Choosing an adoptive family for your baby can feel overwhelming. As you look at our website, you’ll see lots of wonderful couples who are hoping to adopt. So how do you pick the perfect adoptive parents for your baby?
Here are 4 tips that will help you in your decision-making process of choosing adoptive parents:
1. Create a List
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 the couple’s first child? Whatever your “must-haves” are, list them first.
Then, you can create a list of things that are less important to you. Maybe you’d like your child to be raised in a certain area, or for the couple to have certain family traditions. Maybe you’d like them to have interests like yours. Think of the things you’d like the couple to have, but wouldn’t be deal breakers, meaning that you’d still consider a family without these features.
Once you’ve created your list, 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 heart while choosing their baby’s adoptive parents. Choosing parents for your baby isn’t just a logical decision, but also an emotional one too.
“I remember looking at adoptive parent profiles that met the requirements on my list. Even though they had everything I wanted for my baby, it just didn’t feel right. So, I followed my instincts and kept on looking. Eventually, I found a family. When I looked at their profile, I just had a sense of comfort and peace,” says Jessica, a birth mom.
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.
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! 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
Take your time…you’re not on a deadline to select a family. It’s never too late to choose adoption, 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 them.
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.