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How to Choose an Adoptive Family

Close your eyes and envision a day in your child's life. What does he or she see when she wakes up and looks out the bedroom window? Skyscrapers, houses, a farm, may a beach?

Who is there to greet him or her when they walk downstairs for breakfast? An adoptive mother and father? Does he or she have brothers and sisters? Any dogs or cats?

He or she finishes breakfast, walks out of the front door and hops onto the school bus, and 15 years pass. Where is your child now? Is she attending college? Is he running the family business or helping out on the farm?

Choosing an Adoptive Family

Whichever scenario you imagine for your child can become reality when you choose an adoptive family that best matches the adoption plan that you set for you and your child.

Before you begin the process of choosing an adoptive family, your Adoption Specialist will work with you to better understand the life you want for your child. Once he or she understands your wishes, the Adoption Specialist will send you a packet of adoptive family profiles.

Adoptive Family Print and Video Profiles

Adoptive Family Print Profiles are a snapshot of the adoptive family's lives. They may include information about the couple's background, family, home, careers, education, motivations to adopt and much more.

Your Adoption Specialist will make sure that you are sent Adoptive Family Print Profiles that reflect the life you want for your child. If you want your child to live on the East Coast, you will be sent profiles of families who live on the East Coast. If you want your child to have several brothers and sisters, you will be sent profiles of large families.

Adoptive Family Video Profiles are a dynamic, three-dimensional look at a family's life. You'll be able to see a couple interact with each other and their environment. You'll hear them talk about themselves,hear about them from people in their lives and really get to know their personalities for yourself.

There is no exact science for how to choose an adoptive family, but many women have said that when they first saw the profile of the adoptive family they ultimately chose, they immediately knew they were the ones.

You should not simply settle on any family either. If there isn't an Adoptive Family Print or Video Profile that jumps out at you, ask your Adoption Specialist to send you more.

Getting to Know the Adoptive Family

Adoptive Family Print and Video Profiles aren't your only tool to learn about the couple. Over 80 percent of the pregnant women who work with American Adoptions request a conference call with the adoptive couple they choose from profiles. Conference calls are an excellent way for you to learn more about the couple because you can ask specific. The adoptive couple will be excited to learn more about you as well. An Adoption Specialist will mediate the conference call to make sure the conversation goes smoothly.

Conference calls should help reassure you that you are comfortable with the adoptive family you chose. After the conference call, if you have second thoughts about the family, speak with your Adoption Specialist.

If you would prefer to personally meet the adoptive couple before you deliver the baby, your Adoption Specialist can help you arrange that. While some women and adoptive couples find comfort in getting to know one another in a natural environment, outside of any mediated conversations, others do not. It is entirely your decision.

Future Contact with the Adoptive Family and Your Child

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when envisioning your child's life is where you fit. Do you see yourself directly involved in his or her life? Do you speak on the phone regularly? Do you only communicate through letters? Do you even communicate at all?

You'll decide how much contact you want with the adoptive family after the adoption. If you desire a fully open adoption, complete with phone calls and visitations, your Adoption Specialist will be sure to match you with an adoptive couple that is willing and happy to fulfill those wishes.

Throughout this process, you and your Adoption Specialist will work as a team to make sure you choose the right adoptive family for your adoption plan and your child's future.

To begin the process of choosing an adoptive family, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an Adoption Specialist.