Adoption is an incredible journey for both birth and adoptive parents. The process is filled with many significant milestones that start from the moment that you decide to pursue adoption. Today, over 95% of adoptions are open, so contact between birth and prospective adoptive parents is very common.
When birth and prospective parents are matched in an open adoption, both parties will have the opportunity to meet each other. As this is a life-altering meeting, it is completely natural for both parties to experience some anxiety in regard to not knowing what to expect.
We Were Matched! What Comes Next?
For birth parents, placing your child for adoption is a difficult and selfless decision. You have the child’s best interests at heart and want to ensure that the child will be well-loved and taken care of.
When it seems that you have found the perfect family who is ready to give your child a happy home, you can become plagued with new doubts including wondering whether or not this is the best family for your child.
The waiting aspect of adoption can be a taxing experience for all parties involved. However, once you have been matched, you will likely be overcome with joy and excitement. Prospective parents might not expect to feel anxious regarding their meeting with the birth parents, they can feel pressure to make a good impression.
Adoption agencies work hard to make good matches when it comes to prospective adoptive and birth parents. By the time you have chosen the family that you feel would be a good fit, numerous hours have gone into making sure that it will be a good match. Be sure to keep that in mind before the initial meeting.
The Meeting Between Prospective Adoptive And Birth Parents
The initial meeting between prospective adoptive and birth parents can cause some anxiety. There will be questions like: “How do I make a good impression?” or even “What if they don’t like me?” These invasive questions can add to the anxiety to your first meeting. Here are some of the most important things to consider in preparation of your meeting with each other.
Arranging the initial meeting. There may be some travel involved in the event that the adoption occurs across state lines or the birth mother doesn’t live close to the prospective adoptive parents. Choosing where to meet is important. You’ll want to find somewhere that is intimate enough to allow a private conversing go on without fear of being overheard or unnecessarily interrupted.
What should I bring? While bringing a gift might seem like the best way to break the ice when it comes to meeting one another, both parties should check with their agency when it comes to what to bring to the first meeting. Anecdotes suggest that bringing photo albums might be a great way to break the ice and introduce each other to your respective families.
Don’t try too hard. You may be tempted to focus on leaving a good impression. It’s a natural inclination to want others to think the best of you. Unfortunately, that can lead to both parties trying too hard to make a good impression. *Cliche Advice Warning* However, you should focus on being yourself and learning what you can about each other. Getting to know everyone involved is great for the peace-of-mind for all parties.
Be prepared for the possibility that there will be others at the meeting. The initial meeting between prospective adoptive and birth parents can be in the presence of an attorney or even include the birth mother’s parents. It all depends on the unique adoption circumstance.
Listen to what everyone has to say. For birth parents and prospective adoptive parents alike, this is a great opportunity to get to know more about each other on a personal level. Paying attention to what one another has to say isn’t only courteous, it allows you to gain key insights into the lives of everyone involved.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries. This one can be difficult, especially when you are trying to get to know someone and learn about their lives. You might feel uncomfortable, but what if the other person isn’t aware that their questions have become too invasive? Just be honest, some topics such as finances may be off limits, and that’s okay. If you feel uncomfortable with answering something, be honest.
The first meeting between adoptive parents and birth parents can be a cause of anxiety as both parties can feel pressure to make the best impression possible. In order to combat these feelings, both parties should be well-prepared for the initial meeting. Just be yourself and focus on learning what you can about each other, this could be the start of a life-long relationship!
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or our phones: 303-670-4673(HOPE).
Help Us Make an Impact
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with CrowdRise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more. But, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.