When a birthmother is considering placing her child with you for adoption, you may feel the pressure to be perfect when meeting and getting to know her. Forming a bond with your child’s birthmother can be beneficial to you throughout the adoption process as well as good for your child as they grow and potentially want to get to know their birthmother. Below are some tips on how to build a connection with your child’s birthmother, from the first meeting until after the adoption is completed.
As cliche as this advice sounds, it’s an important place to start. Too many adoptive parents are so focused on selling themselves to birthmothers that they forget to be themselves. Birthmothers don’t want to see the glossy magazine version of you — they want to know who you really are, and what kind of parents you are likely to be. Being genuine and open in your conversations with a potential birthmother will help put her at ease and help her feel confident in her selection.
While you certainly don’t want to sound uncertain or insecure, there’s nothing wrong with asking the birthmother why she chose your profile out of all the ones she read. Maybe she has some things in common with you, or saw something in particular in your profile that she liked. This is a great conversation starter, and both lets you know what about your lifestyle she saw that she valued as well as gives you some points to expand upon to further assure her that your family is the right fit for her child.
Ask About Her
Be aware going into these conversations that some birthmothers may not want to talk too much about their personal lives or situations, so approach this portion with care. However, if she is willing to talk about it, you might ask the birthmother if she or her family has any traditions she’d like to see carried on with the child if possible, or any heritage the child might like to learn about when they’re older. This will not only help you when your child is old enough to ask questions about this sort of thing, it also helps the birthmother see that you truly value her as more than a means to an end.
Know that, as she is going through a likely unexpected pregnancy, it is very possible that a future birthmother is feeling vulnerable and emotional, and because of that her plans may change or she may feel insecure about speaking with or seeing you. She may agree to meet in person, then change her mind and ask to speak by phone first instead. While this may be frustrating, try to keep her potentially precarious situation in mind. Be flexible in how and when you are willing to communicate with the birthmother. Expressing a willingness to work with her and being willing to adjust your plans to fit her schedule or needs can go a long way toward establishing a bond of trust between you and the birthmother of your future child.