When an expectant woman chooses adoption with Adoption Choices of Florida, we help her choose an adoptive family. We present multiple profiles of waiting families for the birth parents to choose from. She will also choose if she wants an open adoption, semi-open, or closed adoption. Depending on the level of openness she chooses, she will then get a chance to meet the adoptive family as well.
In an open or semi-open adoption, the birth mother may consider many variables as she considers the type of family she wants for her child. Preferences regarding particular characteristics in potential adoptive parents might include:
- Traditional mother father dynamic, same-sex couple, or single person
- Ethnic or cultural backgrounds
- Religious backgrounds
- Parenting styles
- Location of family
- Discipline methods
Birth mothers may also have preferences regarding:
- if extended family is available to help raise the child
- if the adoptive parents have other children already
- if the adoptive parents plan to tell the child he/she is adopted
- (in an open adoption) how much contact will occur between birth and adoptive parents and how broadly that contact may occur (and/or will it be okay if birth-grandparents see the adopted child)
- if the adoptive parents or birth mother will name the child
- how involved the adoptive parents will be in the pregnancy and birth
Our adoption specialists will help make all of these important decisions! Birth parents are encouraged to actively participate in the selection of an adoptive family for their child without any pressure. Birth parents will see profile books that allows the adoptive families to provide a “snap shot” of their family, daily life, and history. Information might include where they went to school, what they do for work and for fun, family holidays, activities, or hobbies.
The birth mother (parents) then choose the perfect family for their child. Many of our birth mothers claim that they “just knew” when they found the perfect family and many others ask us to help them choose, feeling confident in any adoptive family. At Adoption Choices of Florida, birth parents are encouraged to meet prospective adoptive parents, if they wish, but never forced.
Once a birth mother has selected an adoptive family for a potential match, the agency will facilitate a meeting. This meeting may be telephone call, video call, in person meeting, or a combination of all. The meetings will take place in an agency controlled environment for the protection of all parties involved. More about this procedure will be explained during our training sessions. After a meeting or meetings have taken place, and information (agreed upon by the parties) has been exchanged, a “Match” is finalized.
When a Match is finalized, Adoption Choices of Florida staff will keep the adoptive family updated on the birth mother’s pregnancy progress and will continue to facilitate meetings, if this has been agreed between the parties.
In the meantime, we will work with the birth mother to develop a birth plan. This plan will include who they want in the delivery room (if anyone), how long she will hold the baby (if she wants to), and other options. When it’s time for the baby’s birth, her plan will move forward, the adoptive family will be informed, and we will all welcome the child into the world.
Adoption can be a loving experience for everyone involved. While there will be moments of loss and sadness, there will mostly be memories of joy and love. Adoption does not have to be secret or shameful; it can be celebrated and you can be proud that you chose life for your baby!