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Open Adoption: How Birth Parents Choose a Family for Their Baby

The pain of giving a child up for adoption can be eased with open adoption. In open adoption, the birth mother can interview the prospective parents and decide who the birth parents will be. The biological father may be just a single mother or may include the father in decision making. Either way, her only concern is that the baby be placed in an adoptive home where she will be well cared for and have the best chance for her future.

The tools birth parents use to screen prospective adoptive parents:

  • Summary
  • Photos
  • Phone call
  • Interview

The summary

Unlike a job resume, the adoptive resume consists less of vital statistics and more of the adoptive parents’ personal attributes and outlook on life. In it there should be a letter, beginning “Dear Birth Mother” and stating why the parents are seeking adoption and their views on open adoption. You should include personal information such as the type of neighborhood, hobbies, relatives, education and family life. This gives the birth mother a good idea of ​​how committed the family is to the adoption and what kind of resources her child will have growing up.


As corny as the old adage is, a picture is still worth a thousand words. Close-up photos of birth parents are important, but so are photos of siblings, pets, home, neighborhood, and special occasions. Here, a prospective adoptive couple can be very creative in conveying how wonderful their life is and how much they have to offer an adopted child. The birth mother will want to be able to imagine her child in the happy and loving home of her adoptive parents.

Phone call

Before scheduling a face-to-face interview, the adoption agency or attorney often schedules a phone call. This is usually a conference call, and sometimes the questions are scripted so that all prospective adoptive parents get the same questions. If the birth mother believes there is a potential match, she can request an interview.


The birth parents’ interview with the Intended Parents may take place in a restaurant and the Intended Parents understand that they must pay for the meal. The counselor who helps with the adoption process will likely be there as well. This is the time when the birth parents can assess if the family is really a good match with deeper questions than those given in the phone interview.

After all of this process, there are a variety of factors that a birth mother will evaluate when choosing new parents. Many focus on education, religion, and home stability. They prefer to know that their child will have a good chance of getting a good education and that the family doesn’t move too often and that the marriage is strong. She will be eager to hear her views on open adoption and how much contact she will be allowed after the adoption takes place.

The deciding factor in all of these communications may end up being whether the birth parents are musically inclined, like the birth mother, or have hobbies and skills that the birth mother appreciates. It’s hard to know what will influence the vote, but most adoptive parents and birth mothers can tell in the interview if they’re a good match without hesitation.

Another set of factors may be the cultural heritage of the couple or their expressed religious faith. If it closely matches the birth mother’s values, the birth mother will know that her child is being raised in an environment similar to hers. Language barriers may also be a reason why a birth mother chooses close to her own culture, along with the understanding that the child will have good roots in a supportive family, but also roots in ethnicity and people of origin. she.

There are many ways a birth mother chooses the family for her baby. It is a long and complicated process, but one that can bring a sense of peace to the birth mother and the joy of a new child to adoptive couples. Establishing good, honest communication during the adoption process between birth parents and adoptive parents is a skill they will need to continue a process that can last a lifetime.


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