Open Adoption with Your Child
Getting to Know the Adoptive Parents [Questions to Ask an Adoptive Family]
Getting to know the adoptive parents is the first step in developing an important relationship that will keep a connection between you and your child. These are some things to consider when meeting an adoptive family for the first time.
- Think of any important questions to ask adoptive parents about their life, background, hobbies, religious beliefs, etc.
- How much and what type of communication should there be?
- As the prospective birth mother placing her child for adoption, what is the expectation for a connection with the child post-placement?
During the initial meeting, formulating questions to ask the adoptive parents can jump-start the relationship and help you develop a comfort level with the environment your child will grow up Adoption specialists are waiting to answer your questions, and you can speak with one today for free.
MEETING THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS
The initial meeting with an adoptive family is a springboard to developing an important lifelong relationship. First meetings can take place via:
- Phone call – Shortly after choosing a family, a phone call may take place with the help and mediation of an adoption professional
- Video conference – Video conferencing is another good option, as it allows for the two of you to have a slightly more intimate meeting but without some of the in-person pressures
- Email – Emails are a great way to start correspondence. It makes it easier to respond when either side is most comfortable and can make it easier to share personal information
- Meeting face to face – Face-to-face meetings are the best way to find out if a family is the right fit for you and your baby. While face-to-face meetings aren’t possible in every situation, it’s recommended that you at least meet the adoptive parents at the hospital before placement
The type of initial meeting is determined by your comfort level and desired level of communication.
Questions to Ask Prospective Adoptive Parents
Having already viewed the family’s adoptive family print or video profile, you’ve had a chance to see their home, surroundings and potentially had some of your questions answered already. If you’re like many prospective birth parents, you may have a long list of additional questions to ask an adoptive family during your first meeting and throughout the adoption process. But, if you’re not sure what kind of questions to ask adoptive parents, this list has you covered. Questions to consider asking the adoptive family can include the following:
- How did you meet?
- Do you have any children already?
- What are some of your interests or hobbies?
- Do you have any specific religious beliefs?
- Are you close with extended family?
- Describe your neighborhood and surrounding community.
- Do you have a good school system?
- Are holidays important to you?
- Where do you work/what kind of job do you have?
- Do you have pets?
- What was your childhood like?
- What are your plans for education, and what type of education do you want for your children?
Once you’ve asked some general lifestyle questions and had the chance to get to know the personality of the adoptive parents, you can ask questions more geared towards their decision to adopt as well as their parenting style. These are some good adoption questions to ask:
- What made you choose adoption?
- Do you have adoption in your family background or any personal connection to adoption?
- How do you plan on talking about adoption with this child?
- What are your expectations for a relationship with me moving forward?
- What is your parenting style like?
During the initial meeting with the adoptive parents, asking more general background questions about their daily lives, interests and adoption goals is a great way to break the ice and establish a foundation for what will be an evolving relationship. It’s okay if only some of your questions are answered. If you feel comfortable with the adoptive family after first meeting them, you will have opportunities to continue to get to know them as you progress through the adoption process.
Keep in mind that the adoptive parents want to know more about you, too. Talk about yourself by describing your interests and hobbies. If you find through your own questions that you have something in common, such as views on religion, parenting or lifestyle, be sure to highlight those commonalities and further your connection with the adoptive family. Your pre-placement contact can continue throughout the pregnancy as you continue to become comfortable with the adoptive parents. Text messages, emails and the like are great ways to share the adoption experience.
CONTACT AT THE HOSPITAL
When it’s time to head to the hospital for labor and delivery, contact with the adoptive parents is up to you. In many cases, prospective birth mothers opt to have the adoptive family visit them in the room with the baby. For prospective birth mothers who need more space to cope with the adoption and the fact that they’ll be leaving the hospital without their baby, having no contact with the adoptive parents is an option. A benefit to developing an early relationship with the adoptive family is being able to leave the hospital feeling confident that your child is with loving and caring parents who are keeping your interests in mind as well as the child’s.
Once the adoption is finalized, you and the adoptive family may each need to take some space to settle into your new roles and process the emotions of the adoption. Emails are a great way to remain in contact with the adoptive family while not forcing the issue or pressing for updates, as they allow both sides to respond on their own time. Once you’re both ready to increase the amount of communication — agreed to by both parties — you can start receiving more frequent updates on the child. Depending on whether you’ve chosen an “open adoption” or “semi-open adoption,” the types of communication can include the following:
- Text messaging
- Phone calls
- Video chats
- In-person meetings
As you move forward with the adoptive family and continue building your relationship, the parameters and levels of contact can change. You may decide at some point that you want more or less contact. Changes to the openness are completely normal and can be an ongoing discussion with the adoptive parents.
As you build your relationship with the adoptive family, keep in mind that these are people with the same hopes and dreams as you have for your child. The two you will forever have a shared love for your child.
Are you ready to meet couples that want to adopt and begin getting to know them? Check out some adoptive family profiles here.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.