You are considering choosing adoption for your child. All of the waiting families look so nice; where do you begin? To make the selection of choosing a family easier, take a step back for a moment to consider what an adoptive family can provide to your child through an open adoption. Here are 10 questions about adoption to ask:
What sort of family do I want for my baby?
Do you picture your child being raised in a one or two parent home? You may even have a vision in your mind of the ideal extended family for your child. Or maybe you don’t even have a preference for the size of the adopted family, as long as the home is full of love and stability.
Where would I want my child to grow up?
Do you have a desire for a certain region, state, or geographical location for your child to grow up in? Maybe you picture your baby being raised in a quiet countryside, an exciting city, or a family-focused suburb. With an open adoption, you can choose from families who live in a place where you want your child to be raised.
What will my child do with their adopted family?
If you could give your child any kind of upbringing, what sort of hobbies, music, sports, or activities would be in his life? Where would your child go on vacation, and how often would he travel? The life that you want your child to have can be given to him, and the families waiting to adopt have a diverse list of hobbies, sports, and activities that they enjoy.
What would day-to-day life look like for my child?
Is it important for your child to have a stay-at-home mom or dad? Would you prefer a parent who works out of the home? Whatever you imagine for his day-to-day life, write that down.
What kind of education would my child have?
If you could give your child any kind of educational experience, what would it be? A top-rated public school? A small charter school? Maybe you would choose a private school or even home schooling for him.
Once you have a good idea of what you want in an adoptive family, you and an adoption professional can start narrowing down the list of families waiting to adopt to find one that matches your unique vision of the best possible future life for your child. But there are a few more questions that you should ask before an open adoption that are just as, if not more, important.
How much will my child know about me?
The biggest benefit to an open adoption is the opportunity for your child to be told about his adoption from the very beginning. Your child will know that you loved him enough to make the choice to give him the life that you couldn’t provide. If it is right for you, you may choose to stay in touch with your child and the adoptive family, becoming a member of his extended family. With open adoption, your child will know right from the start that you loved him enough to choose adoption.
Do I get to name my child?
If you are pregnant and considering open adoption, you will be able to see your baby after you give birth. You can name him, if you wish. Or you may decide to let his adoptive family choose a name for you. You can make this decision yourself, or together with the family waiting to adopt your child.
Do I want to see my child in person?
Do you want to visit your child? Some birth mothers like to meet with their adoptive families and see their children in person every once in a while. You and the adoptive family can work together to decide what sort of in-person visits work for everyone.
Is it selfish to consider adoption?
Making a decision to give your baby up for adoption is never selfish. If your are unable to provide a safe, stable environment for your child, choosing adoption is the most selfless decision you can make. It gives your baby the opportunity to be raised by a family who has the resources, time, and financial ability to provide a stable home.
Is adoption the right decision?
Only you can answer this question, but open adoption is usually the right decision for many birth mothers. You get a special opportunity to hand-select the family that can provide the stability and life that you dream of for your child. The benefits of open adoption are even greater for your child. Adopted children come to know that their birth parents loved them enough to want the very best for them. There is no secrecy or mystery, only an understanding that they were loved unselfishly and completely by a birth mother and adoptive family.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.