People considering adoption, often wonder if they will be chosen by an expectant mom considering adoption. They worry that there is something fundamentally wrong with them that will make it less likely that they will be chosen or increase their wait. They crave knowing what prospective birth mothers want to see if they fit that package.
I get it. Really I do.
Fortunately (or unfortunately for those looking for easy answers) we humans are a unique bunch and resist generalizations, especially about something as important as picking adoptive parents for your child. On the Creating a Family show we picked the brains of two adoption social workers who interact with expectant women every day and found some common themes. We talked about all the main issues of concern for adoptive parents, including age, marital status, sexual orientation, health, cancer, anti-depressant use, religion, and children already in the home.
What do Women Want?
While men often ask this question in general, pre-adoptive parents ask it specifically in reference to prospective birth mothers. What are they looking for? And more important, will it be me?
Each woman considering placing her child is looking for something different. Mostly she is looking for a stable family who will love and raise her child and treat her with respect. Stability and love can be found in many different adoptive families, regardless of their age, whether they are married or already parents, or are Catholic, Methodist, or agnostic. But realistically some adoptive parent profiles are more “attractive” than others.
Listen to the show to get the run down on what the adoption social workers see when talking with expectant women, but the two worries I hear most often from pre-adoptive parents is whether their age or single status will make them less likely to be matched with a birthmother.
How Important is the Adoptive Parent’s Age
The adoption social workers on yesterday’s Creating a Family show did not think age was a big factor when birth mothers were choosing adoptive families. From my discussions with birth mothers after placement and with adoptive families who are waiting, I would agree up to about age 45. After age 45, especially if the mother is over 45, I see it taking longer for these families to be matched.
How Important is Marital Status
As a general rule, it takes single women longer to get placed, although the social workers on yesterday’s show said it was hard to predict. Most often it takes single men the longest to be matched perhaps because of our societal stereotypes that women are more nurturing.
What factors influenced how long you waited for an adoption match?
Image Credit: Bête à Bon-Dieu