As an expectant parent who is considering adoption in Oklahoma, one of the biggest questions you’re probably asking yourself is, “How do I choose an adoptive family?” Choosing the family who will raise your child is a monumental decision, and many birth parents worry about making the wrong choice. Fortunately, adoption specialists can empower you as you consider many different adoptive parent profiles and make the adoption journey much easier.
The Adoptive Parent Process
Before becoming eligible to adopt through an agency, adoptive parents have to go through an extensive application and screening process to ensure they have the resources and capabilities to provide a loving and supportive home for a child or children. Every adoption agency or adoption provider uses their own set of criteria to screen parents, and some are more extensive or stringent than others. Make sure you know what your chosen agency or provider’s criteria are up front so you can be sure they’re screening applicants properly.
At Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption Services, the screening process for adoptive parents includes:
- A comprehensive home study that assesses the adoptive family’s home life and environment. These studies are performed by qualified social workers and include interviews of both prospective parents and other family members as well as an evaluation of the house itself.
- Full criminal background checks that screen out any potential candidates who may have ulterior motives for adoption or who may not be suitable adoptive parents.
- Medical records and evaluations that ensure adoptive parents are in good physical health and are capable of raising a child without health concerns.
- References from family members, friends, mental health professionals, counselors, and religious or spiritual leaders in the family’s life who can give an outside assessment of the family’s suitability for being adoptive parents.
This screening process allows you to be sure that every family approved by our agency is suitable as a potential parent for your child. Again, different agencies will have their own specific set of criteria, and it’s important to understand what they are from the start. That said, the ultimate decision for which family to choose is still up to you.
When deciding whether or not an adoptive family is the right choice, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to make the decision easier. Here are a few examples:
- What values are important to me? Some birth parents think that a traditional two-parent household is extremely important, while others are more concerned about financial security or the parents’ education or jobs.
- What lifestyle do I want my child to have? Birth mothers can often choose between families in which one parent stays at home while the other works or ones where both parents work.
- How open do I want the adoption to be? Some birth parents want a lot of contact between themselves and the adoptive family, while others want to keep some distance. Your feelings about open and closed adoptions will have an impact on which family you choose.
- What is the family’s family like? Remember, when you’re choosing an adoptive family you aren’t just choosing parents. You’re also putting your child into a huge extended family – uncles, aunts, grandparents, and so on. Make sure you feel comfortable with the entire family before moving forward.
Once you have some ideas about what is important to you in an adoptive family, you can begin screening the applicants yourself to find the perfect match. Some birth parents find the perfect adoptive family quickly, while others take months to sort through the options. Of course, both ways are perfectly fine – the most important thing is that you’re comfortable with the decision you’re making for yourself and your child.
If you would like to know more about the process of adoption in Oklahoma, contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption Services. As Oklahoma’s oldest adoption agency, we have the experience you can trust to take care of you and your child throughout and after an adoption. Call 405-949-4200 or text us at 405-397-3140 today to make an appointment or visit our Facebook or Twitter pages for more helpful guidance and information.