By the time that you are matched with an expectant woman who has chosen you to adopt her child, you want it to work. Oh boy, do you ever want it to work. You want this relationship to work more than any other relationship in your life, other than your marriage (maybe). But thinking back to your dating days, we know that not all relationships are meant to work out. (Which, considering some of the guys I dated, is a darn good thing.)
We all know that the prospective birthmother has every right to change her mind. It is illegal in all states for a woman to relinquish her parental rights until after birth, and up until that point, she can decide to parent or can choose another set of adoptive parents. Although we might know that it is true, it sure would be nice to have a little preparation or warning that she might change her mind. We offer you twelve signs that we’ve seen over the years:
Twelve Red Flags That an Adoption Match May Fail
- An on again off again relationship with the prospective birthfather of her child. She may make the adoption decision during an “off” period, but change her mind when they are back “on”.
- Birth grandmother (especially the expectant woman’s mother) is not in favor of adoption.
- Has not shared her adoption plans with her family or the birth father.
- Does not take advantage of counseling or has not had it offered. (I feel strongly that it is always in the best interest of the expectant woman and ultimately for the child and adoptive parents, for her to receive good quality unbiased counseling while making this decision.)
- Young in age. May not be clued in to the reality of single parenting.
- Is a high school dropout or has no interest in post-secondary education or training.
- The match is made early in the pregnancy.
- Not prompt in her responses to the adoption agency or adoption attorney’s request for information.
- Conversations with the adoption agency or adoption attorney are focused more on “What can I get” rather than “How can I find the best family for my child.”
- Has not made plans for getting on with her life after the adoption. If she is not making plans for going on with her life without her child after the adoption, she may not be sure she is going through with the adoption.
- The baby is due between Thanksgiving and the end of December. The holiday season is an emotional and family centered time of year, and thus it is tempting for a woman to be swayed to parent her child rather than place for adoption if the child is born during this time.
- Seems too sure and confident of her decision. If she sounds rehearsed or scripted, she likely is.
Often adoptive parents will tell me that when they look back they can now see some signs that might have tipped them off that this particular match with a prospective birth mother may not work out. If you’ve had a failed match, were there any signs you recognize in hindsight?
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