Choosing My Baby’s Adoptive Family
By Moki Murillo
Raising children is a great responsibility, one that warrants careful consideration. If you are unable or unwilling to meet that responsibility, then adoption might be your child’s best option. Of course, it’s still natural if you feel anxiety or doubt about placing your baby for adoption. After all, you must give custody of your child to people you may not know. How can you be sure that the adoptive family can give your child the life they deserve?
Thankfully, we at Adoption Choices of Arizona can help relieve that anxiety. We are an independent adoption agency that facilitates private adoptions in Arizona. As part of our adoption process, we help the birth mothers to choose their child’s adoptive family.
How to Choose Your Child’s Adoptive Family
While we allow birth mothers to choose their child’s family, there are certain steps you need to take. After calling one of our adoption agencies in Arizona, an adoption specialist should help you create an adoption plan. Your adoption plan allows you to customize the adoption process according to your wants and needs. The aspect of the adoption plan that is most relevant to this subject is the adoption type.
In the context of adoption, the adoption type determines your contact with the adoptive family. A closed adoption means that there will be no contact between you and the adoptive family, including your child. Open adoptions, on the other hand, permit contact between you and your child. You can even make personal visits. However, the adoptive parents also have the right to set limits on that contact. This includes limiting the frequency of these communications and dictating how you can communicate. Semi-open adoptions are a compromise between the previous two adoption types. While you are unable to visit your child, you can still receive updates on your child. You can even send messages to them, but the adoptive parents still set the limits.
In order to choose your child’s adoptive family, you need to pursue an open or semi-open adoption. Once you settle on one of these adoption types, you can start choosing between the families on our website. You can view their online profiles and even schedule an interview with them. We want to be sure that you can personally vet a given family before finalizing the child’s adoption.
What to Consider When Choosing an Adoptive Family
Choosing which family your child will be placed with is a choice worth putting in significant thought. Each birth mother’s priorities are different, but there are a few more broad criteria worth considering.
1. The Current Home Life of the Adoptive Family
Adoptive families come in all shapes and sizes. While every family on our website is legally able to adopt, they all have their own unique living situations. Some of these families already have children of their own. They might have pets, and they have differing levels of income. Here are some questions to consider:
- Can this family afford to give my child the best possible opportunities, such as a good education?
- If this family already has children, are they able to give my child their due attention and support?
- What are their pets like around children? Do I have a family history of allergies to their pet specifically?
Thankfully, most of these questions can be answered by communicating with the family before the adoption is finalized. If you are unsure about a family, try to schedule a visit or interview at their home. That way, you can see their home life for yourself.
2. What Limits do the Adoptive Family Want to Set in My Communication
As mentioned before, the adoptive family will determine how and how often you get to communicate with your child. Therefore, you must set these expectations as early as possible. While you can negotiate these expectations, you don’t want a family that is unwilling to meet your needs. You still have the deciding power at this stage of the adoption process. It is wise for you to find a family agreeable to your needs before that power is transferred.
3. The Race and Culture of the Adoptive Family
We at Adoption Choices of Arizona support adoptions that cross the boundaries of race, ethnicity, religion, and culture. When choosing your child’s adoptive family, we urge you to look at the content of their character first. That being said, complications can arise when it comes to multiracial or multicultural adoptions.
Adoptions that cross religious or cultural lines can create challenges for the birth mother in an open adoption. For example, many birth mothers want to spend their limited time with their children during holiday celebrations. However, that might be difficult if your child’s adoptive family doesn’t celebrate your holidays. It can be difficult to balance your culture with the adoptive family’s in this situation. If you and the adoptive parents allow it, however, it can be a culturally enriching experience for all involved. Both you and the adoptive parents have the opportunity to experience each other’s cultures. This can hopefully lead to bonding between both parties, which can then lead to a stable home life.
As for what this can mean for your child, there will likely be difficulties for them. Prejudice and bigotry are still an unfortunate fact of life for many in our country. Children within multiracial or multicultural families face bullying at school over their situation. This is especially true in a multiracial adoption, where the differences between the child and their family are plain. While this can be a hard reality to come to terms with, it doesn’t have to end there. As long as your child has a healthy support system, they can get past these difficulties. It also helps if they reconcile with both their inherited cultures and have connections to them.
Moving Forward With the Adoptive Family
Private adoptions in Arizona are already a complicated process on their own. For birth mothers, the story rarely ends after placement. This is especially true for birth mothers who are pursuing open adoptions. Once you have transferred custody, you must deal with the adoptive parents regularly to have access to your child. This negotiation and navigating of expectations can be difficult, but in the end, it is often worth it. Remember too that Adoption Choices of Arizona is available to help mediate any difficulties should they arise.