Looking for adoptive parents can be an exhilarating yet intimidating process. You may experience a variety of feelings of uncertainty, such as:
- How do I know I will find the right family?
- How do I know the family is who they say they are?
- How do I know they will keep their promises?
Thankfully, there are adoption agencies who specialize in addressing these concerns and helping you find the perfect family for your child.
How Do I Know I Will Find the Right Family?
One of the biggest benefits of working with an adoption agency is how they help prospective birth mothers find the right adoptive families for their adoption plans.
Adoption agencies often work with a wide variety of families to give their birth mothers plenty of options of finding their ideal family. For example, many adoption agencies work with heterosexual and homosexual couples; young, middle-aged and older couples; single parents; people of all races; people interested in open adoption; and much more.
If you have a specific type of family you are looking for, it is best for you to find an adoption agency that has many different families to choose from. The more families they work with, the better chance you have of finding “the one.”
Or, if you are looking specifically for a Christian or Jewish family, or for a family interested in open adoption, there are adoption agencies that specialize in those types of adoptions.
The right adoptive family is out there for you, and it is up to you and your adoption agency to find them!
How Do I Know the Family is Who They Say They Are?
Adoptive families go through multiple layers of screenings, from the adoption home study to the adoption agency’s own screening process. And when getting to know the adoptive parents over the phone or in person, you can use your own judgment to see if they meet your own expectations.
Read the following for a more detailed look at how adoptive families are screened.
How Do I Know They Will Keep Their Promises?
Yet another important function of an adoption agency is how they ensure that adoptive families understand and are held accountable for what they agree to in their adoption plans.
One common example of this is an adoptive family agreeing to a semi-open adoption with a birth mother, usually through annual pictures, letters and emails. An adoption agency will likely educate their families about semi-open adoption and what is required of them during this type of adoption relationship. If the social worker is confident they are comfortable with a semi-open adoption, she or he will begin showing their profile to birth mothers who are seeking a semi-open adoption relationship.
The adoption agency will then mediate this relationship and make sure the adoptive family upholds their end of the deal.
If an adoptive family fails to fulfill their promises of pictures and letters, little can be done other than the adoption agency making phone calls and requesting they continue with what was agreed upon. This is why the initial counseling and education is so important, because it determines which families are truly excited about sharing this type of relationship.
Some states do permit open adoption agreements, in which both the adoptive parents and birth mother sign a formal document that outlines their post-adoption relationship. These documents are rarely legally enforceable, but it does require adoptive families to formally recognize their promise of future contact.
Please read the following to learn more about open adoption agreements and the states in which they are enforced.
What if I Don’t Work with an Adoption Agency?
If you choose to pursue an independent adoption and to not use an adoption agency, there is usually no third party watching out for you and addressing these concerns you may have about adoptive families. There is no organization that will help you find the perfect adoptive family, there is no organization continuously screening them throughout the adoption process, and there is certainly no organization ensuring they fulfill everything agreed upon in your adoption plan.
Most women in your position do have these (and many other) questions and concerns about adoptive families. The best way to address them is by working with a licensed-child placing agency who does all the work for you and ensures every adoptive family is representative of their agency and suitable to raise your child.