Why Finding an Adoptive Family is the Most Important Part of Your Adoption Plan
As you consider adoption for your baby, a reoccurring image in your mind is likely what your child’s life might look like if you choose go through with your adoption decision.
This image of your child’s life can absolutely become a reality, as long as you follow one very important step: You find the perfect family for your baby.
So what does “perfect” family mean? It means there is a perfect waiting adoptive family out there for you, whether they live in South Carolina or another part of the country altogether.
To you, perfect could mean they:
- live by the beach, on a farm, in the city or in the suburbs
- already have children, or this is their first child
- want to share a relationship with you, or you both go your separate ways after the adoption
- are highly religious, not religious at all, or somewhere in the middle
- are athletic, artistic, educated, musical, and want to share their hobbies and talents with your child
So, how exactly might you go about finding this perfect adoptive family?
You essentially have two options: finding a family with the help of an adoption professional, or finding a family without an agency on your own.
Using an Agency to Find an Adoptive Family
Most women considering adoption who don’t personally know a couple looking to adopt turn toward an adoption agency for help.
Many adoption agencies, both local and national, specialize in finding adoption situations for women in your position. They often work with dozens or even hundreds of families at any give time, giving you a great chance of finding the exact family you are looking for.
Here’s how this process of finding a family works with most adoption agencies:
- After joining the agency, a social worker will get to know you better by asking you lots of questions, either in an interview, a document or a combination of both. Your answers will help them determine all of your preferences in your adoption plan, including the type of family you are looking for.
- Often times, you may be able to view an adoption agency’s waiting adoptive families on their website at any time, even before contacting the adoption agency. However, after speaking with a social worker, she or he should be able to provide you a specific list of families who match the preferences for which you are seeking.
- You will likely be provided with Adoptive Family Profiles of the families who match your goals, each complete with pictures and text detailing their lives and excitement to adopt a baby. Some adoption agencies even offer Adoptive Family Video Profiles for you to make your decision even clearer.
- Once you find adoptive parents who have everything you are looking for, you may begin what’s often referred to as “pre-placement contact.” This contact may be conducted via a conference call or an in-person meeting often mediated by your social worker.
- Finally, if you decide whether they fit your idea of a “perfect” family, you will then follow the same adoption plan with one another, and any pre-placement contact may continue.
It’s important to keep in mind that you are always able to change your mind about an adoptive family. If you choose an adoptive family based on their profile, but after you begin getting to know them, they aren’t quite the type of family you originally thought, you absolutely can begin the process again.
Finding an Adoptive Family Without an Agency
It is absolutely possible to find an adoptive family without using an adoption agency. Perhaps you know a family friend, or maybe you saw a post on social media or an advertisement in your local newspaper. Or maybe your local church has an adoptive family program.
There are endless options to find an adoptive family through your own research.
If you choose this route, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
- Will you still see them? Not every birth mother wants to continue seeing the adoptive family and her child. For some, this type of contact is just too difficult to move on from this difficult period in her life. This is something to keep in mind if you are considering adopting with a local family with whom you have personal ties.
- Are they actually your idea of a perfect family for your child? Just because you may know them, or just because they are local, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best family for your child. Don’t settle on a family – make sure that the family you ultimately pick will provide your child with the best life possible, whether you know them or not.
Lastly, if you have found an adoptive family, this is when South Carolina Adoption Attorney Rick Corley can begin the legal process of your adoption.