Choosing the adoptive parent(s) who will raise your child can be overwhelming, but a beautiful process. Finding the right adoptive parent for your child is also a learning experience, as you are determining what you value, which leads to selecting the type of lifestyle you want your child to have.
Because this is such an important step in the adoption process, Adoption Choices of Florida wants to provide you with a guide on how to select your child’s adoptive parents in a series of steps.
1. Figure out what qualities you want in an adoptive parent
The first step of figuring out what you want in the prospective adoptive parent is to reflect on what you value as a person. Think about what you liked about your childhood and what you didn’t like, and/or what you would've wanted to have. For instance, would you want your child to grow up being a part of a certain religious group? Would you want your child to grow up with more traditional values?
Determine which factors are important to you, and which factors are “negotiable.” Some birth mothers may prefer a married couple, or maybe an adoptive parent who already has a child. You can choose how specific or how loose you want your parameters to be. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family for advice, but know that at the end of the day, you will make the final choice.
2. Select between open, semi-open and closed adoption
Next, it’s important to think about whether you prefer an open, semi-open or closed adoption.. How much you want to be involved in your child’s life post adoption is up to you to decide, and something for you and your child’s adoptive parents to discuss after you meet each other. Both an open and semi-open adoption allows you to be involved in your child’s life and watch him or her grow up. In a closed adoption, you do not have any involvement with the child or their adoptive parents. However, choosing a closed adoption does not mean that you can’t be involved in the adoptive parent selection process.
Determining which type of adoption you would like can also help narrow down the prospective adoptive candidates.
3. Search profiles with your adoption caseworker
Your adoption caseworker will provide you with some profiles of prospective adoptive parents, which can be a lot to go through. You will be able to see facts such as their names, occupations, locations, education, hobbies, ages, etc. Adoption Choices of Florida conducts very thorough home studies and screenings, so you can trust that all of our waiting families are committed and suitable to raise your child.
4. Get to know prospective parent(s)
Sometimes, just viewing these profiles isn’t enough. You want to be able to better assess the adoptive parents than just read about them. After viewing the prospective adoptive parent profiles, your adoption caseworker will help arrange a meeting with those you want to get to know better.
When getting to know the prospective adoptive parents, it helps to have some questions prepared beforehand. However, try to not make it seem too much like an interview, as they might get a bit intimidated, which can increase tension, anxiety and awkwardness. Make the conversation as friendly and relaxed as possible. For example, if the adoptive couple or individual already has kids, ask about them. If they don’t, you may want to ask them some scenario-based questions to get to know their parenting style. To help you ask the best ones, please check out this list of questions not to ask to ensure none of them end up on your list.
5. Take time to think about it
Big decisions, such as how to select your child’s adoptive parents, may seem complicated, so don’t be afraid to take your time to make this decision. It’s also important for you to be absolutely sure, no shred of doubt. When you meet the right adoptive parent(s), you’ll know. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a couple or individual, make sure to let them or your caseworker know.
This is also a good time to evaluate your standards or expectations for the future adoptive parent(s). If you set them too high, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. No adoptive family is going to be perfect, so be mindful of this as you speak with prospective candidates. Again, this process can take time, and it’s important that you feel certain about your decision.
Support during the Selection Process
Selecting the right adoptive parent(s) for your child is as stressful as it is exciting. Remember that your adoption caseworker will support, encourage and comfort you throughout your entire adoption journey. From start to finish, you will not be alone. Our goal is that you have the most positive and empowering experience possible -- especially when it comes to selecting your child’s adoptive parents.
If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108