About Adoptive Families

Getting to Know the Adoptive Family: Questions to Ask Potential Adoptive Parents

Have you picked out the perfect adoptive family for your baby? If so, it’s time to really start getting to know them. But, how do you know which questions to ask prospective adoptive parents and which to avoid? Prepare yourself here.

Your difficult journey to find the perfect adoptive family is over. But now you’re facing the next step — getting to know them for the first time. For some women considering an adoption, this can be just as difficult as picking an adoptive family out of hundreds of adoptive family profiles.

As you start thinking of good questions to ask adoptive parents, you might also think:

I want to know what to write to my adopting family before I give birth.

Where can you contact adoptive families online?

I want to talk to families wanting to adopt; where can I start?

These are all perfectly normal questions to have as you start thinking of possible questions to ask prospective adoptive parents. Below, find a guide to help you prepare for your first meeting with your baby’s adoptive parents and ensure your relationship’s success.

Pre-Placement Contact

As soon as you find an adoptive family that you feel a connection to, it’s time to start getting to know them. Your adoption specialist will let the family know that you’ve chosen them, and once they accept, you will share a pre‐placement phone call. To make things easier, your adoption specialist will be there to mediate this first conversation if you’re nervous about talking with adoptive parents.

Once your first phone call is over, you can have as much communication as you would like with the adoptive family, as determined by your open adoption plan.

Interview Questions to ask Adoptive Parents

You probably have plenty of questions to ask the adoptive family in your excitement to get to know them — but you may feel unsure of where to start. Here are a few great interview questions to ask an adoptive parent:

  • Where did the two of you meet?
  • How long have the two of you been together?
  • How much do you know about the adoption process?
  • What are some of your favorite family traditions?
  • Do you value religion in your home?
  • Do you both of you plan to work while raising a child, or will one of you be a stay‐at‐home parent?
  • What kind of parent do you envision yourself as?
  • What do you want our relationship to look like after the adoption?
  • How will you talk to your child about their heritage?
  • Do you value education? Will you strongly encourage your child to attend college?

Your adoption specialist can also help by giving you a list of more open-ended questions to ask adoptive parents.

Questions Not to Ask Adoptive Parents

Every adoptive family has their own reason for pursuing adoption. As such, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some questions and topics to avoid when getting to know an adoptive family for the first time. Here’s what you should keep in mind during your conversations:

  • Avoid bringing up any comments or questions about infertility. While this is a common reason for a family to choose adoption, it can be a heartbreaking part of the adoptive family’s past.
  • Avoid asking any questions that might come across as invasive or offensive. It’s a good idea to get to know the basics about an adoptive family before asking questions about their private life.
  • Avoid rushing the interview process. You might not be able to answer all of your questions in one sitting, and that’s okay. You can take as much time as you need to get to know the adoptive family.

Opening Up About Yourself

While getting to know the adoptive family can be an intimidating experience, it can be just as nerve‐wracking to open up about yourself. If you’re looking for ideas on what to say when you’re not thinking of questions to ask an adoptive family, here are some suggestions on what to do:

  • Talk about your favorite things (like your hobbies, food, music, etc.).
  • Talk about your feelings about your adoption plan, if you feel comfortable.
  • If you feel comfortable with the idea later, you can even talk about naming the baby with the adoptive family.

If you need any help, your adoption specialist can continue to mediate your phone calls. Remember, you only have to share as much as you feel comfortable with when you speak to families wanting to adopt. No one will pressure you into a topic that you don’t want to discuss at that time.

Post-Placement Contact

While you’ll have plenty of time to get to know the adoptive family before the adoption, you might be interested in learning more about them after placement, too. Many women considering adoption hope to not only have a relationship with their child after the adoption but with the adoptive family, as well.

Your adoption specialist can give you more details if you’re interested in continuing your relationship through an open adoption.

How to Determine if the Family is Right for You

No matter which adoptive family you decide on, it’s normal to question if this really is the right family for you. While you’re asking questions to ask prospective adoptive parents, pay attention to their actions and the way they speak. Do they seem excited at the chance to get to know you and your baby? Are they invested in your life and your goals for the future? How do they feel about post‐placement contact and involving you in their lives?

These are all signs that will help you determine if this is the right adoptive family for your baby. Remember, you always have the right to choose the best adoptive family for your baby. If you feel that the interview process isn’t going well, or if you’re second‐guessing your choice, you can change your mind at any time. No one will pressure you into sticking with a family that you don’t feel is right for your baby.