Expanding your family through adoption is an exciting and wonderful experience. As you wait for your newest family member to arrive, you may have questions or concerns you wish to voice to the expectant parents. Communication is the key to any successful adoption, but due to the delicate nature of this process, it helps to have an advocate. Adoption agencies provide professionals trained to mediate communication between birth parents and potential match families. This article will review some communication tips as you go through the adoption process before placement.
Prepare for your match meeting
In addition to providing as much information as possible to the adoption agency (usually in the form of a file or scrapbook with notes and photographs) and therefore the birth mother, it is important to be prepared when you do meet her. It may help to write down your thoughts and questions you have to help guide the conversation. Important topics to ask the birth mother about is their adoption plan and their expectations of you as adoptive parents regarding post-placement communication.
The post-placement plan of the birth mother is just as important as the process. You must be on the same page about what communication and level of openness is expected between birth and adoptive families. Also, it’s helpful to ask what kind of family life the birth mother wants for her child so that you both may see how well of a match you are. For example, if you have children, you may ask how the birth mother feels about siblings for their birth child. You can also ask about any family medical history that you should be prepared for with the child so that you are also financially, physically, and emotionally prepared to provide for the new child.
Don’t be afraid to clarify or ask questions
Transparency and clear communication is essential for all parties to be on the same page. If you are unclear about something, do not be afraid to ask the adoption agency or the birth mother to clarify. Hesitancy may prevent you from asking important questions that could impact the adoption process or the future when raising the adopted child. If you are unsure about whether a question is appropriate, you can consult a professional adoption agent who can help mediate you through difficult conversations. They are trained to provide you support and resources to navigate these talks. It is valuable to have tough conversations so long as questions are not inappropriately intrusive.
Be Considerate and Respectful
Consideration and respect is of the utmost importance. It is important you and the birth parents are honest with each other. You may be a great potential match for this birth mother and her birth child and fostering a positive and supporting environment helps make the process easier from both sides. Both the adoptive parents and birth mother are likely undergoing some forms of stress and concerns. By considering the standpoint of the other, more productive communication can help you both arrive at a happy and healthy relationship.