If you’ve already made the decision of adoption, you may be thinking of the crucial next step of choosing a family. You want to make the best decision, but you might be feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel this way, this is could possibly be the toughest decision you ever make. The best thing to do is make the decision with the information you have. However, there are three questions you can ask yourself to help guide you through the adoption process. What are my child’s needs? What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child? What level of openness do I want in this adoption?
- What are my child’s needs?
It’s important to determine the needs your child might have. Once you figure out those needs you’ll be able to look for a family that can provide for them. You may want a family that is financially stable. You may want someone that is a stay-at-home mother/father who can spend adequate time with your baby. You may want the potential adoptive parents to be able to offer your child the opportunity of a good education. Some birth parents may even consider the location of the potential adoptive parents. There are a lot of aspects that may factor into your child’s needs. You may even consider your own childhood to help you decide what your child needs or doesn’t need.
- What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child?
This question is just as important as the one above. There might be certain things you may want for your child. You may want your child to be raised by someone with a college degree. Choosing a family that shares your religious beliefs may be a factor for you. What type of home do you want your child to be raised in? Do you want your child to be raised by a same-sex couple, heterosexual couple, or does it even matter? Did you want your child to grow up with siblings or be an only child? Is there a certain discipline style you don’t like? It’s best to contact the potential adoptive parents to ask questions and convey your hopes, wants, and wishes. This can help narrow down which family is best for your baby.
- What level of openness do I want in this adoption?
This is something you may want to discuss with your social worker or the adoptive parents. You want to make sure that your level of openness matches the adoptive parents. You may want yearly updates or visits. Or you may want more updates and a few visits a year. Are you and the adoptive parents comfortable with semi-openness or complete openness? You may even decide to have a closed adoption in the beginning and work up to being completely open. That’s okay too. Many adoptions start off closed or semi-open and evolve to a wonderfully open relationship with the adoptive parents. You just have to discover what’s right for you.
With decisions like these it’s hard to be confident that you made the right choice. We’d love to think that our choices come with guarantees, but they don’t. We can only make the best decision with the knowledge we have now. Weigh your options and decide what’s best for your baby & you. I’m a birth mother that placed 5 years ago and these are some of the questions that helped me. Of course, I second guessed myself, but I always felt comfortable with the decision I made and the family I chose. I chose what was best for my child’s needs and what was most important to me. That alone helped with this difficult decision.