Choosing an Adoptive Family: The Important Choice of an Expectant Mother

By Megan S. Monsour, Family Building Attorney

An expectant mother should have every option available in determining the right choice for her future. If an expectant mother chooses adoption for her child, choosing the adoptive family will be one of the first and most important choices she will make during the adoption journey. It is entirely her choice who will become the adoptive parents of her child.

It is common for an expectant mother to connect with an adoption professional, adoption attorney or agency, who will speak to her about what type of adoptive family she is seeking. The expectant mother will then view profiles, information about the family with pictures and facts, to determine the family for her child.

I’ve met with expectant mothers who felt strongly that her child be adopted by a family who traveled, was religious, wasn’t religious, looked like her, didn’t look like her, lived in the country, had many siblings or would be an only child. The expectant mother should feel free to express her needs and wants and should not settle until she finds the family that provides a sense of peace in her decision.

Of course pictures of vacations and favorite movies can only tell so much, so after a family is chosen the expectant mother and the family will typically set up a time to speak on the phone where they get a chance to ask further questions and get to know each other more.

One of the biggest components of finding the right family is ensuring that both parties agree on the amount of contact and openness the biological family will have with the adoptive family and the child in the future. Most adoptive families now agree that contact and knowledge for the child regarding her biological family is very healthy and should be provided.  However, even knowing that most families want an open adoption can still mean a lot of variety because what an open adoption is in practice can vary widely. It is best that all parties be clear and honest about expectations so the match will be successful and they will continue a healthy relationship throughout the child’s life.

After the expectant mother has chosen a family, I always encourage the parties to meet in person before the birth of the child. No amount of texting can take the place of a face-to-face meeting. Additionally, the time of birth is a stressful time for everyone so the stronger the foundation before the birth of the child, the better.

Despite my experience of seeing communication between the expectant mother and adoptive family facilitate strong relationships and my preference for open adoptions, all expectant mothers may not want contact with the adoptive family and that is entirely her choice. If the biological mother chooses not to spend time with the adoptive family, a written letter or even short note can provide closure and should be encouraged.

Every expectant mother should have the adoption plan that honors her wishes for her pregnancy and her child’s future.  Choosing the adoptive couple is the expectant mother’s right. She is choosing the parents of her child. There is no greater decision in the adoption process.