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Placing My Baby For Adoption: Choosing An Adoptive Family

By Nicole Hatton

There are many aspects of the adoption process to consider, such as choosing an adoptive family. A birth mother’s choice of an adoptive family holds much strength and significance. However, it can be difficult to choose an adoptive family as it may spark feelings of hope, heartache, and anxiety. Before considering options for an adoptive family, a birth mother also needs to decide which adoption option is best. 

Fortunately, there are different Tulsa adoption agencies and Adoption Choices of Oklahoma who are happy to help with any needs. These could be general concerns about child adoption, facing an unplanned pregnancy, or assistance with creating an adoption plan. Keep reading to learn more about the different adoption options, self-reflection exercises, key factors to consider, and the role of adoption agencies.

Three Adoption Options

Before deciding on an adoptive family, it’s essential to understand the three adoption options. Open adoption is when a birth mother chooses to maintain contact with the adoptive family and child. It allows you to have a say in who the adoptive family is. You can exchange cards, letters, pictures, and other information with open adoption. This can provide you with a sense of comfort and relief that your child is doing OK. You can still have a relationship even after putting your child up for adoption. As long as both parties are comfortable with it, you can do visits or joint family events if you would like. 

Semi-open adoption is similar to open adoption, but there will likely be less interaction with the adoptive family and child. Communication and other events may be mediated through the government or an adoption agency. Additionally, less identifying information may be shared. You can also be a part of choosing who the adoptive family will be. If you prefer to maintain a level of privacy but still maintain contact, this option may be best for you. 

The last adoption option is closed adoption in which you do not have any contact with the adoptive family. You may not have visits, call, or exchange letters. With this option, you don’t choose who the adoptive family will be either. This option is best for birth mothers who wish to keep their boundaries and not share identifying or personal information.

Self-Reflection Exercises To Help Guide You Through Your Adoption Decision

If you’re unsure of what is best for you and your child, taking time to reflect by yourself may be helpful. There are different exercises that you can do to help you gain clarity on your priorities and desires for your child’s future. One thing you could do is to start a journal and express your emotions, hopes, concerns, and other feelings. You don’t have to share what you write down with anyone. Your journal can be a safe and judgment-free zone to write down everything without embarrassment. Some ideas to write about are your visions for your child’s education, relationships, beliefs, and more. If you are a more visual person, then you can make a vision board and a timeline. From there, you can search for families that you feel would help your child achieve those visions.

However, if you don’t like reflecting on your own, then you can join a birth mother support group. You can listen to and share your own stories. An adoption agency, such as Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, can help connect you with the right support group. You can also talk to an adoption counselor or specialist.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing An Adoptive Family

There are multiple factors to consider when choosing an adoptive family. One major factor is the adoptive family’s lifestyle, which includes their living environment, hobbies, and interests. It also includes whether they are married, single, have other kids, and even pets. Moreover, another factor is whether their values line up with yours. Values include religious beliefs, cultural heritage, educational aspirations, and parenting philosophies. If they align, then you can move on to coming to an agreement with the level of communication and openness. Establish a preferred level of contact with the adoptive family post-placement. You should also discuss whether you are both comfortable with doing visits, exchanging letters, and calling or video chatting. Finally, determine if there are any specific considerations that matter to you such as race, ethnicity, medical history, or LGBTQ+ families.

The Role of Adoption Agencies In Assisting With the Family Selection Process

Adoption agencies such as Adoption Choices of Oklahoma can help you through the adoption process and family selection. We provide free counseling and want to help you through the adoption process. Our agency is happy to connect you with waiting families and work with you to choose the best family. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to reach out to us.

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