Choosing an adoptive family for your child can be just as stressful and confusing as deciding whether or not to place your child. When it comes to choosing the right family, you have many options. Some parents’ only need is that their child is placed with a loving family. For others, their concerns range from religious views to disciplinary techniques. Whichever group you fall into, you have to be comfortable and content with your final decision.
If you find yourself in the second group, it will take some time and dedication to decide exactly what you are looking for, and then to find the right parents who fit the mold. This may seem overwhelming. But, if you start with the basics and work towards the more complex, it won’t be too overwhelming of a process.
First, create a list of attributes or specifications you require or would like in an adoptive family. After you’ve finished your first list, go back through and categorize if each attribute is a necessity or just a casual preference. Then, organize your list in order of importance. This list will help you narrow down your choices to find the family that is the best fit for your child.
Here are some common concerns 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 when it comes to picking the right adoptive family. If you find yourself in the first group, consider using a religion-specific adoption agency. They can help you with your search. Also, be outspoken about what you’re looking for. Don’t be reserved about what you feel is best for your child.
Ethnicity and Appearance: Some birth parents would like their child to have adoptive parents with the same ethnicity and similar appearance and features. You can be as specific as you need to be– from eye color and hair color to height. Many parents are specific with this category to diminish the potential confusion of a different appearance. Keep in mind that the more specific you become in your search, the less families you have to choose from.
Education: Do you want your child to be placed with a family who has completed higher education? Is the right family for your child one that centers on educational pursuits? Or a family that takes education and learning very seriously? For some parents, it is important for their child to have additional opportunities for learning and growth.
Type of Adoption (closed, open, semi-open/semi-closed): This is one of the most important choices for birth parents to consider when looking for the right set of adoptive parents. Which type of relationship are you looking for with an adoptive family? Before deciding on a family, make sure you talk in great length about what exactly you expect and require once you officially place your child with them.
Siblings: Whether you decide that you want your child to have siblings or be an only child, you can find the right adoptive parents. There is a myriad of options on both ends of the spectrum. As mentioned before, be outspoken about the type of adoptive family you want for your child.
Parenting Styles and Beliefs: Parenting styles differ with each person– from disciplinary techniques to the best way to motivate and encourage a child. If there is a parenting method that bothers you, make it known. You don’t have to agree to anything to which you don’t feel comfortable.
After you have decided your stance on the above topics (and many more at that), you should take time to get to know the couple according to the chosen adoption type. Whether that consists of reading about them online or actually meeting with them several times, it is important to feel comfortable and assured with your decision.