If you’re looking to place your child with an adoptive family, here are some things to consider.
When considering adoption placement, you may be cautious—and rightfully so—about the family you select. In times past, birth mothers had little choice or knowledge of the adoptive home their child would be placed in. Now, however, open adoption and pre-birth matching are more common practices. This means you can thumb through countless profiles until you find the family that speaks to you. With so many hopeful adoptive families out there, what qualities will help you identify who is right for your child?
Home Study Approved
While you can select hopeful adoptive parents who are not yet home study approved, they will not be able to accept adoption placement or finalize the adoption until they have completed a home study. A home study serves multiple purposes:
- Education: They will receive training on many different adoption topics to help them navigate the adoption relationships and care for their child.
- Background Checks: They will be vetted for criminal history and any major red flags.
- Safety: Their home and family medical history will be reviewed to ensure the child is entering a good environment.
Religious Affiliation or Moral Alignment
Often expecting mothers who are creating an adoption plan would like to make sure their child is raised in similar beliefs as she would raise her child or would want to raise her child. While religion is vital to some, it may be unimportant to others. So figuring out where you stand on that topic will help you narrow down your search.
Children or No Children
While many expectant parents with an adoption plan would like to place their child in a home with no other children, many others love the idea of their child having a sibling or a whole houseful of children. Whether they have biological children, suffer from infertility, or are adopting for other reasons, it is important to consider what type of home environment you would like your child to grow up in.
Location, Location, Location
If you are looking for an open adoption, considering the location of the adoptive family may be important to you. Depending on how much physical contact you’d like to have with them in the future, distance can play a role in that. If you want an open adoption with mostly phone, letter, text, or social media contact, then location won’t matter as much.
After you have narrowed down your search on some key topics, you can start looking at hopeful adoptive families for their personality, interests, hobbies, careers, or other fun things. Do you have a favorite sports team? Maybe you will find an adopting family that shares that same passion. Do you love dogs? Maybe they have three!
Who Are They
Get a feel for who they are by talking to them. What they are promising and how you connect with them will tell you a lot about how you feel. By being genuine and honest about your desires from the start, you will set yourself up to have a lasting, nurturing, and healthy relationship for your open adoption to succeed.
What qualities you want an adoptive family to have can vary a lot depending on your personal wants and needs. Selecting someone you trust to raise your child and maintain the level of openness you are comfortable with is the key. Finding balance in your new role as a birth mother can be challenging and can sometimes carry as much grief as happiness. Preparing yourself by deciding what qualities you want your child’s adoptive family to have will help you know you are choosing wisely.
Sarah Baker is passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption and is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys, a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She and her husband were featured on season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about.