If you’re a pregnant mother considering adoption, you might feel overwhelmed with choosing a family for your baby. Some birth mothers can feel a lot of anxiety over this decision. How can you know the family will be a good fit?
It’s perfectly normal to worry that you might make the wrong choice. But as the mother of your baby, you know what type of future you want for your child, and you may have an idea of what types of families will make that future possible. Here is what you should consider when deciding on the right family for your baby.
You Don’t Have to Choose
Many mothers considering adoption believe that they have to pick the right family. However, if you don’t want to make the decision yourself or if you feel like you will be unable to do so, the adoption agency, lawyer, or social worker you are working with will step in to help find a good match.
Don’t feel guilty if you are unable to choose a family on your own. You can state your preferences and the agency you’re working with can use that information to make an informed choice.
You Can Take Your Time
Don’t feel like you have to make a decision right away. Many agencies have several pre-approved families waiting for a baby, and you can read about the parents and their homes extensively without meeting anyone.
If you do choose to interview families in person, you still do not need to make a decision hastily. Take time to speak with trusted family members, friends, or with a counselor provided by your adoption agency. Many agencies offer support programs for birth mothers at no cost to you.
You Can Be Specific
Don’t be afraid to get choosy with prospective parents. Besides financial security, siblings, and other basics of family life, you should also consider:
- Religion. Do you want your child to have a religious upbringing in a specific faith? You might only interview parents who share your religious beliefs.
- Culture. Some mothers from ethnic backgrounds want their children to at least have some exposure to their birth culture. For example, if you have Latin heritage, you might only interview parents who speak Spanish in the home.
- Family activities. Some families spend plenty of time together exploring the outdoors. Others enjoy attending sporting events or traveling. Take time to learn about the types of activities your child will be involved in when he or she joins the family. You can, to a certain extent, choose your child’s activities through the family you pick.
- Values and morals. What things do you believe to be most important in life? Many adoptive mothers find comfort in choosing a family who has similar priorities to their own.
You can be very selective about potential families. Careers, the location of the home, and the neighborhood are all things that will impact your child’s quality of life. If the family is serving in the military, consider deployments and frequent moves. You can say no to families who are involved in anything you find unsuitable for your baby.
You Can Get to Know Your Chosen Family
Some birth mothers choose not to get to know the adopting family. Sometimes, forming any sort of relationship can be too painful or challenging. Others will want to get to know details and personalities about the family.
If you feel like you would like to spend time getting to know the family you choose, let your adoption agency know. They will only introduce you to families who are willing to spend time with you.
Forming this type of relationship can help you feel more comfortable with the adoption arrangement once the baby is born. Talk to your adoption agency about the type of experience that would work best for you post-birth. Some mothers want to have some time with their baby before entrusting the infant to his or her chosen parents. Others prefer a quick good-bye.
You Still Have Rights
While you should try to respect the wishes of your chosen family, you are still the child’s mother. You can craft your own birth plan and plan for your baby’s postnatal care. Make a list of the decisions you want to make for your baby—the list can give you confidence as you continue with pregnancy and delivery.
You Can Ask Tough Questions
Once you’ve learned about activities, beliefs, and neighborhoods, asking the tough questions will let you know what kind of future relationship you can expect for yourself and your baby. Consider questions like:
- How involved can I be in the baby’s life?
- Can I choose the baby’s name?
- Will you permit letters, pictures, or holiday cards?
- Can my other family members see or contact the baby as he or she grows up?
If you wish to have no contact, you can also make this preference clear when choosing families.
For more information on choosing a family for your baby and the adoption process, contact us at A Child’s Dream.