Meeting a potential birth mother can be the beginning stages of one of the most exciting events in one’s life. But in the excitement, it’s important to remember your priorities in seeking to add a new member to your family, while also remembering to honor the priorities of the birth mother you are meeting as well. Here is a basic guide for potential parents’ consideration as they meet with or prepare to meet potential birth mothers.
When prospective parents are at the stage of arranging an actual meeting with a birth mother, they likely know in their hearts that this is the best situation for them. But they may not know what exactly they need to ask birth mothers, and how to phrase their questions in the best possible way.
Some important topics that you may want to touch on include how the birth father feels about a potential adoption, what the timeline is for the pregnancy, and how the birth mother herself feels about her pregnancy, about a possible adoption, and even about her life and her future. There are many resources online that can also help prospective parents learn about what types of adoptions are available.
Talk openly with the birth mother about the types of adoptions you favor, whether it is open adoption, closed adoption, or any other relevant details of importance. There are also many resources online that point out specific dos and don’ts of conducting meaningful, mutually beneficial conversations with birth mothers.
These conversations can be difficult, which is why it is so important to have several key priorities in line to communicate. Another great resource for deciding on your priorities is an adoption agency. These organizations can help to take the lead in your quest to adopt, and even if you don’t use an adoption agency to take care of the process of adopting, they can help point you in the right direction, and they often provide free consultations.
Once you have decided on your priorities, both for the adoption and for the conversation with the potential birth mother, don’t budge. If, in the conversation, you have decided to address a concern that you believe is important, make sure that your concern is communicated with the birth mother. Don’t be rude in any way, but if you ask a question or bring up a topic that is extremely important to you and will affect your decision to adopt and the birth mother does not respond to it, wait until later to rephrase your question or concern, and bring it up then.
When a couple is hoping to adopt a child, it is all too easy for them to bring a strong focus on themselves and how they come across rather than how the birth mother might feel, the issues she may face, and the questions she may have. It’s so easy to be wrapped up in one’s own pursuit to grow a family and that special quest to find your new child and the right birth mother. But the woman who entertains the possibility of allowing her child to be adopted not only has very valid questions and concerns, but she will likely also have fears and anxieties.
SEE ALSO: Birth Mother Services & Prenatal Care
She may, for instance, be afraid of being judged. For so many reasons, the society in which we live seems to mandate a certain way to grow a family, and has strong expectations for just how that family should look. When someone takes the path less trodden, they can feel left out, alienated, and sometimes looked down on by others. In some cases, people may not face literal prejudice from other people in interpersonal relationships, but because of the structure of general cultural norms and systems, they may face very real situations on a regular basis where they are excluded, left out, and made to feel wrong or ‘different.’
Women from all walks of life and all different situations choose to place their child in the loving arms of a new family. It’s important to not make assumptions about the birth mother, and it’s just as important to be as loving and kind toward her as you will be toward your future son or daughter.
Before the end of the meeting with the prospective birth mother, it’s a good idea to ensure that her feelings have been heard out. It may be a good idea to ask her if she has any questions for you. Perhaps she would like to know more about your background, and the plans in your future, like whether you plan on adopting more children, or continuing to try to have your own biological children.
Remember also that the birth mother does not have to be forthcoming or enthusiastic throughout the meeting. She may not want to discuss some things, and it may be uncomfortable or an uneasy event for her. For this reason, be sure to listen closely to what she does have to say, and try to entertain the topics that are important to her, as well as the topics of significance to you.
For years, we have heard the adage to ‘just be yourself.’ It applies here, too. But it’s just as important that you take the time to plot out your expectations, priorities, and feelings before meeting with a birth mother. Be sure that when you meet the possible birth mother of your child, she sees the love, care, and hope that led you to desire to adopt and will make you a wonderful future parent.