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Can I Change Adoptive Families During My Adoption Process?

Every expectant mother has the right to choose the best adoptive family for her child. But, what happens when the family she originally chooses doesn’t quite measure up? Can a prospective birth mother change adoptive families in the middle of her adoption process?


If you are a prospective birth mother, you can change adoptive couples at any point in your journey before signing your adoption consent. Adoption is a big decision to make, and finding the right family for your baby is a critical part of your adoption plan. Like every other part of your adoption process, choosing an adoptive family is always entirely up to you.

Whether you want to know how to change adoptive families now, or you just want to learn more about this process to keep your options open, know that American Adoptions is here to help. Wherever you are at in your personal adoption journey, our specialists can guide you for free when you call 1-800-ADOPTION.

Below, find out more about your right to change adoptive couples as a prospective birth mother.

You Always Have the Right to Choose

If you are considering adoption, you are always in charge of your own process, from creating an adoption plan to specifying post-placement contact preferences. This includes your ability to choose an adoptive family for your baby.

While you can change adoptive couples at any time in your adoption process, it’s important that you seriously consider what you want in an adoptive family before selecting one — to make sure you have the best family possible from the beginning. Choosing the right family early on allows you more time to get to know and build a relationship with them prior to your baby’s birth.

But, how can you make sure you find the right family the first time? Choosing American Adoptions is a great place to start.

Our adoption specialists will work closely with you to create a set of preferences for your baby’s adoptive parents. You can choose attributes like age, race, location, education level, culture and more — everything that is important to you in planning your child’s future. Your adoption specialist will find prospective adoptive parents who meet those preferences and present you with their profiles. If you are interested in a couple, your specialist will mediate a conversation between the two of you to make sure the match is best for everyone.

You will never be forced into choosing a family, and you will never have to select a family until you are 100 percent confident in them.

How to Change Adoptive Families

But, what if you change your mind about what you want for your baby after you’ve chosen a family? Can you change adoptive couples in this instance?

Here at American Adoptions, we understand that your adoption desires may change at certain parts in your journey. It will always be within your rights as a prospective birth mother to change adoptive couples, if you so desire.

But, how do you change adoptive couples once making this decision? There are a few steps involved:

Step 1: Tell your specialist.

Your adoption specialist is always here to support you. She understands the difficult emotions you are coping with, and she will never judge you for changing your mind about the adoptive couple you want for your baby. She wants your adoption to be as successful as possible — and that can’t happen if you aren’t working with the right family. Don’t be afraid to tell her the truth.

After you tell your specialist about your decision, she will break the news to your previously selected family, and then help you start a new search for adoptive parents.

Step 2: Reevaluate what you want.

If you decide to change adoptive families, it’s important that you identify the reasons why. Only then can you find the best family for your baby.

Your specialist will talk with you in detail about your preferences again, including what you didn’t like about the previous adoptive family. Together, you will create an updated list of characteristics for the perfect adoptive family, and she will start collecting more family profiles for you to view.

Step 3: Choose a new adoptive family.

The rest of this process will be the same as choosing your initial adoptive parents. You will get the chance to ask questions about the family and even speak with them over phone to confirm they are the right choice for you. Think about the concerns you had about the last couple, and make sure those are addressed before agreeing to place your child with this family.

What to Consider About Changing Adoptive Couples

It’s normal to have reservations about an adoptive family and the adoption process in general if you are a prospective birth mother. Adoption is a big decision, and it’s nothing that you want to rush into before you are 100 percent ready.

However, it’s important to recognize when these thoughts are valid concerns about an adoptive couple or just normal pre-adoption jitters. Many prospective birth mothers have an idea of what they want their “perfect” adoptive family to look like on paper, and it can be difficult for adoptive parents to measure up to your expectations. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a great mother or father.

Think of it this way: When you are searching for a partner in life, you likely have a list of characteristics you are looking for. But, when you find the right person for you, they probably won’t check all of the boxes you had — and you’ll find that’s okay.

It’s the same concept with adoptive parents. Everyone has flaws, but it’s these flaws that make us unique. Often, they can bring people together in a stronger way. If you have reservations about an adoptive couple, ask yourself this: Will those flaws impact their ability to be a good mother or father to your baby? If not, changing adoptive couples may not be necessary in your situation.

On the other hand, if you are asking, “Can I change adoptive families?” frequently, or you can’t decide on a certain family, you should reevaluate your own commitment to adoption. The families presented to have all been home-study-approved and deemed ready to raise an adopted child so, if none of them seem “right” for you, it may be a sign that you are not ready for this step in the adoption process. Think about why you are rejecting these families’ profiles; is it really about them, or is it about you?

We know that every prospective birth mother’s situation is different. If you’re wondering how to change adoptive families before you have signed your adoption consent, our specialists will support you through this process. For more information on finding a family for your baby, or to start your adoption process today, please call 1-800-ADOPTION.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

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