Choosing An Adoptive Family

Many women wonder how they will know when they’ve found the right adopting family.  Some people just “know” the right adopting parents right off; others want to collect meaningful information and then make a choice.  As long as you are comfortable, either way works.

Some women worry that they won’t find a family who would want to adopt their baby.  Family Formation works with many families who are open to any type of baby or situation possible.  There is always a family who will be thrilled and honored that you have chosen them to adopt your baby!

How much support do you want or need from the adopting parents during the pregnancy?  What kinds of support will help the most for your particular situation —  emotional, physical, financial?

How about the medical angle?  Are you comfortable having the family attend doctor visits?  Do you want them in the delivery room?  While you’re in the hospital, do you want the adopting parents to visit you?  Do you want the baby to be with you, or in the nursery?

Although many birth mothers concentrate on the pregnancy and birth, it’s really important to also think about afterwards.  One way or another, you’re going to be connected to this family forever, through your child.  What kind of connection do you want that to be?  Active?  Inactive?  And what is the adopting family comfortable with — pictures?  Letters?  How often and when?  How about visits for you with the family and child – is this something you would like?  How does the family feel about it?

EDUCATION, DISCIPLINE AND CHILDCARE:  Many birth parents have at least the outline of a plan for the child’s life in mind.  Is college important to you?  How about to the adopting family?  What kind of dreams do they have for the child’s future?  Is there room for the child to contribute his or her own dreams?  Are goals that are important to you also going to be passed on to the child?

How does the family anticipate disciplining the child?  How were you raised, and is that what you envision for your child?

It’s important that you feel comfortable with the arrangements for childcare after the baby is born.  If there are two adopting parents, do they both work?  Full or part time?  What kind of changes will they make in their work schedules after the baby is born?  If both parents work, who will take care of the child?

LIFESTYLE:  Do you have hobbies and interests that you want the child to be exposed to?  What kinds of activities does the adopting family like to do — sports, music, travel, cooking?  What do the parents do for a living?  How do they relax?  What will the child’s free time be like?  How often will the family take vacations, and what kinds of places do they like to go?

NEIGHBORHOOD:  It’s natural to picture your child growing up.  Are there schools, playgrounds, parks, other children nearby? How safe is the neighborhood?  Does the family ever plan to move?  How likely is a move?  How do you feel about that?

EXTENDED FAMILY:  Who will make up this child’s family?  Are there grandparents and aunts and uncles?  How about other kids — cousins, etc.?  Do the relatives live nearby or far away?  How does the rest of the family feel about adoption?  If this child is a different ethnicity from the rest of the family, will that be an issue?

RELIGION:  It’s OK to feel strongly about the religious upbringing planned for your child (and it’s OK not to feel strongly about it, too).  What is the belief system of the adopting parents?  If there are two adopting parents, do they have the same/similar religious backgrounds?  If not, how do they integrate the two backgrounds?  One easy way to think about it is how does the family celebrate holidays?  Do they have a Christmas tree?  Does the Easter Bunny come?

Does the adopting family attend church/synagogue/temple services?  How often?  On holidays?  Every week?  Will the child attend Sunday School?  Is that important to you?

ADOPTION PROCESS:  Remember, adoption is about love and the legal process.  You want to know that the legal process is done well so your child’s safety is assured.  A high priority for you has to be that everything is done right, and the child has the security of a legal adoption forever.  Has the family employed competent adoption professionals?  A knowledgeable attorney or agency social worker can make the adoption process much smoother for the birth parents as well as for the adopting family.  Are you confident that your questions about the paperwork and process will be answered?

WORKING THROUGH INFERTILITY:  What kind of adoption training does the family have? How do the adopting parents feel about their reasons for adopting?  If there has been infertility, have they moved through the pain and embraced adoption as a positive way to build a family?

TELLING THE CHILD ABOUT ADOPTION:  How will this child be told about adoption?  What will the family tell the child about his/her birth parents and the circumstances which led up to adoption and your selection of this family?

What do you want the family to say?  Do you want to prepare anything like a letter, tape, or scrapbook for the child?  Do you want to be able to send notes or gifts every so often?  When do you want these given to the child?

LOVE:  The biggest and most important question of all is “Will they love this child with heart and soul?”  If you know in your heart the answer is yes, then you know you’re choosing a good family!

Call us if you have any questions or just want to speak with someone.  Always free and always confidential: (925) 945-1880 or (800) 877-1880. You may text (925) 528-8158 or send a confidential email by clicking here.  We look forward to hearing from you!