Top 5 Questions to Ask LGBT Adoptive Parents as a Birth Mother
Other than making the choice to place your child for adoption in Kansas, the biggest decision you will make in your adoption journey is choosing the adoptive family to raise your child. Even though the weight of this decision may feel overwhelming, it can also be comforting to know that your child’s potential adoptive parents are on their own adoption journey as well. This knowledge can make it easier to approach the adoption process as a team so you feel less alone.
Working as a team with the adoptive parents requires open and honest communication. After you’ve selected your child’s adoptive parents, it’s important to voice your expectations and needs to ensure that the potential parents are truly who you’re looking for. It’s also important to ask them thorough questions to make sure you’re on the same page so that you feel confident in your decision.
When selecting LGBT adoptive parents to raise your child, most of the questions that you will have for them can apply to any type of adoptive family. For example, you might be interested in whether their parenting style is more hands off or structured. You might want to ask them if they have previously adopted or plan to adopt other children. It’s essential to know if the adoptive family has the financial means to support your child. Even though all families are unique in their own way, you will likely have some questions that are specific to LGBT households and might not apply to other types of adoptive families.
Remember that no matter what questions or concerns you may have along the way, you can rely on Adoption Choices of Kansas to work with you and the adoptive parents to ensure a successful adoption journey.
Questions to Consider
- How do you plan to address being part of the LGBT community with my child?
If you select a gay or lesbian couple or individual as the adoptive family, your child might eventually begin to notice that many of his or her peers will have both a mother and father instead of two mothers or two fathers (or a single mom or a single dad) like he or she does. It is completely natural that your child may be curious about this and ask why other families are different from their own.
As the birth mother, it is understandable that you would want the adoptive parents to reassure your child that he or she is in a loving family and that having two mommies or two daddies won’t change that. You might want to discuss with the adoptive parents whether they will wait for your child to initiate this conversation, or if they will have a set time in your child’s life to address it.
- Who will be part of my child’s network of role models?
Being open to a diverse range of families can give you more options to choose from, which can help you find the family that is a great fit for your child. If the right family consists of a gay or lesbian couple or individual, it is still reasonable for you, as the birth mother, to want to ensure that your child has role models from both sexes to look up to. You can discuss with the adoptive parents who they intend to incorporate into their lives so that your child has a strong network of both men and women to rely on.
For example, if a gay couple or individual is raising your daughter, perhaps she will have an aunt who will be available to provide comfort and advice upon the onset of puberty. Or if you have a son being raised by a lesbian couple or individual, maybe a grandfather can guide him toward a path of noble masculinity.
- Will my child have other LGBT families in his or her life?
If the adoptive parents happen to know and be close with other LGBT families, your child could benefit from having regular contact with them. If your child is experiencing any difficulties from teasing from peers, or simply feeling insecure about having a family that is different, being exposed to families like his or her own might help them recognize that his or her family is completely normal and that having LGBT adoptive parents is nothing to be ashamed of. It may also reassure your child that he or she is not missing out on anything just because many of their peers will have families different from their own.
- How do you plan to handle bullying and discrimination?
Sadly, your child may encounter individuals who intentionally or unintentionally undermine the validity of his or her adoptive parents. Maybe they have a neighbor who is vocal about their beliefs against the LGBT community. Perhaps a classmate regularly picks on your son or daughter for not having a mother and father. What if the adoptive parents have difficult family members who are unsupportive and make life challenging for them?
Your instincts to protect your child from the harshness of life are understandable and valid. To help ease your worries, you can discuss with your child’s adoptive parents steps they can take to ensure your child can be resilient in the face of such animosity. While you won’t be able to shield your child from all the cruelties of the world, you may want to know if your child will be living in an LGBT-friendly area in order to minimize the risk of being a target for harassment or even violence.
- What kind of role will pride play in your family?
For some LGBT adoptive families, pride comes in the form of displaying a flag outside their homes, attending their local Pride events or regularly and enthusiastically discussing issues specifically concerning LGBT individuals. Others might not want to draw any attention, good or bad, to their LGBT identities and prefer a more low-key approach to normalization and integration.
Both of these mindsets are completely valid and have their respective benefits. When getting to know your child’s adoptive parents, it’s a good idea to explore with them how they will instill pride in your child.
An Open and Honest Team Effort
When working with your child’s future parents, it’s understandable that you don’t want to seem invasive when asking them these personal and potentially sensitive questions. However, you can be assured that they know these questions aren’t coming from a place or skepticism or distrust, but rather your desire to know that they will be well prepared to tackle any challenges they might face in their own parenting journey. By being upfront with them about your concerns, you are setting a solid foundation for a trusting and honest relationship with them which will pave the way toward a successful adoption process.
If you are a birth mother in Kansas and are interested in LGBT adoption for your child, reach out to Adoption Choices of Kansas to learn more and to find the right family for your child.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.