You’ve made the loving and difficult decision to place your baby for adoption. Now, you must make another difficult decision – choosing a family to raise your child. Though there are no official national statistics regarding how many people are waiting to adopt in America, according to Adoption Network, experts estimate that there are between one and two million couples waiting to adopt in the United States.
With so many couples waiting to adopt, the process of choosing a family to place your child with can be downright overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Of course, you want to find the very best family to place your child with. You may be wondering, “Is the right family out there to adopt my baby? How will I know who is the right family to place my child with?” Even though you may feel overwhelmed, you do not have to go through this process alone. Let’s take a look at how you can find the perfect family to adopt your baby and how you’ll know when you’ve found them.
Word of Mouth
When you begin to tell people in your life about your plan to place your baby for adoption, you will inevitably hear about everyone they know who is looking to adopt a child. Though the people in your life undoubtedly mean well, this can actually get irritating. You may feel obligated or pressured to place with someone that a family member or friend recommends. Remember, though, that you are not obligated to place your child with anyone. This is your decision. If you don’t want to place your child with someone a family member or friend recommends, you don’t have to.
Sometimes, though, a family member or friend’s recommendation can lead to finding the right adoptive family. If you value the recommender’s opinion, you may want to look into the hopeful adoptive family they’ve suggested.
Another way you can find a family to adopt your child is by using social media. While you don’t necessarily want to Google, “families to adopt my baby,” you can use various social media sites in your search. Specifically, if you search things like #hopefuladoptiveparents, #hopefuladoptivefamily, or #hopingtoadopt on Facebook, you’ll find couples and families hoping to adopt. Many of these couples and families have pages where they share their daily lives, feelings, and adoption journey. These pages can provide a valuable look into a couple’s or a family’s life. Hopefully, you will begin to get a sense of what your child’s life might be like if you choose to place your baby with them.
Facebook also has specific groups to connect expectant mothers to hopeful adoptive couples and families. These groups are private. Not only can hopeful adoptive parents post their profile, but they can also get feedback from other hopeful adoptive parents and give and receive support on their adoption journey.
Expectant mothers can search databases of adoptive parent profiles anonymously in these groups. Many of these groups emphasize a no-pressure approach to expectant mothers, meaning that hopeful adoptive parents are asked not to reach out to expectant mothers privately. Instead, these groups indicate to hopeful adoptive parents that if you, as an expectant mother, are interested in learning more about them, you will reach out to them.
Social media makes it so much easier for us to connect than it used to be. While some expectant mothers do find the perfect family to place their child with through social media, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, you should do your homework on any prospective adoptive couple or family. Don’t take what hopeful adoptive parents say on social media at face value. Take the time you need to get to know them before deciding if they are the right family to place your child with.
Next, ensure that any prospective adoptive family you’re considering placing your child with is legally certified to adopt, meaning they have gone through a background check, interviews with social workers, and a home study.
Then work with an attorney or adoption agency during the adoption process. Any serious hopeful adoptive couple or family will not have a problem working with your attorney or adoption agency.
Adoptive Parent Profiles
There are numerous sites where you can view adoptive parent profiles. Adoption.com and Adoption.org are two great places to start. If you are working with an adoption agency, they will also have adoptive parent profiles you can look through.
Adoptive parent profiles are a great way to begin to get to know prospective adoptive parents. Adoptive parent profiles will vary from one site or agency to another, but in general, some of the things adoptive parent profiles include are:
- Introduction/Bio: This section allows a couple or family to tell you a little about themselves, such as what they do for work, what their daily lives are like, and about any other children they already have.
- Child Preferences: A hopeful adoptive family can state their preferences for an adoptive child here, such as their preferred age, gender, and ethnicity. This is usually where prospective adoptive families can state if they would be open to adopting a special needs child as well.
- Letter: Some adoption sites provide a space for prospective adoptive parents to speak to an expectant mother directly. In this section, the prospective adoptive parents can tell an expectant mother what they will provide to their adoptive child. It also allows the prospective adoptive parents to share more about themselves, their lives, and their relationship. In this space, hopeful adoptive families also explain why they want to adopt a child.
- Photos/Videos: Most adoptive parent profiles have sections for prospective adoptive parents to share photos and videos.
- Favorites Some adoptive parent profiles have a fun section where hopeful adoptive parents can share their favorite things, such as their favorite band, color, actor, actress, movie, vacation spot, and book.
- Adoption Type: Prospective adoptive parents can indicate how open they are to different types of adoption. Many prospective adoptive parents state they would love to have an open adoption, but they are also okay if you would rather have a semi-open or closed adoption as well.
