Choosing adoptive parents for your baby can feel overwhelming. There are so many things to consider and so many choices to make. Fortunately, there are many, many families waiting to make the loving choice to adopt and to provide a new home to your baby.
In fact, right here on this very website, we provide access to profiles of hopeful adoptive families from across the United States.
To make your search easier, we’ve placed the profiles into four categories representing different regions of the U.S. You can see them here; just click on the map and you’ll be taken to a long list of waiting families who live in whichever region you’ve selected.
As you look through our website and read through the profiles of families waiting to adopt, you’ll see lots of wonderful couples who are hoping to adopt.
So how do you pick the perfect adoptive parents for your baby? And how do you even begin the process of selecting a family for your baby? What questions should you ask? What things should you keep in mind?
Here are four tips that will help you in your decision-making process of choosing adoptive parents. Keep in mind as you read through these tips and suggestions that your Lifetime coordinator can help you locate waiting adoptive parents with specific traits. Just let her know how she can best help you find just the family you are looking for.
1. Create Lists
Make a list of the qualities you’d like to see in your baby’s adoptive parents. Begin with must-haves; these are the things that are extremely important to you.
For example, is it important that your child is raised in a Christian home? Do you want an open adoption? Do you want your baby to be a married couple’s first child? Whatever your “must-haves” are, list them first.
Next, you should create a second list of things that are less important to you. Maybe you’d like to place a child for adoption so that he or she will be raised in a certain area. Perhaps you’d prefer the adoption placement to be with a couple that has certain family traditions. Maybe you’d like them to have interests similar to yours.
Think of the things you’d like the couple to have, but that won’t be deal-breakers if a particular family doesn’t meet exactly the things on your second list. In other words, this second list is of things that you would prefer, but it’s not a requirement because you may still be willing to consider a family without these features.
Once you’ve created your lists, you can begin your search. Many birth parents find this to be an easy way to filter potential families while searching for the perfect match.
2. Follow Your Instincts
Even though a list can be helpful, a lot of women still like to follow their hearts while choosing their baby’s adoptive parents. Choosing parents for your baby isn’t just a logical decision, but also an emotional one. After all, you want your child to grow up happy and healthy, so trust your instincts when choosing a family to adopt your baby.
“I remember looking at adoptive parent profiles that met the requirements on my list,” says Jessica, a Lifetime Adoption birth mother. “Even though they had everything I wanted for my baby, it just didn’t feel right.”
Jessica continues: “So I followed my instincts and kept on looking. Eventually, I found a family. When I looked at their profile and then talked to them on the phone, I just had a sense of comfort and peace.”
As you do your research and begin your adoption journey, you might see a couple that you know is meant to raise your child, even if they don’t have the things on your list. Trust your instincts and follow what feels right.
Following your gut can be difficult, so you might second guess yourself. If this happens, don’t be nervous about speaking with several different couples.
And, as always, your adoption coordinator is here to help whenever you need it.
3. Make Connections
It’s your choice whether you want to talk to just one adoptive couple or several. Speaking with several families can be a good way to compare. Plus, you can find out what feels right and what doesn’t, because having a connection with them is so important! For example, you might find an adoptive family who meets all your criteria but seems lukewarm once you speak with them.
When talking with potential adoptive parents, make sure to ask them questions. Find out how they plan to raise your child and what their values are. Talking on the phone is the perfect opportunity to learn more about them and make sure it’s a good fit.
4. Don’t Rush
Finally, do not rush into a decision. You’re not on a deadline to select a family. It’s never too late to choose adoption, even if it’s an unplanned pregnancy, so try not to rush yourself. Think it over, and then do what feels right.
If you start feeling overwhelmed, try taking a break. Don’t let others hurry you into picking a family. You have the right to make this decision as slowly as you need to. This is your baby’s future, and you have the opportunity to hand-pick the perfect parents for him or her.
Contact Lifetime Adoption with any questions or concerns. We are experts — adoption professionals who care about you and your baby’s future!
We can help you find answers to any adoption questions you may have, whether they’re about the adoption process, adoption agencies in general, the different types of adoption, and what to expect in making an adoption plan!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on December 14, 2018, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.