If you are expecting an unplanned pregnancy and considering placing your child for adoption, you might be asking yourself, “How am I going to find good parents to give my baby to?” It can be a daunting task and is likely very overwhelming. Know that you are not alone. Almost every woman in your position is feeling or has felt the same way. I want to give you some suggestions on things to look for that can make a good set of parents. These opinions are strictly my own, but hope they can give you a little direction.
When my husband and I wrote out our will, we had to decide who would take our children in case we both passed away. In a very very small way, I can understand all of the things that are going through your mind. These are the things that I found important to consider when you ask yourself, “How do I find good parents to give my baby to?”
Think carefully about the type of person or people you want to raise your child when asking yourself “How do I find good parents to give my baby to?” Some expectant mothers prefer for a single woman to raise their child. Others prefer to have a married couple. If you are considering someone that is single, it often is important to learn about his/her support system. Being a single parent is often very hard and it’s important to know that they have friends and family surrounding them to step in if he/she needs help. You’ll likely also want to know what he/she has planned for childcare while he/she is at work. Will the child stay with a friend? Family member? Daycare?
If you are hoping for a married couple to adopt your child, you may want to look for a couple that has good problem-solving skills as well as strong communication skills. When you are first introduced to couples, you will flip through their profile books or online adoption profile. This can be a great chance to learn a little more about how they met, what they like to do for fun as a couple, and get an initial glimpse into their relationship. Once you narrow down the couples that you want to talk to, you can ask them directly what their communication style is, how they handle conflict in their relationship, and what attracted them to each other.
Something that can be incredibly helpful is to ask what their relationship is like with their own parents. A lot of times parents follow the example of their own parents on how to raise, connect with, and discipline children. Other things to consider discussing include what their parents are like, things they want to continue in their own family, and things they might want to change. A hopeful adoptive mom shared some insight into her parenting goals saying:
“I grew up in a traditional home with a mother and father. They had a great marriage, as far as I could tell. They went on dates once a week, attended church together, and spoke kindly to each other. When it came time for disciplining the children, they saw things a little differently. My dad had a heavy hand and was very strict. My mother wanted to talk things through and let us choose our punishments. It all worked out in the end, but when starting my own family, I realized that I really want my husband and I to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. We have read various parenting books and discussed the things that we want to do with our own children and discipline strategies that we want to avoid.”
As your child’s parent, you get to decide who adopts your baby. You can ask as many questions as you want to really get to know the family that your child might end up with.
Something else to consider when you want to find good parents to give your baby to is whether or not the family has children in it already. How important is it to you that your child grows up with siblings? For some, they want their child to be the only one in the family. Growing up as an only child can offer many benefits. There may be more time and attention given to one child, or perhaps there could be more money to go around for things like clothes, shoes, and a bigger house. It may also be a lot easier to travel with just one child.
However, being an only child can get lonely. Having siblings may provide instant friends for your child. If there are older siblings, there might be people to protect their younger siblings. If there are younger siblings, your child can learn responsibility and how to love and care for others. You might reflect on your own family that you grew up in. Were you glad to have siblings? Were you an only child? Some expectant parents also find it important for the child to have some of their siblings or all of their siblings to also be adopted, so their child doesn’t feel left out. The amount of siblings and whether or not they are also adopted is a preference that you will need to decide on. None of these options are better than the others, it is just up to your personal preferences.
Something else to consider when you want to find good parents to give your baby to is the type of lifestyle they lead. One of the first things to think about could be the type of jobs that the parents have. Do their jobs require them to travel a lot? Are they gone at odd hours? Is one of them a stay-at-home parent? Do they both work from home? These are things that you might want to think about as you are choosing potential parents for your baby. It is obviously important that the family has an income. This will require at least one parent to work, if not both. Working provides for the basic needs of the family and if extra income comes in, it can also provide funds for vacations, extra things, and future expenses. If there are certain careers that you don’t think fit a good parent, keep that in mind as you are looking through different profiles. Ultimately, the amount of money the person rarely determines how great of a parent they will be. Sometimes, the more money people make, the more they have to work, and the less time they spend at home. You have to decide what is important to you and what kind of life you want for your child.
You want to ask potential adoptive families what their educational priorities and plans are for your child. Will they homeschool? Attend public school? Attend a private school? There’s no right answer, it just depends on what you value and if this is something that matters to you or not. Some parents have strong opinions on their children attending college, following their own passions, or completely doing their own thing when it comes to education.
Learning how important family time is to potential adoptive families can make a big difference in how your child is raised. Find out what their typical weekend looks like. How do they feel about extracurricular activities? Do they expect children to clean their rooms and do chores around the house? Having a family that spends quality time together increases the security that the child feels.
3. Open/Closed Adoption
Another thing to consider if you want to find good parents to give your baby to is how open or how closed they want your adoption to be. A closed adoption is when there is no contact between the child and the biological parents. There is not an option for the child to find his/her biological parents someday and there is no way for the biological parents to find the child. This option is usually chosen by the biological parents but can be a desire for hopeful adoptive families, too.
Open adoption can have a wide range of openness. Some adoptive families share pictures and updates regularly through email and/or text messages. You can even agree to regular visits, joining in on special celebrations like birthdays, and/or video calls. This is something to think about before you start to look for families to adopt your child. Make sure that you know how open you want the adoption to be or if you want it to be closed so that you can find a family that will respect your desires and move forward with that agreement.
While closed adoptions are a necessary option for a lot of situations, open adoptions have many benefits. A child can have a stronger self-identity when he/she knows where he/she came from. A lot of children and adults who are adopted wonder about their genetics and who they might look like. If they have a resource to turn to about medical history and ancestors, they can feel a sense of belonging outside of their adopted family. It can also be a great chance for more people to be in your child’s life. Open adoption can allow birth parents to watch their child grow and feel confident about their decision to place their child for adoption as they see them live a happy and fulfilled life.
4. Holidays and Traditions
How important are holidays and traditions to you? Do you have memories of gathering around the Christmas tree with your family? Going trick-or-treating with your friends? Or taking a trip to the beach every summer? Or perhaps, these are things that you want for your own child. Strong families may have traditions that they participate in. Traditions can provide security and something to look forward to. This can be another thing that you will want to find out about potential adoptive families. It might be important to you whether or not they celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. In contrast, it might be important to you that they don’t celebrate religious holidays.
A birth mom that placed her son for adoption said this of the family that she chose to adopt him:
“I remember flipping through tons of different family profile books. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know how I was going to choose from so many great families. There was one family that stood out to me. They had a lot of great qualities, but I really loved how they had the tradition of making waffles every Saturday together as a family. They did a lot of other things together and had a lot of other fun traditions, but this one felt really special to me. This was something that my parents did with me when I was younger. We had a special breakfast every Saturday. I wanted that happy feeling for my child, too.”
Religion can be another factor to consider when choosing a family. If there is a certain faith that you’d prefer your child to grow up in, seek out a family that worships accordingly. You might not have a particular religion in mind, but feel religion, in general, is important. Learning what the family values may help you to make the right decision. There are also many people who don’t have any religious preference and that might be something that you find ideal for your child. Whatever you feel is important, make sure to ask and discuss those desires and/or concerns.
5. General Feeling When Talking to Them
Ultimately, you need to follow your gut when deciding which family to place your child with. You will sort through many profile books and once you narrow it down to a few families, you have the option to talk to the family over the phone or via a video chat. As you are talking with them, pay attention to how you feel. Do they help you to feel comfortable? Do you feel like they are a match with their profile book? You are the mother of your child and because you are, you can feel which direction you should go when finding an adoptive family. Trust yourself. You can do this!