One of the biggest steps when placing your baby for adoption is matching him or her with an adoptive family. The family who will be responsible for your child’s upbringing. Our agency has a list of waiting families — complete with profiles, pictures and videos. Looking through these can be a great help when trying to decide what type of adoptive family is right for your baby.
If you have certain requirements or wishes for the family your child will grow up in, these will be discussed with your adoption caseworker when you create your adoption plan. For instance, it might not matter to you what city the family comes from; but, the culture, educational values or religious preference does. Choosing adoptive parents is a big decision with lots of factors. You may find that certain aspects weigh more than others.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma does our best to select adoptive parent profiles that fit within as many of your wishes as possible. Although, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a “perfect match.” Or there may be things that are complete deal breakers to you. Here are seven of the top reasons birth mothers decline an adoptive parent match.
1) Family Size
Were you an only child? Did you have a lot of brothers or sisters? Family size is an important step when deciding whether or not you want to accept or decline an adoptive parent match. Think about the criteria you have about this. What kind of family do you envision for your baby? Do you want them to be in the center of attention or to grow up with siblings? Why or why not?
If family size is something that isn’t as essential to you, let your adoption caseworker know. That way, you will look over adoptive parent profiles that include all family sizes for more options. See what you are the most comfortable with, and weigh this against the other criteria you have.
Along those same lines, what do you think about your child being around pets? If you didn’t grow up around cats or dogs, did you ever wish you could have one? Are you allergic to pets at all? All these and more are important questions to ask when you’re outlining the ideals you have for your child’s adoptive family.
3) Religious Preference
Each and every birth mother will differ on this. Religion can be a controversial topic, which is why it’s among our list of reasons birth mothers decline an adoptive parent match. Religious beliefs can affect how your child is raised and how he or she views the world. It also may play a role in how the adoptive family disciplines or upholds certain values. So, it’s an important factor to think about. No matter what you decide on this topic, though, there is no judgement either way. What’s important is selecting the adoptive family you feel is best for your baby.
4) Parenting Style
The way adoptive parents raise their family varies greatly from one parent to another. Whether or not religion exists within the family adds another layer to this as well. Potential matches are not likely to disclose if they discipline through spanking or time outs, but it’s definitely a question you’ll want to ask them when you have the opportunity. The answer the couple or individual gives could either give you a good reason to accept or decline an adoptive parent match.
5) Openness in Adoption
This is a big one! How much openness do you want in your adoption agreement? There are three different levels of openness to choose from, each one has its own pros and cons. As an agency, we encourage open adoption because we feel it takes into account everyone’s best interest, but we respect that this is an individual decision. That there also may be specific reasons for why a birth mother may choose one level over the other.
It’s important to find an adoptive family who sees eye-to-eye with you on this aspect of your adoption journey. If the adoptive family, for instance, wants closed or semi-open and you want open, it becomes a stalemate and may not move forward from there.
As discussed above, it may not matter to you where your child is raised — city or small town — but perhaps the overall environment does. If you are hoping that your child’s birth culture stays alive, you may want an adoptive family who shares similar values. Who, perhaps, live in a more diverse neighborhood so your child can experience building relationships with other races and ethnicities. Perhaps you want adoptive parents who live close to a good school district, or in a part of town that’s more rural and full of growing families. Be as mindful of this as you can if this is an essential factor of the matching process to you.
7) Type / Number of Parents
In our world today, the traditional image of a family and two-parent home has blended in with other options. Along two-parent homes, we are seeing single, transracial and same sex parents growing their families. What are your thoughts on this? Are you looking for a more traditional model for your child, or do you want him or her to be raised by another kind of parent?
More and more studies are showing that children who grow up in same sex households — whether with two moms or two dads — become more tolerant as adults. In single parent homes, children learn independence and responsibility at a young age. With transracial homes, children grow to have a deeper appreciation for other races, ethnicities and cultures.
Reasons to Decline an Adoptive Parent Match
Determining what traits and characteristics you want in an adoptive family isn’t something that can be taken lightly. It’s a huge part of your adoption journey, because you are choosing the destination for your child. There’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed of your preferences. What you feel is best for your baby is perfectly natural. Again, there won’t be an adoptive family who matches up 100%, but there will be an individual or couple who fit the best within what you are hoping for.
It’s important to listen to your instinct when deciding if you should accept or decline an adoptive parent match. If something feels wrong, continue your search. The choice is completely up to you!
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.