Why There is No Crystal Ball

The adoption process is a very personal one for waiting families. First, they must provide financial, medical and other personal information during the home study process; then they share a snapshot of their personal lives in their family profile. It is perfectly normal for waiting families to experience anxiety about having their lives be such an “open book.”

Once a family is active with an agency and their family profile is being shown to expectant mothers, it is also common to experience some anxiety about what impression birth parents are getting of you. Many waiting families worry that perhaps they aren’t attractive enough – that they must look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie to adopt a child, or that they don’t appear “fun” enough in their photographs. However, this is untrue.

Birth parents choose adoptive families for many reasons. To some birth parents, it is important that their child grow up in a specific region or state because they envision their child spending days at the beach or running through a field in the Midwest. Other birth parents want their child to be brought up in a specific religion and will only consider families of that religion, while others want their child to grow up in a household with other children – or to be an only child.

Just as each adoption story is unique, so are the wants and desires of the birth parents – making it impossible to gauge what exactly birth parents look for in an adoptive family, or why they choose or don’t choose a specific couple.

There are, however, some steps families can take to increase their chances of being selected. Families with lower budgets or who are very narrow in their preferences (such as only willing to accept a Caucasian child or a child who has not been exposed to any drugs or alcohol in utero) may experience a longer wait as their profile can only be shown to a narrow group of expectant mothers. However, families that are willing to accept a bi-racial baby or are open to other social histories will be exposed to a larger group of expectant mothers, therefore increasing their exposure greatly.

If you are interested in increasing your adoption budget or broadening your APQ preferences, get in touch with your Adoptive Family Specialist. Check out these other blog posts for further reading about your adoption wait:

  • Coping with the Wait – Quotes from adoption veterans who remember what the wait for their child felt like