- Recommendations: Some sites have a place where people in the prospective adoptive parents’ lives can write why they believe the prospective adoptive parents would be good parents. There are often some really heartfelt sentiments here. Family members and friends can often offer a unique perspective on why the couple or family would be a good choice to place your child with.
Who Will Adopt My Baby if I Used Alcohol or Drugs During My Pregnancy?
If you used alcohol or drugs during your pregnancy, you may be wondering who will adopt your baby. Yes, babies born to mothers who used alcohol or drugs during pregnancy may have special needs. However, you might be surprised how many hopeful adoptive parents will want to adopt your baby, even if this is the case.
Many adoption agencies do not require drug testing as part of their screening process for expectant mothers. However, if you are an expectant mother struggling with addiction, it is important to be open and honest with your adoption specialist as well as prospective adoptive parents. Your adoption agency may be able to help you get help for substance abuse if you want it.
Many prospective adoptive parents have received training on how to care for children who were exposed to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. They are aware of and educated about the effects substances can have on an unborn baby, and they are equipped to care for a child with these special needs.
Who Will Adopt My Baby if He Has Special Needs?
As I mentioned earlier, adoptive parent profiles usually have a place for prospective adoptive parents to indicate their willingness to adopt a special needs child. You might be surprised at how many hopeful adoptive parents would be thrilled to adopt a child with special needs. In fact, there are adoption agencies that specialize in placing children with special needs. A few of these organizations include Special Angels Adoption, Spence-Chapin, and National Down Syndrome Adoption Network.
Is the Right Family Out There?
The short answer is, yes! However, finding the right family may take some time, looking through what may seem like an endless number of adoptive parent profiles, and meeting and interviewing prospective adoptive families.
Before you begin your search, it may be helpful to create a list of things you want your baby’s adoptive family to have. For instance, do you want education to be a priority? Do you want the adoptive parents to be of the same ethnicity as your baby? Do you want the adoptive family to have the same religious beliefs as you do? Do you want your child to grow up with siblings?
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you can make a more detailed list of qualities you want in your child’s adoptive family. It’s a good idea to create a list of questions you want to ask prospective adoptive parents before you have an in-person or telephone meeting with them to get to know them better.
It’s hard to be vulnerable, but try to be as upfront, open, and honest with prospective adoptive parents as you can be. The more you can share with them about your situation and what you want for your child, the more you’ll all be able to determine if you are a good match for placement.
Take as much time as you need to get to know a prospective adoptive family before making a decision about placement. If you don’t get all of your questions answered in your first meeting with a hopeful adoptive couple, you can always schedule another one.
How Will I Know I’ve Found the Right Family to Adopt My Baby?
When you begin your search for the right family to adopt your baby, you may feel overwhelmed. If you don’t find a match right away, you may feel discouraged, and the search may be daunting. Hang in there! You will find the right family to place your child with.
Making lists of the qualities you want in your baby’s adoptive family can help you narrow down your search. However, you must ultimately follow your heart when choosing your baby’s adoptive family. You will know when you’ve found the right people to place your child with; you’ll feel it in your heart.
Remember to take your time. Take as much time as you need to decide who to place your child with; this is a very important decision that deserves a lot of consideration. After each meeting you have with prospective adoptive parents, you might want to take some time to sit down and write about your thoughts and feelings regarding the meeting and the prospective adoptive parents you met with. If you find that you have any concerns or unanswered questions, you can talk with your adoption specialist about setting up another meeting to have those addressed.
Don’t let anyone pressure you into a decision. This is your decision. If prospective adoptive parents ask you for your thoughts about placing your child with them, you can share them with them if you’re comfortable, or you can tell them that you’d like some time to think things over and talk to your adoption specialist before you make any decisions.
If you are an expectant mother who has decided to place your baby for adoption, the search for the right family can seem like a daunting task. No matter if you use social media, word of mouth, adoptive parent profiles, or a combination of these in your search, you will find the right family to place your child with. Decide what qualities are important for your baby’s adoptive family to have to help you narrow down your search. Remember to follow your heart. You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect family to place your child with.
Sierra Koester is an award-winning freelance writer and professional blogger. She earned her BA in Psychology in 2004 and has worked with several nonprofit agencies. She began her writing career in 2006 and has written extensively in the areas of health, psychology, and pets. Sierra advocates for the adoption of children as well as homeless animals. When she isn’t writing, you can find Sierra with her nose in a book or hanging out with her two kitties, Carmine, a wise old orange tabby Sierra adopted when he was a kitten, and Tylan, a cat whom Sierra adopted after he was rescued from a hoarding situation in Thailand. You can learn more about Sierra by visiting http://www.sierrakoester.blogspot.com.