A Birth Family Perspective on Adoption Part 2 – Choosing and Meeting the Prospective Adoptive Family
By Grandma Elaine
With about two months to go until the birth, my daughter was eager to find a couple that she felt would be the right parents for her baby.
The Licensee presented our daughter with profiles of 14 couples who were looking to adopt. Our daughter wanted us to be involved in the selection. She also included the birth father in the selection process. So, we joined them in carefully reviewing the profiles one by one. Some had lots of photos, others had lots of text but few photos. They all seemed great, but as we narrowed down our criteria of what we all thought was important, we looked for specific qualities, experiences, and interests that either echoed our own family or presented what we each thought was important for this special baby. This took a long time as we sorted through the possibilities. How about a musical family? One near us? In a rural area? In a small town? One with a child already? Professionals? Teachers? Nurses? Others? We found that the ages of the prospective parents were far less important than their lifestyle, interests, plans for being home with their child, and what their hopes and dreams were for a child and family life. As the prospective grandparents, we sifted through the profiles looking for comments that spoke to their understanding, readiness and commitment to an open adoption relationship. I worried that these couples might feel pressure to say things in order to be selected but not have a true commitment to openness. Was there a way to really know who truly embraced open adoption?
With the assistance of the birth father, our daughter selected her top three choices and we supported all three as potential matches. I must say I thought it seemed pretty strange. If we had been hiring someone for a job, we would have met the candidates and interviewed them at length. But, for this all-important job of parenting, we were expected to make the selection only by reviewing paperwork. With the three possible couples, my daughter had ranked them in order of her preference. The Licensee suggested that we arrange to meet each of these couples and that’s exactly what we did. At the end of these interviews, our daughter let the Licensee know which couple she and the birth father had chosen. Soon after, the selected couple received the telephone call from the Licensee telling them they had been chosen. I imagined their excitement in getting the call but also thought to myself how hard this must be for those who are not chosen.
The next day we met with the selected couple at our home. It was amazing! There were so many things that we had in common. So much to talk about. I felt really reassured that they seemed very comfortable with the idea of an ongoing open relationship. My husband and I felt really good that our daughter and the birth father had made such a good selection.
This was the first of several meetings that we had with A & K, the couple chosen to adopt our grandchild. We talked about our families, their families, our common interests, and much more. We discussed the plans for the hospital. The more we got to know them, the more we felt they were an ideal choice. At the same time, I wondered to myself whether our daughter would really be able to go through with the adoption plan.