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Choosing an Adoptive Family

Choosing an adoptive family for your baby will be one of the most difficult decisions you make on this journey. Once you’ve made the choice to make an adoption plan for your baby, you should start considering the characteristics of the adoptive family you want for your child.

Licensed private adoption agencies and even public agencies have numerous profiles for you to review of approved prospective adoptive families. All of the families on an agency’s ‘active waiting list’ have completed home studies and have had police, medical and reference checks. The adoption agency/licensee will provide numerous copies of profiles for you to review – these typically consist of a “Dear Birth Mother” letter and several photos of the family. Some waiting families create scrapbooks about themselves and others go to great lengths and have their profiles on paper and video format.

* IMPORTANT * Not all potential birth parents find adoptive families through agencies, but rather, through web sites such as Adoptiveparents.ca. You can view a variety of family profiles in our Family Profiles directory.

You may have already started thinking about the characteristics of the adoptive family you want for your child, but if not, we’ve compiled a number of questions you should think about before reviewing profiles of approved waiting families.

Issues to Consider When Reviewing Family Profiles:

  • Do you want to have an open, semi-open or closed adoption with the adoptive family and your child?
  • Do you want your child to have a mother and a father?
  • Would you feel comfortable if a same sex couple raised your child?
  • Is the age of the adoptive couple important to you? If so, what’s your preference?
  • Is it important to you that your child have siblings? Or, do you want your child to be a family’s first child?
  • Does it matter if the adoptive family lives in the same city/town as you? Do you want your child to grow up in the city, the suburbs or out in the country?
  • Is a family’s income level important to you? If so, what is your preference?
  • Do you want a family where one parent will stay at home with your child?
  • Do you think it is important for the child to be raised in a family with a strong religious faith? If so, do you have a preference for the religious faith?
  • Do you want your child’s adoptive family to be the same culture/heritage as you?
  • Are there certain interests that you believe add to a child’s experience in a family (music, art, sports, politics, etc.)?
  • What other issues are important to you in the selection of a family for your child?

Questions to Ask Potential Adoptive Families:

Before you meet with any prospective adoptive families, you should make a list of questions that you can ask them during your meeting. Think about what you what for your child and what’s important to you. Here are some examples of questions you might pose to the family:

  • Why do you want to adopt a child?
  • Have you adopted before?
  • Do you have any biological children?
  • Do you want to have a large family or just one child?
  • How does your extended family feel about adoption?
  • What kind of experience do you have with children?
  • Will you tell your child that he/she is adopted? How? When?
  • How do you feel about open adoption?
  • What kind of openness would you like in an adoption?
  • What will you tell the child about me and his/her birth family?
  • Are you willing to maintain contact with me/us as your child grows up? How often? In what form?
  • What are your religious beliefs?
  • What are your beliefs about education?
  • What forms of discipline will you use with the child?

Choosing a family for your child is a huge decision; some parents can make a decision after reading just a few profiles, but most take a lot of time, making their choice only after meeting with numerous families, asking many questions, and much thought and consideration. Don’t let anyone push you to choose from a limited selection of profiles or make a decision quickly. This is YOUR choice to make!


 



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