption because you love your child. Adoption is hard and is a lifelong journey. The choice of an adoptive family is one of the most important you’ll ever make. Take your time and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. And don’t shy away from asking the hard questions! Asking about the adoptive parents’ hobbies and favorite sports teams is fine, but those aren’t the things that matter most. How’s their relationship? What challenges have they faced together? How do they handle conflict? Are they close with their extended families? Do either of the adoptive parents struggle with addiction? What’s their childcare plan? Remember, you are gifting the adoptive parents in the most amazing way possible. Choose them with great care and with your child’s very best at heart. She (or he!) will thank you down the road.