First of all, I want you to understand something very, very important.
Nobody is perfect. There is not a single family or individual that is perfect (except this dude who lived about 2000 years ago, but we won’t get into that). Perfection is such a subjective idea, so what I think is “perfect” may make someone else dizzy with anxiety.
So if nobody is perfect, how can you possibly find the “perfect” adoptive family for your baby? Well, each expectant parent chooses differently, but here is a good way to start:
Make a list of things you want your baby’s dream family to have.
I suggest putting the most important things at the top of the list, and the less important things at the bottom. Or, make two lists. One list for “non-negotiable”, and another for “negotiable” (obviously you aren’t negotiating with the hopeful adoptive couple, only with yourself). Such a list may look like this:
- Desire an open adoption
- Specific religion/belief system
- One or both are musically inclined
- Zero children currently
- Both parents are educated
- Parents have a desire for a large family
- Have a dog
- Live nearby
Find a site, such as Adoption.com, or an agency that will let you browse profiles.
Then, narrow your search by the qualities you find most important. When browsing profiles, remember that not every family will have everything you desire specifically listed in their profile. Keep an open mind, some families may have traits or qualities you never knew you wanted!
Remember that the most important person in this decision is your baby.
Listen to your gut. Mother’s intuition is a very real thing. If you choose to meet more than one family, do it. If you don’t immediately feel that it is right, then don’t feel pressured to choose that family.
Be absolutely honest and truthful with yourself and with the family or families you choose to meet.
Do you want a certain amount of openness? Do you want them to share anything about your cultural background with your baby as he/she grows up? Do you want them to stay away from the hospital, or be there when baby is born? Do you want them to be comfortable connecting through social media? It’s important that you discuss these things with the potential adoptive family.
More than anything, remember that these couples/families are human, too.
They have hurt, and the majority of them are just as scared as you. View them as you would a sibling or close cousin – these people will be in your life for a very long time, and you want to be sure that you don’t choose them out of pity or coercion.
Also, don’t be afraid of “rejection.” Some hopeful adoptive couples may express their gratitude for contact from an expectant mother, but sometimes they don’t feel right about it. They might not be able to offer a certain things (like a level of openness or a guarantee that your child will have siblings) and that’s OK. In these cases, the hopeful adoptive parents have had to (heartbreakingly) tell the expectant mother that they don’t feel it is a good fit. I have been on the receiving end of a “rejection,” and while it hurt my already-sensitive heart, it gave me extra time to find the family that was perfect – the stars had to align just right for me to find them.
Know that you are not alone, momma.
Reach out to birth mothers who have been through the process, and find out how they found their baby’s family. Ask questions, voice concerns, but always know there is a huge network of support and love as you make this decision.
If you have already placed, how did you find and choose your baby’s adoptive family? If you have adopted, how did your birth mother find or choose you? I would love to hear in the comments!
Pregnant and considering adoption? You don’t need to do it alone. Click here to connect with a caring, compassionate adoption professional who can help you figure out what’s best for you and your baby. All consultations and counseling are absolutely free.