For most birth mothers, making the decision to place their child up for adoption is one of the toughest decisions they will ever have to make. Motivated by love, they give up the person they love most in this world to ensure that they grow up with the advantages they themselves may not be able to provide. Fortunately, open adoptions are becoming more and more common, which means if you are a birth mother, you can still have regular contact with your child. It also means you have the ability to choose the right adoptive family for your child, which may be the second hardest decision you will ever have to make. How do you know whether your child will be happy? Will you get along with them? Will your child be a good fit? Usually, meeting with the family several times will be the best indication of whether or not a family is right for your child, but of course you should not act solely off of intuition. Here are five tips for choosing the right adoptive family for your precious little one:
1. Look at the basic family profile. The US Child Welfare Department offers a good breakdown of practical points to consider when choosing an adoptive family. Do you feel strongly about having the child raised by two parents? Is it important that your child grow up with siblings? Assess your feelings about the age of the parents, their economic background, religion, and transracial adoption.
2. Consider geographic location. Is it important that you live near your child? Ask the potential families if they would ever relocate for a job, etc. If the answer is yes, consider whether or not this would be alright with you.
3. Two birth mothers on adoptionstar.com, Aubrey and Erin, recommend choosing a family with an adoption profile that is a nice balance of photos and words. Erin says the best profiles are the ones with meaningful pictures, such as images of the family doing activities they love. While pictures of the home are good, the best ones are of families doing something in the home. Aubrey recommends choosing adoption profiles with candid shots, since this will give you a better idea of the family members personalities.
4. Be open and honest about medical history. Birth parents are required to provide adoptive parents with medical information, but dont be afraid to ask for theirs, as well. Many birth mothers want to make sure that their childs new parents have a long life expectancy and are not at high risk of serious medical conditions. The adoptive familys medical history is not discussed very often, so dont be afraid to bring it up.
5. Ask the potential families how they will handle the adoption itself. How will they explain adoption to the child? How do they view your role in the open adoption? What will they tell your child about you?
Following these five tips will not make your decision to choose adoptive parents easy, but it may make it a bit clearer. And, of course, there is something to be said for intuition. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you place your child with open, friendly parents who you believe will provide your little one with a loving, happy, and joy-filled home.
About the Author:
Robert A. Kasky, Esq. is a Florida adoption attorney and President of One World Adoption Services, Inc., a Florida-licensed not-for-profit child placing agency. Robert began his legal career in 1973 as a lawyer for the SEC in Washington, D.C. Robert has handled or worked on countless thousands of adoption cases.