Choosing an adoptive family can be difficult, which is another reason why it is important to work with Adoption Choices of Kansas to help prepare a specific adoption plan. If a birth parent does not want to help choose an adoptive family, we can facilitate a healthy match. Birth parents can also decide if they want their child entering into a family with children and agreed levels of adoption contact.
While it can be a difficult process, birth parents have many options to help select the right adoptive families for their baby’s needs. This may include, but not be limited to the following:
- Religious preferences
- Parents’ ages
- Length of marriage
- If existing children are in the home
- Personality traits of adopted parents or their current children
- If one parent will be a stay-at-home parent
- Location of the family’s home
- Extended family
- Living in a multi-cultural community
Adoption Choices of Kansas understands that all of these questions play an important role in birth parents selecting adoptive parents for their baby. The adoption plan is an agreed plan that both birth parents and adoptive parents agree to create, as they both feel it is in the best interest of the child. Here are more questions to consider:
- Would you like to choose and interview the adoptive family?
- Would you prefer to meet the adoptive family before the child’s birth?
- Would you prefer an adoption counselor to help choose a family?
- Would you like the adoptive parents be present for the child’s birth?
- Would you like to receive updates on how your child is doing?
- Would you prefer to have contact with the baby and the adoptive family?
- Do you want to pursue an on-going relationship with the adoptive family?
- Do you want the adoptive family present at the hospital?
- Do you want other family members or close friends to be participants in the adoption plan?
- What else is important to you for your adoption plan?
An adoption plan does not have to occur before or immediately after the birth of the baby. The birth parent can bring the baby home and later decide that adoption is the best option and will help give her child the best life possible. Making an adoption plan after birth is not uncommon and the staff at Adoption Choices of Kansas is available 24 hours, seven days a week to assist you.
How is the adoptive family screened for adoption?
Many birth parents express concern about how adoptive families are screened to become adoptive parents. Prospective adoptive parents are subject to extensive screening, which includes making sure they have a genuine commitment towards raising a child that is not biologically theirs.
Adoptive families are subject to the following:
- Criminal abuse and background checks, which includes child abuse and neglect violations
- Attendance in adoptive parent preparation classes
- Pre-adoption counseling sessions
- Assurance that the adoptive family is financially, medically and mentally stable to parent a child
- A social worker will visit their home to ensure it is a safe environment for children.
- A home study is necessary for parents that wish to adopt a child. This involves a qualified worker visiting the home, understanding why the prospective adoptive parents are interested in adopting and confirming the house is completely childproof.
- These adoption specialists speak one-on-one with prospective adoptive parents to make sure they have made a dedicated transition from overcoming fertility issues to accepting adoption.
- If families wish to communicate with birthparents, social workers will pass this information along and birthparents can make their own independent decisions about if direct communication best meets their current and/or future needs.
- Adoptive parents are also subject to complete medical reports to ensure they are in optimal health.
- Close friends and relatives are contacted for references about their parenting abilities.
- Adoptive parents must provide proof that they are employed and financially secure to raise an adopted child.
Adoption is a sensitive subject and one that is handled with the utmost care. Adoption agencies and professionals go to great lengths to personally interview potential adoptive parents, making sure only the best potential applicants are permitted to be approved as adoptive parents. With guides such as this one, we believe it is important to provide the support and education for adoptive families to successfully parent an adopted child.
Birth parents can rest assured that great care and time has been devoted into checking out adoptive parents, including their education plans, future living plans, financial situation and much more.
When can I look at adoptive family profiles?
Most adoption websites offer viewable adoptive parent profiles to the public. While some just feature a brief introduction, others feature detailed information about the adoptive family. In fact, seeing adoptive families that catch your interest can actually help solidify your decision to pursue adoption.
It is important that once birth parents make the decision to place their children for adoption, they start looking at adoptive parent profiles. This is part of the acceptance process, which includes mental and emotional preparation related to adoption.
Birth parents should have an idea if they want an open, semi-open, or closed adoption, as this will help eliminate a large group of potential adoptive families. Both parties have to be accepting about the type of adoption and agree to participate, putting the child’s needs first. When selecting a potential adoptive family, birthparents should make a general list of criteria that are important to them. This may include religious beliefs, length of marriage, age of parents, similar interests, if they have biological or adopted children, financial stability, neighborhoods, schooling and if they are willing to work with you as a birthparent. Our counselors will be key in helping you to make the choices that will bring a peace of mind to you as you move forward with your adoptive family selection.
