When I was a kid, I knew that something was wrong with my family. We never seemed to get along, and it was always a struggle to get through the simplest tasks as a family. I felt like it was always a challenge to be at home, which is why I focused so much on creating a loving, kind environment when I had my own family. I worked hard to find a great spouse, and we focus every day on creating a loving home. Check out this blog for tips on creating and enjoying stronger family relationships each and every day.
Giving a child up for adoption is a huge and life-changing decision. But an even more difficult decision may be choosing not just adoption, but also having to choose a specific set of adoptive parents to raise your child. In many cases, birth mothers who choose adoption are doing so because they don't feel ready to be a parent themselves. If you're not ready to parent, how can you tell which of the adoptive parents you consider will be good parents to your child? The decision to choose an adoptive family is highly personal, and there are many factors that you may consider, but there are certain traits of successful parents that can help you narrow down your search of adoptive families.
Parenting is a lifelong commitment, and parents need to be able to stick with it even when things get difficult. Adoptive parents face their own unique challenges—older children may not bond as easily with their adoptive parents as babies do, and even children adopted as babies will have their own difficult moments as they grow older and begin to understand what it means to be adopted. If your child has special needs of any kind, that adds another layer of difficulty to the challenges that the adoptive family will face. You want parents who are fully committed and are capable of following through on their commitments to your child.
How can you tell how committed a parent is? The adoption process itself can be expensive and difficult, so prospective parents who are putting themselves through it are already demonstrating a level of commitment to parenting. Information about a prospective adoptive couple's background, like how long they've been together or how long they've lived in one place or held a particular job, can also help give you an idea of how good they are at sticking with something, though of course these are not perfect indicators for parenting. Consider asking adoptive parents that you interview to describe a time that they kept a commitment despite challenges—their answer may help you understand how they will honor their commitment to parenting during challenging times.
Another thing that you definitely want to know is what kind of parenting style the adoptive family you choose has. In psychology, there are four types of recognized parenting styles: authoritative, neglectful, permissive, and authoritarian. Experts believe that the authoritative style is the most effective parenting style, while the others can be harmful.
If your prospective adoptive family already has children, whether adoptive or biological, or if they foster children, then they may have had home studies done, either by your adoption agency or a foster agency, that you can look at to get some idea of their parenting style. Again, it can be hard to tell how a couple without children might parent, but you can ask questions that may reveal important information about their parenting style. Ask them to describe how they'd handle a toddler tantrum, a bad report card, or a teen breaking curfew. Would they use corporal punishment? Bribery? Would they let bad behavior slide if it was only once or a few times? How does communication factor into the way they'd handle difficult situations with their child? The answers to these questions can clue you in on the parenting style that your child's adoptive parents are likely to use.
You may not be ready to parent yet, but you do know what your values are, and you'll feel more comfortable about your child's adoptive parents if those parents share the values that are most important to you.
This can mean sharing the same religion, but it doesn't have to mean only that. If religion isn't important to you, you may prefer adoptive parents who are nonreligious. If you value education highly, you might look for parents who are educators, who are highly educated themselves, or who at least prioritize education for their own children. You may want to look for adoptive parents who share your political leanings or opinions on certain social issues. If you think that having a strong relationship with extended family is important, you should ask prospective parents about their relationships with parents, siblings, and other family members.
It may seem awkward and overly personal to ask about the religion or politics or family relationships of people that you don't know well, but it's important for you to get a clear idea of whether the adoptive environment is one that you want for your child, and most adoptive parents expect to answer personal questions and will be glad to do so. Don't be afraid to ask about the things most important to you.
A good adoption agency will help you refine your search for adoptive parents until you find a family that you're certain that you're happy with. It's OK to be picky—after all, you're entrusting the adoptive parents you choose with a very special responsibility. For more information on placing a child for adoption, contact an agency like A Child's Dream.Share
1 November 2016