Becoming an adoptive parent takes a lot of work.

As you’ll learn (or may already know), the first steps in the adoption process are dedicated to becoming an active waiting family. You work hard to get your finances in order and then do a lot of research to find the right adoption agency. You prepare for the home study, which takes serious organization and dedication. You think deeply about your APQ — which is essentially your roadmap to adoption — to ensure that you only end up in situations that are right for your family. Then, you create your adoptive family profile, working hard to make sure all of the best parts of your amazing family are on display.

All of this work leads up to one moment: Being presented with an adoption opportunity.

But, what happens when the opportunity doesn’t feel quite right? Can you say no to an adoption opportunity? After all this work, waiting and hoping, what does it feel like to turn down an adoption opportunity?

We’ll take a look at these things below, and hopefully you will find this guide to be a helpful resource. If you are considering turning down an adoption opportunity right now, the first thing you should do is contact your adoption specialist.

Once you have done that, here are several things to consider.

It Is Okay to Say No

This is your future, your family and your decision. If you can’t get the feeling out of your gut that something isn’t right about this adoption opportunity, then it is okay to say no.

One of the most common reasons that a hopeful parent may turn down an adoption opportunity is that the situation is outside of their APQ. Your APQ sets the boundaries for opportunities you are open to. This involves thing like medical history of the prospective birth mother, cost of the adoption and more.

Sometimes, an adoption specialist will make the call to present an opportunity to a family that is slightly outside of their APQ. This is done because American Adoptions believes it should be up to the family to say no, and that we should not make that decision for them by turning down a prospective birth mother who has selected them.

We encourage families to be open-minded when presented with an adoption opportunity outside of their APQ. However, we also do not want anyone to make a choice they don’t fully believe in. That’s why, at the end of the day, it is okay to say no.

But It Is Also Very Difficult

With that in mind, you should know that this is not an easy thing to do. Waiting can be one of the most challenging parts of the adoption process. And when you turn down one adoption opportunity, there’s no guarantee of when the next will come.

This is a significant decision. The weight off it can make it emotionally burdensome for families, even if there is some doubt about whether or not the opportunity is a perfect fit.

You Could Experience Serious Regret

The answer may seem clear in the moment. For whatever reason, there’s an agreement between you and your partner that this opportunity isn’t right. So, you say no.

Then a couple days go by, and regret hits you like a truck. Where did this come from? Where did that certainty go?

You’ve been working so hard and waiting so long for an adoption opportunity. After the adrenaline of the moment wears off, it’s common to feel an overwhelming regret about your decision to keep waiting. This doesn’t necessarily mean you made the wrong choice. But, it is something to be aware of as you are trying to make this decision.

Your Specialist Is Your Best Resource

If you are working with an adoption agency with a long history and track record of success, that means you are working with an adoption specialist who has been here before. They have most likely guided other families through similarly challenging choices. Talk to your adoption specialist.

This is your choice to make. Your specialist cannot make it for you. They can, however, provide the best insight and guidance as you come to a decision.

Call American Adoptions Today

You can speak to an adoption specialist today, free of charge, if you have more questions. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or request more free information online at any time. Our specialists are always available and eager to help.