How to Choose an Adoptive Family

When you decide to place your child for adoption, you open yourself up to many difficult choices. One of the hardest is choosing the family that will adopt your child. It’s never easy to make this decision, simply because you have so many options and so many things to consider.

Choosing an Adoptive Family

For some birth mothers, it’s enough to know that the family adopting their child will love them and care for them like their own. Others want more detail or input. If you find yourself worried about the “type” of family adopting your child, you will need to put considerable time into screening families until you find the “right” one.

To help you make your choice, we have put together some of the most common issues and factors that other birth mothers consider. If you’re not sure who you would like to adopt your baby, take a look at the following categories and see if any of them are important to you.

Common Family Concerns for Birth Mothers

Open or Closed Adoption

One of the biggest considerations for choosing an adoptive family is whether you want an open or closed adoption. Many adoptive families only want a certain type of adoption as well, so this can be an excellent “first question” when you’re considering different families for your child.


To many birth mothers, the religion of the adoptive family isn’t very important. However, if you want your child brought up under a certain religion or belief system you can use that as a factor in your decision. Some adoption agencies only work with adoptive families of a certain belief system, which can make it easier for you to choose the family you want.


Racial and ethnic identity are very sensitive subjects for many people in the United States. To that end, many birth parents think it’s important for their child to be raised in an environment that reflects their race. You can use race, heritage, and even physical appearance as categories when considering families – just keep in mind that if you’re too specific you might limit the number of families you can choose from.

Parenting Style and Priorities

Some birth mothers want to make sure their children are brought up a certain way or with access to certain opportunities. Parenting style plays a big role in many birth mother’s choice of family. This can include the education level of the adoptive parents, their views on activities like sports, arts or reading, and their thoughts on topics like discipline or sleep training.

Siblings & Extended Family

Do you want your child to grow up as an only child or as one in a big family? When looking at adoptive families you can choose between families who already have kids, who plan to have more, or who just want the one. You can also specify if you want your child to grow up with close access to grandparents or other extended family as well.

Finding Families that Match

Once you have an idea of the type of family you want to adopt your child, you can find matching families in many ways. Some of the most common methods for screening families include:

  • Online or Paper Profiles – Adoptive families always have some form of profile that describes them and their goals for adopting. Profiles include pictures and many details about the parents and their family so you can feel confident about them.
  • Video Profiles – With the increasing availability of video recording and editing tools, more adoptive families are turning to video as part of their profile. It’s very common for profiles to include links to a YouTube video (or similar) that allows you to get a better sense of what the parents and family are like as people.
  • In-Person Meetings – Once you have narrowed your potential list of families down, you can schedule meetings with the families to ask questions and meet them face-to-face. Alternately, you can also have mediated meetings or even have an adoption agent stand in for you and ask questions on your behalf (if you would like to stay private).

When you’re placing your baby for adoption, the most important thing to remember is you need to be comfortable and happy with your decision. Taking time to consider different aspects of parenting and meeting with different families is a big step along that path.

If you have questions or would like more information about adoption placement, contact Acorn Adoptions today. We can help you through every step of the adoption process and answer all of your questions. Call  our Mississippi Office at (228) 493-6867 or our Louisiana Office at (985) 626-3800 today.

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