Choosing Adoptive Parents: Who Makes the Decision?

Choosing to make an adoption plan to place your child for adoption is a hard decision. Ensuring that your child is adopted by a family that you trust to raise him or her can be just as hard. Though in some instances, birth parents may not opt to or be unable to choose who adopts their child, in almost all cases, you have the right to make this decision.


How do I choose an adoptive family for my child?

In some cases, you may already have a family member who you would like to adopt your child. However, in many instances a birth family will be choosing a family as part of their adoption plan. Adoption agencies, lawyers, and other adoption professionals may already have a list of people hoping to adopt. Those individuals will have likely completed a profile, or even a photo book or video that explains who they are, what their values are, etc. This provides a glimpse into their life and what they can provide for your child. Most often, the adoption professionals you’re working with have met these individuals and can help you narrow down who you might like to meet. 


Can I meet potential adoptive parents? 

Yes. As an adoptive mom myself, I met many birth parents who were deciding if they wanted to place their child for adoption. This is a big step for you in creating an adoption plan, so you will want to ensure that you ask as many questions as possible to see if you’re comfortable with these individuals. This is a great resource in deciding what questions you want to ask. The only time a birth parent would not likely get to meet the adoptive parents is if their parental rights had been taken away from them. In most cases, the situation is very serious if this happens and it is next to impossible to reverse the adoption unless that child is in harm in their new circumstances. 


What makes a person or a couple eligible to begin the adoption process? 

If someone wants to adopt, they have to complete many steps before they are even able to meet with a birth family seeking to find a placement for their child. They have likely filled out an information packet, taken mandatory training sessions (these are depending on state requirements), completed an extensive background check and home study, and have a profile available for you to see. In emergency placement circumstances, these things will still be required of adoptive parents, but the home study might be scheduled just before a child enters their home. Regardless, you can be assured that families do a lot to prove to adoption agencies, lawyers, and adoption professionals that they are fit to parent. 


Is there ever a circumstance where I would be unable to choose who adopts my child?

If there is a case of abuse or neglect and a birth parent loses their parental rights, it is unlikely, unless it’s a family placement, that they would meet the individuals adopting their child. This article will help you understand when this may occur. In some instances, a putative father (someone who is alleged or claims to be the biological child of a father) will be left off a birth certificate and not be involved in the process if a birth mother has failed to tell him of the pregnancy. Many states have putative father registries. If a man feels that he may have fathered a child, he can sign up on a registry to be contacted should this be accurate. If this occurs, he would have the right then to parent the child or relinquish his parental rights. 


In most circumstances, you are able to interact with individuals who are applicable to adopt. But, just because you meet with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated in any way to choose them as the parents for your child. It’s important to ask questions, ask for help from professionals, and do what is best for you.