How To Communicate With Women Who Are Considering Adoption


As a hopeful adoptive parent, you are looking forward to the day you finally match with an expectant mother considering adoption. But you may also have a lot of anxiety about this possibility as well. You may be wondering exactly how to act or what to say to someone who is considering placing her child with your family.

Take a deep breath. The woman that you are connecting with will most likely feel exactly same way! She’s just as nervous and anxious as you are and is probably wondering if she will say and do the right things.

When speaking to or meeting with an expectant mother who is considering adoption, here are a few suggestions:

  • Get to know her not only as an expectant mom considering adoption but as a real person. In order to have a good relationship with her down the road, you’ll want to get to know her as a person. What are her interests and hobbies? Understand that she is so much more than what she can give you and your family at this moment.
  • Don’t tell her you know or understand how she feels. You can certainly empathize with her. But unless you have been through an unplanned pregnancy and considered adoption, you can’t know exactly how she feels.
  • Do not refer to her as a birthmother. Technically, she does not become a birthmother until she signs relinquishment papers terminating her parental rights.
  • Consider having your adoption worker at the first meeting with you. If you are working with an adoption professional, he or she can assist in asking the difficult questions or moving the meeting along if things become awkward and unproductive. Your adoption professional can also assist with broaching sensitive topics like open adoption specifics, once your match has been solidified.
  • Consider having your first meeting in a public restaurant or somewhere other than an impersonal setting. The right environment can really help set everyone at ease and get things moving in a positive direction.
  • Do not pressure her to rush into a decision or pressure her to place with your family specifically. This has to be her decision made in her own time. Most expectant mothers are already feeling a lot of pressure. So it is best not to add any additional stress to the situation.
  • Think long and hard about the promises you are making. Do not promise her things that you cannot guarantee once the adoption is finalized. When adoptive parents break promises they make (even small ones), it makes a birthmother question every promise made about how her child will be loved and raised.

As hopeful adoptive parents, you should try to convey how much you will love her child and how you will provide everything he or she needs in life. In spite of your nerves and all of the potential implications of this meeting, being yourself and not over-promising is key.