If you are pregnant and making an adoption plan for your baby, you will at some point choose an adoptive family for your baby. If you choose to, you will meet some of the families you are interested in before making a decision. You meet with families for the first time over lunch or dinner, or meet at a cafe. Your social worker who has guided you though the planning process will come with you, but meeting families can still be nerve-wracking and awkward at first. It might feel hard to come up with questions to ask hopeful adoptive families in order to make a decision you can be confident in.
Here are some questions you can ask to get an idea of who an adoptive family is and if they would be a good fit for you and your baby:
- Why do you want to adopt?
- What do you believe makes you good parents?
- Is anyone you know or in your family adopted?
- What is your family like?
- Will my baby have any brothers or sisters? Cousins?
- What are your parents and siblings like?
- Is your family happy about you adopting?
- Are you supportive of open adoptions?
- What is your neighborhood or town like?
- What’s your typical day or week like?
- What do you do for work?
- Do you get parental leave after a placement? What will child care be like if you go back to work?
- How will you explain and talk about adoption to your child?
These are just ideas. Feel free to ask any questions that are important to you, or any questions that come up during conversations. Your adoption plan is your choice, and you should feel comfortable with the family you choose. Asking questions is an important part of that. If you choose, you can meet with a potential family more than once.
You can ask a potential adoptive family any questions that you feel comfortable asking, but there are some questions that you should leave to your social worker or adoption attorney. For instance, it would be best for you to not ask about how the family can help you financially with medical bills, living arrangements and any other expenses related to your pregnancy. Those questions are absolutely important, but it is best for them to come from the adoption professionals who are supporting you and helping you make your adoption plan.
Other things to avoid are questions that may be too personal or painful for the adoptive parents to feel comfortable answering, such as questions about infertility. If they feel comfortable sharing that journey with you, they will in their own time. If you would like to know about their journey, ask your agency or social worker about it first. They may be able to give you more information or and help you facilitate a conversation with the prospective adoptive parents.
Getting to know a potential adoptive family can feel awkward and difficult, but it is a vital part of the adoption process. As you know, this is a very important decision. Asking families questions will give you a good idea of who they are as people and as a family and will enable you to make the best adoption plan possible.
Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State adoption agency that has been supporting birth mothers for over twenty years. We respect your decision-making and honor your choices. We would be very happy to speak with you, even if you decide to not pursue adoption. You can reach Anita or Renee at 1-800-535-5556 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All phone calls and emails are confidential, and all services are free.