Your Relationship with the Adoptive Family
Questions to Ask Adoptive Parents
Tips for Getting to Know Them & Building a Relationship
You are choosing an open adoption because you want to maintain an open connection with your child. But did you know you can begin building the foundation of this relationship long before your baby is placed with the adoptive parents?
In fact, it’s important to understand how to build a strong relationship with the adoptive family and get to know them better as you move forward.
- Fact: Getting to know the adoptive parents will help you feel confidence in the environment your child will grow up in.
- Fact: You can meet an adoptive family and get to know them during your pregnancy through phone calls, email exchanges, text messages and more.
- Fact: The adoptive parents’ relationship with a birth mother during her pregnancy can set the tone for a meaningful, lifelong connection.
This guide will explain the importance of having a relationship with the adoptive parents, provide tips on how to do it and questions to ask an adoptive family during the interview process and beyond.
After you’ve decided to start the adoption process, one of the early stages is developing an adoption plan. This will include the decision as to what level of contact you’d like to have with the adoptive parents.
In an open adoption, contact can range from consistent phone calls, to sharing pictures and social media connections, to in-person visits. Should you choose a semi-open adoption, contact may be more limited to things like mediated phone calls, messaging either through text or email and receiving pictures.
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for in this relationship, you can start the process of selecting a family. During the matching process —with the help of your adoption professional —you can review adoptive family profiles, complete with text, pictures, and sometimes even videos that provide a deeper look into who the potential adoptive parents are and the environment they surround themselves with. With an open adoption, this allows you to hand-pick which family you go on the adoption journey with and it serves as the very beginning of a life-long relationship.
Your Initial Meeting with the Adoptive Family
After you’ve picked out an adoptive family, there will be some initial pre-placement contact which also serves as an interview process, allowing you to get to know the family you think is the best fit for your baby. These are some of the ways the initial meetings with the family may happen:
- Phone call – A conference call is a good way to have a first conversation with the potential adoptive family along with your adoption professional, who will often mediate the conversation.
- Email – Initial contact through email is a good way for both parties to freely speak and ask adoption interview questions without a sense of pressure.
- Visits – With so much excitement in meeting an adoptive family for the first time, many prospective birth parents opt to meet with them in person, especially if both are from the surrounding area.
Common Questions to Ask an Adoptive Family
Prior to meeting the adoptive family for the first time, you’ll want to develop some good questions to ask the adoptive parents. Asking a variety of questions will give you the chance to get a better feel for not only the personality of the adoptive parents themselves, but their interests, beliefs and intentions. This is also a good way to learn more about where your baby will grow up and the type of home he or she will be living in.
These are some common questions to consider asking during your first meeting with the adoptive parents.
- What are your interests?
- Where did you meet?
- What type of neighborhood do you live in?
- What are some of your favorite things to do in your city?
- What are the summers and winters like?
- Do you take frequent vacations and if so, where do you like to go?
It’s beneficial to keep the initial meeting light and more general in terms of getting to know the adoptive parents. Keep in mind they want to know more about you as well, so talk about yourself and your interests. Not only are the adoptive parents raising your baby, but they are becoming a part of your life as well. The foundation of your relationship with them directly impacts your connection with your child moving forward.
After your initial conversation with the adoptive parents, you can continue to get to know them throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. Pre-placement contact can take whatever form you all are most comfortable with, whether that’s weekly emails, more frequent text messages, occasional phone calls or even arranging a meeting in your hometown. You might also choose to send sonogram photos of the baby to the family, as well as celebrate life moments such as their birthdays or holidays with something as simple as a card or a phone call.
After you’ve had a chance to meet the adoptive parents and ask questions, the two of you can continue your journey on the same adoption plan. After the adoption is complete, your post-placement communication and relationship begins. It will be up to you and the adoptive parents to determine the amount of contact you’ll have as well as what type of contact and communication works best.
In the early stages, it may be a good idea to have some space. Not only are you coping with emotions of the pregnancy and adoption, but the adoptive family is bringing home a new member of their family and may be busy as they adjust to parenthood. Send encouraging messages and be flexible with the early stages of this new reality and your post-placement relationship. Both you and the adoptive parents have plenty of time to allow your relationship to blossom and become something that works for both of you and your child moving forward.
Are you ready to meet couples that want to adopt and begin getting to know them? Check out some adoptive family profiles here. Do you need help creating a list of questions to ask the potential adoptive parents before meeting them? Contact us today to get the services and support you need to begin building a meaningful relationship with your child’s adoptive family.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.