If you’re pregnant and looking for adoptive parents for your baby, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind.
Finding parents online is one way to make your adoption journey a little stressful.
Searching the web for a family can give you a better idea of what kind of adoptive parents are out there. It can also let you learn more about them without feeling like you have to make a decision before you’re ready.
Looking at profiles of hopeful families can also help fine-tune your decision-making, especially if you’re still unsure about whether adoption is right for you or about the kind of family you’re looking for.
Unlike looking for adoptive parents through an agency, searching for them online means you have free rein to choose a family that you feel is best for you rather than what other people think is best for you.
It also means that you don’t have to share any information about yourself if you’re not at a stage where you’re ready or comfortable doing so. Looking for parents on the web enables you to conduct your search at your own pace on your own terms without anyone looking over your shoulder or second guessing your decision.
Keep in mind that although there is no obligation for you to bring others into your search now, eventually you will need to meet with adoption specialists to go over your choices and your adoption plan in order to get the adoption finalized.
In the meantime, here are some suggestions on how to find adoptive parents online
1. Create a list of criteria that are important to you
Finding a family to adopt your baby can be overwhelming. Finding a family online can seem even more overwhelming at first because, on first impression at least, all of the couples you come across seem so perfect. And yet the only thing you really know about them at this stage is what’s included in their photos and letter.
One thing that will help you narrow down your search is knowing what to look for. When it comes to finding parents for your baby, what’s important to you?
Rest assure that all of the couples you’ll find online on sites like ours would be thrilled to adopt your baby and shower them with as much love as you would give them. The challenge is to find the one that best matches your criteria.
After all, this is your decision, and only you can make it. So the first thing you need to do is create a list of things that are important to you as a person and a mother. Is it their location? Their Religion? Ages? Whether they already have children?
Once you know what you’re looking for, it will make the rest of the process smoother and easier.
2. Look through the profiles of adoptive parents
All of the parents you’ll find on adoption profile sites like America Adopts! have been pre-approved to adopt. That means they’ve undergone medical, safety, and police checks and are ready and able to raise a child through adoption.
Many sites like ours have filters where you can narrow down your search by location, ethnicity, religion and other factors. Let’s say location is important to you. Are you interested in a family from your state or are you willing to travel outside it and if so, how far?
This may not seem like an important consideration at the moment, but eventually if you decide you want to visit your child or have the adoptive parents visit you, it could become a game-changer.
3. Reach out to the adoptive parents by email
The adopting parents’ adoption profile will tell you a lot about them–for instance, why they’re adopting, about their interests and hobbies, their family and neighborhood, and lots more. But it won’t tell you everything.
As you’re reading through their profile, put together a list of questions to ask them. It’s a good idea to set aside three profiles rather than reaching out to the first couple that looks good to you. Having a few backups will give you a chance to evaluate the pros and cons of each family and give you something to fall back on if your first choice doesn’t pan out.
No matter how excited you may be or how committed you are to your adoption plan, It’s always good to build your relationship gradually. That means your frist contact with the couple should by email. Tell them a little bit about your story and why you’re contacting them. And if you have any questions, now is the time to ask them.
Sometimes a profile will omit details that may be important to you. For instance, if you’re interested in having an ongoing relationship with the couple after the placement you’ll want to know how much openness they’re comfortable with and where they see you fitting into their lives.
You might find out after emailing them that they’re not as interested as you are in having an open adoption. In which case, they aren’t a good match for you and you’ll need to move on to the next couple on your list.
4. Speak to the couple
Reading about a couple is one thing. But you won’t really get a good sense of them until you actually talk to them. Having a conversation by phone will enable you to hear what they sound and think like, unfiltered, without the benefit of an editor or an adoption specialist who may have helped put their profile together.
Don’t worry if you feel nervous the first time you speak to them. They probably feel even more nervous than you are! Just like you, they’ll want to make a good impression and try to please you while at the same time not want to say something wrong.
If the conversation goes well, you might want to set up a time to speak again and get to know each other better. Or you may eventually want to meet or move on to the next step in the process and learn more about your options from an adoption specialist, if you haven’t consulted one already.
5. Get counseling from a licensed professional if you haven’t done so already
You can either find adoption counselors on your own or get a referral to an independent, unbiased specialist through the adoptive parents. All of the consulting is free of charge to you.
Even if you’ve already made up your mind that adoption is the right option for you, you should take advantage of whatever counselling is available to you since adoption is a lifelong decision that will have repercussion not only for you and your baby, but also for the baby’s father and your families.
Finding parents for your baby online can seem scary at first but if you do your research, take your time, ask the right questions and get professional counseling, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls that come with jumping into a situation before you’re ready.
Learn more about our hopeful adoptive parents.