Amanda perched on her stool at the café, with her laptop and a cup of cappuccino nearby. She grabbed for her phone and began to browse through her adoption agency’s website, something that she did every day during her lunch break. As she navigated the site, Amanda began feeling defeated.
As she looked at all the happy photos of other couples hoping to adopt, she wondered, “How will we ever stand out from all these other couples and get picked by a birth mother? What makes a birth mother choose one couple over another as the parents to her child? How can we compete against couples who are charming, well-educated, attractive, and wealthier?”
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. Plenty of hopeful adoptive parents feel worried from time to time that a birth mother won’t choose them. Struggling with jealousy and frustration during your adoption journey is normal. I’m hoping this information will bring clarity to the open adoption process and give you some bottom-line truths about being chosen by a birth mother.
Why Them and Not Us?
Today, birth mothers pick adoptive families for a variety of reasons. Lifetime has seen women choose a certain couple just because they looked kind, or familiar, or fun. Birth mothers have decided on their baby’s adoptive parents based on where they live, their pets, or their hobbies. We’ve even worked with birth mothers who felt an instant connection to an adoptive couple because they both liked the same candy! As you can tell, there’s no specific formula to explain why a birth mother might like one family over another.
The truth is, a birth mother can only pick ONE adoptive family for her baby. Once she realizes that there are so many wonderful, loving couples who would make amazing parents for her baby, it makes her difficult decision even more so.
How Long Will We Wait Until We’re Picked by a Birth Mother?
Adoption is unique. If it were easier to adopt, there would be more people pursuing this path to parenthood. It’s challenging to predict exactly how long your adoption wait will be. That is because here at Lifetime, adoption depends on a birth mother’s choice.
So, it’s important to follow your adoption agency’s guidance and expertise on your adoption profile, website, and video. Also, make sure to be as open as you’re comfortable in your adoption preferences for a child. Every time a birth mother sees your information, it’s another opportunity to be picked.
The bottom line is that there are a variety of reasons why some adoptive couples wait longer than others. Some hopeful adoptive parents may have put off turning in their home study paperwork or getting their adoption profiles in. Or, they might even have turned down an opportunity to adopt that was given to them and was inside their preferences. For couples who have been ready and proactive from the beginning of their adoption journey, it’s just a matter of time!
Each adoptive family’s path to their child is unique, but it can be hard not to compare yourself to others. Whether you’re seeking an adoption match on your own or with the help of a professional, we hope that the insights we shared here help you get through the frustrating days.
Do you need encouragement and inspiration during your adoption wait? Make sure to check out these helpful articles about waiting:
In Your Adoption Wait? 5 Ideas on What You Can Do
A Lesson In Patience as You Wait to Adopt
Coping With Your Adoption Wait
Struggling With Your Adoption Wait? Read This!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 18, 2019, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.
Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.
Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.