How do you connect with a birthmother? What does a birthmother look for when choosing adoptive parents for her baby? Is there something you can say or show in your adoption profile that will increase your chances of making a match?
These are questions that hopeful adoptive parents ask themselves all the time as they put together their adoption profile in the hopes of making a connection with a birthmother — or, more accurately, a prospective birthmother.
The questions are simple. However, the answers are anything but. That’s because there’s no one answer. It’s like asking yourself why are you adopting or why did you choose open adoption? The response varies from one individual to the next.
No two birthmothers are alike
No two birthmothers are alike, and neither are the circumstances behind their placement or what they may be searching for in their baby’s adoptive parents. This point was brought home to me loud and clear the other day when I came across this list of “Adoption Situations” on an agency’s website:
This birth mother would like an open adoption to include letters/pictures and visits annually. She is looking for a Catholic family that will love this child as their own.
This birth mother is looking for the right adoptive family for her son with a health condition. She is looking for a Christian home and an involved church family that is financially secure. She would like an open adoption with letters & picture updates.
This birth mother is parenting her toddler child as a single mother and cannot financially or emotionally take care of another child. She would like an African American, two-parent “successful” family and to know that her child is in “good hands.”
This birth mother would like a married couple who have not had children before. She would like education to be important in a stable loving home.
This birth mother is hoping to make this loving decision of adoption with a two-parent family that is just staring their family. She would prefer a family without any children, but if the right family presents themself and they have a child, she will consider them.
A family that has an interest in the arts will capture this birth mother’s attention. She is a singer and an avid writer, with her specialty in poetry. She’s a busy mom taking care of her child and is seeking regular prenatal care.
This young, pregnant mother is already raising a baby. She wants a Caucasian couple or single woman, open to visits, to adopt her unborn baby. She prefers a family that has financial security and can provide a safe, nice neighborhood to grow up in
This young woman is hoping to find a family that will embrace both the baby and her into their family. She would like an open adoption in which both parties feel comfortable. This birth mother would like to continue with her college career at this point and would like a family, too, that values higher education for their children.
This mother would like a couple who have wanted a baby for a long time. They should have a healthy, stable relationship and enjoy spending time together. Their priority should be the baby and providing love, support, and many opportunities in life for her/him.
The key to making an adoption connection
As you can see, each situation is different and so are the birthmothers or prospective birthmothers, as the case may be, involved in them. For some, religion is the deciding factor. For others, it’s education. For others, it’s the neighborhood. And for still others, it’s a family without any other children.
These situations are by no means authoritative. But they are representative. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t fit into any of these categories you’ll never make a connection. Far from it. The truth is that when it comes to finding a match with an expectant mother, anything is possible.
And that’s what makes the connecting process so exciting — and frustrating. So if your adoption profile is out there and you’re wondering why you haven’t been chosen or if you’ve just started writing your profile and are trying to craft it in such a way that it covers all the bases, remember there’s no magic formula. Just because you say “this” doesn’t mean you’ll get “that.”
At the end of the day, making an adoption connection comes down to one thing: just being yourself. That’s what your baby’s birthmother will value most. Not only now while you’re trying to connect with her. But afterwards, too, after you find her.
What do you think the key to making a connection with a prospective birthmother is? What do you think expectant mothers or fathers are looking for in their baby’s adoptive parents? What are you doing to make a connection? Share your comments in the section below.