So often on our blog, we share adoption tips about what to do in the process. Since there are many opportunities for hitches along the way, today we hope to share what NOT to do in adoption, and things to be aware of.
The adoption tips we list below may seem like common sense, but they come from Lifetime’s years of experience working with adoptive parents and birth mothers. All of the situations and instances we share today are ones we've experienced.
Lifetime wants to make sure that you’re prepared and equipped with accurate information of what not to do. That way, you can focus on doing the right thing to really ensure a safe and successful adoption!
Here are three things to avoid doing if you want to adopt successfully:
Staying positive and not full of complaints during your adoption journey is important. To do so, you need to have an outlet to vent to when you face stress. It could be a circle of friends, someone at your church, a family member, or your spouse. Writing in a journal is a helpful tool for getting your emotions out there, and prayer can be a great way to give your worries to the Lord. Some adoptive couples may need to consider seeking outside counseling. Be sure you’re taking care of yourself so you’ll be the best parent you can be. This includes getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating healthy foods.
Your adoption is going to be a reflection of your attitude through it. Your attitude affects so much in your adoption journey. Lifetime definitely encourages you to avoid complaining to a potential birth mother about your infertility, a previous adoption loss, or the adoption process.
Be discerning about whether it would help to vent to your professional or whether it's outside of their control. Your adoption professional is here to help in a productive way toward completing an adoption. However, when you're waiting to be chosen by a birth mother, many factors are outside of their control.
If you're following all of the instructions from your adoption professional, you're already doing everything in your power to successfully adopt. It's simply a matter of time before your adoption takes place, as long as you're continuing to follow the steps that are necessary.
2. Sounding Desperate
A lot of couples have come to adoption because they're unable to have a biological child or have experienced a miscarriage. But, you want to strike the words "I deserve to be a parent" from your vocabulary because you don't want to sound desperate to a birth mother.
Avoid wording that sounds like your happiness depends on someone else's adoption decision. Saying something to the effect of “my life won't be full until I have a child" sure puts a lot of pressure on a birth mother! Lifetime understands that you may feel like your family is not yet complete. But you have to go into adoption not putting that pressure on someone else. A birth mother shouldn't have to handle the pressure of completing your life’s dream. That's not why she's choosing adoption; she's choosing it to provide her child with the best possible life she can.
3. Making Assumptions
Avoid assuming anything about a birth mother or her situation. Many people think of a birth mother as a 16-year-old who made a mistake with her boyfriend. That's not who's placing for adoption today. Similarly, they're not heroin addicts who live on the street. The typical birth mother today does not fit into either of those categories. Not all birth mothers are young, single, homeless, battered, dropouts, or drug users. They're just regular women who are trying to make the best decision for her child.
In terms of judging, you want to be sure that you're not passing judgment on her baby based on her situation or the circumstances of her lifestyle. We've had families pass on an adoption opportunity because they didn't like the tone of the birth mother's voice when they chatted. It’s important that you don't pass judgment on her choices or how she lives. These women are not coming from perfect situations, or else they wouldn't be considering adoption; they wouldn't be considering you.
Don't assume that this decision is a negative one for her. Avoid writing or saying statements such as “I know this must be a terrible decision for you to make" or "I imagine you've been through something awful to have to choose adoption." Good mothers choose adoption; mothers who love their children choose adoption. She's making a positive decision at a personal cost for the sake of her child. She's doing it for her child and so you don't need to acknowledge a negative situation that she may not be feeling.