Blunt Questions the Professionals Ask When Adopting
by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption
Adoption Tips From the Professionals
Throughout the years and over the course of many lessons learned, we at Lifetime Adoption know what makes for successful adoptions and what doesn’t. We’d like to share tips for adoptive parents when speaking to an expectant mother who is considering adoption.
Adopting a child means thinking about the adoption process and working with licensed adoption agencies. It also means knowing what questions to ask expectant mothers (sometimes referred to as ‘birth mothers’) and, if possible, the biological or birth family, including the birth father.
Remember, though, many birth mothers are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. This can be an emotional time for everyone involved, and there are legalities and expectations that come with open adoptions.
At Lifetime, we provide access to peer support groups — a dedicated crew of women who have placed their babies for adoption. With access to this resource, birth mothers should also be in a position to express themselves and to discuss openly their plans for the future.
The adoptive family, as well, may have learned a few things about how they want their own adoption plans to go (open adoption, closed adoption, adopting internationally, transracial adoption, foster care adoption of an older child, or adoption with the help of a social worker). Keep in mind that not all adoption agencies perform the types of adoptions listed above. Lifetime, for example, is a domestic open adoption agency.
8 Questions to Ask a Birth Mother You Connect With On Your Own
If you connect with a person who shares that they may have a baby to adopt, ask these questions.
- Tell me a little about your situation.
- What is your phone number and address?
- What’s the child’s name and age? Or when are you due?
- Who and where are his birth parents?
- Why is this child being placed for adoption now?
- Do you have — and will you send me — medical records?
- Can you send me copies of legal documents related to parental rights?
- Who is the agency or attorney handling the legal work?
Share everything with your adoption professional so they can begin to gather more information and provide the services you have contracted with them for. At Lifetime, we do this frequently when families have connected with a potential birth mother.
Red Flags When Speaking With the Birth Mother
- If any answer comes with hesitancy, is flat-out wrong or doesn’t ring true, consult your professional.
- If you seem to get legitimate answers, pursue it further with your adoption professional.
- If the potential birth mother is not a good fit for your adoption plans, don’t write her off! Provide your adoption professional with her information so they can assist her in finding a family for her baby that meets her needs.
We understand that there are so many questions and concerns when one begins the adoption process. Planning to adopt a baby means there will be much to learn. The best way to find answers to those questions is to speak with a caring and expert adoption coordinator at Lifetime Adoption.
In addition to our dedicated, professional staff, we also have lots of resources available on our website. Feel free to look around and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to talk about. Take a peek at our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
And of course, we urge visitors to our website to review our Birth Parents Seeking Families page. There you will be able to get a sense of the kinds of adoptive families that are in demand.
If and when you get in touch with us, we’ll also encourage you to go ahead and fill out our free application to adopt. That way we can get the ball rolling and get you one step closer to your dream of finding a child to love and adore.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally recognized authority on adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner, Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, LLC., established in 1986. Caldwell has assisted in over 1,800 successful adoptions. She was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work has been dedicated to educating and helping birth parents and adoptive parents through teaching, speaking, and resources and as a radio talk show host.
Author of a number of award-winning books, Caldwell has more than 225 media credits to her name, including: Larry King Live, ABC News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, CBS News, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, Dr. Laura, and is widely sought for print articles and speaking engagements.
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