6 Ways to Push Through the Fear of a Failed Adoption Match

Overcome fears and allow your adoption journey to take you places you never imagined.

Sarah M. Baker February 16, 2016

When you start your journey in adoption, the fear of getting attached to the idea of a child and then having that match fall through can be hard to move past. You may have already learned that until placement and termination of parental rights, you have no claim on that child, but it doesn’t stop your emotions from forming an attachment to a baby who may one day become yours. You may also fear losing money that is tied up in that match, leaving you financially crippled if it falls through.

So how do you move past your fears of a failed adoption match and allow yourself to pursue your dream of being a parent?

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Have faith.
1. Have faith.

Easier said than done, but believing that the right match will come to you when the time is right means putting your fears behind you and putting faith in the universe, God, or whatever higher powers you believe in.

Focus on love.
2. Focus on love.

Put your best foot forward and allow yourself to feel joy while not letting yourself to claim ownership of a child. That will give you the grace to embrace your relationship with the expectant mother while not coercing her into placement if she is considering parenting.

In other words, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Know your financial limits.
3. Know your financial limits.

Will having a match placement fall through eliminate your chances to adopt again because of the financial burden? If so, be sure to only work with agencies or adoption professionals that have a fees schedule set up to where your monetary loss is limited or nothing at all if a match fails. Some agencies require a large sum up front and all is lost when a match falls through, while others require very little money before placement happens.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Did someone mention chickens? Have a backup plan for if a match falls through. Have a discussion with your partner about how you will handle it if you have a match that fails. Will you continue pursing adoption? Will you take a short break to mourn the loss then move forward? Consider what your ultimate goal is and prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

Be flexible.
5. Be flexible.

Roll with the punches. In life, rarely does something go as planned. This is true for adoption too. Take your expectations and throw them out the window. You may be prepared for a five-year wait and get matched in 5 days. You may have no failed matches or have several fall through. But if you go into it with the expectations that you don’t know what to expect, you will feel much better about the curve balls that might come your way.

Enjoy the ride!
6. Enjoy the ride!

The journey to parenthood can be a roller coaster. There may be days you want off and other days you are screaming with joy. Try to enjoy the ride. The lessons you learn and the new friendships you form along the way will make the hard parts so worth it . . . especially when you have a child in your home as a result.

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Sarah M. Baker

Sarah is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption. She is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys in addition to parenting her niece. She is a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. Sarah promotes adoption education and ethical adoptions. She and her husband were featured on Season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Sarah hopes to bring her personal experience to you and help anyone who wants more information about adoption to find it with ease. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about. You can learn more about Sarah and her family on her blog.

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