How Can I Choose a Family to Adopt my Baby?
There are a number of ways to go about selecting a family for your child. Traditionally, expectant parents contact an agency or attorney and are presented with a number of profiles that feature parents looking to add to their family via adoption. In today’s technological age, sites like ParentProfiles (a service of Adoption Profiles, LLC), allow expectant parents to peruse these profiles without the added pressure of talking to an agency or attorney.
Whether you choose a more traditional route or take advantage of internet profiles, you should have a mental checklist of what you feel is important in a family for your child. You can then tell the agency or attorney so the proper profiles can be selected or select those features on your own as you look at profiles online.
Here are some examples of questions to keep in mind:
- Do you want a family of a particular religious faith? Do you want your child to be raised in a home with the same religion as you? Do you want your child to be raised in a home with a completely different religion than you were raised? Would you prefer the adoptive parents have no specific religious ties? Are there any religions you would prefer to avoid?
- Do you want your child to have siblings? Would you prefer a family who has already adopted children or has biological children? Would you prefer your child be an only child? Or the oldest child? Or the middle child?
- Do you have any specification on where the family should live? Would you rather that the family live nearby, in a town near your own? Within your own state? Across the country? These are questions to ponder in direct relation to how open of an adoption you are seeking to forge.
- Is the ethnicity or race of the family of importance to you? Do you want them to be the same race or ethnicity as the child you are carrying? While issues involving race and ethnicity might not matter to you, some adoptive parents are only interested in particular races and ethnicities. Something to keep in mind.
- Do you want a fully open adoption? With visits? Without visits? Letters? Pictures? Phone calls? None of that? All of that? Are you willing to travel to meet the family on their turf? Or would you prefer it be all in your area? Are you willing to compromise locations? Can you also promise to share information, pictures, letters and updates so that your child has access to these as he or she grows? Keep in mind that all families view openness differently, so getting this question out on the table and discussed early can help avoid a lot of confusion.
- Do you know the gender of your child? Some families only want to adopt one gender or another. If you do not know your child’s gender or you feel uncomfortable with such a stipulation, there are other families who will adopt boys or girls.
- Does your child present special needs? Ultrasounds can often tell when a child has a physical issue, such as Down Syndrome or a heart murmur, that will require more attention when the child is born. Some families are more than willing to accept a child with any number of disabilities, while others are honest in their inability to care for these children. Keep this in mind.
There are many other questions you can focus on during your search. Realize that searching through profiles and reading about families is much different than meeting them in person. Expectant parents should select more than one profile in case the first time meeting with a family doesn’t quite go as planned. People are different in real life than they are on paper. Remember that you have the right to say no to a match with a family even if you have met them in person. You will have to return to the drawing board, but you have the absolute right to decide who is right to parent your child.