There are many aspects that play a pivotal role in the success of a private domestic infant adoption. As a prospective adoptive parent, you will be responsible for a few of those aspects, just as an expectant mother is responsible for those aspects regarding placing her child with you. But, there is an important factor that you can influence during this journey: the relationship that you have with that prospective birth parent.
Not all birth parents in a baby adoption in Iowa want a relationship with their child’s adoptive parents, and that is always their right. However, an increasing number of birth parents today are choosing a semi-open or open adoption when making their adoption plan — which means they have a deep desire to meet and get to know the family they choose to place their child with. Who wouldn’t?
Once you are chosen by an expectant mother considering adoption, the prospect of speaking with her can seem both exciting and nerve-wracking. Don’t worry — your adoption professional will be there to prepare you for and even guide you through this conversation.
Still, even if you are working with an adoption agency (and especially if you are not), you should prepare yourself for this initial conversation and the discussions to follow. Below, you’ll find a few tips for doing just that.
Why Adoptive Parents Should Get to Know Birth Parents
Prospective birth parents play a large role in their adoption journey — but making the final decision to place a child for adoption is an emotionally challenging one. For them, the opportunity to meet adoptive parents and confirm their adoption decision can be a great way to alleviate the concerns and reservations they have about the adoption process.
As mentioned above, many prospective birth parents today will choose an open or semi-open adoption. They want to get to know the adoptive parents and build a relationship for years to come. It’s your responsibility as a hopeful adoptive parent to respect those wishes and take the time to build that mutual relationship with your child’s birth parent. Doing so will make your future open adoption easier and healthier.
Being able to meet and get to know prospective birth parents can put you at ease just as it will put them at ease. You likely have questions about a prospective birth parent and their desires for the adoption process. Being able to speak with them and discuss those adoption preferences will create a strong, respectful relationship between you two moving forward.
Most importantly, taking the step to get to know a prospective birth parent shows them you are committed to the adoption and their desires as an expectant parent. It’s a step that the majority of adoption professionals today will recommend in the best interest of all involved.
How to Get to Know Prospective Birth Parents
You may feel nervous or anxious before talking to the prospective birth parents for the first time — and that’s completely normal. After all, this person can make your parenthood dreams come true at the same time they are facing an impossible, selfless decision of their own. For this reason, prospective birth parents are often just as nervous as hopeful parents for the first conversation together. In fact, both birth parents and adoptive parents regularly describe their feelings as similar to those they would have before a first date.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you get to know the prospective birth parents. You’ll always want to remain positive and casual. There will be plenty of time to talk about the details of the adoption later, so don’t press too much on the smaller things. Remember, this prospective birth parent is still considering adoption; she has not yet chosen you or chosen adoption for her baby. Therefore, always call the baby in question “her” baby, not yours, and don’t make statements that assume she will choose you or follow through with adoption at this point.
Your conversation should be a natural back-and-forth; neither party should feel like they are being interviewed. Here are some things to consider in order to keep the conversation flowing in a positive way:
Questions to Ask:
- How are you feeling? How is your pregnancy going?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What did you like about our profile?
- What are you looking for in adoptive parents?
- What kind of activities do you see your child doing?
- What kind of lifestyle do you want your child to have?
- What kind of relationship would you want to have with us and your child as he/she grows up?
- Is there anything you would like to know about us?
Topics to Avoid:
- Medical history
- Birth father circumstances (unless he is actively involved and supportive)
- Other pregnancies
- Unsupportive family members
- Financial aid
- Details about the adoption process
If you have questions about how to speak with prospective birth parents in this first conversation, consider reaching out to an adoption professional. An adoption counselor may be able to help mediate this conversation — especially if you have found your adoption match with that adoption professional.
For help locating an adoption professional, information about finding an adoption opportunity, or for legal guidance moving forward once you have found a prospective birth mother, you can always contact the Nelson Law Firm at 319-291-6161. Our legal professionals are available to answer your questions about private infant adoption in Iowa and, when you’re ready, guide you through the legal process ahead. Get started today by contacting us online.