Birth parents should look for strong, well thought out profiles that are genuine and heartfelt. Additionally, they should include pictures and captions that are entertaining and gain your interest. Most importantly, they should express deeper feelings than what they simply say. Instead of saying, “We enjoy camping,” look for captions that elaborate on what type of camping. Do they enjoy tent camping, backpacking through the wilderness, going in a RV, etc.?
If on-line adoptive family profiles on our website do not interest you, contact us to see if they have other prospective adoptive parents. Chances are, not all adoptive families are listed online.
Other on-line highlights for birth parents to consider are as follows:
- Why are they choosing to adopt?
- Are they open to interracial adoptions?
- What is their experience with children?
- What support can they offer children physically, spiritually and emotionally?
- What are their child rearing values?
- What is their personality and sense of humor?
- What are their educational goals for your child?
- What types of hobbies and activities interest them?
How to select an adoptive family
For some birth parents, selecting an adoptive family is as simple as following their gut feelings. Whatever birth parents envision for their children is probably the type of adoptive parents they should pursue. If a birth parent prefers urban dwelling, a family living in the big city may make the ideal adoptive parents. If, however, birth parents prefer rural settings with pets, it may be best to consider searching for adoptive parents that fit these profiles.
If reading a plethora of adoptive parent profiles seems overwhelming, your adoption specialist at Adoption Choices of Kansas can help review adoption profiles and select ones that match your parameters and criteria. Do not hesitate to ask for adoptive family pictures, profiles and videos, as these all help you determine if you would like to meet them in person.
Additionally, once you have narrowed down your selection, it is important to get to know the adoptive family. Whether it is participating in video conferences, telephone calls or simply writing emails, it’s important for birth parents to ask specific questions to help ensure they are selecting the right adoptive family for their babies. In fact, we offer to arrange in-person meetings between birth parents and adoptive parents, which provides both sides a better understanding of what both parties are looking for and build lasting relationships.
Birth parents should also determine future adoptive family and child contact. As the birth parent, do you want to be involved in your child’s life? Would you prefer telephone or in-person visits? Do you want direct communication or do you prefer a third-party communication?
Selecting an adoptive family also includes more in-depth, personal questions, such as if you want your baby raised in a two-parent home or does it matter, do you want one parent to stay at home while the child is an infant, do you prefer selecting parents that have children and if religion is an important factor in choosing an adoptive family.
Just as important as the above factors, are education, parenting styles and beliefs. If adoptive parents are well educated, there is a higher chance they will prepare adopted children for advanced education. If there is a specific type of parenting style or discipline method that bothers you, discuss this openly, as it may influence your opinion into choosing a different adoptive family for your child.
What type of contact can I have with the adoptive family after placement
When a child is adopted, the birth parents and adoptive parents enter into a post-adoption contract agreement. This contract details open, semi-open or closed adoption arrangements. While these contracts can be informative, they generally highlight mutual understandings between birth parents and adoptive parents and can be held to legal written standards. It is important to understand the laws in the state where you will be signing your consent regarding post-adoption contact.
Currently, about half of the states recognize written contractual agreements between birth parents and adoptive parents. Most of these agreements clearly state post-adoption communication and contact that is acceptable. Some states also permit birth relatives to be listed in the agreement, which may include grandparents, uncles, aunts and other siblings.
Common types of post-placement contact include the following:
- Pictures and Letters – Adoptive parents can send pictures and letters to the birthparents, provided an open adoption agreement is mutually acceptable. If the adoption were a semi-open agreement, these documents are sent to an acceptable third party, such as Adoption Choices of Kansas.
- Email – Some open adoptions include email, which shares stories and can include pictures. Email is a great way to stay in touch, while still maintaining enough distance to not confuse children at a young age.
- Phone or Video Calls – The step following email contact is phone or video calls. These may be infrequent, only occurring during holidays or once every several years.
- In-Person Visits – Some birthparents and adoptive parents opt for in-person visits. The first visit should be in a neutral location, as this can be a sensitive step in any adoption relationship. It is important to remember that in-person visits are not for everyone and are not always advisable.
No matter what you want for your child, Adoption Choices of Kansas can help.