If you want to make a loving adoption plan for your baby, one of the major steps you will face is how to choose an adoptive family for your child. This can seem overwhelming. However, we will walk by your side to help and support as you need us.

The wonderful thing about working with an adoption agency like Lutheran Family Service to choose an adoptive family is that we’ve done all the behind-the-scenes work in selecting families to be in our adoption program that can provide a safe and loving home for your baby. They’ve passed background checks, sex offender checks, have been married for more than three years, are active in a Christian congregation, have excellent character references, have passed a home study, and so much more. We have a lot of amazing families for you to choose from.

You may know exactly what you are looking for in an adoptive family. Or, you may have no idea. There are also occasions when a client thought she knew exactly the type of couple she wanted, but ultimately none of what she thought she wanted was important to her in the end. We are here for you to help you think through and organize your thoughts and feelings into two categories – “ideal” and “deal-breakers.” Then, we give you different factors to think about so you can define what your “ideal” family would be. And, if there are “deal-breakers,” it’s important for you to express those as well.

The list below contains nine factors that you will need to consider to choose an adoptive family that is right for you and your child.

  1. Location. Would you like the adoptive parents to live close to you or far away? Would you want your child to grow up in a rural or urban setting?
  2. Stay At Home Parent. Do you want your child to be cared for by an adoptive parent instead of a daycare or a nanny?
  3. Other Children. Do you want your child to grow up with a sibling? Does it matter if that sibling is also adopted or a biological child? Do you think a large family with lots of children or a small family is better?
  4. Pets. Do you care if the adoptive family has a pet or pets?
  5. Extended Family. Is it important to you that extended family, like grandparents, live close by your child and their adoptive family?
  6. Race. Is there a priority for you to have your child placed with a couple of a certain race?
  7. Employment. Perhaps the type of job the adoptive parents have matters to you. For example, maybe you grew up in a military family and would like to see your child in the same type of environment.
  8. Religion. The faith of the adoptive couple, including their denomination, may be an important factor. And, it is good for you to consider how they will teach their Christian faith to the child.
  9. Ongoing Relationship. It will be important to know how you feel about the possibility of an ongoing relationship with the adoptive family and your child. Once you determine your feelings and desires for the future relationship, it is important to know how the adoptive parents feel about that as well. It’s very important to make sure that both you and they are on the same page. You will want to find a couple that is open to your ideas for the future relationship.

Once, you have determined your ideal family factors, Lutheran Family Service will be able to show you adoptive families’ profile books for you to consider. Profile books are the adoptive couples’ stories. They include pictures and information on the how the couple met, their occupations, any children or pets in the home, hobbies, extended family, their home, and community. We do not show books of families who do not meet your “deal-breaker” specifications. The family profile books selected for you will be in alignment with your “ideals” in various ways, but not necessarily meeting every single one of your ideals as that can be difficult to achieve.

In the same way you select your “ideals” and “deal-breakers,” our adoptive couples have done the same. Their factors to consider are whether or not they are able to accept and care for children with special needs, exposure to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, type of relationship with the birth parents, and more.

All the family profile books we show you means that your and their “ideals” and “deal-breakers” are in alignment and would potentially make a good match. During the process of viewing profile books, your “Ideals” and “deal-breakers” will often become clearer. Seeing the pictures of the families, their environment, extended family, children, and pets will help you make a connection with a family or two.

At this time, you can have the adoption caseworker seek additional information from the adoptive couple(s) that you are considering. Once you feel you have an adoptive family or two that fit with what you are looking for, you will have the option to meet them in-person if you would like to do so. Your level of comfort during this process is our priority. You may want to choose an adoptive family from their profile book alone and never meet them in person. That is okay.

Or, if you decide that you want to meet a possible adoptive couple or couples, a match meeting is set up by Lutheran Family Service. You can choose to meet as many families as you’d like if you think that they might be a great fit for you and your child. Each match meeting would be a separate meeting so that you and they can spend time getting to know each other. This meeting is a great time to hear firsthand about how the couple first met and the circumstances that led them to pursue adoption. You can ask questions about the couples’ views on discipline, childcare, education, lifestyle and more.

And, this meeting will also give you the opportunity to share your story and why you are wanting to create a loving adoption plan for your child. The adoptive couple would love to know anything that you’re willing to share about your talents, hobbies, activities, passions and more. Your Lutheran Family Service caseworker will help to get you and the potential adoptive couple talking. A match meeting is always best if it can be in-person. However, Lutheran Family Service can set up a video call if an in-person meeting cannot take place.

Other topics that may come up in your match meetings include:

  • Ongoing Relationship Considerations. Does your ideal ongoing communication plan match their expectations for both the remainder of your pregnancy and after the birth of the baby?
  • Naming the Baby. If you feel strongly that a name you give the child should be kept, are they willing to do so?
  • Hospital Experience. Does your plan for the adoptive couple’s involvement at the hospital setting match their expectations? Who is at the hospital? Who takes care of the baby while in the hospital? Medical decision making and discharge decisions will all be made by the you, but it is important to discuss expectations with the potential adoptive family.

Once all your match meetings are complete, you can take as much time as you need to reach your decision. Lutheran Family Service will then notify the chosen family and any families who were not chosen. Once both you and the adoptive family make the decision to move forward with the adoption plan, Lutheran Family Service will help guide you and the adoptive family through the rest of the process. Even though this is a scary and overwhelming time in your life, adoption is a beautiful thing. You are making a life-giving and loving choice for your baby. And we will be with you through it all.

“Adoption isn’t a birthmother’s rejection but an unconditional love that inspires her to put herself last and do all she can for her baby” — Mary Hines, Birthmother

You can learn more about the adoption process, get answers to important questions that might be on your mind, and read about expected emotions you’ll experience when placing your child for adoption on our website HERE: https://lutheranfamilyservice.org/2021/09/what-expect-placing-child-adoption/

Tiffany Bergman
Pregnancy and Adoption Caseworker
Lutheran Family Service

If you or someone you know is considering adoption, or looking for help to choose the adoptive family that is right for them, please have them reach out via text, email, webform or phone.

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