How to Choose an Adoptive Family
You have already made a tremendous and courageous first step by choosing to place your baby for adoption in Missouri. But what happens next? Our adoption specialists are here to help you through every step of the way, especially through choosing an adoptive family. We call this the matching process. It is important to us that the adoptive family you choose reflects your values and what type of parenting style you think is best for your baby.
How involved do you want to be in their life? What do you picture when you envision your baby’s adoptive family? What parenting standards are significant to you? Let’s explore the different possibilities and find the answers to these questions together.
Getting Your Adoption Matching Process Started
Learning how to choose an adoptive family is just as easy as reaching out to us here at Adoption Choices of Missouri. Once you have contacted us, we will set you up with your adoption specialist to get your matching process started. All of our adoptive families are pre-qualified and licensed to adopt a baby within the United States. This means that your baby will go to a safe, stable and loving home, no matter who you choose.
After you meet your adoption caseworker, both of you will work together to help you find the best type of family to suit your needs. First, you will choose what type of adoption you want: open, closed, or semi-open. Open adoption is currently the most popular form of adoption in the U.S., because it allows for you and the adoptive family to stay in touch and maintain communication, rather than the anonymity and finality of a closed adoption.
We strongly encourage open adoption because we believe it is the most beneficial for everyone involved; but, ultimately, it is up to you what type of adoption you would like to pursue. Your adoption caseworker will be able to walk you through the pros and cons of each option.
Next, you will look through an adoptive parent profile book while your adoption caseworker helps you narrow down the search based on your requirements. Envision your baby’s adoptive family and decide which qualities are important to you. What does this adoptive family look like? Do you value diversity or any specific cultural or religious backgrounds? Do you want their life to be similar to your own upbringing in certain ways so that you can share certain hobbies or traditions, or do you want their childhood to be a completely different experience from yours?
The Top 5 Criteria to Consider when Choosing an Adoptive Family
- Family Composition: Envision how you would like for your baby’s adoptive family to be composed. Let’s discuss what that may or may not look like:
- Do you picture a large family or a small one? It may be important to you that your baby has siblings to grow up with, or you may want them to grow up as an only child.
- What about pets? It may or may not be important to you that your baby grows up with the responsibility and companionship that comes with having a pet.
- What about the parent or parents — do you prefer the prospect of a single parent or a two-parent home? Single parent homes are a viable option and becoming more and more common.
- What about their sexuality — do you only imagine a heterosexual household or are you open to the idea of an LGBTQ+ home? A queer parent or same-sex couple or individual can provide a very loving, accepting, and nurturing home.
- Is the age of the parent or parents important to you? Perhaps you would prefer the wisdom of a much older parent, or maybe you want a younger parent who will be able to engage in more physical outings and activities.
- Hobbies, lifestyle, and interests: Try to imagine what the adoptive family’s everyday life together will look like. Naturally, you will want them to offer financial stability, but what are you looking for in terms of physical and mental stability? Perhaps you visualize weekly game nights or a daily designated family dinner time. Maybe it’s important to you that they are very active together, or maybe you imagine more academic and bookish pursuits. Do you want them to share any of your creative hobbies or passions that are important to you to pass on? Or are there hobbies and activities that you never got to experience growing up but want your baby to experience?
- Parenting styles: How strict, disciplined, or laid back would you prefer your baby’s adoptive family to be in their approach to parenting? Maybe you had very strict parents and would prefer your adoptive family to be a little bit more permissive, or perhaps you grew up without a lot of guidance and want your adoptive family to be more authoritative. No matter what your concerns are, we will help you to find the right adoptive family that fits your parenting philosophies.
- Racial, cultural, or religious backgrounds: Consider how open you are to your baby being placed in different cultural, ethnic, or religious backgrounds. Transracial adoptions are becoming more commonplace and are a great way to celebrate diversity. Perhaps religion is important to you and you would like to see certain religious or cultural traditions passed down, or perhaps the exact opposite is true and you would prefer for the adoptive family to not be religious at all. No matter what level of diversity you decide is important to you, your baby will be placed in a safe, loving, and nurturing home.
- Geographic location: Reflect on what sort of setting in which you picture your baby’s adoptive family. Do you picture a more rural background in the country, or do you imagine a bustling cityscape? If you have decided to go ahead with open adoption you may want to consider how close or far away they will live from you. Distance matters if you plan on making future visits with your baby as he or she grows.
We are Here to Help You Choose an Adoptive Family
There are many adoptive family criteria for you to consider, from the smaller aspects of everyday life to the overall picture of core beliefs and parenting practices. You get to decide what qualities and criteria are important to you when learning how to choose an adoptive family. Our adoption specialists are here to help guide you through every aspect of the matching process. It is important that you manage your expectations and remember that not every family is perfect, but rest assured that we will find the best fit for you.
Meet the Author: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.
When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.