If you’re hoping to find a family for your baby, there is no shortage of places to look, especially online.
A quick internet search of “find parents to adopt my baby” will display millions of results, from adoption agencies and consultants to social media accounts and adoptive parents and their websites.
Finding prospective adoptive parents is the easy part. Finding the ones that are right for you is a bit tougher.
A good place to start your search is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What kinds of parents am I looking for?
- What’s important to me?
- What kind of traits, values or beliefs do I want them to have?
- Am I looking for an older couple or a young one?
- Is their ethnicity or religion important to me?
- Do I want a family that lives near me, or faraway—with children or without?
Once you narrow down the criteria, it will be easier for you to go through your search. And easier for you to find the family that’s right for you.
You can change your mind anytime–about placing your baby for adoption, finding an adoptive family, or the criteria you use to find them. Still, it helps to set some parameters at the outset. If you go into the process blind it will just be a matter of time before you get overwhelmed by the vast number of choices and decisions you’ll need to make.
Some women with an unexpected pregnancy worry that they won’t find parents for their child before their baby is born. Or that the parents they do choose will reject them, or change their minds and find someone else. Or that they won’t love your baby the way you would love him or her.
There Is No Shortage Of Prospective Parents Who Would Love To Raise Your Child
Rest assured, that won’t happen to you. There are literally hundreds, if not thousand, of pre-screened and adoption-ready families who are ready to adopt your baby and shower him or her with love.
Sometimes, if you’re on the fence about adoption, finding the right family could tip the balance and be the one thing that makes everything fall into place and gives you the confidence you need to go ahead with your plan.
At the end of the day, you’re the only on that can make that decision. Others can help you, but you need to be 100 percent sure about your decision, if not now than by the time of placement.
Feeling Uncertain Now Is Not Uncommon
If you’re confused or overwhelmed by all of the decisions you have to make, including those related to finding a family, that’s not uncommon. Adoption is a life-changing decision that is permanent. It’s important to take the time now to explore all of your options so that when you do make a decision you feel good about it.
Here are some of the things (in no particular order) that you may want to consider as you weigh your options about which family, or at least what kind of family, would be best for your baby:
- Parenting Preferences
- An Adoption Connection
- Other Children
This important if you want to be near your child and don’t want to worry about travel expenses. Or it may be important because you need to put some distance between the two of you and avoid bumping into them at the local supermarket.
This could be important to you because you want your child to have younger parents with a more active lifestyle. But there are a lot of older people who are more active than people half their age, and older parents likely means more experience. But again, it’s totally up to you.
Maybe you always wanted to be a vet and you’d love your child to be one or to grow up in a vet’s home. Or maybe your mom is a nurse and you want your child to grow up in a home with a nurse in it. This is your chance to do it. Now is the time to figure out what you want and just about anything goes.
This is important if you have any specific interests you would like our your child to have or that you don’t have but consider important. If you’ve always liked horses, for instance, you might want to look for a family with a farm or equestrians. The options are endless.
If you’re religious and want your child to be raised in a religious family there are prospective adoptive parents from all across the religious spectrum. Just plug in “hope to adopt” or “hoping to adopt” + the specific religion. You’ll be surprised by the number of families that show up. Similarly, if you’re not religious but you’re spiritual, there is an endless supply of prospective parents who fit that category.
Ethnicity and Race
If your ethnicity or race are important to you and you want your child to be brought up in a home with parents of the same ethnicity or race you can find them too. This is also true if you’re looking for a more inclusive family or one that lives in a more inclusive community.
This is another important issue for many expectant parents. And again, depending on how important it is, you’ll be able to find hopeful parents ranging from no education to PhD’s and medical or law degrees.
Knowing how your child’s prospective parents plan to raise them is another factor to take into consideration as you make your decision. What are their thoughts about parenting? What do they believe? How were they raised by their parents? What are their values and beliefs?
This is tied to parenting preferences but is a whole category in itself. What are the parents’ plans to raise your child right after placement? If they both work, will they take time off, for how long, and both partners or just one? Do you want your child to be raised by a stay-at-home home or a working mother? Once your child is older, will their family hire a nanny or put your child in daycare? Go to school or be homeschooled? Even though the adopting parents may not be able to answer all of these questions now, it doesn’t hurt to ask them and begin a conversation.
Do you the parents have an adoption connection? If they do, they may have special insights that may, or may not, be pertinent to you. For example, if one of them is a birthparent or an adoptee they could have a deeper understanding of issues like loss or the importance of connection that other parents you’re considering lack.
Do you want your child to be an only child or to have siblings? Do you want those siblings to be adopted or biological? Families are formed in so many different ways and once you start conducting your search you’ll be able to find the ones that meet your criteria and needs.
Never estimate this one! Even though pets may be temporary they’re still an important part of the family. If you grew up with a dog or cat and want your child to grow up with one too, there will be families with dogs and cats—and an assorted menagerie of other animals too.
The one thing you should keep in mind as you’re looking for a family is that adoption has changed over the years. It’s a lot different today than it used to be or probably how you think it is.
Adoption Is Not About “Giving Up Your Baby”
Making an adoption plan means that you’ll be placing your baby with another family who will raise that child. And though it involves loss, it doesn’t mean you’ll never see your child again. Today, with open adoption, you and the adoptive family can create an adoption plan together and to decide what kind of contact or involvement you want to have after the placement.
