Getting chosen by an expectant mother to adopt her baby is a singular feeling that’s hard to describe.
From one moment to the next, your life feels like it has suddenly changed. One minute the future may look bleak. And the next minute it is filled with absolute joy and happiness.
And while it’s tempting to think that once you’ve found a match you can put your feet up, take it easy, and count down the day until you’ll hold that baby in your arms, the reality is it’s a bit different from that.
In some ways, it means that you’ve overcome one hurdle in your adoption journey—and are about to move on to the next one.
That’s because no matter how much time is left until the placement—whether it’s a day, a week or a month or two—-there’s still a long way to go.
We don’t need to tell you that the expectant parents could change their mind. That’s not only a possibility, that’s their right.
It does happen from time to time, probably more often than most people think.
How To Increase The Odds Of An Expectant Mother Going Through With Her Adoption Plan
The good news is that there are ways to increase your chances of having the expectant mother go through with the placement.
And a lot of them are directly tied to the relationship you build with her. That’s the one thing you can’t neglect after finding a match.
Many expectant parents don’t really decide on adoption until they meet the right couple. And once they meet that couple, there’s no turning back on their decision because they feel safe and confident that they’re doing the right thing.
Building a relationship with someone you’ve never met, and with whom you may not have a lot in common, is no easy task.
You and the expectant mother may come from opposite ends of the country, have different races and backgrounds, as well as different tastes in culture, music, fashion, sports, books, pets, politics etc.
But there is one thing you have in common–a love for her unborn child. And that’s more than enough to bond over.
Nobody says you and the expectant parent (or parents) have to be best friends. And you shouldn’t try to be. You just have to be yourself, because that’s why she chose you.
Even if you did try to become best buddies with her, an expectant mother would likely see through it and it could create more problems than it solves.
But you do need to show an interest in the expectant parents.
Use The Time During An Expecting Mother’s Pregnancy To Get To Know Her Better
So how do you do that? The way you would with anyone you just met. Just take it one day at a time.
Don’t plan too far into the future or make any promises you can’t keep. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do. More adoption relationship break down over this than over any other issue.
Instead, use the time before the baby is born to get to know each other better. Find out what the expecting parents’ interests are.
Start slowly: find out what do they like to do in their spare time? What are their interests and hobbies? What kind of music, foods or TV programs do they like?
Try not to focus your conversation around the baby. If they sense that that’s all you’re interested in—-that you have no interest in them as individuals in their own right—they may say arrivederci sooner than you think.
And don’t take anything for granted or just go through the motions. Be sincere and speak from the heart.
If you don’t know something, say so. Don’t try to impress them or say things you think they want to hear. They’re not looking for that.
Keep in mind that this “getting-to-know-you” period can be awkward and frustrating. Both of you are basically checking each other out and trying to make sure you’re making the right decision.
If You Don’t Hear Back From Her Don’t Take It Personally
Things may not go as planned. The pregnant woman may not be as accessible as you would like. She may not want to talk to you as often as you want to talk to her. Sometimes you may call her and she won’t respond. Or you won’t hear from her for days on end.
Don’t take it personally. This is a difficult time for her and the expecting dad and they’re likely struggling with their decision. Opening up about their struggles to you may make things easier for them—then again, it may not.
So don’t panic if you don’t hear from them. Or if they don’t sound as upbeat and enthusiastic as you are.
Tell them about yourself and what you like to do. Just because they don’t ask doesn’t mean they’re not interested. Hearing your story and what kind of parents you would be will put their minds to rest and make the placement real rather than just a plan.
Most expectant parents with an adoption plan feel isolated during their pregnancy and are surrounded by nay-sayers in real life and online. Everyone it seems is telling them they’re making the wrong decision or at least making them feel that way..
- “How could you ever give up your baby?”
- “Why are you choosing strangers to raise your child?”
- “How do you know that the couple will follow through with their promises?”
While she’s waiting for her baby to be born, an expectant mother is looking for validation—something that will assure her that she’s not making a mistake.
Don’t Ignore A Pregnant Woman With An Adoption Plan Or Take Her For Granted
That kind of approval and validation needs to come from within, but through your conversations and support you can help her find it.
Again, we can’t tell you how many birthmothers have told us that it wasn’t until they met their child’s adoptive family that they felt totally comfortable with their adoption plan.
The one thing you can’t do after you’ve connected with an expecting mother is ignore her or take her for granted. This isn’t a one-off relationship. It’s a lifelong commitment. And you need to treat it that way with all of the seriousness and conviction it deserves.
Placing a baby for adoption is a difficult, bittersweet experience for an expectant mother and father. By getting to know them before the baby’s placement, you can start building a relationship with them.
And more immediately, you can give them the encouragement and backing they need to go forward with their adoption plan.