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Birth Mothers: Making Your Adoption Plan

Finding adoptive parents for your child is one of the most important decisions made in the adoption process. It is an enormous and selfless decision, but the pressure of finding a family for your child can feel insurmountable.

As a mother, you know what is best for your baby, and in the early stages of your adoption process, it’s important that you consider what kind of care and lifestyle you want your child to receive. That’s where an adoption plan comes in. The purpose of this plan is to get specific about what you are looking for in an adoptive family and what you want your adoption journey to look like.

Your adoption plan will also outline what you’re looking for in an adoptive family. Some of the factors birth mothers consider are culture, lifestyle, location, religion, family structure, social behaviors, and parenting style. 

Here are a few things you can think about when creating your plan:

  • Siblings: Do you want your child to be introduced to a family that already has children in the household? Some imagine that their child might be the oldest in the household or would prefer that they are raised around children similar to their age. 
  • Education preferences: There are multiple options for schooling: what is best for your child? You might find that you have a preference for the way your child is educated: private school, homeschooling, or public school, perhaps. Thinking long term is important, too. What is the adoptive parents’ perspective on higher education? 
  • Parenting style: What values do you want your child to be brought up in? Would you prefer a stricter environment or more room for your child to explore? What about religious or political beliefs? 
  • Lifestyle: Think ethnicity, cultural background, diet and health habits, relationship histories. What is important to pass on to your child?
  • Postadoption communication: Would you prefer an open, closed, or semi-open adoption? This is something to discuss with your adoption agency, as well, because it will help determine your entire adoption process.

Finding a family for your child is not cut and dry – it is an emotional decision and a big undertaking. You may find that you meet with multiple couples, individuals, or families while creating your adoption plan.

Looking for an adoptive family? Here are the primary ways: 

  • Adoption agency: Adoption agencies will compile families’ profiles for your review—these profiles are usually based on your preferences and desires for your child.
  • Independent family searches: This option should be approached with caution. There are multiple websites and ads that advertise couples looking to adopt. Should you choose this route and find a family that appeals to you, make sure you enlist an adoption professional or attorney before committing to or signing anything. The adoption process has many legal ins and outs—you should not be navigating this on your own.
  • Networking with family and friends: You may be surprised at how many people in your own network know someone who is hoping to adopt. Start the conversation with someone you trust, and see what happens when they put the word out. 

There is no pressure to find the right fit immediately. This is your child and one of the most important decisions you will ever make. You will know when it’s the right fit, and you deserve to process each meeting and family individually.