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Can You Change Adoptive Families? [Taking Another Glance]

Every expectant mother has the right to choose the best adoptive family for her child. But, what happens when you need to choose a different family? Can you change adoptive couples after you make your decision?


You can change adoptive couples at any point in your journey before signing your paperwork. Adoption is a big decision to make, and finding the right family for your baby is a big part of that. And like every other part of your adoption process, choosing an adoptive family is always up to you.

Whether you want to know how to change adoptive families now, or you want to learn more about this process just in case, know that we're 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. And if you’re an adoptive family who has questions about the process, we have plenty of resources to help you too.

Below, find out more about your right to change adoptive couples.

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, you are always in the driver's seat. This includes your ability to choose the perfect adoptive family for your baby — even if that means changing adoptive couples.

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. Don’t forget that you can take as much time as you need to before deciding on an adoptive family. This is your decision and you want to make sure you’ve found the perfect fit!

This ensures that 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. Through this contact, you’ll build a solid foundation for your new relationship. It will also give you time to work through any issues before the baby is born. Birth mothers like Erika found this amount of contact incredibly beneficial.

"As time went on, I got to know her soon-to-be family through email and letters. With everyone, I felt more at ease."

But, how can you make sure you find the right family the first time so that you don’t have to wonder, “How do you change adoptive couples?” 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

Whatever you're looking for in an adoptive family, you'll find it when working with our agency. 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. With the help of your adoption specialist, you’ll never have to ask, “Can I change adoptive families?” You always get to choose the perfect adoptive family, and you will never have to select a family until you are 100 percent confident in them.

How to Change Adoptive Families [Taking Another Look]

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 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. Your specialist will be there to help you work through your feelings and potentially address any fears you might have. Whether this decision stems from miscommunication or a misunderstanding, they’ll help you pinpoint exactly what you’re feeling.

After you tell your specialist about your decision and you’ve talked through everything, she will break the news to your previously selected family, and then help you learn more about how to change adoptive families and start a new search.

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 when they talk about how to change adoptive families, 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.

No matter how long it takes, you will find what you’re looking for, just like Kelly did:

"They had everything I was looking for. They showed extreme love for each other and ready to share their love with a child and were also open to a semi-open adoption."

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. Adoption is a big decision, and it’s nothing that you want to rush into before you are 100 percent ready. And that’s why many women, like you, want to know, “Can I change adoptive families in case I decide that I need to?”

The answer is yes. 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,  then you might not need to wonder how to change adoptive families.

One of our birth mothers said it best:

“It doesn’t matter what religion people are in or where they’re located,” Casey said. “I didn’t care whether the family had other children or not. Love is love.”

On the other hand, if you are asking, “Can I change adoptive families?” frequently, or you can’t decide on a certain family, talk to your adoption specialist. Remember, the families presented to you have all been home-study-approved and deemed ready to raise an adopted child, so any family that you choose will be able to provide an amazing life of love and opportunity to your baby.

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 paperwork, 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. American Adoptions 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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