As part of the proces, you get to choose the parents. You get to speak to them. You get to meet them (although with Covid-19 impacing everything, including adoption placements, that may be difficult).
You get to choose how much openness you want. And you get to choose what kind of relationship you want to have with your child and the adopting parents down the road.
Open Adoption Allows You To Have An Ongoing Relationship
In other words, placing your baby is not about saying goodbye. You control all of the decision until the signing of the adoption papers. After that, the control shifts to the adoptive parents and they make all of the decisions.
For that reason it’s important now to take the time to decide a) if adoption is right for you and b) if it is, what kind of parents you want to raise your child.
As mentioned, after the placement, the parents will be legally responsible for raising your child and making all of the decisions regarding their welfare. Although most, or many adoptive parents will honor the promises they make to their child’s birthparents after the placement, there is no guarantee that they’ll do it.
Similarly, if you feel that they’re pressuring you into making decisions you don’t want or are not ready to make, that’s a red flag that they’re not right for you. Or it could also be a sign that you’re not as ready as you might have thought to move forward with your plan.
Feeling Confident About Your Decision Now Is Important
If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel comfortable with the parent you’ve chosen, there’s nothing that ties you to them. You can find others
So, to make things easier on them and yourself, don’t jump into a situation before you’re ready. If you’re still wavering in your decision, speak to an experience adoption specialist. She or he can answer your questions, explain the process, and provide guidance and support.
All of the counseling is free, whether you decide to go through with your adoption plan or not. Once you find adoptive parents, they will be responsible for covering all of your counseling and legal expenses. In some states, you may be eligible for assistance with your living expenses. Your specialists can explain things in more detail.
Get Counseling and Legal Assistance From Experienced Professionals
As mentioned, once you find the adoptive parents, you’re entitled to have your own, unbiased and independent legal assistance and counseling. Even if you’re 100% sure about your decision, make sure you take it. Knowing what your options are and making an informed decision is the key to a successful placement and a successful adoption.
If you don’t think you’re ready to parent and you’re looking for an adoptive parent or you’re interested in seeing what hopeful adoptive parents looks like, our adoption profiles page contains dozens of qualified families who could provide your baby with a loving home.
You can learn about them by reading their profile. It will tell you not only their location, ethnicity, religion, and interests but also their thoughts about adoption and parenting.
And you can contact them or their adoption professionals directly by email, text or phone if you have any questions.
Learn Whatever You Can About the Parents Before Contacting Them
No matter where you find adoptive parents for your baby or how you find them, whether it’s on your own or through an agency, it’s important to learn as much as you can about them and the process before moving forward.
Make a list of the things that are important to you and then check the list against the parents you choose. Do they meet your criteria? Ask them questions and see how they answer them. Don’t be afraid to go deeper if you want to know more. Make a list of their answers and compare them to what other parents have told you. Don’t make a decision until you’ve spoken to at least three couples. How they answer your questions will tell you a lot about them and whether they’re right for you.
Ask Them Questions and, Despite Covid-19 Restrictions, Try To Meet Them
Before the pandemic hit, expectant parents not only talked to the adoptive parents before the birth of their child, they met with them. Now with Covid-19, it’s a bit harder to meet. Getting answers by phone, text, email or video chats is fine. But meeting them will tell you things about them that these other forms of communication can’t.
Sometimes you’ll find a couple and instantly connect with them even though they don’t meet any of your criteria. And that’s okay too. Sometimes you just know. Anyone who’s ever fallen in love can relate to that. And that’s exactly what you’ll want to do with the parents you’ve found: fall in love.
It’s important to have a good idea of what the prospective parents are like before you reach out to them. Because once you contact them and get the ball rolling it will take your relationship to another level and be harder to extract yourself from a situation.
Changing Your Mind Is Possible Now, Harder Later
Of course, as mentioned earlier, you have the right to change your mind at any time before the placement, no questions asked. Afterwards, it will be more complicated and perhaps impossible. Your adoption professionals can explain your rights and responsibilities.
Besides finding qualified adoption professionals, surround yourself with positive people. Adoption can be hard. Not everyone will agree with your decision. Some will judge you and tell you they could never give up their baby. Oftentimes, your family, friends and loved ones won’t understand your decision and try to talk you out of it. Oftentimes, the baby’s father will too.
Speak to Birthmothers Who Have Placed
Reach out to others who have gone through the process to find about their experiences and the pros and cons. There are plenty of birthmother support groups online and on social media who will be happy to help you.
As you wait for your baby to be born, you’ll have good days and bad ones, physically and emotionally. Going through a pregnancy is always challenging, especially if you’re still unsure if you’re ready to parent.
Thinking about adoption doesn’t make things any easier. The process is complicated and unpredictable, even at the best of times. And now with Covid-19 and all the physical distancing restrictions and changes in hospital protocols, it is more stressful than ever.
Choosing parents you can relate to and who will support you through the pre-birth process can help with your decision and the healing process afterwards, especially if you’re lucky enough to find parents with whom you can build a strong, trusting, loving relationship.
Finding the right parents for your baby is no easy task, wherever you look for them. But done right, it could provide your baby with the future you want your child to have and give you peace of mind that you’ve made the right decision.
Find an adoptive family at our adoptive parents profiles.