Below you will find some information (and hopefully some encouragement) in regards to the process of picking an adoptive family.
Choosing an adoption plan for your child is a challenging decision that takes tremendous courage and strength. In an emotionally tolling period, it can be very difficult to put the needs of your child above your own. If you have made the decision to follow through with adoption, we commend your selflessness and bravery.
So you've been in contact with an agency and now it is time to pick an adoptive family. How is it possible to know what kind of family is perfect for your baby? It is important to remember that you are not alone in this process. An adoption counselor or specialist will help you figure out what you feel is best for your child and match you with a selection of families based on your specific wishes. But how do you know what is best?
It may be helpful to start with imagining a day in your child's life. When she wakes up in morning, is she in a house in the suburbs or a townhouse in the city? A ranch in the country with a big yard to play in? When your child walks down the stairs, is she greeted by her adoptive mother or adoptive father? Both? Now imagine that she has just finished breakfast and wants to play. Does she have siblings to go outside with? Maybe she is in a neighborhood with kids her age or there is a playground nearby for her to swing on the swings. Flash forward several years – do her adoptive parents have college in mind? Perhaps she attends a trade school or joins the family business.
There are so many things that you may envision for your child but are there some that may supersede the rest? Such as choosing a heterosexual couple over a same-sex couple or maybe vice versa? Is it important to you that one parent stays home or that they both work? When your child misbehaves, how will they discipline her? Will they spank her and/or place her in timeout?
Having all this to consider can feel overwhelming. Your adoption counselor will walk you through each step at a pace that is most comfortable and least stressful for you. Once you have decided what you wish in an adoptive family, you will be provided with a selection of adoptive family profiles.
In each profile you will find a variety of different information and pictures about each family. This information is likely to include the educational background of each parent as well as their home and location, occupations, family size, personal goals, motivations, reasons for adopting, and/or wishes for their new adoptive child. Using this information you will work with the counselor to select a family that matches with your specific wishes.
It is possible that you will know right away. Some birth mothers open an adoptive family profile and immediately feel as though they have found the right one. However, many mothers also do not feel as though they connect right away. It may take you more time and that is perfectly okay! You may not feel a connection with the selection of families you are given. If so, ask your counselor for a new group of family profiles.
You will be able to not only view different profiles but also meet with the adoptive family. You will be given an opportunity to ask them more questions that may not have been addressed in their profiles. Do not hesitate to gather the information that you want and need. They will be equally as eager to get to know you as well!