Before you start looking at hopeful adoptive families you have to know what you are looking for. The best place to start is with the non-negotiables.
1. Make a List.
Write down a list of your most important concerns. Do you want an open or closed adoption? Do you want your child to be raised in a religious home? Do you want your child to have siblings? Or is financial stability one of your main concerns? Whatever it may be, list these things first.
Next, make a list of your smaller preferences. Do you want your child to live nearby? Do you want the family to live in an area with a good school district? Do you want your child to have certain family traditions? This list should consist of things you would prefer the family to have, but won’t eliminate a family lacking these characteristics.
Once you are satisfied with your lists, the search can begin.
2. Meet in person.
Only so much can be taken from an adoptive family’s profile. Utilizing the profiles as a way to condense the amount of prospective families you are considering is a good first step. However, meeting these people face to face and making real life connections should allow you to go even further.
If distance will not allow you meet the families in person, an alternative option is talking to them on the phone or video chatting. This route will still allow you to ask them questions and get to know them on a deeper level.
Meeting with multiple families can allow you to test out what feels right and what doesn’t!
2. Follow your heart.
While a list of preferences can be helpful, many expectant mothers rely on their instincts to make this decision. Don’t focus so much on checking the items off on your list that you find yourself eliminating just about all of the prospective families.
If you meet a prospective family that you know is meant to raise your child, but they don’t measure up to your lists trust your instincts. You know what feels right.
4. Take Your Time.
Take as much time as you need. While choosing the right adoptive family for your baby can be exhausting and scary, it is also one of the most fulfilling aspects of the adoption process. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a break. There is no deadline. Relax and enjoy the process in all its chaos. And always remember, choosing your child’s adoptive family is a lot like finding the “one.” When you know, you know.
To learn more about open adoption and creating your adoption plan try reading: