Are the waiting families good people? How do you screen them and prepare them to adopt?
If you are considering adoption for your baby, one of the questions you may be wondering is about the waiting adoptive families who are hoping to adopt. Some women would like to choose a family for their baby, as we have many waiting and approved families, while other women do not want to choose, and they prefer that Open Arms chooses the perfect family for their baby. We will support your decision either way.
If you are thinking that you would like to choose the adoptive family for your baby, there are a lot of factors to consider. You may feel overwhelmed at first, not know what to look for, or be unsure of what questions to ask. You also may be wondering about the families- how do we know they are good people? How do we know they are safe, loving homes? How do we know they are ready to adopt a baby? We get to know our adoptive families very well over the course of their adoption preparation, and we will explain more about what that entails here.
Why are these people hoping to adopt?
One question you may be wondering is, why are these families hoping to adopt a baby? There are many reasons why Open Arms’ waiting families choose to adopt. For some, growing their family by adoption has always been something they have hoped or dreamed of. They might have a personal connection to the idea of adoption, such as having grown up with a sibling who was adopted, or just always felt strong about the idea. They want to provide a loving, safe home to a child who needs them. Some may choose adoption as a way to have children because they struggle with infertility. Many of our waiting families have experienced multiple miscarriages or other losses and are excited about the idea of adoption as a way to grow their family. We also have many LGBTQ families for whom conceiving biologically is not an option, and they are incredibly excited to grow their family by adoption as well. No matter what the driving factor is, our waiting adoptive families are passionate and feel good about their decision to begin the adoption journey.
How do you know the Adoptive Families have safe homes?
During the process of becoming a waiting adoptive family, our Adoptive Families go through many steps in order for us to get to know them better and learn more about their lives. One of our counselors meets with them in their home for multiple hours on several occasions and gets to know them very well over the course of this time. In addition to our counselors spending time with them, families are required to get all different types of background checks. In order to adopt, they must obtain police clearances, FBI clearances, Child Abuse Clearances, Medical Clearances, as well as get professional and personal references. Our families are also required to write autobiographies about themselves so we can learn more about their past, their families and relationships, and their hopes and dreams as parents. By the time a family moves into the phase to become a “waiting” adoptive family and with the potential to be chosen by an Expectant Parent, our Open Arms staff has gotten to know them very well, and feel comfortable and confident with the idea of them becoming parents to a new baby.
Are your Waiting Families prepared to adopt?
By the time a potential adoptive family becomes a “waiting family”, not only have they gone through several steps like background clearances and interviews with our staff, but they have also needed to get educated about adoption and what it means to adopt a baby as a way to grow their family. Open Arms Adoption strongly believes that in order for Adoptive Families to parent successfully, they need to be fully prepared, and that involves a lot of learning. One of the ways that we offer them the opportunity to prepare themselves to adopt is through workshops that we offer them—several of which are mandatory.
We offer families workshops on many topics that cover various adoption topics in order to prepare them. From the basics like Newborn Care, to Bonding and Attaching, we cover information that they will need for when they bring a baby home. We also work to help our families understand how to talk about adoption, and teach them all about what Open Adoption is, so that they are excited and passionate about the idea of having a relationship with their child’s Birth Family.
You may be wondering about families and their readiness to adopt Transracially. Because we are a child-centered program, and pride ourselves on making children the top priority, we recognize that not every family is a good fit for every child. Open Arms Adoptive Families must meet specific criteria in order to adopt a child of a different race than their own. Our staff work closely with our families to assess whether or not they might be a good fit to adopt transracially, and we offer lots of education and materials around Transracial Adoption as well.
We also work closely with all of our Open Arms families to determine their ability to be a resource for children that may require additional services. If you have used drugs or alcohol during your pregnancy, rest assured that we have many families that are very open and ready to adopt babies that were exposed in utero. We provide education to our families in this area, so that they are prepared and know what to expect when adopting a baby that may go through withdrawal after birth.
Current Waiting Families
You have gotten a sense of the process that our families go through in order to become Waiting Adoptive Families with Open Arms. They have received a robust adoption education covering many topics, they have filled out endless amounts of forms and paperwork, and they have gotten background checks galore. An Open Arms Counselor has built a relationship with them, gotten to know them well, and can tell you more about them, should you wish to learn more. So, if you are considering putting your baby up for adoption, and you would like to take a look at our current waiting adoptive families, feel free to do so and call us if you would like to learn more about adoption or any of the families. Please note that this is just a sampling of our families, we have more amazing, wonderful families that are prepared and excited to adopt.