When it comes to their family, many adoptive parents have a certain vision in mind when beginning the process of adopting a child. As a result, many families have asked, “When adopting, can you choose the child you adopt?” While the adoption process does allow the adoptive parents to specify some of what they are looking for, most of the process actually lies beyond their control.
However, by talking to your adoption specialist about your comfort level with various aspects of your adoptive child’s background and keeping an open mind, you can find an adoption opportunity that fits in with your needs as a family.
Can You Choose Your Adopted Child’s Characteristics? Understanding the APQ
With American Adoptions, one of the first steps in the adoption process is for adoptive parents to fill out an Adoption Planning Questionnaire, or APQ. This is a simple set of questions that helps the agency and adoptive parents determine which adoption situations fit best with their family. Answers to these questions will cover topics such as budget, contact arrangements with birth parents, medical history and race.
Once a family has completed this questionnaire, their adoption profile will be shown to pregnant mothers who are a good fit for their preferences. Ultimately, it is up to a potential birth mother to choose the adoptive family that’s best for her baby. So, while you do not get to “choose” the child you adopt, you will get to choose many of the characteristics you are comfortable with your future child having.
When considering your answers to these questions, it’s important to keep in mind that the more open you are to a variety of situations, the more prospective birth mothers your profile can be shown to, and the more likely you are to be chosen for an adoption quickly. Consider the issues that matter the most to your family in comparison to the time you are willing to wait for a child; each restriction on the APQ will add time to the process of adopting.
What Families Can Control
The APQ allows adoptive parents to specify their desires and comfort level with the following issues:
- Desired race: It’s important that adoptive parents are confident in their ability to address their child’s potential cultural differences in a healthy way.
- Prospective birth parent medical history and substance usage: Nobody has a spotless medical history, so take a look at your own and remain realistic in your decisions.
- Contact arrangement with prospective birth parents: Closed adoptions are becoming more and more rare, and American Adoptions has certain openness requirements for all of our adoptive families. However, adoptive families can decide whether they are open to additional contact with prospective birth parents beyond our minimum requirements.
- Adoption budget: Each adoption budget covers the fixed costs of case management and variable expenses such as living, medical, and legal fees.
What Families Can’t Control
At a certain point, the specifics of an adoption are beyond the adoptive family’s control. American Adoption’s APQ doesn’t guarantee a family’s specific desires for the following:
- Gender: It is much more difficult to find potential birth mothers if an adoptive parent is only interested in babies of a certain gender.
- Genetic traits: You cannot control your own genetics, just as you can’t control those of an adopted child. Instead, an adopted child will be their own unique blend of inherited and acquired traits.
- When you’re placed with a child: Many factors contribute to the amount of time a family waits to be placed with a child, and the birth mother may change her mind for a number of reasons.
- Emotions of expectant parents: While adoptive families may be going through their own emotional struggle, it’s important that they remain supportive of the feelings of expectant parents.
Finding a Prospective Birth Mother
For adoptive parents, the process is really more about finding the right prospective birth mother than the “perfect” child to adopt. Finding a potential birth mother that matches your needs is the most important step in the adoption process; everything else will be a result of that decision.
With American Adoptions, families can better their chances at finding the right adoption opportunity for their needs through written and video profiles, screening and counseling, advertising and marketing services, and open adoption education and support.
To learn more about adoptive parent’s choices in adoption with American Adoptions, call 1-800-ADOPTION today or request free adoption information.
I like what you said about how parents should be realistic about the child’s parents’medical history. If I would adopt a child, I will definitely want someone that will be guaranteed with a relatively fine life without any potential for serious hereditary illnesses. Thanks for this really wonderful piece about the adoption process.
I Like baby girl or boy from sonia
Hi, Sonia — If you are interested in adopting a child, you can call our adoption specialists anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION or contacting us online. Thank you!
I want to adopt a boy child
Hi, Mohmmad — Please call 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online for more information on our adoption services. Thanks!
We are interested in adopting either a 4, 5 year old white boy. How would this work? I only see infos concernono newborn kids.
Hi, Franco — American Adoptions is an infant adoption agency, so we only complete placements with babies. If you are interested in adopting an older child, please reach out to a foster care adoption agency near you. Thanks!
Pls i want baby girl
Hi, there, — If you are interested in adopting a child with our agency, please request free information here or call our specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION. Thank you!
I want to adopt a white girl either 4 5 or 6 years old how does that work
Hi, Salman — If you are interested in adopting a child with our agency, please request free information here or call our specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION. Thank you!
I would love to adopt a newborn mixed baby, how would I do that?
Hi, Karleigh — All of our adoptive parents have the ability to choose the race of the child they wish to adopt. To learn more about our adoption program, please request free information here or call our specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Myself I haven’t thought about adoption but I’d it is at all possible for me I would love a little girl I have plenary time to give to a child I would like. A toddler maybe 1 or 2 years old
Hi, Sarah — You can learn more about adopting through our agency by contacting us online or calling a specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION.
I’m thinking of adopting oneday. But I would tell the people to give me any child. No matter the age, race or gender or even health. There are so many children out there who wants a home. And people are choosing. A baby is a baby. A child is a child. And all of us look the same on the inside. And so, some children are left behind without parents because people decide to choose. That’s just my opinion. If I adopt a baby then I would do anything for that child, even if they are a different race. I will put the effort in to learn everything about their race. If the child has a certain illness then I will try my best to help them in every possible way. I will learn about their illness. If their birth parents were a different language then I will try to teach them that language as well as English. If they were born from parents from a different culture or religion then I will raise them that way if they are an older child.. I just really want to give a child a home. I want to make a child happy. And I will be grateful for just having a child… And I will be proud of the child that I got. I can have a child that I gave birth to. But I’d rather not. Because there might be a little boy or girl out there who really wants a mother. And I completely understand why some people choose the child that they want to adopt. Maybe because they are scared of their child getting bullied if they are a different race, but I would stand up for my child. I will raise him/her/them as my own. I won’t try to change their religion or anything about them. But I will be grateful for having a child in the first place.
Well, yeah, but the problem lies in whether or not the parent feels they are able to meet the child’s needs. This becomes more difficult when considering the problem of race. For example, a white person adopting a black child from Africa. The parent would have to resign themself to the fact that they are possibly subjecting that child to however many years of strange glances when they walk down the street together, or feeling out of place in the family (especially if there are other children), or having no one to talk to or relate to upon experiencing something like racism. There are certain experiences that can never be universal. They would also have to know that there is no way they could replicate the experience of being raised by someone of the same race – they can’t know the same things regarding culture (although there are plenty of parents who give birth to children themselves and don’t teach the child about their culture), and the child would not be able to look to them for realistic beauty standards (this can be especially harmful in terms of representation – many minorities cannot look to the media to see people that look like them, and it could possibly result in a child being completely isolated from anyone that looks like them).
I have a friend who is not white that was adopted by a white mother and frequently has issues regarding feeling left out or different from everyone else. I also have friend who was adopted by two people the same race as them and does not have the same issues. It’s up to each person, but personally I would never adopt a child that wasn’t the same race as me – which makes it difficult seeing as I am not white, live in a country that is predominantly white, and cannot have children – but I wouldn’t feel capable of raising someone who I could not be a role model for, particularly regarding the subject of race.
Who can I adopt a baby I am in South Africa asking for a friend
Hi, Cornelia — To learn more about our adoption services, you can use our online form. Thank you!