Placing your child for adoption is no easy decision, but you can be rest assured that you’re doing the right thing. Mothers always want to the best for their children, and even if you won’t be able to raise your child yourself, knowing that you’ve placed them in capable, loving hands is truly the next best thing.
Whether you’re working with an agency, an attorney, or other method and adoption professional, there will come a time when you will have to meet some potential adoptive parents. Even though you will have read their profile and already know a little bit about them, the profile is not a complete picture of who they are – they wrote it, and they of course want to make themselves look as good as possible.
It is important to be discerning and objective, which is why there are several questions you absolutely must ask when meeting your potential adoptive parents.
Ask Your Potential Adoptive Parents These 10 Questions
1. How Are You?
Starting off with this questions keeps things polite but also intentional. Wanting to know how the potential birth parents are will acknowledge that they are just as nervous as you are bound to be, and want to make a good impression. This question doesn’t have to lead to a long extensive answer, but it is a polite opener that can effectively break the ice while showing a certain level of care.
2. How Did You Two Meet?
If you are speaking with a couple, it is always a good idea to ask how they met. This can give you some background on their marriage and overall partnership, allowing you some insight into the strength of their relationship. If it is important to you have your child raised in a two parent home, this questions may calm any fears you may have about separation or divorce of the adoptive parents. Don’t expect too much, though – this is only your first or second meeting with them.
3. Do You Have Any Other Children?
This question will show you where the adoptive parents are when it comes to their adoption journey. Perhaps they are adopting because they have struggle with infertility, or maybe they already have other children, either biological children or other adopted children, and are wanting to expand their blended family. Knowing this background can help you better understanding the potential parents of your unborn child as well as their familial ties and habits.
4. What is Your Family Like?
You may have an idea of the type of family you want your baby to be placed with. Maybe you want them to have lots of siblings, or a certain education, or a certain religious background. Learning more about the adoptive parents’ family will give you some insight into the type of home experience your baby will have while living with them.
5. What Kind of Neighborhood Do You Live In?
Safety is always a major concern for any parent, so you should of course ask for some more information on where the potential adoptive parents live and work. Find out if the neighborhood is safe, where the schools are, and the frequency of crime. This information may be in their adoption profile, but asking for anecdote first hand can give you info you wouldn’t and couldn’t have gleaned from the report.
6. Do You Have Anyone Close To You Who Has Adopted or Has Been Adopted?
If you are unfamiliar with adoption, this question may help you as much as it helps the potential adoptive parents. It gives you some firsthand understanding of what it’s really like for an adopted person, or for people to adopt. Many birth moms worry about the impact adoption will have on their children. If your potential birth parents already have experience with adoption, it could calm some of the more irrational fears you’re experiencing.
7. What Do You Do For A Living?
Of course, financial security is a huge part of adoption. Many agencies and attorneys want to know that the adoptive family can afford to take on the financial responsibilities of a child comfortably, and knowing one’s profession is the first step to getting this information. This doesn’t mean you should dismiss a couple if they aren’t a doctor and lawyer respectively, rather it simply means you are looking to see if they are honest, hardworking people who can keep a job in order to care for their family.
8. What Lead You to Your Adoption Decision?
You may also want to ask what brought this couple to the final decision of adoption. There are a number of reasons why people choose to adopt. Some are tragic, others are practical, and some come from a deep emotional need in a couple's or individual’s life. Knowing more about how they came to this decision helps you get to know them as people, as well as parents.
9. Is the Rest of Your Family Happy About the Adoption?
It is always scary when some members of the family are not on board with an adoption. The grandparents, the children, and sometimes even the spouse may not be in agreement, and this can cause serious strife in a family. Of course, you don’t want your child in a potentially dangerous situation where they can experience abuse or neglect, so asking this question may be more important than you think. Cold feet from the spouse or other children is not enough to raise the alarm, but watch out for worrisome attitudes or behaviors by those who are not ready to welcome your child with open arms.
10. What Kind of Relationship Are You Interested In Having with Me After the Adoption?
This last question will help both you and the adoptive parents decide on whether or not to have an open adoption. Many feel that an open adoption is much more beneficial for the child, but this can’t be done in every scenario. If you have other plans or do not wish for an open adoption, the potential adoptive parents must discuss this with you find a way to work with it, or reach a compromise. This will require some vulnerability from you, but in the end, it will be a necessary conversation to have for the sake of your child.
Meeting the potential adoptive parents won’t be easy. It may stir up some strange and even frightening feelings, but it is something that must and should happen. Be sure to be yourself and to ask these important questions so that you get the information you need. You are all on an adoption journey together, and though it can be stressful and scary, it is something that will bond you for life.