Finding Adoptive Parents
Finding a Family for Adoption [Complete How-to Guide]
If you are pregnant and considering adoption for your baby, you likely have many questions about finding reliable information, the adoption process, where to begin, and many others. One of the most common questions prospective birth mothers ask is, “How do I find a family to adopt my baby?”
Finding the best family for your child is important to the overall success of not just the adoption, but the life your child lives as well. It is not a decision to take lightly or rush.
This guide will help answer your questions about adoption, as well as provide you with the resources to find families waiting to adopt a child.
Choosing Which Type of Adoption to Pursue
As a prospective birth mother, you are in complete control of the adoption process. From the type of adoption you choose, to the family you decide to place your baby with, to the type of relationship you have with the adoptive family, all of these are decisions you will make. Before you can begin searching for the best couples waiting to adopt, you will need to determine what kind of adoption you would prefer.
It essentially boils down to two options: an agency adoption or an independent adoption.
When you choose an agency adoption, you work with an adoption agency to create an adoption plan, which will detail how you envision your adoption to play out. Among many other details, during this planning stage you will provide information of the type of family you hope to place your child with. By listing numerous characteristics of your ideal family, it will help your adoption professional narrow down parents looking to adopt a child. Your adoption professional will be alongside you to help you determine the type of family and adoption situation that makes the most sense for you and your baby as well as offer assistance in finding a family.
When you work with an adoption agency, their number one goal is to make sure your needs are met, and that you are at ease throughout your adoption. By providing full scale services to prospective birth mothers, they are able to your adoption on track toward success, and most importantly, find the best couples wanting to adopt your baby. When you choose to work with an adoption agency, you can expect the following benefits in your search for the right family:
- Counseling and education: Adoption can be complicated and full of emotions. Adoption agencies make sure you are fully aware of each step and provide the assistance you may need to make sure you are handling everything as best as possible.
- Adoptive family screening: Each hopeful adoptive family is screened by the adoption agency. Part of this screening includes completing an approved home study. Once this step has been completed, families are able to continue their pursuit of adopting a child.
- Adoptive family profiles: When you decide to work with an agency, your adoption professional will provide you with print or video profiles. These profiles will give you a feel for adoptive families that spark your interest and help you make a decision on if you want to continue to pursue that specific family or not. This tool is very useful in helping you find the best adoptive family for your baby and can even help when finding a family online.
- Contact mediation: Finding a family can be emotional and difficult, as can communicating with the adoptive family. Your adoption professional will be there to help initiate contact and provide you with advice for getting to know them. Depending on the type of adoption you choose (open or closed), your specialist may also act as a mediator to help exchange information between you and the family.
- So much more
The services adoption agencies can provide to help you find a couple waiting to adopt are unmatched. Adoption agencies can be very convenient and advantageous for women in your position, but this does not mean that every woman works with an agency to find a family.
When you choose an independent adoption, you will not have the assistance or services provided by an adoption agency. You will have to complete each step on your own, including finding families looking to adopt.
In most cases, prospective birth mothers choose an independent adoption when they already have an adoptive family in mind to place their child with. This can take the stress or hassle out of trying to find a family on your own. In this case, you are able to find a family without the help of an agency, but you can still use an agency’s services to complete what is called an “identified adoption.” This type of adoption provides both you and the adoptive family the services you need to ensure your adoption is being completed as successfully as possible. The agency will provide services such as 24/7 support, education, pre and post-placement counseling, screening and much more.
Women completing an independent adoption without already having an adoptive family can find families in a number of ways. Some of your options include:
- Adoption facilitators: Adoption agencies provide various services for both the prospective birth mother and the adoptive family. An adoption facilitator, on the other hand, specifically helps bring adoptive families and prospective birth parents together and does not provide any other services during the adoption process. These professionals are not available (or legal) in all states, so be careful when working with an unlicensed facilitator.
- Attorney referrals: Adoption attorneys are required no matter the type of adoption you choose. Couples looking to adopt a baby will also have to use the services of an attorney. Oftentimes, attorneys may have leads of families looking for a baby to adopt.
- Online profiles: Your best bet during an independent adoption is to find adoptive parents online. There are many families who create their own profiles and post them online. Finding adoptive parents on Facebook or other social media sites can also be a useful tool. Blogs, support groups and other various means of information online can help you find a family waiting to adopt. However, remember to use caution when searching for adoptive parents online, as these couples waiting to adopt may not have been screened the way adoptive families are through an agency. Always work with an adoption attorney to finalize the adoption to ensure everything is completed legally.
Whatever way you choose to find a family, it is important to remember that the parents you choose must complete a home study, and both sides must always have a lawyer to confirm the adoption is being completed legally and ethically. The choice to complete an agency adoption or independent adoption is completely up to you. Whichever best matches your desired outcome for adoption would be your best decision.
We recommend discussing your options with an adoption specialist, no matter which type of adoption you are leaning toward. An adoption professional will provide you with unbiased information and help you determine what makes the most sense for your specific situation. This adoption professional will also be able to provide information on the best way to find parents looking to adopt a baby, no matter the type of adoption you choose.
What to Look for in the Best Adoptive Families
Finding a family for your child is often considered the most important decision made throughout the adoption process. But what should you look for when searching for families waiting to adopt a child?
Ultimately, you are in control of the characteristics you hope the adoptive family will possess. Here are a few things to consider before you begin your search:
- What kind of home environment do you want your child to grow up in?
- Do you prefer a small town, suburb, heart of a city or something else?
- Do you want your child to grow up the only child, or with siblings?
- What are your thoughts on your child growing up religious?
- What personal beliefs do you have beyond religion that you would like your child to grow up surrounded by?
When it comes to the specific details of how your child is raised, the sky is the limit as far as how specific you would like to get. From if they will grow up in a household with pets, to what kind of hobbies you would like them to be involved in, listing any and all characteristics of the ideal family will help you get one step closer to finding the best family for your child.
Listing these details to your adoption professional is one thing. Determining if adoptive family candidates are on the same page is another. It may sound silly, but preparing interview questions for adoptive families is a great way to get on the same page with them about your expectations and see if they align with your goals. It can also spark more in-depth conversations, which can give you a better connection and understanding of each other. Topics for interview questions could include:
- Questions about their childhood
- Family background
- If they have any previous adoption experience
- Why the decided to pursue adoption (be careful, as this may be overstepping boundaries)
- Religion and political questions
- Questions about hobbies
- Asking questions about their relationship, such as how long they’ve been together or how the met
- Anything you want to know that is not crossing any personal boundaries
Getting to know hopeful couples wanting to adopt your baby is an important step toward selecting the right family for your child. The more you interact with a family, the better you can get a true sense of their personalities and goals for the adoption. The more you share in common goals, the stronger the adoption team. Although predicting the future is impossible, and doubts will likely still occur, it has been said that when a prospective birth mother meets the family for her baby, she will know.
You are in control of making the decision of which family to place your child with. When you feel you are ready to begin your search, speak with an adoption specialist or browse the agency websites and family profile services below to find couples wanting to adopt:
You can always find peace in knowing parents waiting to adopt may not even know you, but already share a special bond of wanting to provide your child with the love and care they deserve, while giving them the opportunity of their best life possible. It is up to you to make sure both of your dreams come true.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.