Important Topics for Birth Mothers to Avoid When Interviewing Adoptive Parents
As we grow, we are taught the proper etiquette with asking appropriate questions. We know not to ask about a person’s weight or age (well, most of us!). However, when it comes to the adoption process, the waters may become a little murkier.
When you choose to place your baby for adoption, you are making a decision that impacts your life and your child’s life forever. Though you know that you are making the best informed decision you can, doubt can creep in and leave you with a million questions. We tend to want to control situations that are uncomfortable or new. We like to get all the information we need (and some we don’t) to make a decision. While this is perfectly natural in this type of situation, it is best to avoid tempting questions and take mental note of the types of questions you ask. With your emotions already high from pregnancy, making sure that your words come out without offending someone or making the other party uncomfortable is trickier than usual.
Because you have decided to put your child’s needs first, you, as a birth mother, are giving the responsibility of raising this child to another person. It would be safe to say that you feel the ability to ask any questions to want, right? Not quite. While you can technically choose what questions to ask, making sure to avoid these sensitive topics will keep the interview lighter and encourage more openness between the parties. When everyone involved feels comfortable and does not feel the need to keep their guard up, the meaningful conversation can start. If you are in the process of preparing for an interview, remember these important topics to avoid when interviewing adoptive parents:
What’s in your wallet?
Even in the least tense of situations, talking about money is uncomfortable. When you decide to place your baby for adoption with our agency, we are working hard behind the scenes to assess the current situation of each potential match. You can be assured that each adoptive parent has been through multiple checks and has been deemed financially fit for the task.
When you first meet with an adoptive couple, it is important to remember that you have the option to ask more questions later down the line. While finances may be a concern for you, you should avoid asking questions about this topic until you are further in the process and have a private space to talk. Talking about a sensitive subject too early on may spark tension and create an awkward glitch in the interview. Make sure that if you do talk about finances, a professional is present to mediate the conversation.
One of the most important topics to avoid with interviewing adoptive parents pertains to their infertility. You should never ever ask a couple or individual if infertility contributed to their decision to adopt. The journey of infertility is painful enough without a stranger prying. Infertility often leaves a woman feeling inadequate as a mother. Some mothers describe infertility issues as being “broken” or “not a real woman.” The stigma that comes with not being able to bear a child is slowly diminishing as the years pass, but this does not lessen the pain.
Many times, an adoptive parent is emotionally exhausted by the time they reach the birth mother interview. Though they are excited, they have most likely been through a vast array of emotions before sitting in front of you. They may have tried to have a child naturally for years, and have finally come to the point that they have decided to adopt in order to complete their family. Asking about infertility may be an innocent question in your mind, but it is sure to spark unwanted emotions in the potential adoptive parents. If the adoptive parents are wanting to share this info with you, they will do it without you asking.
We know that you may be anxious about the adoption process, however it is best to filter your questions before they come out. When you are interviewing a potential couple or individual for the first time, you shouldn’t ask anything that you wouldn’t want someone who just met you to ask you about. For example, you wouldn’t want to share your Instagram handle, your place of employment, home address or cell phone number with someone that you just met for the first time, right?
Remember that the agency has the necessary information on file if needed. Keep your questions a bit more general and just try to get to know what they’re like as a couple or individual and what kind of family they’d be for your baby. If you choose to have an open adoption, as many people do, these topics may come up naturally later on as you both become more comfortable with one another.
Make a Plan
There are bound to be a million questions in your head when it comes to placing your child with adoptive parents. That is completely normal! Questions about religion and family values are often avoided in day-to-day conversations with strangers. However, these questions are not off limits in the adoption journey. They pertain to the way your child would be raised and not the super personal details about the adoptive parents.
Remember that timing is key when it comes to the interview process. The questions you ask a stranger are much different than the ones you would ask after a few meetings over coffee. The day of the interview will be filled with many emotions on both sides and this will have everyone in a vulnerable position. Be proactive in your efforts by making a list of questions you want to ask. While in the interview, be patient and listen. Many times we hear what we’re looking for if we just listen long enough!
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Megan Nichols is a writer, artist and collector of multiple plants- most of which she has successfully killed. She lives in North Carolina with her goldendoodle, Rosie, and super-hero daughter. Megan is pursuing her MFA at Liberty University and plans to teach Art History and Creative Writing at her local community college after graduation.
When she isn’t sipping pumpkin spice coffee and madly typing away in her office, you can find her biking with her daughter or painting her next masterpiece while watching the squirrels.