It’s the biggest fear faced by every expectant mother who chooses adoptive parents for her baby: How do I know if they’ll keep their promises?
Creating an adoption plan is probably the most difficult thing you’ll ever do.
With no road map or role models to fall back on, you may find yourself second-guessing yourself every step of the way.
And finding parents to raise your baby is one of the most unknowable parts of the process.
For some, choosing an an adoptive family before placement helps put their mind at ease and validates their decision.
But for others, it raises a set of new unanswered questions.
How do I know if the couple will honor their word? How do I know they won’t go back on their promise and close down the adoption? Is there anything I can do now that will guarantee that I have a good relationship with them in the long run?
The reality is, when it comes choosing an adoptive family there are no guarantees.
They may seem perfect to you now. But there’s nothing to say they won’t change after the placement. Or, for that matter, that you won’t.
That’s not adoption’s fault. That’s life.
We’re always changing and evolving. People move. Break up. Find new partners. Switch jobs. Sometimes you have no choice but to take things on faith and go with the flow.
Knowing that, here are 3 things that can help you determine whether the adoptive parents you choose to adopt your baby will honor their promises after placement.
1. Read between the lines of their parent profile.
An adoption profile is their introduction to you. It describes them and their thoughts about parenting and adoption.
As you’re going through it, read it carefully. Don’t just focus on the surface information. Look between the lines. How do they come across? Do they seem open and honest?
How upfront are they about themselves and the relationship they say they want to have with you? Do they seem too perfect? Do they sound like they’re withholding key information? Are they promising you the world?
If they seem too good to be true, they probably are, and you should either put together a list or questions to ask them or move on to another couple.
2. Meet them face-to-face.
A waiting parent’s profile will tell you loads about them, but for the most part the portrait will be limited, designed to make them appear as appealing as possible.
Before you make your decision, look through and compare as many profiles as you can. Then, after you’ve sorted through them, set up a meeting with them directly or through your adoption worker.
Again, use your meeting as an opportunity to beyond their words and photos and find out who they really are.
Being with them in person and looking at them in the eye will give you insights into their character and their intentions that you simply can’t pick up in a profile or in a conversation over the phone.
3. Create a post-placement agreement
Creating a post-placement agreement can be helpful in laying the groundwork of your future relationship with the adoptive parents.
Even though your contract may not be legally binding in some states, it can still provide a much-needed road map for the future and give you a sense of what to expect in the years to come.
When you’re sitting down and working out the details with the couple, pay special attention to their words but also their body language. How receptive are they to your requests? Do they automatically agree with everything you ask for?
If they seem overly anxious to get your approval or, alternatively, don’t seem comfortable with what you’re asking for, that could a sign of bigger problems in the future.
Adoption relationships, just like any relationships, are built on trust. And that’s not something that happens over night. It takes time, patience, and mutual respect to create a successful relationship.
Although it’s impossible to predict whether the adoptive parents you choose to adopt your baby will follow through on their promises, there are things you can do leading up to the placement that will give you a better idea about where they’re coming from and if they will come through on their commitments.
Want to learn more about placing your baby for adoption?
Looking for adoptive parents for your baby? Check out our adoption profiles.