Choosing A Family
Close your eyes and picture a day in your child’s life. What do you want his or her life to be like? Do you want them to grow up on a farm? In the city? In a suburban town? Do they have siblings? Pets? Answering these questions can help you choose the family you feel is best for your child.
1. Below are some common criteria when it comes to choosing a family.
- Religion: For some this can be a major hot topic, and for others there is no religious preference. Be sure to be outspoken about what you are looking for. You deserve to pick the family that you feel is best for your child.
- Ethnicity and Appearance: Some birth parents chose their adoptive families so that their child will have adoptive parents with the same ethnicity or similar appearance and features. You can be as specific as you need to be. Keep in mind however, that the more specific you become in your search, the less families you will have to choose from.
- Education: Do you want your child’s adoptive parents to have completed higher education? Is the right family for your child one that centers on educational pursuits? For some parents, it is important for their child to have additional opportunities for learning and growth in their adoptive home.
- Type of Family: Do you want your child to grow up in a 2-parent family? A same-sex family? Do you want your child to have a stay-at-home parent? Be an only child? Have many siblings? Be outspoken about the type of adoptive family you want for your child.
- Type of Adoption: This is very important to consider when looking for the right family for your child. What type of relationship are you looking for? Before deciding on a family, make sure you talk in great length about what you expect and require when it comes to openness once you officially place your child with them.
2. Begin reviewing adoptive parent profiles and DVDs for the type of adoptive family you would like to choose for your baby.
- Adoptive Family Print Profiles is a great way to get a snapshot of the lives of the family. They may include information about their background, family, home, careers, education, motivations, wishes, and much more. You will only have to view families who match your ideal family.
- Adoptive Family Video Profiles are a dynamic and three-dimensional look at the family’s life. You will hear the family interact and talk about themselves. This is a great way to get to know their personalities and help make the decision a little easier for you.
3. There is no exact science to choosing the right family for you. Many women have said that when they saw their adoptive family’s profile they just knew they were the ones.
4. If there isn’t a family that jumps out at you, ask your adoption counselor to send you more. You should never have to settle on a family.
5. Get to know the family you choose by meeting them with your counselor a few times before your baby is born.
- The adoptive family is just as excited to learn more about you as you are to learn about them. Your adoption counselor will be there to mediate the meeting so that conversation goes smoothly.
- It is your decision to how you want to pick the adoptive family, whether you would like to meet with them a few times or have phone conversations.
- It’s important to discuss how much and what type of contact you would like with the adoptive family to ensure that everyone is on board with your adoption plan.
- Discuss plans for the hospital: time with the baby, adoptive parents’ role at the hospital, who you want in the delivery room, etc.
- Labor and delivery of the baby. Your counselor will meet you at the hospital for support.
After Birth/Before Placement
- Meet with your counselor to fill out the legal paperwork to complete your adoption plan.
- If you choose open adoption, receive photos and letters or email updates and possible visits.
- Adoption is a life-long journey; your adoption counselor is here for you and support groups are available.
- Visit Understanding Grief, Loss & Healing to learn more about common emotions after an adoption and ways to handle your feelings.