One of the final steps of the adoption process is receiving and vetting adoption situations from your agencies or attorneys. This happens after you complete home study, design your adoption profile, and find agencies to work with. Vetting adoption situations is what you need to do in order to find that perfect-for-you match with an expectant mother.
It’s really important for you to know, as you’re getting situations to consider from your agencies, what you need to be looking for before you decide to present your adoption profile. You may think that you can just read a situation (and maybe even re-read) and know right off the bat if you want to present for it or not. That may just be the case! Gut feelings and first instincts are so important, but I encourage you to pause and ask questions.
Understanding that you can ask questions and truly ask anything you want to know is crucial. Most of the time agencies have indeed sent out all the information that is available to them or at least everything that they think is pertinent, but there still may be a small piece of it that was missed or left out for whatever reason. You won’t know unless you ask about it.
When evaluating an adoption situation look for things like…
- Has the agency asked the expectant mother what it would look like if she decided to parent her child and what they could do to help support her to do so? You want to make sure this conversation has been had before the agency presents the situation to you.
- What’s the situation with the expectant father? Is he in the picture or not? Does he know about the pregnancy and adoption plan? Does he agree with the adoption?
- What kind of support is the expectant mother receiving from friends and family? Do THEY know about the adoption plan? Do they agree?
- If the expectant mother is incarcerated, when did that happen and for how long will she be incarcerated?
- If the expectant mother struggles with substance abuse, how long was she using drugs during the pregnancy? What drugs was she using and when did she stop?
These questions are just a few examples of important details that will help you bring all the details together. You need to really go in-depth with your questions so you can paint a full picture, because without it you’re not going to know if the adoption situation is actually right for you.
AND you’ll want to know if it’s right for you because once you tell an agency or attorney that you want to present, you are conveying the message that if you’re chosen by the expectant mother you fully intend to move forward with the match.
After you’ve been chosen for the situation, it is NOT the time to be asking questions about things that could have potentially been answered for you prior to agreeing. This is not to say that you won’t learn more about the expectant mother, her medical history, family, etc. throughout your match. Sometimes you will be surprised by the information you learn along the way. Hopefully not too surprised. You can always continue to assess how you’re feeling about the match as you gather more of the facts. However, unless something completely out of the ordinary happens, you’re telling the expectant mother and the agency you’re working with that you fully intend to move forward with the adoption.
Don’t let your excitement about seeing an adoption situation get in the way of your judgment. You have every right to be excited, but just remember to pause, evaluate, and ask questions!