How to Get to Know the Adoptive Family You Choose
Knowing what questions to ask adoptive parents can help you decide if they will be the right fit or not. These initial conversations may seem like a meet and greet, but the content of these conversations is so important. Talking with adoptive parents will tell you what their character is, what values they hold, and their future dedication to you as a birth mother and to the child being placed for adoption.
I Want to Meet Them
Once you know what you are looking for in an adoptive parent, and you view adoptive family profiles and decide you want to meet a certain family, the next step is to meet them and get to know them. This relationship is different than others because the conversation gets deep and heavy from the very start. Exchanging pleasantries will be done of course, but then it’s time to get down to the serious topics that will help you decide if this family is the right fit.
While interview questions to ask adoptive parents may seem invasive and make you feel like you are delving too deep, I want to reassure you that this is the point. Meeting adoptive parents can be intimidating and scary. My advice to anyone getting ready for the first meeting is to just be prepared to be yourself. In fact, most of the preparation has already been done by deciding that you want to meet them.
Be Yourself When Talking with Adoptive Parents
Be yourself when you are thinking of adoption questions to ask the adoptive parents. While the interview process may seem personal at times, that’s exactly the point. Getting to know who you are going to place your child with is so important. Adoptive parents are meeting you in hopes that they will have the blessing of raising the child that you are placing for adoption. Adoptive parents are prepared before the meeting to have the tough questions asked. They are prepared to divulge personal parenting information, and will not be put off when you ask questions that relate to parenting.
The whole point of pre-placement contact is to talk about deep parenting concepts and get to know whether or not your desires in an adoptive family match the adoptive family that you are meeting. Do not be afraid to ask the tough questions. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Do not be afraid to cry. Just be yourself.
You Will Just Know If They Are the Right Fit
At the end of the initial meeting, you should have somewhat of an idea or a feeling about whether the specific adoptive family you have met will be a good fit for you and your child. If you have any hesitations at all, trust your gut and let your adoption professional know.
Adoptive Parents are Prepared to Answer Questions
Good questions to ask adoptive parents are questions that will help you get to understand who they are as individuals and as a family. For example, you might ask them what they do for fun, or ask them how they ended up choosing adoption. These questions will give you some insight into who they are and what their relationship looks like.
The answers that adoptive families give should give you some insight as to who they are. If you feel like their answers are ingenuine, then perhaps the right chemistry isn’t there for a relationship. However, if you give them transparency and respect from the start, and they reciprocate it with honesty, then you may have found your family.
Honesty and Respect are Crucial
It is also important to keep in mind that this may be the start of a lifelong relationship. The more honest you are about your concerns, the more likely it will be that the honesty will be returned. You are, after all, setting the tone for how things will be moving forward. If you find yourself afraid or intimidated, and can’t get yourself to calm down, they may not be the right fit.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Good questions to ask adoptive parents will be questions that you are most concerned about when it comes to them potentially parenting your child. After the meeting, you may feel that they are the right fit, or you may not feel that way. Whatever you do, trust your gut and be honest, transparent, and respectful. I think you will find that being yourself is the best way to get the meeting moving from pleasantries to the important discussions.
Possible questions to ask prospective adoptive parents include:
- Why did you choose adoption?
- How did you meet?
- What is the most exciting thing about being a parent for you?
- What do you think will be your greatest challenge as a parent?
- How do your friends and family feel about your decision to adopt?
- What are your values as a parent?
- How do you plan on handling discipline?
- What type of ongoing relationship are you looking to have with a birth mother?
- How will you explain adoption to your child?
What Questions Should I Avoid?
Keep in mind that invasive personal questions that do not pertain to parenting are not typically appropriate. A home study has already been conducted so that the potential adoptive parents could be approved for adoption. They have passed the home study if you are meeting with them, which means they have been studied and have already divulged quite a bit of personal information to the adoption agency. Home studies ensure that the potential adoptive parents are emotionally and financially ready to raise a child. Avoid questions that delve into personal information that does not relate to the relationship that you will have with them. If you are not sure whether a question you have is appropriate to ask hopeful adoptive parents, speak with your adoption professional. They may be able to answer some of your questions or determine whether they’re an appropriate topic of conversation with the adoptive parents.
Questions not to ask adoptive parents include:
- How much money have you already spent toward choosing adoption?
- How much money do you make and how much is in a savings account?
- What is your private relationship together like?
- May I have some personal references?
- What’s your address?
- May I have some money?
- Why should I give you my child?
- What will you do if I change my mind?
This is YOUR Decision
Remember that after the first meeting, you can always say that you don’t feel the potential adoptive parents you have met are the right fit. However, if you do feel they may be the right fit, then a beautiful relationship may be budding. Trust your motherly instincts when it comes to meeting with potential adoptive parents. Most importantly: this is your decision, so just be yourself.